January 20, 2013

My Sister's Mountain

My son gave me a Hilary Weeks CD for Christmas, and the words to the song Beautiful Heartbreak were continually going through my head the past few weeks.

       "I had it all mapped out in front of me, 
        Knew just where I wanted to go;
       But life decided to change my plans, 
       And I found a mountain in the middle of my road."

My sister and her family went to Idaho to her in-laws for Christmas, and on the way home the family stayed over at my Mom's here in Farmington.  They planned to spend  New Years here, then head home to Soccoro, 4 more hours south, later in the week.

However, my sister was admitted to the hospital here on Jan 2 because of high blood pressure and swelling in her legs and face.  Her kidneys had stopped working.  She had surgery 4 days later to insert a catheter for dialysis and began hemo-dialysis later that day.  When she was in the 4th grade she was diagnosed with Lupus which damaged her kidneys.  And apparently her kidneys finally did all they could do.

She definitely has a mountain in the middle of her road.

The hard part (well, there are many hard parts...) was that she was in the hospital here for almost 2 weeks but her kids needed to start school, as well as her husband who is getting an engineering degree at New Mexico Tech.  So it was decided the family would go home and my mom and other sister and I would take care of Holly at the hospital.

My mom's health didn't allow her to be there too much, and my sister works.  so I spent many hours at the hospital.  I didn't realize how emotionally draining it can be.  I decided that visitors are not only for the patient but immensely help out the person tending the patient also. 

I was glad I could be there for her but I felt helpless.  Wishing I could take it all away from my baby sister.  At one point I almost offered to go to Socorro and take care of the kids while her husband came to help her at the hospital because I thought she needed him and it would be easier for me.

She has been home almost a week.  Her ward is pitching in.  The dialysis center is 45 minutes away from her house. Three days per week she is away from her home for dialysis for about 6 hours.  That is a huge life changing thing for the whole family.  They need help and I am so grateful for ward families that take care of each other.  And I know that she and her family will grow from this experience.

I know she is going through a lot.  And her husband is too.  I can't do much, but I can pray for her and her family.

In a few months she will be able to do peritoneal dialysis with a machine at home while she sleeps.  The future holds a kidney transplant, but nobody knows how soon.  But we do know I have 2 brothers who are a match that were tested years ago.  My sister and I were never tested.  But we will be.  And there are so many people who have offered her one of their kidneys.

With faith she will be able to make it through these challenges in her life.  I know the Lord will carry her and hold her up.

She has a mountain, but as the song says, eventually she will find a beautiful heartbreak. Just like any of us going through a hard time.

"I knew there was no way to move it, so I searched for a way around; 
Brokenhearted I started climbing
And at the top I found...

Every fear, every doubt, 
All the pain I went through;
Was the price that I paid to see this view;

And now that I'm here I would never trade... 
The grace that I feel, and the faith that I find; 
Through the bitter-sweet tears and the sleepless nights; 

I used to pray he'd take it all away, 
But instead it became a beautiful heartbreak."

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