We are in the final countdown to the nephrectomy. 3 days to kidney removal. 3 days to surgery and a hospital stay and all the unknowns that all of that will bring.
How long Michael will be in hospital depends primarily, they say, on pain management. Tricky for a kid (27 years old, I know) who can’t tell us where it hurts, if it hurts, how much it hurts. I’ve told people that historically he has a high pain threshold, and that we are pretty good at reading his body language and visual cues. I pray both of those things are still true, come 3 days.
All of this is occurring during peak Christmas planning time. I’ve been in overdrive getting gifts bought, the house decorated, meals and activities planned. Our House Elf continues to be active and the Advent Calendar is filled with the usual activities. We did some of our traditional activities earlier than usual this year and some have been put on temporary hold while we navigate Michael’s surgery and recovery, but we’re still planning to get them done. They’re still on my lists!
I keep plowing onward because I need to keep the things I can control on a normal trajectory. It would be easy to throw up my ragged, chewed-to-the-quick hands and say “not this year” to the doing of all of the things. But then I’d be setting myself up to sitting and stewing and fretting. Not to mention feeling guilty for allowing myself the luxury of a good solid freak out instead of taking care of business. Don’t nobody need to see the freak out.
So keeping control of our usual non-normal normal is better for everyone, even if it is hectic… even more hectic than our usual non-normal normal. Because in 3 days I don’t know what we might be faced with. I don’t know if there will be complications, or infections, or delays. I don’t know how Michael will act post surgery and what his physical needs concerning dialysis will be. And dwelling on it gets my trigger finger to the freak out twitchy. So I just make my lists, and my delicious hot chocolate, and keep my head down.
I’ve got all the bases covered insofar as I know the bases that need to be covered. I have prepped food for the fridge and freezer, unsure as to when I’ll be in the kitchen to create an actual meal again. I have arranged transportation and childcare for the other kid, who has been very understanding of the impending disruption to the household schedule. I have my mom on stand by if there are complications and the hospital stay is extended longer than we’re expecting.
I have lists set up based on possible contingencies, but there’s only so much I can foresee to take care of. So I keep the overplanning to a minimum and keep praying that everything runs its course as smoothly as possible. That we’re in and out and complication free in 72 hours or less.
Meanwhile, I’ve still been going through my own mandated testing, trying to be approved as a kidney donor once we get him to the point that he’s able to receive a donor kidney. I have had a glut of tests and procedures, and passed them all with flying colors…or so I thought. Turns out there was a hepatic cyst showing up on my liver on the CT scan that has to be checked by a liver specialist. My appointment with him is Dec 26th. And I had a spot on my arm biopsied yesterday so I’ll find out if that’s anything “in about 10 business days.” So I’m less unremarkable than I’d thought in the medical world. Somehow I thought being Remarkable would feel different. And I sure never expected it to be this challenging to give a guy a kidney!
So that’s where we are. Preparing to have his 2 kidneys removed; hoping I’m still in the running to replace one of them.
Meanwhile (everybody sing) It’s the most wonderful time of the year…..