ary Kathryn came to Jonesboro to celebrate the birthday of a friend. We were both invited to the party and had such a good time, though she admitted later that pain in her abdomen was a concern. The next morning she said she had a little pain but thought/hoped it would go away. She left to go back to Little Rock as she had an appointment to show houses. At Cabot, she realized the pain was so bad she would have to go to the ER and began calling for a Realtor to stand in for her.
When she arrived home, she called a dear friend who arranged a ride to the hospital for her. Then she called me at 1:35. Somehow, as a mother does, I showered and dressed, arranged a dog sitter, packed and, when I backed out of the driveway, I glanced at the clock. It showed 2:20. I felt it had been hours since her call.
When I arrived at the Baptist Hospital ER, I went directly to her space. A friend was there with her, such a comfort. She had already had the awful NG tube inserted as the CT scan showed a blockage.
Mary Kathryn was then taken to a room on the kidney wing, reuniting with several of the nurses she had known since the transplant surgery and who had seen her though the subsequent hospitalizations. It was heartwarming to witness how much they care for her, and I knew then that she would be in good hands. Her transplant surgeon was on call and the transplant nephrologist was available at all times to monitor her precious kidney, the gift of Steve Holt.
I imagine one reason they all love her is the welcoming smile she gives them, cracking a joke through the pain of the tube, the abdominal pain, and the feeling of starvation, having had not even a piece of ice for 5 1/2 days.
Mary Kathryn never exhibits a “poor me” attitude but instead she shows an acceptance that she will get through this “one more thing.” When I commented on her bravery at the height of her pain, she answered, “What choice do I have?”
She was dismissed late on Thursday and on Saturday kept her commitment to talk with ALS caregivers as the lead speaker. When you have the chance, look at her Life Coach Arkansas page on Facebook in case you know of someone in need of referral. And – if you are buying or selling a home – you can contact her as a Realtor with CBRPM.
I have been away from any writing for the past ten days as I just couldn’t process this setback for Mary Kathryn. However, I have found my peaceful place once more, imaging myself in the palm of God’s hand, being held with love.
The photo is of Mary Kathryn’s fur babies, Zach and Zoe, wishing for her while she was in the hospital.