Sometimes you really do have to put it out there. I know it’s scary, because putting it out there means it could really happen.
The last few weeks has been tough. The anticipation of finding out weather I was going to get a kidney or not has been killing me. You see, the cross matching for the donor exchange program happened this month. This is where my donors (hubby and friend) are cross matched with people around Australia waiting for a transplant and their donors are cross matched with me. My potential donors weren’t compatible with me but this program allows a swap to happen, from anywhere around Australia.
I haven’t been dealing with the unknown very well. Ive never really suffered from anxiety before, or at least I can’t really remember feeling like this. It’s a funny thing, going through something so serious at such a young age. I grew up with my illness. I was shown a dialysis machine when I was 5 and was told one day I would end up on one. I don’t remember many things from my childhood , but I remember that day. It was almost a natural progression for me to end up on dialysis. Growing up, I always knew I was different. My mum used to come to my classroom in grade 1 to check my blood pressure. I remember all the kids peering through the library room window watching me. They thought it was cool. In some ways, growing up with an illness made me feel special. It was fun as a grommet but my teenage years were completely different. I wanted to be like everybody else. When I wasn’t allowed at sleep overs because mum didn’t trust I would take my medication, boy did I rebel. I acted like a disrespectful, spoilt brat. Possibly blessed I can’t have children because I would never have wanted one like me! It wasn’t until my early 20s did I realise that if I had a sick child I would naturally be over protective too. I have ‘the forum’ to thank for that (A self-awareness course I did, but don’t get caught into becoming one of ‘them’. For some people ‘the forum’ is their whole lives but I chose to live mine).
I guess I never really saw the seriousness of my illness. Even now, I feel lucky that I can pretty much do most things. At least the ones that make me happy like going to the beach, holidaying in my caravan and hanging out with family and friends. That’s all I need 🙂 I knew something was wrong when I became obsessed with trying to save rescue dogs. I became friends with all the dog rescue sites on Facebook. I literally couldn’t scroll past a homeless dog photo without having to share it. That would be ok except I had to read each and everyone’s sad stories then I would get upset when no one would share on. I generally check Facebook in the evening when I do a manual dialysis bag before going to bed. Guaranteed I would leave the room, depressed and so so sad for these poor forgotten dogs. I would lament to Dan ‘Why don’t people share my dog photos? Why can’t we save one? Please?’. I would beg him and feel so helpless. Until James came along.
Jamie/James was a dog on death row. He had found himself impounded and only had days to live. To cut a long story short a stranger that saw my message of concern for him, offered to pick him up from the pound. She saved his life literally, on the day he was due to get put to sleep. We were due to go on holiday Monday but my plan was to go get him and take him with us. I saved him and that’s all that mattered. Problem was, he was not dog social and reacted to our Karri. What had I done. After lengthy discussions with the kind stranger, it was decided he would be placed in foster care where he would get the training he needed. After walking side by side with Karri, he settled down which showed he had potential, just a crappy upbringing. I felt happy I had saved him but sad I couldn’t give him a forever home. We left for our holiday.
That night we saw the most amazing shooting star. The kind that lights up the sky with its huge tail. I made a wish for Jaime to find a loving home and hubby made a wish for me. Our holiday has been fun in Kalbarri. Lots of beaching and relaxing. The reason we went away was to keep our minds of things as this Monday we were due to find out the results of the donor exchange program. Distraction was the key to get us through this last anxious week. After realising me trying to save dogs was a way to avoid facing my biggest fear, I had to stop. It wasn’t helping my situation. My greatest fear is never getting a kidney and losing it again.
I have been reading some of Louise Hay of late and she gives you little exercises to face your fears. One of them is to look into your eyes in the mirror and say out loud what you want out of life, but you have to want it and mean it. I said ‘I’m going to get a kidney and its going to last forever’ over and over again until I believed it. Yesterday I got a call from the donor exchange program coordinator to say they had found a match for me. I’m going to get a kidney! Just like that, I created the life I so desperately want.
Call it what you like, but there is something to say about the power of the mind. Could it have been the shooting star? Maybe, but one thing is for sure, if you wish and believe the life you want, you will get it. Dream big, that’s what life is about. As far as the results for the exchange program, it couldn’t be better. There are three donors, three recipients and three states involved in this swap. So magical. My kidney is coming from QLD, my girlfriends is going to Victoria and then a swap will happen within those states. So just by my girlfriend being on this list, she has saved the lives of three people.
We had just got to the beach when I got the call. In the same breath of her telling me I had a match, she also said it was just the beginning and there were more tests to confirm the cross matching etc. I was in shock. I held it together on the phone but there were tears of joy when I hung up. With my hubby by my side, I couldn’t even speak to tell him, it wasn’t him that has to give his kidney up for me, but my girlfriend. It is like this is her mission in life and I now realise how lucky I am to be able to fulfil her dream to do this, as much she is fulfilling mine. My husband is just glad he can be fit and well to be there for my recovery. Knowing he was willing to do this for me, just makes me love him even more, if that could be possible. To celebrate, we had fresh oysters and prawns and saluted to the sun going down for an amazing ending to our week away. I feel this is the start of my new life.