year of my marriage was really grueling. Not because Chris and I were having any particularly dire marital
problems. But, you see, Kajsa’s
diagnosis came just a few short months after our wedding. So there was a lot of trying, and crying and
(for lack of a better word) why’ing.
- We did
everything in our power to beef the kid up before having her g-tube placed at 4
- We watched as her labs
fluctuated wildly from day to day – which we knew the results of because we
drew blood every single day.
- There was, in fact, one day when Kajsa was
stuck 16 times, before I completely lost it and told them that if they couldn’t
figure it out I was going to start doing it myself. And if you know how fearful I am of needles,
you are aware of what a bold statement that truly is.
- Our family
was separated for Christmas as I stayed at the PICU with Kajsa and Chris
traveled back and forth from home with Maya. In fact, we spent Christmas day at the parent apartments across from the hospital
as Kajsa lay fighting for life.
- A couple
months later she was out of the hospital, but the prolonged illness had taken a
predictable toll upon her kidneys. So we
had the dialysis catheter placed and began PD nightly a few weeks later.
that year, I wandered through life as a zombie. I don’t remember much of it well. But I know that Chris and Maya were always there being supportive and
helpful. After the dialysis started,
things began to calm down a bit. And
while I had a fairly strict routine, but it wasn’t enveloped in such a cloud of
surprise when, a week before our one year anniversary, Chris told me that we
wouldn’t be able to go to our niece, Sarah’s birthday party that year. He further informed me that I should pack for
an overnight trip. But he wouldn’t tell
me where we were headed…just that it was a couple hours away.
packed up the dialysis machine, feeding pump, scale, blood pressure machine, 15
different meds, renal formula, two boxes of dialysate, diapers, and toys. I also loaded a change of clothes and
toothbrush for myself. And then we
headed out. And what a beautiful drive
trying to imagine for three days, where we might be headed and had thought of everything from the San Juan Islands to one of the Portland Bed and
Breweries. I simply had no idea just how
well my husband knew me. We headed east
and then north, meandering past giggling rivers full of icy spring melt.
As we drove I began to think that I knew where
we headed. You see there’s this little Bavarian town
in the Cascade
that I’d always wanted to visit, Leavenworth. It’s cheesy as all get out, but so am I, so I was quite taken with the
we got to the room, there were chocolates, wine, a fireplace and a
Jacuzzi. But we couldn’t stay because
there was a horse and carriage waiting for us downstairs. We rode around Leavenworth for a while enjoying the scenery
and the nice slow pace. Chris and I
cuddled as Kajsa proclaimed “Horsy!” many, many times.
strolled along the main street and had dinner in one of the German pubs. The next day was more of the same…perfect! It was a laid back and very much needed
couple of days. I’ll never forget
get to do this kind of stuff very often. But whenever things get really challenging in our life, I look back on
that time and think about how good it is when it isn’t being so hard. I think about how much I love my husband, and
how much he loves me back…even when times are tough.
will be our third wedding anniversary. For such a short time, it sure has been intense. I can think of no one I’d rather face life’s
I’d do it all again.)