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» Hatrack River Forum » Archives » Landmark Threads » I Live in Amazement! (A Landmark) UPDATED!

   
Author Topic: I Live in Amazement! (A Landmark) UPDATED!
scottneb
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Life is a difficult thing to get through. There is no doubt about that. Each and every one of us on this board have been through extremely hard times and I am no exception. When I joined the board back in 2000 I was still in High School and had just read Ender’s Game the first time. It wasn’t until I came to my first hurdle in life that I actually needed to lean on the amazing people that I had come to trust here. I had just graduated and lived in St. George, Utah so there was an enormous amount of pressure for me to go on a mission and serve a God that I hardly had a testimony of. All through my life I’ve had this amazing desire to serve my country and that desire was a direct conflict with what the Mormonized society of Southern Utah was trying to force me into. I proposed the question in a new thread here on Hatrack and I still have one answer echoing through my head. It was unicornwhisperer that threw a comment I had made back at me. She quoted me saying that I was completely devoted to my faith and would let nothing come between me and a mission. The decision proved to be too much for me to handle by staying in that area so I went to stay at my uncle’s condo in California while I collected my thoughts. The decision that I came to was contrary to what I had been taught my whole life and I knew I would catch flak for it. I joined the military in March of 2001 and have learned more about myself and what I want out of life than I ever wanted to know. It in effect made me grow-up and take the reigns of my own life. But, I don’t want to give you a bio of my life, instead I want to share a something with you that gave me the strength to understand that whatever choice we make in life, it will always be the right choice. Whatever we decide will give us the experience to handle other situations. Nothing is wrong.

It was early 2003 when my mother called me and told me that my dad’s body was systematically shutting down. It was a call that I didn’t want to expect for at least ten more years. You see, my dad has been slowly dying of diabetes since he was a teenager and finally his kidneys had succumbed to the enormous pressure his body was putting on them. The phone call was one of the worst I’ve ever had. I sat there holding a phone that I could very easily turn off and have the problem pushed further into the future, but I had to sit and listen as my mother explained everything about what was terrifyingly wrong. He was on his way out.

The possibility of transplant immediately came to mind and I told my mother that I would be more than happy to give him one of mine. The only problem with that idea was that my brother Mike had the same idea. My brother and I literally fought over who would give the kidney and we submitted ourselves to all the tests that the medical field could throw at us in order to find which of us was more compatible with our dad. Test after test came back with the same results, we were a dead match! There was no way out other than us resolving the conflict, which was looking like a fight that could tear our family apart. Things reached a head when my father was hospitalized after a dialysis session didn’t do all it should have and left his blood with more toxins than he should have. His kidney’s completely failed. I proposed that we simply flip a coin to see who would give the kidney. I called tails as my dad flipped the coin. It hit the floor tails side up. To be certain, we repeated the process with the same results and with a little more coaxing I was able to get my brother to let me do it.

The surgery happened in October of 2003 and was a huge success. My father is alive now and is now on the donor list for a pancreas which will rid his body of the foul disease that killed a part of him. The miracle of science allowed my father to see my baby boy Tanner and hopefully we’ll be able to keep him around a few more years. Whenever the time comes to let my dad go, it won’t be without a fight.

I don’t want to sound like I’m blowing my own horn about giving a kidney. Through this experience I learned that kidney donation isn’t a noble or heroic thing to do. I don’t believe that anybody put in the same situation would react differently. If my dad didn’t have me and Mike to give a kidney, it would have been any number of relatives that stepped to the plate. To everyone’s surprise, my grandpa even stepped to the plate. Now this is a man who has been riddled with problems his entire life. He even was so close to death during his mission that they almost stopped working on him. The nurse that cared for my grandpa in what was almost his last minutes and the doctors that worked on my dad realized that the work was difficult. They also realized that there were some decisions that would be difficult. But, if my grandfather had died, I wouldn’t be here. Similarly, if my family didn’t go through the kidney ordeal we wouldn’t be as strong as we are now and Tanner wouldn’t have a Grandpa from my side. Life is difficult, but nothing is too difficult.

I hope you enjoyed my first landmark.

-scottneb-

[ April 21, 2005, 01:18 PM: Message edited by: scottneb ]

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MyrddinFyre
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Wow... five years [Smile] Congrats!

And thanks for sharing... I hope your father gets a new pancreas, I'm personally very interested in this idea.

Hearing about your decision to join the military is inspiring, it's making me rethink some things in my own life. Thanks [Smile]

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Glaphyra the Righteous
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Glad to get to know you better. You are like an onion that gets more (pungent? sweet? complex?) as one peels through the layers. *grin

Thanks for the landmark.

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twinky
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quote:
Whatever we decide will give us the experience to handle other situations.
Exactly. That's why I try very hard not to have regrets. [Smile]

It's very good that both you and your brother were willing and able to help your dad, regardless of who wound up making the actual donation. I'm sure that both your child and your father are very pleased to have been able to meet one another. [Smile] [Smile]

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no. 6
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Well put. Congrats!

(all right, let's have another thousand....)

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romanylass
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scott, It was wonderful read more about you. What a generous thing you did for your dad.
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scottneb
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I think I actually took more out of doing this Landmark than anyone will get out of it. It's just like teaching/briefing it's always the person that stands up there and talks that gets the most out of it. It's also nice to summarize my feelings, no matter how poorly I did it. And as for it being generous, I agree, but some generosities are necessary and the generosity is repaid just by having him around still.

[ April 13, 2005, 06:07 PM: Message edited by: scottneb ]

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Dagonee
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Wow, thanks for sharing that.

I'm not sure you're giving yourself enough credit when you say, "I learned that kidney donation isn’t a noble or heroic thing to do. I don’t believe that anybody put in the same situation would react differently."

Dagonee

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advice for robots
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Props, Scott. Here's to many more years with your dad.
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Stan the man
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Family is a special society in and of its own. Hope your dad gets what he needs. My Grandpa Ted had made the mention about our family. When something comes up, the other brothers will drop what they are doing to help. Strong bonds, strong family, you couldn't ask for more.
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Susie Derkins
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quote:
in 2000 I was still in High School
Whoa. You are so not as old as I thought you were.

Thanks for sharing! [Smile] You certainly are an asset to our community and, it appears, your family as well. Keep it up!

(also: more personal stories=greater likelihood that I will someday be able to keep you and ScottR straight)

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Kayla
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quote:
Through this experience I learned that kidney donation isn’t a noble or heroic thing to do. I don’t believe that anybody put in the same situation would react differently.
Ha! You haven't met my sister.

Nice landmark, Scooter.

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Kwea
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I know you took a lot out of writing this, but I got a lot out of reading it too. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Kwea

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mothertree
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Thanks for sharing. I guess that guy who was working on an artificial pancreas that functioned on pig cells never got off the ground.
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rivka
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Beautiful landmark, Scott. [Smile] Thanks for sharing that with us.

(*whispers to Annie* scottneb: CareBear; ScottR: stories that freak me out [Wink] )

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Morbo
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Scott, how refreshing and inspiring to read about a functional, loving family like yours. [Smile]

Are you still in the military, Scott? If you are, you could adopt Care Bear as your radio handle. [Wink]

Did you ever go on a church mission, or do you plan to?

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ElJay
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Thank you for sharing. [Smile] It's good to have you here.
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scottneb
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Yes, I'm still in the military but will be separating here in the middle of May (which has me nervous).

No, I have not gone on a mission. But, I wound up married in the temple to a girl that was "waiting" for her missionary to come back. I guess I'm the bad guy.

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scottneb
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One more thing, during my time here in the military I've learned that a mission doesn't automatically make a person "good." I've seen more people fall away from the church that have gone on missions than those that haven't. I'm not sure what the correlation is.

I remember a guy I met in Basic Training that seemed to be a good guy. He had been on a mission and was married in the temple. We both wound up going to the same Technical School were he lived just down the hall. I found out after I had to literally carry him up the stairs from drunkeness that he had met his wife on his mission and held a part-time job while out. It's a very galvanizing thing, being in the militrary. I've learned that a person shouldn't go on a mission the way I was being pushed into it. It should only be when the person realizes the good that they can do and goes out only for that purpose. Not because the person's parents promise to give them a car or because the girl won't marry them unless they've gone.

[ April 14, 2005, 09:37 AM: Message edited by: scottneb ]

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blacwolve
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Thanks for sharing with us!
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whiskysunrise
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quote:
I wound up married in the temple to a girl that was "waiting" for her missionary to come back. I guess I'm the bad guy.
This does not make you a bad guy. It makes you the right guy.
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Bokonon
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Keep being amazed, scottneb. It does us all good.

-Bok

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Corwin
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quote:
When people tell me "Life is difficult!" I ask them: "Compared to what?"
I always loved that line, and after reading your landmark I feel once again that it's true, it's not what happens to you that matters; it's what you do about it, and you did great! Great to have you around! [Hat]
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scottneb
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Last Sunday was one of those lazy Sunday's that you run out of things to do. All the chores were done on Saturday and we had gone out to dinner both Friday and Saturday nights for bussiness. So my wife and I were ready for a nice relaxing day with nothing to do, and it was. Until I got the call I wasn't expecting for at least a few more weeks. My Dad had a pancreas waiting for him in Salt Lake and he needed to be there in four hours. So, we jump to action and threw everything into the truck, including things we would never need. But when you pack in a hurry you never take just what you need.

We took off to Salt Lake from Boise, shortly after three in the afternoon to intersect my parents. What should have taken only four hours with just me, took six with my little family. We arrived right after my brother, his wife, and the rest of the "kids." It wasn't until we got there that we learned that the surgery wasn't going to happen until one in the morning. Which was alright, seeing that the family was totally engrossed in my son, Tanner.

The surgery went off without a hitch and my dad now has a working pancreas pumping away in his body. It's hard to express how it feels to finally be done with all these surgeries. It's very strange to see my dad go for what's been three days now, without giving himself insulin. I'm not sure what to think, but as soon as I figure it out, you'll know.

I also wonder what it's like for Tanner. Being the cutest baby in the world has got to be hard on him. There are many things that come with that title, including smiling at EVERYONE, never sleeping, never stinking. It's got to be a hard thing to keep every stranger cooing at him. I pity him.

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rivka
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Yay! [Smile]
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scottneb
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*bump*

...because I don't think people realize the impact of this final surgery!

[Party]

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twinky
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[Smile] [Smile] [Smile] [Smile]
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Farmgirl
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Thanks for bumping it! I hadn't seen about this pancreatic surgery...

This is fantastic! I didn't even realize they could replace the pancreas now, like they do kidneys, and have it kick in and start producing insulin. That is absolutely amazing!

So how long will he be in the hospital. The long-term outlook is for a pretty normal life the rest of the time, now, right?

[The Wave]

Farmgirl

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whiskysunrise
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[The Wave] [Party]
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Corwin
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Cooooool! [The Wave]

It's nice to see such a united family, and a very happy one now! [Big Grin]

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scottneb
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A "normal life" is hard to gauge. Normal for my dad was shots and finger pricking and low/high blood sugar and bad feet and bad eyes. So normal is the wrong word for him. Different would be a better word since he'll probably need to be shown how to live life without constantly gauging his blood-sugar levels. He's more whole than he was before, but not without a price. They've got him on immuno-supressant medications to keep his body from rejecting my kidney and now this new pancreas, this medication causes him to tremble. But, with the way things are going now, with the medical feild, we'll have him around for quiet a few more years. No matter how you look at this, it's very very good.
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tt&t
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That's awesome!! [Smile] [Smile] [Smile]
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MyrddinFyre
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YES!!

I'm so happy for him and the family [Smile] [Smile]

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Astaril
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I just read this whole thing now. That's all great news about your dad, Scott! My dad had a kidney transplant too (from a cadaver), 25 years ago, a few years before I was born, and he's still pretty healthy. May yours have a long healthy life ahead of him too now, with no more big problems! Oh, and congrats on the landmark.
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Desdemona
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[Smile] [Smile]

That makes me all warm and glowy inside.

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