Sunday We Celebrated.
Sunday, March 28, 2010 marked the end of a trial that started 7 1/2 years ago. My husband and I worshiped and cried in gratitude at church, celebrated with lunch and ice cream with our three boys, and relaxed in the peace of it all with an evening hike with our dog. When God brings you out of a trial that long, celebrations and tears can’t help but follow, and now I want to tell the world what he has done for us.
How it all Began.
In August of 2002 I became pregnant with our second son and my husband started showing signs that something was going wrong in his body. In October they determined that his kidneys were failing and a kidney biopsy early in December confirmed that he had the same kidney disease that had caused his Mom to need a kidney transplant the summer he turned 18.
Dennis’ kidneys were functioning at 30% of normal. We were informed that the ‘average’ kidney with his disease lasted a maximum of 10 years and that he would eventually need a transplant.
Our Life was Instantly Changed.
Lots of prayers, tests, doctors, and more tests, radical diet changes, a vast regimen of nutritional supplements, and massive amounts of medications immediately followed the diagnosis and became a part of my husband’s life… and mine.
The most difficult addition was 120mg of Prednisone every other day. His disease is an autoimmune disease (his body attacks his own kidneys), so Prednisone was used to suppress his immune system. If you are not familiar with how nasty this medication is, he had to take several other medications to counter act the side effects, including pills to prevent stomach ulcers and bone and soft tissue loss.
The Hardest Part
The Delisle Family, May 2004
There were days my husband bordered on having a mental breakdown. The Prednisone caused things like severe anxiety, depression, anger & impatience … By the time our second son was born the high doses of Prednisone and the dramatic changes had put Dennis into a depression. For 6 months he hardly touched me, and by the time they determined they needed to lower the dose before he lost all sanity, I entered a depression of my own.
Over the years we continued to pray, and they slowly lowered his dosage while continually monitoring his kidneys. Time and time again Dennis’ doctor was dumbfounded by my husband’s progress. As the dose decreased, his “PMS,” as we liked to call it, got easier and easier. It took several years to repair the damages that the depressions had
caused each of us and our marriage. But all the time through it all God was faithful to each of us as we healed. During the times when my husband was unable to care for my needs, God was there.
The strain on our marriage passed, but the stress on Dennis’ body took its toll. He has been in constant pain for 7 years, with many sleepless nights, battles with continuous stomach issues, arthritis, bone fractures, muscle loss and soft tissue damage have all been a result of the very same medicine that was saving his life.
The Delisle Family, December 2009
He still gets all of the glory! He has put Dennis’ doctor in uncharted territory. Instead of working to manage a disease until eventual transplant, he is working with a disease that appears to be, well, stabilized and improving all the time. A new medicine has replaced the Predinsone completely. His kidneys are functioning at 55% of normal with all of his blood and protein counts in basically normal levels.
The day we remembered Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, was Dennis’ 1st day completely off of Prednisone. That day Jesus willingly entered the city knowing that days later he would be killed to redeem us all from the curse of death. Tears streamed down my cheeks that morning as I suddenly became keenly aware of just what God and the prayers of so many had done for us. With out God, my husband’s health would not be where it is today. With out God I would very possibly be a divorcee or even a widow as there were times that Dennis had to lean heavily on the Lord when he was tempted to take his own life. With out God I would have been left feeling neglected, angry and bitter.
I cried because I could fully see how these 7 years I had rested against the chest of my God, with his arms wrapped around me. He WAS always faithful, He WAS always with me, He IS the God that heals me. I AM Forever grateful!
The full battle is not over, but we will forever have this time as a memorial marker for what God has brought us through. AMEN!
Palm Sunday, 2010