Sunday, February 04, 2007

Control ... and lessons learned

*This post was first published in the Summer of 2006. But I had a deep need to to dig through to find it today. It reminds me of what God is doing, and of what He will do. In strange and miraculous ways beyond our comprehension. I hope this touches you where you are today. No matter what your circumstances.

Websters defines control as " To exercise authoritative or dominating influence over; direct". Those the know me well may define me as the same.

I have an in-bred desire to control the things around -- my career, my teenagers, the weather, the way others drive around me ... the list goes on. I value knowing how things should go, to the point of finishing others sentences at times. These are things I am aware of, and work on constantly.

When life throws you a curve, like say, kidney failure and daily dialysis ... you lose "control". You are tied to a process 4 times a day for 45 min or so each, where you cannot do anything but sit and wait for it to finish - you cannot make it go faster, although I swear that focusing on it will in fact make it go slower. There are times when the dialysis fluid is draining out of that bag, that gravity itself comes to a stop and all downward motion ceases to exist within the walls of this house.

Travel becomes more difficult- and we are a traveling family. Not just because we have moved 23 times in 17 years (yes, we actually sat down and counted it a few nights ago) but we are day-trippers. We love to get in the car, kids, dogs, lunch and map -- and just go! We have seen alot of things we never would have stumbled onto on those trips -- and created more memories with the kids than we ever expected.

Let me count how many day trips we have taken since this started .. well, there was the time we ... no, that was in February ... oh yeah, we ... no -- that was in December. Hmmm - we haven't done anything day-trip-ish since this started.

Waiting for the results of a whole lot of blood drawn is not fun either --- what will be up, down, not changed, new meds. more meds, IV, oral --- change change change ....

I'm the organizer --- taskmaster ---- keeper of schedules, places to be and lateness-detererrer. The first to volunteer or go if I'm available. If there is free time to go see something new, I have the keys in my hand and a homeschool project in the offing ...

Until now.

We just moved into our new home - which sits on 20 acres on a mountain (thanks God!). However, after 23 moves, this was the first "stressful" move I've encountered. Why? Because I cannot lift, and I have no energy after about 1/2 hour. I had to "sit" while everyone else stepped up and packed, staged, moved, loaded, unloaded and organized. I had to "sit" and watch -- from the sidelines, and feel totally, completely, truly, deeply useless. I can honestly pack out a house in 48 hours - I'm that good. John is the loaded / unloader. That is our way, its the way we survive.

However, this time was different. If I could go help, then I realized I couldn't because I would have to be back too soon to do another dialysis exchange -- after lifting a small box, my anemia would kick in and remind me that I'm not supposed to do that by taking every last once of energy away from me in a heartbeat.

So, I sit alone in an empty house and get mad. Angry at the reason I'm sitting here, angry at God for not healing me in the 41 years He has had the chance to, angry that I don't feel better despite the large number of drugs I take every day, angry I can't swim this summer because of the risk of infection to the catheter, angry I can't lose weight because of the stupid sugar in the dialysis solution that seems to suck into me and double in caloric value every day, and then -- I realized something. I am useless - but,

I am loved despite everything.

I have a wonderful husband who has stood by me through:

Removal of a kidney
6+ mis-carriages
2 c-sections
Hysterectomy
Kidney Failure and Dialysis

And he loves me.

With every box he packs, lifts, loads and unloads to organize and put away -- he is showing me my value to him. That my existence here to him matters --- my uselessness is really in my head. He loves me and values me enough to step in and do it all - 18 hours a day, and not complain

My kids love me.

With every bag they bring, and exchange they demand to help with, they show that this process keeps me with them another day. They have been amazing through this whole experience and remind me that God is in control.

My God loves me.

I was not planning on going to the Dr., not this Dr. But I did, and he ran a test that showed us what was going on. He referred me to the BEST specialist, with the BEST team. I've met the rest of the practice -- I know this is a fact. Dialysis began well, no hitches, and my numbers have, for the most part, improved beyond anyone's imagining this early in the game. I have the perfect job, that allows me to work FT from home, with my husband, and pays the bills and carries the exact insurance I needed. God is in control -- not Kelli. God has provided the environment and the tools that are needed, at the right time (not my time) to make sure I am taken care of. I hold onto that fact that lives will be touched through this process; Heaven will be populated- because I sat down 4 times a day, for 45 minutes and gave up control of my life.

And, really, I think that is the key.

God only gives us what we can bear -- and right now, the amount that I have been given has truly brought me to my knees.

What I need to remember, is that is exactly where I need to be.

18 Comments:

Blogger Norma said...

This is a beautiful, inspiring post. I'll be linking. Thanks.

4:01 AM  
Blogger Barb said...

Wow Kelli. I've asked myself over and over since I met you, how does she factor all this down time doing dialysis into her day, every day. The one thing that's always struck me is how positive and upbeat you always are. I doubt many of us could handle this with your grace.

I'm still praying for that kidney.

10:37 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I went through this with my grandmother and cousin. The cousin is now in the running in the Miss Pennsylvnia contest, after a kidney transplant and now dialisis. It's no picnic. The Lord gives each of us exactly what will grow us most towards Him. He knows what each of us can handle and uses it to draw us nearer. I am so glad He is in control and not me, I know I would mess things up. :) My prayers are with you.

7:03 PM  
Blogger BooMama said...

ONCE AGAIN - I really think I've commented on this post before, but since I don't see my name anywhere, I reckon I skipped some vitally important step (like, say, clicking "publish"). All that to say: loved this post the first time I read it - and loved it again today. :-)

3:23 PM  
Blogger owlhaven said...

great post-- I am a controller too. But I have to admit the 4 months when I had a bady broken arm and could only sit were actually some of the most peasceful in my life-- when i gave up control (for that time, anyway) it was very freeing...

All the best to you, m'dear!

Mary, mom to many

9:59 PM  
Blogger Barb said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:33 AM  
Blogger Barb said...

I see that I commented on this the first time you published it. But I have to comment again, this morning.

I needed to read this again this morning. I'm two hours from taking Rob to the hospital and this has put the surgery he's having into perspective for me. Comparatively speaking, what he's facing is nothing at all.

This inspired me the first time around. It's inspired me again this morning. You're one of the bravest people I know.

8:37 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Such a powerful post. You and your husband have been through a lot together - through sickness and in health; you're lucky to have found each other!

4:01 PM  
Blogger Cool Mama said...

Hey Kelli - I read your post, and then scrolled down and just kept reading. I remember asking you a few months back, how this journey of yours got started - thanks for sharing it. Made me realise that I'm whining and complaining about what God's put on my plate..and maybe I need to just release control to Him, and things will start to feel more settled - atleast in my spirit! Thanks for being so open, and sharing your story!

12:49 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Wandered over via Boomama. Yes, it touches me where I am. Thanks for the reminder-- publish it weekly! :-)

9:19 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

You have such strength, Kelli, and I'm so thankful for you.

I fluffy pink heart you!

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Lucy said...

I came over from BooMama. What a powerful post. I'm going to bookmark it because it really speaks to me where I'm at. My situation is not nearly as far as yours, but I may be there someday. I have a heart defect and had a heart attack six months ago. Last week I was told that my heart function had gone down instead of at least staying the same or improving. I have three small children age 5 and under. I'm exhausted all the time. It's quite possible I'll need a heart transplant in the future.

I will be visiting your blog often and praying for you, because I somewhat understand your frustration at not being in control anymore. I, too, am facing the possibility of an untimely death, although not with the urgency that you are.

Peace be with you and your family. Thank you for being so honest and vulnerable in your pain. And I love what you say about your husband. It reminded me to be thankful for my husband, who bears a burden that I cannot share.

Thank you.

10:27 PM  
Blogger Mommy Dearest said...

Hang in there and be thankful for that wonderful, supportive family you have. There is a 19-year-old boy in my church whose kidneys were failing. He had started dialysis. His father was found to be a donor match and they had back-to-back surgeries in hospitals across the street from each other. The surgery was about 2 months ago, but father and son are doing well now. I know God can work miracles and I pray He shows himself mighty on your behalf.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Ami said...

wow, I needed to hear that. Thank you! May God grant you healing!

1:12 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Kelli, I know you thought you re-posted this to remind yourself to let go and let God take care of it, but I really needed to re-read this!! I'm praying for you and your family, and I really appreciate your transparency!

3:10 PM  
Blogger Janean said...

Thank you SO much for this post! It's nice to know how much alike we are. I am a major control freak. And God has shown me repeatedly over the last 2 years how I am really not in control of ANYTHING!
Thinking of you. Hope you're feeling better!

9:09 PM  
Blogger Kathleen Marie said...

God is so good and you are very blessed in so many ways. It is so inspiring reading your posts.

God Bless You and Yours!

10:56 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Beautiful!

4:50 PM  

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