We are congratulated a lot lately. These praises are a common expression when meeting with our transplant team. After 59 years of fighting with Type 1 diabetes, in 2018 my wife went into full kidney failure. We spent most of one year on peritoneal dialysis before she got the call. It came suddenly and unexpected on an otherwise uneventful Sunday night. I was sitting on our rooftop patio, enjoying the three-quarter desert moon with our Great Dane Miss Stella Rose. Stella is our faithful nighttime sentry who peruses the neighborhood on this rooftop perch ensuring our safety. Then suddenly the big one hit. The news came like a massive earthquake, without notice, earth shattering and unexpected. But it was good, yes very good news. Hello - this is the Mayo Clinic - we have a kidney for you. Wait, did I hear you correctly? Am I dreaming? You just said we have a kidney? Like an expectant dad I ran into the house, excited, nervous, full of anticipation and delight when I gleefully cried-out "we have a kidney." The tears of happiness flowing like joyful rivers were quickly interrupted by the ticking clock. Honey, it's time we head to the hospital, we're becoming new kidney parents. I was going to be a kidney daddy.
We knew this day was coming but unsure of when it would happen, How many more dialysis nights to endure. When could we freely travel again without Levi the cycler in tow? We were burdened with doubts about the success of peritoneal dialysis. Having served us so well would PD suddenly fail and quit working? How much longer could we keep up the 10 hour nightly regimen without infection or exhaustion setting in. What if I got sick - who would God assign to take over to help my wife. Then, on that peaceful Sunday night on top of the roof in view of a bright southwest desert three-quarter moon, God provided the answer. Stop everything, put your life on hold, set the kidney evacuation plan in action and head to Phoenix. Yes that's right, we had a kidney evacuation plan. Getting a kidney is no different than preparing for evacuation. You have to make a sudden departure from what you are accustomed to and enter into a new life. For a while at least. It disrupts your routine, and suddenly there is nothing more important than heading to that predetermined safe place to save your life.
We were prepared. Medications, insulin pump supplies, and essentials were already packed in two plastic bins. Pack two bags I said to my wife. One small bag for the hospital with just essentials, like PJs, slippers, something to go home in and make-up. Make-up because even though we just went through major surgery, a girl still needs to look pretty leaving the hospital. Pack a larger bag for the next six weeks because you will be living away from home for a while. We called our emergency dog sitter. Hello, Mrs. O, we need you for the next six weeks, can you come tonight? Another person puts their life on hold because she knew we were failed kidney refugees having to escape at the last minute. Fortunately she didn't have anything else planned, and if she did Mrs. O knew this was more important. The car was full of gas. We kept it full and maintained in preparation for the 100 mile drive because a ten minute stop for gas could cost us a kidney. Everything fell into place just as planned. We knew this miracle was more than our careful planning and preparation, It was God's will and time for us to become new parents of a kidney. He had to align the stars in the correct order - divide the heavens to accept a lost soul so another can live. These kinds of things only happen on God's timeline. We never know why or when, just that He was ready to perform a miracle - and we were ready to accept one.
So now after a week since taking the Mayo Clinic call, I am a proud kidney daddy. It's been a hectic week for my wife, undergoing surgery, recovery, hospital stay, lots of pain, plenty of waiting, little sleep. Our loss of rest is now being made up by our kidney daughter. She's waiting for the right time to awake and greet us with a nice long pee. In the meantime we continue to pray and sit patiently on our faith in God waiting for the miraculous rivers of pee to flow.