When we arrived home the kids, Nathan included, were just thrilled to see her. They had made a banner with the help of Aunt Terri....
Nicole was obviously very excited about her big welcome home. Nicole was also greeted with 8 bags of presents, cards, and various other gifts to make her homecoming a giant success. Nathan's car was just loaded down with bags and bags for Nicole. What a great blessing from our friends at Mansfield Christian School!! More than anything was just being home with her siblings. Here are some great photo's showing the kids together...
I love this one!! Nicole just loves her annoying little brother :)
Don't you just love Nicole's smile :)
Our 3 little's, Nicole, Caleb, and Katelynn certainly have their moments where they seem to hate each other, but for the most part they really love each other a lot. And even though Nathan is not in these pictures he was just as thrilled to see Nicole as Caleb and Katelynn were.
Nicole is adjusting to life at home and so are we. The biggest part of the post transplant life is the med's. She is on anti-rejection med's that must be taken precisely at 12 hour intervals, with only a 20 minute window of error. She is also on antiviral, antibiotics, antifungal, pain, phosphorous, magnesium, vitamin D, blood pressure, and GI med's. There are interactions with these med's that prevents them from being taken at the same time. Some must be taken 2 hours away from the anti-rejection med's. Others with food. Others after food. All in all she must take med's 5 different times a day. And speaking of that, as I am writing my phone just went off reminding me that it is time for her 8:30pm meds. So I must stop and do this because it can't wait. Such is the life of a post-transplant parent.
I'm back...In addition to these med's Nicole must try and meet a target fluid intake of 2 liters / day. Sid must be constantly flushed to maintain good function :) For those of you that didn't read the earlier blogs Sid is the pet name affectionally given to Nicole's new kidney from Wendy!!
Monday and Thursday morning Nicole must have blood drawn at the lab, every Tuesday she has to go to Clinic back in Cleveland, and so on. It really is a lot to think about and a lot of adjustments...but minor inconveniences compared to life with a fully functioning kidney. Energy, clarity of thought, and, of course, let's not forget about life. And speaking of life...here is this blog's thought to consider:
The Westminster Catechism teaches that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. At creation God breathed into Adam the breath of life and man became a living soul. The Lord walked with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden and they enjoyed close communion and fellowship. He truly was to be their joy and the purpose of their life. This close communion was maintained until sin and Adam and Eve were put out of the garden. Fellowship was broken. If you go all the way to Revelation 21:3 the scripture says:
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
Once again, we see at the end that the Lord will be back to dwelling with His people, just as at the beginning. This eternal fellowship is made possible by the Lord Jesus Christ and his sacrifice paying the sin debt for all man-kind. Surely, the Westminster Catechism is correct in saying that we were created to enjoy the Lord forever. What is purposely missing from this lesson? It is our circumstances. The scripture NEVER teaches that we are only to enjoy God during good times. And likewise, for some, the bad times. (It is tempting to only seek after God when things get rough.) The scripture NEVER teaches that we are to enjoy God when we are healthy or only when we are ill. We are taught from the beginning of the book of Genesis to the end of the book of Revelation that our lives are to revolve around our relationship with God. Am I the only one that finds this incredibly difficult to maintain day in and day out, year in and year out through all of our circumstances and life changes? Maybe this comes natural to some, but not me. Here is another change in my life. Post-transplant life with Nicole. What is this going to look like day in and day out? How will I adjust? How will we adjust? How can we keep God first, when med's, fluids, clinics, blood draws, family, work, relationships, church, friends, and everything else demands a piece of our time. Our life is going to be sliced up into so many divisions that it seems ridiculous to consider. However, in thinking of life, and to redo a famous scripture that says man shall not leave by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God...man shall not live by medicine alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. In other words, true life is not the life made possible by these med's, but by the Spirit of God. Simple enough. Time to get at it.
For His Glory,