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November 28, 2012

The Toughest Year of All

It's been a rough year or so for me.

It goes back to just over a year ago. After having gone to my primary doctor for a routine blood test, I received a call from the doctor later that afternoon. My doctor said I needed to get in the car and drive immediately to the hospital. Not tomorrow, not next week...but immediately.

Folks, just a little lesson on doctor speak if I may...when the doctor calls you right after a test it's not good news.

Chronic Kidney Disease.

Not exactly what I was expecting to hear when I was sent to Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox just over a year ago after talking a routine blood test. I knew I was already diabetic, and I had been really starting to take my diabetes and my healthy much more seriously than ever before. When I was told I had advanced stage of chronic kidney disease it was a bit of a stunner.

Lots of talk of blood draws, more tests, diet change and ever worse. I needed a kidney transplant, either that or go on dialysis.

The weird part of all of this was that I never really felt bad or had very many of the symptoms associated with the disease. I wish I had a dime for every doctor who said "well, at least you look healthy."

After getting out of the hospital came round after round after round of doctor visits, blood test and the like.

It was determined that the best course of action was going to be transplant surgery. I was young enough, good looking enough (Ok I threw that in) in good health (outside of the kidney disease everything else checks out thank God). Dialysis was something I really hoped to avoid so timing was everything here.

I was fortunate enough to have a few different friends and family members get tested as potential donors. Even more fortunate was I found a match in my brother in law.

I will be having kidney transplant surgery this Thursday.

This is something I wanted to keep somewhat private, especially during the football season. My goal was to get through the season without issue and then get "fixed" in the off season just like the pros. I made it yet it wasn't easy. Some days were better than others. Some days I missed getting out on the road. I stayed a bit closer to home this season not out of bias for the non Chicagolanders but for the fact that driving multiple hours just would add to the already present fatigue. The longer the season when on the harder it became to even get out to games but someway, somehow I made it. I finished the 2012 on the field at Memorial Stadium watching the Class 8A state championship game just like I had hoped I would finish the season, still on my feet watching the game I love.

I really tried to keep things private and did a pretty good job. Only my immediate family and a few close friends knew what was up. Again I have nothing to hide and in the months and years to follow I plan to become a very active advocate for organ transplant programs and I hope to shed more light on what is a program that is going to save my life. You can also help save lives, but more on that later.

Again, it's never really been about me. I know it seems hard to believe but I'm not the headline grabbing media whore some out there thing I am. Some thing need to remain private. Some things are personal.

Yet on the flip side I've been blessed to meet and to get to know so many of you it seems like your all my family. I've become a public type of personality like it or not. I've never been a person who played games and I've never been dishonest with my family, friends, peers so why start now? The last thing I ever want to do is take attention away from the games and those around the game. Believe it or not I never got into this website/football expert thing to become "famous".

So all I ask from you reading this is a well wish, prayer, positive thought not even so much for myself but for my family. They are everything to me. How many of you would have an in law go to this extent for you and your family? Now you have just a brief idea of the type of family and support that I have here at home.

I'm highly confident in the doctors. I'm going to arguably the best hospital in the country for transplant surgery. I feel good about the short term and the long term outlook.

So if the breaking news is a bit on the light side over the next week or so now you know why. Yet I have a network here that will pick up the slack for me. It's all good and I look at this as my first vacation away from all of this in what......almost 17 plus years?

I can't wait to get better. This whole deal has been a eye opening experience to say the least. I feel good about my diet, my healthy and how to manage it all like a responsible adult for once. I am not made of teflon. This lesson I learned the hard way and if anything I hope all of you realize the same. See doctors on a regular basis.

Yet once I get past all of this and get on the road to recovery then look out. I'm going to be as ready and as fired up and as motivated as ever. If I can crank out as much as I cranked out this past year dealing with this disease, I can't wait to see what I can do feeling healthy for a change.

Talk to you soon and thanks for caring.

Follow me on Twitter: @EDGYTIM where I hope to be posting updates during my ordeal

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