One week to go! This last week was ridiculous. All this time, doing pretty good most days and now, finally, I can see the finish line, and ….. I started to lose it. I was telling my girlfriends “the mother ship is going down! I’m not going to make it!”
Oh I know it’s not about me! But seriously! These last months I can honestly say I have not cried at all over this place we are headed. I am OK with it. A long time ago, perhaps more than two years ago, we had a meeting with all the medical big Kahoonas over Jesse eventually needing a transplant. We told them that we would be praying all the way through that Jesse would not need a transplant. But we also said (well, TIm did…..I confess that 10 serious-looking medical people around a conference table somewhat intimidated me) that our God is able and he reserves the right to do whatever he wants. But Tim also said that if it comes to the point Jesse does need a transplant, then we will thank God that we live in a country and near a hospital that is expert in doing kidney transplants. So we have hoped and prayed we would not be going here, but we are still hopeful and thankful now that we are.
Still, somehow, being hopeful and thankful has coexisted with impatience, close-to-tearfulness and drama over little things all week. I don’t cry over kidney transplants, but apparently, I cry over new beds that don’t fit the way I wanted, BBQs that need returning and four year olds asking the same question one hundred and sixty-seven times.
We saw Jesse’ kidney doctor on Friday and he was flustered over other things, but it made him curt and blunt with me. “These bloodpressures are a disaster!” he said, flicking the results of a 24-hour blood pressure test we had done. “His heart is now showing signs of over-work and stress from these high pressures. And his bones are weakening and he’ll get Rickets! He really should be on dialysis six times a week.”
At the time I was just trying to not let the shaking in my heart show in my voice or flood the banks of my eyes, so I did not say what was foremost in my mind: “We don’t need to hear this from you! To you, these are numbers. But this is MY BOY!” Instead, I asked him if these things were life and death right now, or if they could hold for one more week. Because that’s all we have to go. One more week.
The doctor was running late, frustrated and probably at a loss to work out how to fix these things that really, they said would be “fixed” with Jess having his kidney removed. But it hurt my aching heart to hear, and he perhaps forgot he was talking to a parent and not a colleague for whom these things are scientifically ephemeral. We are a week away. It feels like 10. We don’t need to hear it’s all a disaster. We need to hold on for another week. Stay the course. Believe all these things will be taken care of with a new and functioning kidney. Actually, to look at Jesse right now, you would never know the one kidney he has left is not functioning. He’s loving soccer (or to be more accurate, he is loving the post-soccer ice-cream); he and Indie jump on the trampoline and play “mums and dads” for hours; they are both up half the night giggling as they explore the joys of bunk beds. He looks wonderful.
If we can get through a week without Jesse’s heart collapsing or my heart breaking, or an infection stopping the whole shebang completely, then the plan is for us all to go down to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto on Monday 7th. They’ll do another barrage of tests before the transplant itself takes place on Thursday 10th, starting at around 7.30am. Tim will be in one hospital; Jesse will be in another and they will wheel Tim’s ticking kidney underneath the road through a tunnel to Jesse’s waiting body. All going well, Jesse’s surgery will be done in 6-8 hours. My parents will be with me and the girls; Tim’s parents will be with him at University Hospital. From there….who knows. We have a list of possible “complications” … and we are certain, based on past history, that Jesse will create a few new ones of his own. He could be there for anywhere from 10 days to 4 months. Oh pray it is the former! In faith, we have already started buying a special post-operation chocolate collection for Jesse’s dining pleasure.
Indie and Molly will stay in a hotel nearby with my parents for a week, and then they will come back to St Thomas and school. Indie just needs to see her beloved brother is OK, and then she is fine. At 10 months old, Molly will be going cold-turkey into bottle feeding, but my Mum is a brave and determined woman! Tim hopes to return to work in a matter of days.
When we can see the big picture, and when Tim and I can see Jesus on the throne, his eyes brimming with love and attention, we know that in the end, all this will be nothing but an unspeakable privilege. We have this opportunity to witness to how He takes care of those who love Him. Not just with end results, but all along the way.
In the meantime, wonky motherships and donating fathers go between implosion and peace. Sometimes 30 seconds apart. If you could pray we go into this transplant at rest, and with peaceful hearts that are NOT wound tighter than a spring, it would matter a great deal to us.
We look forward to sharing a few miracles and great joy with you soon. With love and all our deepest thanks for praying us through,
Tim, Kim, India, Jesse & Molly