Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope everyone has a Happy Loving Valentines Day. A few years ago I decided instead of a card I would write my girls a letter and tell them how much I loved them. So the next year I decided to do this again. After a few years I thought the girls were getting older I will just get them a card. Last year Jessica was away at college and she said to me Mom don't forget my Valentine letter. I was a surprised how much they looked forward to that letter. So once again they will receive there special letter and a little something to go with it. I guess everyone likes to hear how much they are loved.


About a month ago I shared with you a picture and story of my husband Ray. He was celebrating having his kidney for eight years. Everyday that Ray is healthy is a special day. I chose today to tell you a little more about him. Well, we have been together for over 20 years and as you know we have two beautiful girls. When Jessica was almost 4 I became pregnant with Eleni. We were your typical family. In a few short months our lives changed drastically. I was about 7 months pregnant and Ray became very ill.  He threw up a lot everyone laughed and joked that he had sympathy sickness. Well, after about a month it got worse and he became sicker and very very thin. I finally talked him into going to the doctor. I really thought that he had an ulcer. I was in total shock what seemed like a normal trip to the doctor turned in a life changing event. Ray was admitted to the hospital right then and there. His blood pressure was 280/160. No I didn't type that wrong. The doctor couldn't believe he hadn't had a stroke. He was just 24 years old this was not common. After many many test is was confirmed Ray had severe high blood pressure that had caused him to lose his kidneys. We were in shocked we had no idea. When they say it's a silent killer they are telling the truth. Here I am 9 months pregnant with now a 4 year old. I didn't have a clue what dialysis was or what to expect. Ray was in and out of the hospital my whole 9th month. He had to have a shunt put in for dialysis. Then he caught the flu. Well, then I caught the flu and ended up in the ER. Can I just tell you I was so happy when Eleni was born. Ray started dialysis the day after Eleni was born. He did ok but it was a huge adjustment for all of us. He wasn't fond of being on a machine 3 times a week for 4 hours each time. He didn't get to see the girls much because when he wasn't at dialysis he was weak and slept a lot.


After a year of dialysis Ray's sister donated one of her kidneys. The kidney worked right away but not for long. He was in and out of the hospital a lot that first year. He would do ok for awhile then he would get sick again. Finally they told Ray that the kidney would probably reject all together it was just a matter of time.  He became very ill again and this time complained of severe chest pains. We went to the doctors once again never expecting the news we were about to get. Ray was 28 years old and had 5 blocked arteries and one was a main artery. He had to have a quadruple bypass. It took him a long time to recover. He  never really completely recovered from the transplant and now this. He ended up doing very well over time. Then about 6 months later more bad news came. We were told that the dye they used to look at his heart and the over all heart surgery caused his kidney to completely reject. He ended up back on dialysis. That kidney lasted Ray for almost five years. Ray went back on dialysis for almost two years when we received that wonderful phone call saying they had another kidney for him. He has had that kidney now 8 years knock on wood. Ray had a mini stroke a few years back and it took him some time to recover from that as well. We now think the stroke may have been caused by stress. They ran a bunch of test and then they wanted to catheterize him and look at his heart but he wouldn't let them. He's scared it will mess up this kidney. They told him that was a risk and they understood. He goes for regular check ups and takes 10 different medications. He looks well and is doing well. I know we have been blessed so many times. I am thankful for everyday Ray is in my life.



Thanks again for all the kind comments on my past post. I have my down days because I worry about Ray a lot. Finding a job is not only about the money but also taking some of the load off of him. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and even if you don't do anything special for Valentine's Day tell that special someone how much you love them. You never know what tomorrow will have in store for you.



country gal said...

I know that you must be happy to have him with you everyday. My Aunt Missy got bit by a tick and had to stay in the hospital. We all thought we were going to lose her, but, by The Grace Of GOD she stayed with us. Happy Valentines Day!

Love, Joy =D

Kath said...

Hi Donna-I'm just poppin in quick to tell ya "Happy Valentine's day" and to answer your questions about the boxes ;)
Yes, I covered the bottoms with fabric and I painted, then used antique medium on the lids.

Have a wonderful weekend!


CozyCoops Corner said...

Hi Donna ! Just wanted to let you know that you are the winner of my giveaway ! Please email me your mailing address to
I'll get it mailed out tomorrow ! :-)

Tomatoe Creek Prims said...

Congrats Donna!!! You won a fabulous giveaway...lucky you:0

I've added you to my favs and also have been reading your earlier posts, I used to have a table exactly like yours I bought it from Hill's also, I sold it though because when my son and I got an apartment together it just wouldn't fit in the kitchen. Loved it though:)

Glad to have found your blog!

Linda said...

WOW!! What a story Donna. I am happy Ray is doing well now and I pray he continues to well into old age!!

Debilou said...

Hi, Donna
I just found your blog today. I'm so glad you won the give-a-way you deserve it. I hope your husband continues to get well.