This past month has been one of struggle and growth. I think to lay the foundation abit more, I'll bore you with the gory details.To back up, say, 39 years or so, it all started when I was two-ish. And yup, I'm 41. Ancient and decrepit by the standards of those under 18.
Somewhere in my second year I began to have kidney infections. The big raging fever, throw her in a tub full of freezing cold water to break it, kind of fevers. Years and tests, tests and years full of antibiotics, nuclear medicine etc filled my growing up. I saw my pediatrician and urologist monthly it seemed. I had to live with notes to new teachers every year to "please let Miss Kelli use the potty when she raises her hand" (oh, and "she talks to much to her frineds in class") but I digress. That was always a thrill.
Dr. Goldwyn and Dr. Walters kept me going year after year. And other than 4000 other trips to the ER because I was generally a klutz- life was good and normal.
In 1977 I had a surgery to correct whateer issue I had. Reflux. Things went up and not down urine wise. But, too little too late. However, in the bed next to me was a girl whose parents were into some pretty bad stuff. While we were both under the knife my dad talked to them and they became Christians- right there. They ended up starting a boys ranch for at-risk boys and brought hundreds to the Lord. God uses things in His time, and in His way. Yes, He surely does.
In 1982 I went to Europe with Teen Missions on an evangelical team. Towards the last night of Boot Camp in the Florida swamps (yep, living in a tent and all) I got sick. 104 fever. Again. Rushed to the ER in some backwater flat and begged my parents to let me stay. They did, but, by the time we got to Scotland things were worse. Now, understand the team leaders thought I was faking at first. If you have had a kidney infection you know the pain and fever is practically hallucinatingly horrid. When you live with something, it like breathing, it is what it is.
Our second night in Scotland we got in cab and went to a hospital right out of WW2. I swear to you that I thought the Germans would bomb us out at any moment. The hilarious night got better in two ways- one, they let drunks sleep in the waiting rooms at night. Lovely.
Second, all medicines are different in Scotland than America so the phone conversation looked something like this- Scotland Dr. talking to my mom who's talking to my Urologist who is prescribing treatment and antibiotics to my mom who is telling the Scottish DR. who's nurse is looking up comparable terms in Europe journals so as not to kill me dead on the spot. Yep. We all finally decide on the right dosage and equivalents and it's off to the drugstore. At 3am. In a police car. With a police man.
See- the druggists don't work at the hospital. They have their own shops. And only open up at night for police. Around 4am this nattily dressed older gentleman, with a suit on and his hat/cane shows up and opens for us like it's 4pm. He fills my order for drugs and gives me candy- friendly chatting away like nothing is weird- at 4am. Then, the police takes us back to the church where we are housing-all friendly like it's every day in Scotland. Truly a night to remember.
Oh- and on the klutzy thing? On the smae trip I also cut my foot open on a canal rock in the middle of nowhere. The only Dr. in the next hamlet (in a thatched roof cottage even) didn't do novacaine. So, he sewed me up with 5 stitches- no meds, no painkillers. Told you- I'm a walking disaster. I survived the trip, although I believe my parents paid off that phone bill with a second mortgage. At 18 you have no concept of what "I'd like to place this international call collect" really, really means. Especially when you do it over, and over, and over again.
Fast forward to 1987- 5 years with no problems. About this time, I had just met John and came down with the flu. However. after being unconscious for 48 hours with a 104 fever they decided to check me out further. Bam- kidney infection. For the next 4 years it was one after another. It got to the point where I would go to the ER and tell them what I needed. Shot of antibiotic or a stay in the hospital.
We were married (yep, he stuck around) in February of 1990 and started trying to have kids. We knew that there was a strong chance I couldn't get pregnant- but, that was not the case. We could pass in the hall and I was conceiving. 6 times in 2 years. But, around 10 weeks or so I would lose it. Miscarriage. That was a devastating time for us and a really rough time for our marriage. I lived through it by the grace of God and this book- "I'll Hold You In Heaven" by Jack Hayford, the pastor of the church I grew up in.
In 1991, we made the decision to remove the left kidney. It was no longer functioning but simply a diseased organ. So, in July 1991 I went in and they broke all my ribs- and out it came. The right kidney was healthy, and anyone cna live with one healthy kidney- we are wonderfully and glorifully made.
But, within 7 days of getting home, the two pinks lines were back. I was pregnant. Again.