Sunday, April 02, 2006

Threads of Pain

The sound of an alarm cut through the night. Emily jerked awake. Bethany must have rolled on one of her dialysis tubes again. One would think a body would get used to the alarm after hearing it nearly every night for three months.

Emily tiptoed past her five-year-old sister’s bed. Karlie, at least, had been blessed with the ability to sleep through the noise.

Moonlight drifted through the hall skylight, faintly lighting Bethany’s room across the hall. Emily paused in the doorway, watching her mom. She was worrying again. Emily could tell from the way she watched Bethany, from the way her hands fluttered as she checked the dialysis tubes. The sound stopped.

Sugar water drained slowly from the bag on the machine, emptying into Bethany’s abdominal cavity through a tube. Her blood had learned to dispose of its impurities into the solution, since her kidneys were no longer cleaning it.

Bethany had already fallen back asleep, and the rasp of her troubled breathing was the only sound. Mom worried most of the time now, though Emily knew her little sister was trying hard to act normal.

But Bethany couldn’t hide the fact that she was rapidly weakening, and normal was only a wishful thought. After all, it wasn’t normal to sleep with dialysis tubes sticking out. It wasn’t normal to have skin turn yellow from toxins, or a face bloated from medications. Emily pushed a strand of sweaty hair from her face. Normal certainly wasn’t having a little sister who was dying. Her other friends had grandparents die, or sometimes even an aunt or uncle. No one’s little sister dies.

I have two and a half chapters of my novel, Threads of Pain, finished, plus the outline. Thanks all for your prayers--it did start flowing more smoothly. I’m still getting stuck some of the time, though. But I’m going to press on and finish this book! I would cherish your prayers.

I think this book will serve to show a bit of what life is like for those on dialysis, as well as spreading awareness of organ donation.

I have teamed up with a friend from FW, Debboggy, as a writing partner. We are encouraging, idea bouncing, and editing each other’s novels. It’s been great!! I feel like I have someone to send my chapters to, without feeling like I’m taking advantage of someone’s friendship, because I’m able to help her in return. She caught so many little things in my first chapters, too, like when I referenced something in the first chapter that I didn’t explain until the second chapter. :-p

Someone asked me if the book is based on a true story. It is not, though of course I am drawing from the experiences I have had with Mom’s dialysis and transplant, and I am even having the main character, Emily, have OCD. However, she has it for a totally different reason, and I’m also having her struggle with her faith. So I hope people don’t decide that she is a mirror of me. ;-)

I was talking about that with Mom and I said, “I guess if I’m going to be a writer I need to get used to people assuming wrong things like that, huh?” She nodded, then sighed heavily, “And I guess your family needs to get used to people assuming things about us, also.” :-p


purple_kangaroo said...

Looks like a good start!

B in Portugal said...

I really enjoyed reading part of your story. It touched me and it is beautifully written. I feel like I get a peek into Emily's tender heart and her struggle. By the way I like the name of your character since this is my youngest daughter's name. :) I look forward to reading more.