Anyway, 5 years ago this past November I started having some medical problems. While they were minor when I went to follow up on them it led to a CT scan and a doctor visit one week before Christmas that scared me out of my mind. What were these problems? Kidney stones- lots of them in both of my kidneys. At the doctor visit- she said she wasn't a specialist but that the CT scan showed lots of stones in both kidneys and the doctor may want to take one or both of my kidneys (see- scary). I had about 3 weeks before I could get into the urologist so in that three weeks I cried lots of tears, prayed, begged, and pleaded. In the downtime- I also researched and came across what I thought it could be but since it was supposedly rare I doubted that it was the case. Finally, in early January I made it to the urologist where my research was confirmed. I was diagnosed with that "rare" kidney disorder (I use that in quotes because it isn't AS rare as once thought but still not common)- Medullary Sponge Kidney. Basically what happens is that my body makes kidney stones all the time and they are collecting in the spongey part of my kidneys. Sometimes they will move their way out and other times they will stay. He gave me a very outdated food list (at least 4 years old) of things that I needed to cut out. Things such as nuts and nut products, chocolate, spinach, celery, etc. These are all things that I had been eating quite a bit of. It was rough and within the 2 years I passed two more stones (that I felt), however, I was also feeling lots of twinges where the stones were moving. Finally in spring of 2012 I had a test done that showed elevated levels (of which the doctor said were fine- blech) and then I adjusted some more eating and did a retest at the end of the June that showed all were normal but one. Since July 2012 I have had very few issues (and I mean like only one or two twinges)- in this I know I am blessed. I know several people who have had this disease advance to kidney failure, multiple surgeries, stents, and much more.
What have I learned through all of this?
I have learned to fight for my right to medical care. I will be requesting another CT scan when I go back in February. I have asked for one before but he said that since they weren't showing in a regular x-ray then it wasn't a big deal and they don't like to do all of that radiation. I am requesting it anyway because I want a comparison from my very first one.
I have learned that sometimes I will have to do my own research- and in doing so- I may know more than the doctor or the nurse practitioner- and that's okay.
I have learned that trusting God was the only way that I survived those three weeks in limbo and the last 5 years.
I have learned that while I trust- I am still called to walk the path with eyes facing forward (and up) and hands ready to work.
I have learned that one person's food can be another's poison. While I can eat some of those foods in moderation (with major adjustments elsewhere) I try to steer clear of them if I can.
Why now? Because on March 8, I will have the opportunity to participate in a local Kidney Run. I was not able to run this last year because it was the first weekend of Spring Break. This year, they moved it up a week and I am able to participate. This will be a cause that I support every year because the cause is near and dear to my heart.