Fields Of Life. Ch.14.
Significantly, understanding the nature of an event after it has happened often reveals small glimpses of God’s wisdom.
All we had to do was hang-on, and keep our eyes on the road ahead.
But, wait a moment, I’m getting ahead of myself.
So, let me regress just a little.
Way back in 1996, the year that my first kidney transplant failed, I was diagnosed with having an enlarged bladder, bowel and heart.
Coinciding with this, I began to suffer with angina – a heart condition marked by paroxysms of chest pain due to reduced oxygen to the heart.
In addition, it was confirmed at this time, that I had a heart-murmur.
Furthermore, on account of my enlarged bladder being of high capacity, this in the long term would have a very embarrassing – unpleasant and distressing affect.
Anyway, within a few calendar months of moving to South Yorkshire, I began to suffer chest pain – a rapid and irregular heart beat, and numerous urinary infections.
This caused me to feel very tired, weak and lethargic, an obvious cause for concern – especially the chest pain.
Although I had not had an angina attack for quite some time, little did I realise what was happening.
Somehow though, the chest pain seemed to be different to what I had experienced before, so perhaps this added to the confusion and lack of diagnosis!
As time moved on, I became very inactive and at times, felt very exhausted and groggy!
Even after several visits to my doctor, with tests and examinations by one specialist and another, we still did not know what the problem was!
At the same time, with my constant chest pain and re-occurring urinary-tract infections, I was repeatedly having to endure antibiotic after antibiotic.
This too was a cause for concern, particularly with my low immunity system, multiple transplants and previous episodes of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus.
Anyhow, after a long episode of suffering uncertainty and illness – that included four emergency admissions to a couple of hospitals in Barnsley & Sheffield, we finally were to discover what the problem was.
Eventually, I was diagnosed as having a bladder muscle which was no longer functioning.
Basically my bladder had lost the ability to empty properly!
I was unable to generate enough force to propel urine down the water-pipe.
In other words, my diagnosis was some sort of nerve damage!
Consequently, I was suffering with permanent urinary retention.
This, in turn, was causing pressure on my other vital organs – hence the chest pain, the rapid and irregular heart beat, urinary-tract infections, tiredness, weakness, inactivity and lack of alertness.
Apparently, this kind of bladder dysfunction can occur 10 or more years after the onset of type 1 diabetes.
Putting things into perspective, having suffered with severe diabetes for nearly 40 years, I hadn’t done too badly.
However, my consultant told me there was nothing that could be done to make my bladder work again, but he could improve things for me.
He recommended Intermittent Self Catheterisation, and Speedi Caths, which I now use all the time.
In retrospect, it was difficult for me, to express or state clearly my condition of being uncomfortable, but how relieved I was once my unpleasant situation had been sorted!
Nowadays – finally relieved of my distress – I have to intermittently self-catheterise at least eight times a day.
And, although this may seem quite an ordeal – the process is reasonably easy and quick – allowing a better quality of life.
Looking back though, I didn’t fully understand how much the symptoms of neuropathy would drastically affect my lifestyle.
And, it wasn’t until this moment that I became fully aware of the forceful, extreme and rigorous effects of stress!
Perhaps my body was telling me to slow down.
Specially when my chronic kidney disease caused me to have high levels of fatigue and I became unable to engage in all daily activities.
The vast difference between someone with fatigue associated with chronic kidney disease and an otherwise healthy person is the level of exhaustion.
Still, life has many different chapters for us.
One bad chapter doesn’t mean it’s the end of the book!
But we need to stick it out, staying with God’s plan so we’ll be there for the promised completion.