Three weeks after surgery

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November 14, 2014
It’s hard to believe 3 weeks have gone by since Travis Kuter’s and my kidney “exchange.”¬†Each week God has given me a fresh glimpse of seeing Him at work.

As my incisions continue to heal, they become significantly more insignificant. The bruising on my stomach is fading and so are the memories of post surgery discomfort.

My walking pace has picked up to an easy-going casual stroll. I appear as if I have no where to go in a hurry and can take my time, (whether that is true or not). It’s kind of nice actually, especially when I am holding Tim’s hand.

My mind feels less cloudy than it has been. In fact, several times this week the song that goes, “I can see clearly now the rain is gone…I can… something something ..the obstacles in my way…” starts playing in my head. Okay, well, maybe my mind is not as clear as it will be, but it’ll come back to me later. :)

My short term goals are
1)To stay hydrated, (You should see a water bottle in my hand wherever I am).
2) To rest (even though I feel like I have surpassed my quota for the entire year).
3) To keep my purse from weighing more than a gallon of milk (that’s the maximum I am suppose to carry for a while. Good reason to clean it out). :)
4) And to gradually resume my “normal” productive activities. (Haha. Productivity is a long term goal, too…)

I had an opportunity to drive for the first time since the surgery. Woohoo! It was nice to get out and make the short trip to carpool line. Having provided a taxi service for my children for sixteen years now, it came as quite a shock to realize how much mental energy is required when you get behind the wheel. I had grown accustomed to “just doing it without thinking,” but that’s actually not possible. Your mind is constantly assessing the things around you. I take it this is why they say take on more activities gradually…

As you may have seen yesterday (Tim got a hold of my phone), I went to the doctor for a check up and everything looks good. My kidney should enlarge over the next year or two as it increases in function. Pretty amazing. What I didn’t expect was that through this my heart would swell also (my diagnosis, not the doctor’s. Keep reading). ;)

Having been filled to the brim again and again, my heart keeps stretching. I feel like the Grinch whose heart grew three sizes in one day. It’s the gentle hugs & “thinking of you” goodie bag & flowers left on my front porch. That “praying for you” message, text & card… All these things go straight to my heart causing it to expand with love & gratitude to God for His many blessings.

And just so you know, when my heart gets this full, it has a tendency to overflow out my eyes. I have gone through several tissues this week. I am pretty much soaked with love.

While I am on the subject, my handsome Love gives me (many) reasons to smile and keep smiling. I could not have done any of this without his leadership, support and blessing. From the beginning when I began the process of becoming a living donor, he has shown tenderness, selflessness, compassion, strength, and wit. (Have you read the posts he’s written on my wall through this? Rollerblading? Raking leaves?) :) He has taken sweet care of me and kept our household running smoothly.

Add this to the way God has given him the wisdom to lead, love, protect, and show mercy & grace throughout our marriage… Through seasons that have been hard, filled with family dysfunction leading to broken relationships. When the heartaches have been weighty & establishing boundaries necessary. God has been with us, refining us, strengthening our marriage, giving us the grace to lean on & trust Him.

Of all the innumerable things I thank God for giving me (besides Himself), Timothy Bell is at the top of my list. I love you more than words and am thankful to be your Babe… Now, will you please pass me the tissues? :)

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Two weeks after surgery

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The fourth in the series, here’s an update two weeks after surgery.

Friday, November 7, 2014
I am thankful to report that each day has me feeling stronger and better. Little bit by little bit.

Within the past seven days I have transitioned from pjs to yoga pants, still accessorized by an assortment of fuzzy socks. I’ve been told by several people that my coloring is better, which makes me wonder exactly what shade I turned last week. It must have been something “off-white” enough to be noticed and noted. :) And while my appetite is increasing, the number of pillows I sleep with is decreasing, as is the elevation of which I sleep at night. I am thankful.

I’m also trying my best to stay hydrated. However, drinking a lot of liquids without getting cold when you are not highly active, can be tricky. Water, tea, Gatorade, ginger ale, pretty much whatever I drink without ice, helps slow down the crystals forming in my fingers and toes. An assortment of hot teas help, too.

My blood pressure normally runs low & I found out that especially now, if conditions are right and I get up too fast, I will wake up on the floor staring into my loving husband’s concerned eyes. (Don’t worry. That only happened once). I am trying to stay hydrated, remember. ;)

I realize now why your abdomen is referred to as your core. Mine gives me little reminders that it is connected to pretty much everything else. It’s funny how I tend to think that not using my hands to lift something takes care of letting it rest & heal. When in fact, the twinge I get when making my legs or feet do something such as push in my chair after dinner, let’s me know that that counts as using it, too. Whoops. I am learning.

Although the skin around my incision is getting dry and flaky, whatever kind of glue they use in the hospital to put on it is not. It hasn’t even come off a little and appears to be accomplishing its purpose.

Speaking of purpose, it is so special to be part of the family of God and feel His love through the serving of His children! I see the joy, compassion, and genuine heart of service that He graciously gives in the way people are caring for our family.

I am overwhelmed with thanksgiving to God for the body of Christ. Through others He has provided prayers, meals, encouraging cards, texts, transportation for our children to go to their usual places, even flowers to brighten our counter. I could go on and on…

The thing is, this love and grace that people are offering, reflect Him. And we are all drawn to worship Him, in amazement at how He works. What a God we have! And what a precious thing for the world to see.

For my local friends, just to let you know, after talking with Tim, he thinks it’s probably best if I do not attend church this Sunday morning. He is very cautious with me (heart heart) and thinks it will be too much too soon. Although I’m kind of bummed I will not be there to help the first Sunday in our new building, I know it’s where God has me. He gives sustaining joy even in disappointment. :) I will not complain. This entire chapter in my life is truly a blessing. And being cared for by so many of you is part of that blessing, too. :)

P.S. Everyone that is able, is warmly invited to attend Grace Fellowship at our new location. The service starts at 9:30am. Go to http://www.forgodsfame.org for more information.