So, I want to share with you the bright side of dialysis.....for me anyway. I have never felt so much love in my life. My family, my friends old and new, my church family, my neighbors and my work family helped us out in so many ways. My church, neighbors and coworkers cooked us countless meals. I received cards daily. And I made some new friends. I became very close to a girl from the town I grew up in. We didn't know each in school but are close in age. We met while I was sick and were instant best friends. She sat through many dialysis treatments and many conversations of why me? She was actually the person who answered one of my biggest questions. I was so mad that I had the perfect husband, perfect child, perfect house, perfect family, huge network of friends and now because of my illness, I couldn't enjoy them. She simply said, "yes you can!" "You are still Jill!" That really sunk in....not completely because I still would "why me" for some time to come but that was the first glimmer of hope I had since my doctor here had ripped it all away.
Another good friend from church was literally a phone call away. I remember one morning I was home alone. Madeline must have been with my mom. I woke up at 6 am throwing up all over my bedroom. I called her and within minutes she was at my house. She cleaned up all of my puke which was literally all over my bedroom and bathroom. I am a messy puker! She stayed all day with me until Chris or my mom got home. I cant remember who relieved her but she took care of me all day! The outpouring of support from friends and family was unbelievable. I didn't know so many people cared but it was a blessing from above.
There is one really special person I have grown to know throughout my journey. I have never met this person but she is the only other person in the world who gets it like me. A friend of mine from high school found a support group for HUS on facebook. The group was for parents of kids with HUS, so I left a posting that if another adult ever saw it and had HUS, please contact me. I had totally forgotten about this post until one day I got an email from a girl I did not know. I remember I was sitting in my chair, that I sat in for 3 months, and I yelled for my mom. I said, "guess what! A girl with HUS just sent me an email!!!!" She was in the same exact place I was (healthwise). She had gotten sick with HUS in January of 2009 too, just one week after me!!!!! Our stories were so similar. She was 21 at the time. We have been really good friends, comparing notes and making this journey together ever since. She actually quit hemo and went to peritoneal dialysis before me and would eventually talk me into changing too. She is such an inspiration to me. She was always the upbeat one making me feel better. I hope I get to meet her in real life someday. She is such a sweet girl and I know God put her in my life. I am forever thankful an old friend would lead me in the direction of a new friend!
God and I have become quite close as well. In fact, I think I took him for granted before. But I know now I am only here by his grace. He is the one who put me in Barnes Jewishs' hands and He is the one who has worked so many miracles in my life since then. As my journey continues, He will work more miracles. It is so amazing to me the way life unfolds and plays out. And He already knows it all. He knows whats going to happen tomorrow and the next day and the next. And He will be there with me every step of the way. We have an amazing God who I love with all of my heart. I believe he left me here for a reason. There are other kidney patients out there who need help and I believe I am the girl to help them.
Linda Burke left a comment for Jeff Wilhelm
11 months ago