Monday, December 30, 2013

'RECEIVING' A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

We feel so humble and so blessed. I've been reflecting on  How hard it is sometimes to be a receiver.
Like Gifts at Christmas. It is so much easier to give than to receive. It is a combination of  appreciation and a little embarrassment, the 'you shouldn't have' moments that fill our day. It is so much easier to be on the giving end.
This year I received a gift so gratefully. Love, love, love this.
I am so proud to hang this on my wall. Not only is it from my daughter in law. But the fact that is was handmade by her makes it mean even more special. A gift from the heart!

 This year Clark received the gift of life so gratefully. It was given with his transplant of a kidney and pancreas.  Not only did he receive this gift with appreciation. He has been blessed with a miracle. He understands his heavy  responsibility of accepting  this gift as his own and caring for it.

      He was living a fine line of life and death. He knew it, I knew it. Our family knew it. Looking back at our year in review. Oh my...In and out of the hospital too many times to count.  In the spring it was pneumonia that nearly took his life. In August, Finding him on the floor unconscious and had been for 1-1/2 hours just due to a sugar low and hospitalized for 3 day's. He could have easily died if it was his time to go.

    And now to look back and see how it prepared us to receive humbly and with much appreciation the gift of life.

   There are many aspects to receiving that Clark under took. I reflected back to a conversation we had with some friends of ours when we were talking about getting a transplant. It was said that Clark needed to pray that his body would receive the organs as his own.
Clark's body accepted them from the start. It's a powerful reminder how precious life is. It's a hard thing to know that someone had to die for Clark to receive these organs. To be the recipient has so many emotions. Just indescribable

  We've been especially excited to see what this New Year will bring. A new start for us. Everything ahead of us is just so fresh.
.  I was listening to an Author: Ron Zarbock of the book "RECEIVING CHRISTMAS" today.
He tells the story of a little boy that was born with a defective heart and how first of all *The parents had to #1- Get clear: recognize the issue. #2 Act: Get help #3 Open up: receive a new heart through a donor #4 Connect: connect all the valves etc. #5 Accept the organ.
All though this was through a transplant, receiving help or love or blessing and gifts can take the same process. I definitely will buy this book!
 We have been such a recipient. Now Our New Years Goal: BECAUSE YOU HAVE RECEIVED,  NOW YOU CAN MORE FULLY GIVE"
   Christmas can continue by giving throughout the New Year (and through out the rest of our lives)!!!!!!!!!

RECEIVE THE HAPPIEST NEW YEAR!  MAY YOU BE BLESSED! LOVE TO YOU ALL!!!


Friday, November 22, 2013

The Best Thanksgiving Yet!!!

So much to be Thankful for:

It is humbling to recognize the gift of life Mr. Clark has been given.
It is not without extreme appreciation for the Donor that made the decision to save so many lives in their own death. We are so THANKFUL. I can't imagine what suffering their family is going through. I know it must give them such comfort to know that part of their loved one lives on and gives so many people a quality of life.

What a beautiful gift we've been given.

It started with a phone call on Oct. 29 around 12:37 am. We had just finished with Dialysis. And was getting ready for bed. The nurse stated that it would be a few hours so to get some rest and she would call back. Clark and I both got up and got ready for work. By 10:30 when we had no word we were just not even thinking it would go through. At 11:00am we got word that we should get on the road for Kansas City. They weren't sure if the pancreas was good yet so not to get our hopes up. .
   It took us 2 hours and 30 minutes to arrive. Every detail seem to be right in place. Although neither one of us felt 'this was the one'. In fact when we arrived at admitting, they said "get comfortable it will be a while we don't have a bed for you."
   While sitting in the admitting room a family came in. Their 34 yr old son was also waiting for a kidney transplant. We over heard them saying that they would get a kidney if the donors pancreas wasn't good. Then we continued to listen to their son's story. Our hearts went out to them . This man had had high blood pressure which killed his kidney at age 20. He had been doing dialysis for a long time and had been on the list for a kidney the same amount of time we had. As we waited we became acquainted with them all. We were in the waiting room 7 hours when their son's name was called to get a room. We both had mixed emotions. They came after us, so we pretty much felt that this wasn't our kidney. He was so deserving of it and we had a peaceful feeling. We wished them well .  Clark fell asleep, I had to keep going out of the waiting room to get phone service and let everyone know that we knew nothing. While waiting I was able to see a helicopter medic bringing in coolers. I gasped, "THERE ARE THE ORGANS" I thought. I felt  total reverence and awe. I can't describe it. After 9 hours waiting the said, "well we are just going to admit you and wait for a bed, we know nothing."  We had been admitted before and sent home, so not to worry. Then a bed came available. We were admitted to I.C.U, The nurse said, "the surgeon will be in to talk to you". We still were skeptical!! Then within 30 minutes the Surgeon came in and said, we are still preparing the organs, surgery will be at 7:00am" WE WERE SO SURPRISED!!!!!!!
    Surgery proceeded. In the surgery waiting room they have a representative notify everyone when surgery is complete or arrange for people to talk with the doctors. So while the 7 hour surgery proceeded. The whole group kinda got familiar with each other. There was a man waiting for his wife. He was the life of the party. He had a apple that he was eating. The representative was teasing him about not sharing it. It became our entertainment for the next few hours. This man's brother comes in and he starts talking about the apple being like the story of Adam and Eve. And they joke a little bit. And then he chimes in that his brother is a singer at their local church. And we all talk about it. Some one says he should sing for us. So he stands up and in a beautiful, beautiful voice. Quiet and reverent sings, "Amazing Grace" and there are tears. The room is silenced. The brother then asks everyone what religion they are. He never got around to me. I wanted to shout, 'I'm MORMON, LETS PRAY!!! No matter the religion we are all Children of our Heavenly Father. Yet, The majority was Baptist and he asks if he can say a prayer. And everyone agrees. So he says a beautiful prayer asking God to be with the surgeons and with all those that are receiving surgery. and with the loved ones waiting. It was touching. This was my waiting room experience. It really helped the anxiety of the day. I felt at peace.
    So the surgery was long, one of the nurses came out and explained the details to me. All was well.
He was sent to his room to recover. He was hooked to a catheter so while he was sleeping I see this liquid coming out of the tubes. I seriously jumped up and almost hollered. That's URINE!!!!!!!!!!!
YES, IMMEDIATELY his new kidney was working. And IMMEDIATELY his sugars were PERFECT! It wasn't suppose to happen immediately so I CRIED TEARS OF JOY!!!!
     His recovery in the hospital was perfect. His color was great. He wasn't really in pain, of course he had a button for pain. But he was running the halls almost immediately. It has just been a pure miracle.
      Elyse, our daughter flew in the next day. We rotated shifts at the hospital as well as when we were released to stay in a hotel next to the hospital. She saved me. I was able to get rest. She was just GODSEND! She was able to spend some special time with us.
      Since being home, it has been full of ups and downs. The surprising thing to us about transplant is that he has had to increase his SALT to keep his blood pressure up. He drinks non stop to keep everything hydrated and working.
       On day two at home, the dialysis team came and got the machine and supplies. Pretty exciting time to say goodbye to that chapter in our lives. Although it has been emotional to say goodbye to our team. Especially nurse Barb. Who is the reason Mr. Clark is still alive. She will be our forever friend. Such an incredible special person. We were so, so blessed to have her.  Clark made the decision to name the kidney after nurse Barb in her honor and memory.
      We have named the pancreas too. It is Jimmy, after one of Clark's Co-workers, dear friends that had a massive heart attack and died just a week before. We are pretty sure he was right beside us all. He was that way. He touched our lives in a way that will never be forgotten.
        This THANKSGIVING is like no other. WE ARE SO THANKFUL AND BLESSED. We are beyond humble and grateful to God for seeing us through this miracle. We have a new lease on LIFE and we feel so fortunate and blessed.  We have both cried for so many of our close friends who have lost their lives to kidney disease and diabetes. So we feel really indebted to a Loving Heavenly Father for granted us a few extra years. We pray that so many others can have this experience. Being a donor changes lives.  With the technology coming forth may we all see more miracles to those we love.

HERE'S TO MANY, MANY QUALITY YEARS WITH OUR CHILDREN, GRANDCHILDREN, FAMILY AND RELATIVES AND FRIENDS! WE ARE SOOOOOoooooooooooooooo THANKFUL!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

TRANSPLANT!!!!!!!!!!

On Oct. 30, 2013, Mr. Clark recieved a kidney/pancreas transplant. Things are going wonderful. He no longer has diabetes and his kidney is doing excellent! THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS. WE HAVE A MIRACLEI will update later but for my dear friends, I wanted you to know! XO

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

UPDATE: Our GREAT trial run. We are getting closer!

It has been a L-O-N-G Hard Month.
 
But some GOOD News...
 
***WE HAD ANOTHER STANDBY CALL.***
SO EXCITING, EMOTIONAL and
 DISAPPOINTING!!!
 
 
Saturday Night on Sept. 14,
We got another call for a possible transplant.
We were #3
 We were instructed to go ahead and do dialysis
(although it was our night off)
Just in case we had to wait an extended period of time.
So at midnight--
We started dialysis and ran until 4:00 am
They would call in the am.
I packed and cleaned the fridge (ha-ha) always clean the fridge!!
around 10:30
they called.
 
OUR HEARTS SKIPPED A BEAT!
 
It would take some time but would call again.
At 1:00
We found out that we were #4
Clark Questioned and they said that They couldn't get a hold of #2 but they replied and so it bumped us to #4
Yes we were a little confused..
Then we realized that the last time we got a call no one was compatible but Mr. Clark,
and then that kidney wasn't good.
We thought we were #1
It wasn't the case.
So you can imagine our emotions!
Recipient #1  did NOT qualify
Recipient #2- took one of the kidney's
Recipient #3 was not compatible
BUT--they were re-checking the labs
which made us --
Recipient #4 a candidate.
A PERFECT MATCH!!!
Still Waiting...
We were about crazy!
SOoo
I decided to play Murphy's hand,
I unpacked the travel bag
and put dinner in the oven!
and...
The call came:
We hit the road to KANSAS CITY!
When we arrived they checked us in and the nurses thought we were up for the transplant,  so we got a room, and started prepping.
Then the call came again.
The Labs gave Recipient #3 clearance
and we were sent home.
As Mr. C was getting dressed,
A man was bouncing down the halls, beaming with joy for his wife.
Although disappointed, I feel blessed to see who was the recipient. And the complete excitement from this couple.
It helped our disappointment to be less. 
 
AFTER ALL LADY'S FIRST
 
AND OUR TURN IS NEXT!
(a stark realization that if #2 hadn't called in we'd have a kidney--oh things always work --or don't work for a reason!!
 
A GREAT TRIAL RUN!
 
The whole floor of Nurses gave us condolences!!
and  a hoop and a hollar of "SEE YOU NEXT TIME!!"
 
And if you notice from our last post... dated Aug 17,
It was only a month since the last call.
###sigh###
IT WILL BE SOON!!!
We will keep the faith,
It's all in God's Hands
and we will be patient!!

**NOTE: THANKYOU, THANKYOU for those couragous *DONORS that decide a head of time to help so many lives.
It means so much.
Prayers for their families.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

After every RAINSTORM is a RAINBOW

A quick up date:
 
KANSAS has had a ENORMOUS amount of water the past month. On one particular evening we had severe winds along with the rain. And yes, it knocked out our power. Which in our neighbor hood means NO POWER FOR SUMP PUMPS. Which also means flooding.
Our whole neighborhood minus  a few lucky people were flooded.
 Although heart breaking in our almost finished basement.
The ironic news is that I had just went and increased our insurance because it was nearly finished. THAT NEVER HAPPENS!
 So it's been a long process. --- nothings damaged besides carpet.
No computer for a few weeks. I'll spare the rest of the details.
 
THE GOOD NEWS. We got a call for a transplant. It didn't work out. We were PACKED, GASSED and ready to go and we got the call that the kidney was no good. :(
GOOD AND BAD ??? We know at least we are at the TOP!!!!!!! 
 
Definitely A RAINBOW after the RAINSTORM~
 
 All is well! XO

Saturday, July 6, 2013

More Nudges from Heaven, Tender mercies. SO THANKFUL

Thinking back on the tender mercies once again.   I'm incredibly THANKFUL! This past few months I have recognized that  those tender mercies have given me a little intuition/nudging from heaven? And what happens when I don't feel a nudging and bad things happen. I reflect back to several incidents in our lives/children's life when we have really had no warning. We are here on earth to learn and experience and grow until Our mission in life is complete. And I'm holding on to that belief. It's all in God's hands. I've had nudging and then I have had no thought for what would happen. Such is these past few day's. Yes, little things are a BIG deal when your life is already fragile.
 For example:
  I blogged a little of it. Here's the story.  One morning in March Mr. Clark didn't wake up at his normal early hour. I think he had been going at both ends (sick) the night before. This morning, He didn't wake up to call into work and I really couldn't wake him up. I checked his blood sugar. It was fine. I was a little frustrated with him, actually pretty mad at him!! (reasons that were legitimate before he got sick ie: we are human!) Never the less always love this guy and always SOoooooo worried, so I called into my work and took the day off, and I called his work. Thinking I would call the Dr. as soon as they opened. Which  I did. We are on the 'priority' phone list (special hu!) so the receptionist told me she would have the nurse call me. Mr. Clark continued sleeping. I did some laundry, straightened through the house with thoughts in my mind racing back and forth. Should I be concerned? Should I let him sleep?  Sleep seemed to be what anyone with flu like conditions would do??? Then while scouring the kitchen I felt this nudge. Kinda like a push/shove in the back. and a PROMPT message. Call the Dr. NOW! And since I was waiting for the nurse to call me, I called our nephrologyst. His nurse answered. I said, "Mr. Clark is being unresponsive. He is sleeping very sound, should I get him to E.R?" The nurse said, "the doctor is actually standing right here, let me ask him" --(now I recognize that as a tender mercy!!!)  He said, take him to admitting at the hospital I will put in the orders right now. So I woke him up, *sorta had to get firm with him to get him dressed. Somehow (pretty sure ten angels helped me) I got him in the truck and arrived in the admitting. It was pretty hard just getting him in the hospital let alone through admitting. I still visualize it in my mind and it scares me! I'm giving the admitting our info and he's just laying limp in a chair. We get him to his room and they begin checking him out. His oxygen appears low, so they put him on air and he perks up a bit. We are talking casually with the nurse. "ya, probably just the flu, it's going around" and he's in good hands, so I go get lunch. A late lunch after all of this. I think it was about 4:00. When I come back the nurse(S) are whisking him off to the I.C.U telling me his oxygen is at 60 %. It's low, very low. She tells me I did the right thing by getting him to the hospital when I did, "He would not have lived through the night" Just a testament that it is NOT Mr. Clark's time to leave this earth. And he would have left me when I was angry at him. I guess God knew I wouldn't be able to live with myself!! A tender mercy indeed!
    So you can see my concern with the little things such as 'it may be the flu.' On this 4th of July.
 When Mr. Clark woke me up coughing, throwing up, unresponsive, sugar off the charts. I'm in a panic. What should I do.  Do I take him to ER. (it's a holiday) I prayed. --nothing. -- yes, I checked his oxygen level, its fine, I check his temperature, its fine. (for a kidney failure person a fever is and immediate trip to the hospital!!! So I'm going back and forth. "Heavenly Father", I plead. "I need help here???" Nothing!!  I'm about crazy. "I feel so RESPONSIBLE for the decisions regarding my husbands life. PLEASE!!!!!" Then, Just a *calm feeling and then I question the calm feeling... "Are you sure??" Who does that??? What if I'm not doing the best for him?? then... calm feeling. But what if ...??? I'm concerned because I could once again be making a wrong decision. I am putting it in Gods hands. Evening falls, I text our kids and say, "I'm scared and please pray for Dad." I can't even get him awake -after all day of sleeping to walk into the dialysis room to let me get him hooked up. And then.... After I finish talking to the kids, he just pops up and is able to dialyze. (a tender mercy/answered prayers. )
July 5: Mr. Clark is sleeping, when he attempts to move he is nauseated and is throwing up. Is it the FLU????? ahhhhhhhhhhhh. Just for peace of mind I decide to try to get Mr. Clark to the doctor.
His health is much too complicated and compromised to guess. So I plead with Mr. Clark to see a doctor before the weekend. Maybe just a nausea med??? anything to help. I'm so worried. And he finally agrees. **And the Doctor is guessing the flu. Today, he isn't sleeping, he stills feels bad. He is still nauseated, he is still very weak and guess what he is doing????? Mowing the lawn.... He just pushes himself. And As his care taker, I'll just keep Praying. Praying.... I continue to get answers to my prayers!!! :) and more nudges from Heaven.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Second trip to Utah

This trip back to Utah after two weeks break was a l-o-n-g drive. Thank goodness we had our Grand daughter for company. Well.. This trip was for business. It was a mix of pampering/night mare.
We had a wonderful time at Scofield Resevoir fishing with the Menloves. They even had a contest on who could catch the most fish. The fish were popping onto the lines and they all had a GREAT time.
    Until we got back to Huntington too late. Upset Gramps and the tension was thick. Especially when we tried to begin dialysis and  I realized that apparently I didn't pack so well.  First thing--after traveling 1400 miles I realized I left the cords to the dialysis machine back in Kansas. After a few melt downs, Terrence came to the rescue when he discovered that the machine could use computer cords. Problem solved and Mr. Clark did NOT have to take a trip to ER like we would have until the cords could be shipped. Shew. Our son, Terrence made me commit to making a spread sheet/check off list of supplies for our next trip.
     Our Fathers day weekend was spent at Gramps house. It was a relaxing time--once the drama was over. Linda made an AMAZING meal and we enjoyed the day.


 
On Monday, Mr. Clark spent the day working with Tyrel and Gramps and I spent the day shopping and lunch with our daughter Elyse. This was her only day off to spend just Mother and Daughter.
IT WAS WONDERFUL!
 
We spent the next three days in Salt Lake City at an conference for Mr. Clarks work.  And we felt so PAMPERED!
Wonderful event.
 
Our last day with family included Strawberry Day's with the Menloves, Jason and the Gilberts.
They NEVER miss any action!!!
So FUN!!!!












Mr. Clark is looking pretty wore down. Besides FREEZING.
He decided to go with Jason to the truck to get the heater on. It was so touching to see Jason and the rest of the crowd in our seating area assist him off the stands.  





The time with family was over. We said our "see ya later's" and headed to Huntington to say "see ya later" to Gramps. Yes, I went to start dialysis before we hit the road and.... I left the solution warmer in Lehi. :(   Tyrel, Danielle and Laura rescued me out of this mess. They hit the road and met to get the warmer. Shew. A nightmare for dialysis. Sure was exhausted traveling with it. Yet, So grateful we don't have to find a center to have it done. It's the good and bad of our routine.
Bet I get a trailor for the next journey to Utah!! All the supplies need to stay in one place!!!
So sad to go. So happy to be home. It's mixed emotions.