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Archive for January, 2012

I wanted to share some things God has taught me now that I have had some time to reflect on the events of the last 10 days.  These lessons are not in any particular order in terms of importance.  They are simply some revelations that, for the most part, I have always known but may have neglected to recognize as I should.  Here goes:

Marriage is a wonderful gift.  Often we take for granted those who mean the most to us.  Last Tuesday afternoon I set up in bed after 24 straight hours of morphine being injected into my body every 15 minutes.  Anesthesia and heavy drugs pumped into the body can produce some unintended results.  I never intended to throw up all over my wife Tuesday afternoon, but the green bile that exited my body was no respecter of persons.  Nevertheless, my wife is like Jesus (the same yesterday, today, and forever).  She never flinched in the way she quietly served her husband.  She cleaned me up, then held the bucket while I emptied myself of any remaining demonic liquid.  She poured herself out in serving me.  She is, outside of Jesus Christ, the greatest joy of my life.

Family is an incredible blessing.  My sister came from Kentucky to stay with us.  She stayed one night at home with the boys while Julie stayed with me in the hospital.  Then she stayed with me on Tuesday night while Julie came home to be with the boys.  She has served my family in so many ways.  She has cleaned house, done laundry, and walked with me outside even though I could only go at a snail’s pace.  I think she preferred the pace though.  Debra Ann had been such a blessing to us.  I know of no one who displays a bigger servant heart than her.

Donating is an honor.  I have been overwhelmed by God’s grace and have been reminded of the joy set before Christ as he faced the cross (Isaiah 53).  He faced the cruelty of Calvary because he knew it was the Father’s will.  I believe the Lord directed our steps in a way that allowed me to donate to Jennifer.  And I count it an honor.

Rest is necessary.  I have a word for anyone who thinks, as I did, that they will be back to work in a few days after donating a kidney: Don’t be Ridiculous!  I did not feel like walking further than the bed or the couch for about one week.  I didn’t want to shower or shave, but Julie made me do one of those (you guess which).  Week two is much better.  I am regaining my appetite. I walked some outside this week.  I am still having difficulty with clothing that presses too tight around my waist because of the 6 inch incision right on my waistline.  I am learning from the Lord the importance of letting my body heal.

A church family is such a blessing.  I got on the scales yesterday for the first time since the surgery and realized I had lost 10 pounds.  I didn’t know a kidney weighed that much?  However, I am sure it will show up in force the way my church family has responded to my family.  I just finished enjoying cube steak over rice, squash casserole, green beans, and yellow cake with homemade chocolate icing, compliments of one of our church families.  And that’s the way it’s been ever since we got home from the hospital last Wednesday night.  There’s nothing like the local church when the local church is working right!  I am so blessed to pastor such a servant church.  I love you.

So, these are but a few of the lessons the Lord has reminded me of this week.  I am thankful to be a blessing to the Borders family in a small way.  I am thankful for my wife.  I am thankful for my family.  I am thankful for rest.  And I am thankful for CAKE!

Derek

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I hate to say I told you so, but I was able to say that to Jason tonight. Everyday Jason starts trying to get me to start blogging in the morning and every time I say I will later in the day. I said that today, and I was correct, which made me extremely happy. I will get  to that story in a bit, but I want to tell you about the earlier part of our day. Today has been a great day, due to the fact that my babies from the shop came for a visit. I have been off work for 3 weeks now and I have missed them so much. I woke up excited today, because I knew they were coming. Today was my first day of going to the hospital to get labs, and all my numbers were great. God is so Good! When we got back from the doctor I took a small nap, and when I woke up it was about an hour until the girls got to the townhouse. We had a great visit, and while they were here Jason was able to get a haircut. He is a happy man he hates when his hair gets any length on it, plus it looks bushy when it gets long. Afer the girls left we went over to the cafeteria and shared some sushi for lunch, and it was awesome! Its was not raw sushi, because I can’t eat that with the meds I’m on. My appetite is definitely coming back and things are  starting to taste better . It takes a couple of days for things to taste right again with all the new meds. Once we got back to the room Jason worked some from his office computer, and I napped a little. Before I feel asleep my phone went off, and it was a text from my sweet friend Brittany. She had sent me a video of Asher and Honor singing to me and telling me they loved me and to get better. Actually Honor sang Row, Row, Row Your Boat, and Asher didn’t want to sing. They are so sweet and that was such a special spot in my day. We decided to go out to dinner to O’Charleys, which was a little nerve-wrecking. We had to ask for a table away from people, and then I had to got to the rest room which made me nervous to touch anything.

Now here is the part our day where I got to say, I told you so! When we got back to the townhouse the fire alarm was going off, and I looked at Jason and said “Um I left that candle burning” and then I said “Surely not”. So as everybody from all 7 floors were coming down the stairs we are going up the elevator to the room to be sure we had not started the fire. One little lady said honey I would not get on that elevator, the fire alarm is going off, bless her heart I guess she thought we could not hear that LOUD noise coming from the ceiling or she thought we were stupid. Either way of course I was laughing all the way to the room, and thankfully our candle was not the root of the fire. It was in a room on our floor where someone burned food in the stove. While we were standing on the side of University Blvd  at 9:30 at night in bright flashing red lights with the sound of the fire alarm in the back ground waiting for the Birmingham Fire and Police to clear the building I felt the need to tell Jason “See this gave me something exciting to blog about”. Jason kept saying ” Well if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen to us”. At least it was not 2 a.m. in the morning like it was the time we were in Florida on the 13th floor when the fire alarm went off , and we had to walk down 13 fights of stairs in our PJ’s with the girls thrown over our shoulders.

We did have a really good day fire and all! God is so faithful!

live from the crazy farm,

jenn

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Let me start by saying I have always said that Jason is the giver in our relationship, but I try to be patient and giving also. Today was one of those days, I unfortunately woke up before dawn, which is 5:45 for those who don’t know. As of today I did not know precisely, but now know! I laid in bed until 6am and couldn’t stand it anymore, so I got up that way Jason could sleep. Jason usually is up early normally the same time I am, but he was exhausted after sleeping in the hospital chair. I decided it would be so nice of me to let him sleep in what I didn’t realize that would be until 8:30. When he finally emerged from the bedroom he then went to the bathroom, and at this point is where I extended my giving for the day HE LAID BACK DOWN until 9am. Jason then emerged to take a shower and only my children can understand the length of his showers. Once done in the shower he then makes a cup of coffee and sits down to the computer! Remember I have been up for hours with cheese grits on my brain, and when I get obsessed about something I can think of nothing else ( the girls that work with me know this well). I had done my hair and makeup, and even curled my hair two hours before. I had also painted my toe nails, and by the way my hair had already fallen and I had already redone my face (rolling eyes big time)! We finally get out the door at 9:45 and I almost sprinted to the hospital. Then Jason calls my name and has got out that dumb camera in his hand. I thought I would have a come apart, but I did not. By the time we got to the cafeteria it was CLOSED, and they close at 9:45, You have got to be kidding me, even fast food restaurants serve breakfast until 10:30! We won’t discuss what happened when we got to the door and that chain was down. Jason took me another 10 miles through the hospital to locate a chicken biscuit, and it was gross. All I have to say about it is that it was worth it, because Jason got some really needed rest. I can tell he was just exhausted, but that sweet man never complains EVER!

We had a fun day with Jason’s aunt and uncle Annette and Jimmy coming to visit, they are the sweetest things. We laughed so much listening to stories about their trips, and after they left we walked over and ate dinner at the cafeteria. Just so everybody knows I have the hours down to memory for the cafeteria. I also know in two days time how to time the cross walks, but tomorrow that will be different due to the fact it’s a weekday. It will take me a day or two to figure that out. I may not be able to remember which side of Wal-Mart I parked when I come out, but if has to do with my eating I’m on top of it! Once we got back to the room Shane and Jill some close friends of ours got here, and brought the cutest bouquet of flower with gift cards sticking out of the pot from their small groups bible study. Its adorable! We always have so much fun with them and enjoy our time with them. Now Jason is working on adding stuff to the blog (photo tabs at the top of the blog home page) and I’ve been writing and watching t.v. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day, because I get labs done and see the doctor for a check-in. Today was the first day I haven’t napped, so maybe I would sleep good tonight. Everybody have a great Monday!

live from the crazy farm,

jenn

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I’m going to pick up on Wednesday night and bring you up to date. Wednesday afternoon Anna went home for a meeting at JSU, and rode with Derek and Julie. We were so thankful that Derek was able to go home, and I believe he was ready to go. My Mom and Chloe stayed at the hotel and as always Jason stayed in the hospital room and slept in his chair. I had a better nights sleep on Wednesday and woke up Thursday morning hungry. After 1/2 of a bagel for breakfast and some wonderful Diet Coke I was able to get my first shower since Monday morning. My sister Stephanie had the task of bringing Anna back to Birmingham, so she brought my daddy to visit. My sister knows me so well, because she brought me a new magazine, valentine peeps, and chocolate covered marshmallow, and let me say they were awesome. Now this where the day gets eventful, but not to any surprise to our family. My Mom was going to follow my sister home because the weather was yucky outside. Jason and Steph walked my parents down to an area where they would pick them up, the parking decks where the vehicles were at was about 2 blocks away. Jason went to get my moms van and Steph went to get her car.  My moms van was on the 4th level of the parking deck and Steph’s car was on the 5th level ( that is an important thing to remember). So they split up and Jason said I will meet you where the two level meet and follow you over to pick up your parents. When Jason got to my moms van the battery was dead. Jason then runs to where he had told Steph he would meet her (not on foot but in the van). Steph told Jason she knew when he showed up without the van it could not be good. Now is when it really gets good, hee hee! Steph tells Jason she has jumper cables and can pull to where the van is, the only problem was they were vehicles on both sides of the van. So they begin to look for two empty spaces beside one another. Once the spaces were located Jason and Steph had to push the van over to the other space before someone else parked in it so the jumper cables would reach. Jason said as they were pushing the van he glanced at the door where Steph was pushing and all he could see was diamond rings and a manicure nails, I could just see it. The best part was when my sister looks at Jason and says and I quote ” I guess you’re going to put this on that dang blog”. Jason at that point says not yet it’s not funny to me at the moment, but guess who it was hilarious too. ME!!!! When Jason started telling me I made him stop, because it hurt to bad to laugh. I have since laughed my head off over that one. This is the kind of stuff that always happens to us, and I guess my poor sister got caught in the crazy this time. Now you have to know that in the five days since the van had been there Jason had made what seemed to be a thousand trips  to the van he had left the side door open., he said that was probably why the battery was dead.

I had a sweet friend Stacey and her husband Greg came to visit and they brought Jilly Beans Cupcakes, and Oh my heavens they are fabulous!!! The girls were so excited especially Anna she loves sweets, and I think she has eaten like 3 or 4 of those things. Friday came the removal of the last tube, which was the one in my shoulder that I had for dialysis. All I can say is something about that seemed so surreal, because at that moment I knew it was over. It was overwhelming in my mind at just how precious my Christ is to me. Jason and Anna wanted to watch the surgeon remove the tube, I guess they thought I was some kind of science project, so they did! Then my precious Chloe wanted to take a picture of the tube after it was out, so she had Jason take it out of the trash, and she did ( completely rolling my eyes).  My family is just gross! Friday afternoon around 4:30 we left the hospital to go to the townhouse. Jason, Anna, Chloe, and Josh got everything moved to the room, and we got settled in. I laid down and fell asleep for over an hour, and then Jason went to pick up Olive Garden for dinner. Josh, Anna, and Chloe played cards most of the day and then Josh headed home. We all had a good nights sleep and Saturday the four of us walked to hospital for breakfast, and let me just say it’s two blocks and I walked it. I was ready for a nap when we got back. Chloe worked on school work, Anna watched a movie , Jason caught up on some reading and I snoozed.

Later this afternoon some family friends came by to see me Donna and Shonna, my mom came with them too. Shonna brought me more Jilly Beans cupcakes, woo hoo ! Jason’s parents came to bring Jason his Keurig coffee pot, he will be a new man! Jason parents took Anna and Chloe back to Jacksonville so they could check on Zoe (our dog) and go to church tomorrow and get ready to go back to school. Bethany another one of my sweet friends came to visit along with her husband and brother, we enjoyed our time with them. Everybody left around the same time today, and its been just Jason and myself tonight. We have enjoyed the quiet, and just sitting and not having to talk ( well I have Jason’s about went nuts sitting). I hope everybody enjoys their Sunday worship I know we will really miss being at our church tomorrow.

live from the crazy farm,

jenn

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In the words of Dr. Frankenstein “It’s Alive, Alive!”  that is the only way to describe the way I feel 4 days after a kidney transplant and being 40 years old since my last major surgery. It’s amazing that you say you know you’re not  20 anymore, but apparently I didn’t  believe that to be true. I am learning that I do actually have some limitations and of course  Jason is  helping me to remember those if I were to forget ( rolling eyes right now). One thing that I have learned in the last few days is that my sweet man has to be a saint with a huge crown waiting on him for what he has endured with me yet again. The day of surgery as you know calm for the most part, no problems to speak of.  Once I woke up from recovery I was able to see  family and friends, which I loved. There is nothing like waking up and seeing the people who love you the most and have been praying for you through the trial you have just came out of. It made me  be able to see the fruit of their labors in interceding for our family. Now the night of surgery got a little tricky due to the fact I had never gotten sick from morphine except when Chloe was born. We had no idea it would  have the effect it decided to have on my body, so needless to say I got nauseated and you know what comes after that, so I will not give you details. I figured you would appreciate that, because it was gross and bad. Tuesday morning I had some of the same issues, so at that point I said I was done with pain medicine. Not because I did not need it any more but because I was not going to risk being nauseated again. I’m not sure what time the nurse came to see me, but I can totally remember what she said. She was so sweet when she informed me that I got to WALK down to my room, which I am pretty sure was at least 10 miles down the hall. Surprisingly enough I did walk to my room and it wasn’t bad at all. Tuesday brought new surprises with the day I had a great allergic reaction to some medicine I got through the IV. After some Benadryl and some rest  that began to subside. Apparently I looked as though I had been stung by bees on my face, got to love that. The rest of Tuesday was pretty much uneventful except for trying to just feel good. Wednesday was much better I was able to eat and drink a good bit more. Of course  food always seems to help and getting some caffeine made all the difference. I knew I drank some caffeine, but after the headache I had I am quite addicted to caffeine. When my doctor came in and said you are probably needing caffeine and it’s fine if you drink it just drink the same amount of water, Dr. Goodman once again became my hero.

We are all settled in at the Town House tonight, it will be nice to wake up in the morning with Jason, Anna and Chloe all here. We plan to walk over to the hospital for breakfast. I will pick up tomorrow with more of what’s happening in our family, because I’m wiped out!

Please continue to pray for Derek and his sweet family.

crazy farm back in tact

jenn

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I found the following information about Dialysis on the National Kidney Foundation website and thought it would be helpful for those of you who are not familiar with Dialysis. Jennifer has used all the dialysis I will list below.

Healthy kidneys clean your blood and remove extra fluid in the form of urine. They also make substances that keep your body healthy. Dialysis replaces some of these functions when your kidneys no longer work. There are two different types of dialysis – hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.

Hemodialysis: In hemodialysis, a dialysis machine and a special filter called an artificial kidney, or a dialyzer, are used to clean your blood. To get your blood into the dialyzer, the doctor needs to make an access, or entrance, into your blood vessels. This is done with minor surgery, usually to your arm. The dialyzer, or filter, has two parts, one for your blood and one for a washing fluid called dialysate. A thin membrane separates these two parts. Blood cells, protein and other important things remain in your blood because they are too big to pass through the membrane. Smaller waste products in the blood, such as urea, creatinine, potassium and extra fluid pass through the membrane and are washed away.

 Peritoneal Dialysis: In this type of dialysis, your blood is cleaned inside your body. The doctor will do surgery to place a plastic tube called a catheter into your abdomen (belly) to make an access. During the treatment, your abdominal area (called the peritoneal cavity) is slowly filled with dialysate through the catheter. The blood stays in the arteries and veins that line your peritoneal cavity. Extra fluid and waste products are drawn out of your blood and into the dialysate. There are two major kinds of peritoneal dialysis.There are several kinds of peritoneal dialysis but two major ones are:
Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) and Continuous Cycling Peritoneal Dialysis (CCPD). Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) is the only type of peritoneal dialysis that is done without machines. You do this yourself, usually four or five times a day at home and/or at work. You put a bag of dialysate (about two quarts) into your peritoneal cavity through the catheter. The dialysate stays there for about four or five hours before it is drained back into the bag and thrown away. This is called an exchange. You use a new bag of dialysate each time you do an exchange. While the dialysate is in your peritoneal cavity, you can go about your usual activities at work, at school or at home.Continuous Cycling Peritoneal Dialysis (CCPD) usually is done at home using a special machine called a cycler. This is similar to CAPD except that a number of cycles (exchanges) occur. Each cycle usually lasts 1-1/2 hours and exchanges are done throughout the night while you sleep.

 In some cases of sudden or acute kidney failure, dialysis may only be needed for a short time until the kidneys get better. However, when chronic kidney disease progresses to kidney failure over time, your kidneys do not get better and you will need dialysis for the rest of your life unless you are able to receive a kidney transplant. End of info from NKF website.
But we can help make difference in those in individuals that suffer from Chronic Kidney disease by changing the status quo for some patients.
Status quo  a commonly used form of the original Latin “status quo” – literally “the state in which”  meaning the current or existing state of affairs. To maintain the status quo is to keep the things the way they presently are. To so many people dialysis is “status quo”. Dialysis is a way of life, its their existing state and for many it will never change. However for some  patients who are on dialysis it does not have to be “status quo”, they are waiting for a possible donor. Everyone may not feel comfortable with donating a kidney while still living, however we all can be a donor after we are deceased . If you would like more information about organ donation  please check out this link http://www.kidney.org/transplantation/beadonor.cfm  or let me know and I can get you the info.
Please continue to pray for Derek as he recovers at home. Pray for him regain his strength, appetite, and body to heal quickly.  Jennifer is doing absolutely fabulous and will be moved to the Town House tomorrow.
 I can not say enough about the care Jennifer has received at UAB. From Dr. Goodman and his surgical team to all the nurses, you are awesome! A special thanks to Laura, Jill, Pat, and Cora….you laddies are the best!
Pressing on,
Jason

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Life lesson and teachable moments, have you ever said either? Or maybe you have heard someone else say this. Today I said this very thing to Anna & Chloe. We were talking about selflessness and making sacrifices for others. I told them it does not mater if you are holding a door open for someone or giving a kidney you need to always remember life is not about you but rather about how you serve others. This week my family saw again an awesome display of both selfishness and tremendous sacrifice.  The influence that Derek has made upon my children is indescribable. Lets look at this from a leadership point of view. Each week my daughters hear Derek preach and look to him as their Shepard and view him as a leader and a role  model. Now as a dad I’m so excited that my daughters have leaders in their life who displays selflessness and sacrifices. Who is leading your children/family? Who are you allowing your children to be influenced  by? How are you leading them? I can say these are two areas that I have always tried to teach my family, but not always have  been successful reflecting these in my life. Leaders are people of influence, influence changes people’s lives. Who are you being influenced by? Who are you influencing? I have ask my self many times “what if”. What if Jennifer and I had not made the decision to not to accept Christ as our personal Lord and Savior? Well, for one we would not be in church, and a great chance our girls would not either. My wife would not have received two kidneys from someone in our church family. Not mention the opportunity to see leadership (influence) in action. Our decisions determine our destination!  So for me the decision I made to follow Christ in the spring of 1995 has impacted my life not just my eternal destination but here on earth too. Jennifer and I could blog indefinite how God has provided for our family and that our decision concerning our faith has been the most important decision in our lives.  Its pretty awesome to lay down at night and think about what God will do next in our life, based on the past history it will be something incredible.

I know I’m bad about rambling my sentence so I want to be sure you understand what I just said in the paragraph above.  Look for opportunities to serve others, place your family around people who influence them in a positive way. Make wise decision! And most of all if you are not involved in a bible believing, bible teaching church make a decision right now to find one this very week. God it ready to do something incredible in your life, or is He already and you just don’t see it?

Jennifer is doing great! She is up walking in the hallways and moving really well. Jennifer walked down to the Day Room to watch TV while Chloe and Judith (Jennifer’s mom) beat me at cards. For those who see Jennifer often will be amazed how great she looks. Jennifer has hinted around the idea she might feel like posting tomorrow so you will have to check back to see.

Derek went home today and is doing great. Please continue to pray for his body to heal quickly! Derek has a lot more people besides Jennifer that he cares so much about and wants to get back to doing what he loves to do…..Ministering to his Community!

Pressing on,

Jason

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