Filed under: Family | Tags: diabetes, kidney donation, kidney donor, kidney transplant, living donor
This is my husband, Ryan. He’s an amazing, proud father. He’s extremely hard-working. He’s confident. He’s comical. He’s very sarcastic. He’s great with numbers. He loves the Phillies. He’s an all-around good guy. He’s truthful. He’s loving.
He’s also diabetic. To some, that simply means that he pricks his finger a lot and can’t eat sugar. To Ryan, it means much more. Blood sugar management has been a big challenge for the past two years. Nothing scares me more than watching my husband have a low sugar episode. It is terrifying. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen him sweat, shake, and not be able to process what I’m saying because his sugar has dropped dangerously low. My kids have seen their dad on a hospital bed more times than any child should. Our 3-year-old daughter sees orange juice and says “Daddy drinks that when his sugar is low.”
So, what happens when your sugar fluctuates as much as Ryan’s? Your kidneys become overworked. When kidneys are overworked, they fail. When they fail, you need a new one.
My husband needs a kidney transplant.
Here’s where we are at right now. We’ve already met with doctors from the University of Cincinnati, and have an all-day appointment on March 19th to learn even more. We will share that information with you as soon as we can, which will most likely include timelines, the transplant surgery, the recovery process, and much more.
In the meantime, I encourage you to share this post with your friends, family, church, etc. so that we can get the word out that Ryan is in need of a living kidney donor. Due to his age and current health status, a living donor is his best option. Being a match for Ryan first starts with blood type. Ryan does not yet know his blood type, but we will find out very soon and share it with you. Here is the chart of blood type matching.
There will be various tests conducted beyond just a blood type match to determine if someone is a desirable match for Ryan, but it all starts with blood type.
If you or anyone you know would like to consider being a potential kidney donor for Ryan, please use the Contact Bridgit button on the left side of the page, or send an email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you happen to know your blood type, please include that information in your email. It doesn’t matter where you live. For those of you in Pennsylvania, we can set you up with a coordinator to take a blood sample and have it sent to Cincinnati.
I understand that you all probably have a zillion questions. This is very sudden news. We have known for a few months that this would be a very likely possibility due to the gradual decline of Ryan’s kidney function, and therefore we did take some time to digest everything ourselves and become more educated so that when we did share the news with all of you, we could be as informative as possible. It has been a difficult and emotional time, but please know that we felt so much more hopeful after our initial appointment with the Cincinnati team of doctors and coordinators. The National Kidney Foundation has a TON of great information on its website, so I encourage you to visit their site and browse around a bit.
And, of course please pray for Ryan and my family. Pray for a match, pray for patience, strength, and endurance as we begin this process. Ryan is in the best hands possible, and his team of doctors have made us feel very hopeful and confident about the success of kidney donation. Our hearts are filled with hope for better days ahead where Ryan feels healthy again and can live life without struggling the way he is now.
Filed under: The Buffington Southern Experience | Tags: Kentucky, new belt, new house, Painting, Snow, Taekwondo
I am struggling today to come up with my Monday post, mainly because I haven’t been doing much other than working in the mess you see below. As you can guess, this is the playroom at our new house. At the moment, it lacks organization and painted walls, both of which I am working really hard on finishing. Hopefully in another week or two I can reveal some before and after pictures. I will say that I’m pretty excited about what I’ve done with the walls so far. Stay tuned!
In other news, I don’t think I ever officially reported that Rydan is now a red belt. His awards ceremony took place on Feb. 19th, where he received his new belt. Red is the last color before black, so if he continues to work as hard as he’s been for the past two years, it won’t be long before he receives his black belt. What an accomplishment that will be!
One last note for today for all of our family and friends in Pennsylvania… We know you are all sick of snow, but rest assured you aren’t alone. Look what we woke up to this morning in Kentucky.
I’ve lost count of the number of snow days Rydan has to make up, and even he has started to get annoyed about it. This is the first big snow at our new house, though, and we do have quite a pretty view of it.
That’s all for this week. Back to painting!
Filed under: The Buffington Southern Experience | Tags: Kentucky, Lexington, new house
Welcome home, Buffington’s.
FINALLY! After over two years, we own a home in Kentucky. Our days of renting are over, but thankfully our new home is less than a mile away, which means all of our wonderful Walnut Ridge friends are still close by.
This morning was the first day that Rydan walked to school, so I’m anxious to find out when he comes home if there are other walkers that he knows in the neighborhood. He already discovered that one of his karate friends lives directly across from us.
I know that all of you are anxious to see photos of our new house, but I have to be honest and say that we aren’t ready to share too much just yet. We are still in the getting organized/what do we need to buy/paint stage, which will probably be the case for quite awhile.
However, I decided to share a few sneak peek images of some of my favorite things about the house.
A few other favorites include the fact that we have a playroom (huge work in progress), all of the cabinets and counter space in our kitchen, our master bedroom closet, which has two separate entry doors, and last, that we have a guest room with a full bath next to it for anyone who would like to come visit.
More pictures coming soon! Also, if you would like our new address please let me know.
Filed under: The Buffington Southern Experience | Tags: Belt Test, Kentucky-Round Up, New Home, Taekwondo
Busy, busy, busy. That sums up the entire month of February.
Saturday began with a belt test for Rydan, followed by the Kentucky Round-Up, and ended with the arrival of “Papoose” (aka Pap Wiest).
Rydan tested for his red belt, which is the last color before black. As usual, his test consisted of form, sparring and breaking two pieces of wood. He had struggled quite a bit last week during wood-breaking practice, which made me nervous for him. He had decided to give himself two days of rest before Saturday, which meant no breaking during karate class on Thursday and Friday. I knew his arm was hurting quite a bit from practicing throughout the week, so I trusted his decision. It definitely paid off too, because it only took him two tries (students are allowed three attempts) with his sidekick and one try with his elbow strike to break through at the test. We now wait for official results at the awards ceremony on Wednesday.
After the belt test, we attended the Kentucky Round-Up, which was held at Alltech Arena inside of the Horse Park. Kentucky Round-Up is a family-oriented event featuring horse demonstrations, kid activities, and all sorts of fun for horse-lovers of all ages.
Our favorite parts were being entertained by a celebrity horse named “Odd Job Bob,” who starred in the 2011 film titled The Greening of Whitney Brown, and watching equestrian vaulting, which is a combination of gymnastics and dance on horseback.
Now, you are probably wondering why my dad came to visit again so soon after he was just here at the end of December. I could lie and say that he drove nearly 600 miles simply to deliver Rydan and Lily’s Valentine’s Day gift bags, which he did indeed do, but there is a bigger reason. I really was hoping to dedicate an entire post to share our exciting news, but here goes…
We FINALLY own a home in Kentucky!
After two years, our Pennsylvania house sold, and we were able to start house hunting in Kentucky. Even though it seemed like we were settled in Walnut Ridge Neighborhood, surrounded by truly amazing neighbors who have become great friends, we really haven’t been able to settle into a home. With the help of our awesome realtor, John Rice, we closed on an absolutely beautiful home last week.
My dad generously offered to use some of his vacation days and come help us move. After traveling through less than ideal conditions on Saturday, and spending nearly 12 hours in his car, he is already painting the kids’ closets and bedrooms. What a guy. I love having him here, and I loved watching Lily snuggle up on his lap within the first ten minutes of his arrival. I’ve really been blessed with the best dad in the world.
We will continue to move this week with my dad’s help, and on Friday we will officially say goodbye to our rental and settle into our new home. Stay tuned for more photos!
Filed under: The Buffington Southern Experience | Tags: 3 Way Racing, Frigid Fanny 4-Miler, Kentucky Horse Park, Race, Running
It’s been a few months since I last ran a race. So, when I heard about the “Frigid Fanny Four-Miler,” I decided to sign up. The name alone got my attention. Plus, it would be held at the Kentucky Horse Park, which is one of my favorite places in Kentucky. We’ve visited a few times for different types of events, but never for a race. I’ve come to really enjoy doing races that have a real Kentucky feel, and this one definitely fit that category.
With snow-covered grounds and 30 degree temperature, this race completely lived up to its name. If I wasn’t so competitive, I would have stopped to take a few pictures of the horses throughout the course. They looked absolutely stunning against the snow with their colorful winter blankets draped over their backs. With their noses hanging over the white fence, they seemed to silently cheer on the runners. It was a really cool experience, and I was extremely happy to have participated in this race.
I finished this race as the second overall female, 20th out of 170 participants. Considering my annoying foot injury that just won’t seem to go away, I was pretty happy with my results, especially since my award was a FREE race registration to one of two upcoming races.
Kudos to 3 Way Racing for organizing this one. I’ve done quite a few races where 3 Way is involved, and I have never been disappointed or had any complaints. From a runner’s perspective, 3 Way is everything I expect when I sign up for a race. They are professional, organized, send frequent updates leading up to race-day, have clear communication, and execute an overall fun, smooth, and memorable experience on race-day.
What’s more fun than watching the Superbowl? Making crayon hearts with a friend!
Yesterday, Lily’s friend, Madelyn, came over to play, and we made some crayon hearts out of broken crayon pieces. For those of you who are already thinking it, yes, I found this on Pinterest. I must say that this “pin” is a big winner, and even though it is so incredibly simple, Lily and Madelyn had so much fun with it. It’s the perfect way to make good use of all of those broken crayons by recycling them into new, colorful fun-shaped crayons.
After we finished, both girls agreed to draw the other one a picture with their new “friendship crayons.” So sweet!
Burr! It’s that cold, that Rydan’s school has been closed for five straight days. With all of the snow, you’d think the kids would love being home and having time to build snowmen, forts and go sledding. Unfortunately, with single digit temperatures and sub zero wind chills, kids haven’t been anywhere but indoors.
Thankfully, Friday’s weather was comfortable enough to finally get some time in the snow.
With all of the snow days, I’d like to say that we’ve been doing some really cool, fun activities, but the truth is that we’ve just been indoors trying to stay warm. Kids are back in school today, but with another artic blast moving in this afternoon, tomorrow could be questionable as far as school goes.
We hope all of our readers are staying warm!