124) One Year on Dialysis!

April 12, 2007

I have been considering my experiences over the last dialysistic year and began to draft a post about them and then my computer's hard drive crashed, so now you have to wait, dear reader. Soon I will be able to salvage some data from that old disc and transfer it to my new computer. Then I will transfer my musings up to this anniversary post. Stay tuned. <-- New ONE YEAR musings at the end of this post, added 8-29-07!

Also, yesterday, on my anniversary, Kurt Vonnegut died. This blog’s readers have no doubt
seen many Vonnegut quotes throughout the posts, and it is only fitting to commemorate Vonnegut by remembering his thought on our purpose on the planet: "I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different."* The picture above was the only one I could steal from Google Images that showed the old geezer with wings, which I thought highly apropos.

El Milagro: Today Gladys cannulated me and Phyllis the Nurse stethed me. I sounded good to her. I told her about Vonnegut and we got into a discussion about all his great books, and then similar books, and then she asked what my favorite book ever is. I stopped and thought for a minute: “Wow there are so many excellent books… which one to pick right at this moment… which will come to mind first?” and I replied, “Duh! ……………………The Grapes of Wrath.” She hummpfed and said something like, “Makes sense”. She believes a person's favorite book is like a short personality profile of the reader. But I think you can't judge a book by looking at it's reader. Her favorite is one I can’t quite remember right now. The title is up there in my fuzzy brain somewhere, shifting about making itself almost known to me, but not quite clearly enough to label and spit out. I must find out from her and include it in this post. We both went on for awhile listing off favorite books, mine including The Glass Bead Game, Breakfast of Champions, Incarnations of Immortality, Illusions, etc. She did so too and we compared our picks. Phyllis and I don’t talk much these days and I miss that… but the place has become very busy for the nurses, so it seems she just shoots around from patient to computer to the back of the counter. The nurse's movement is similar to a pin-ball in a wacky game where the chairs are the pop bumpers and the front counter is a kicking rubber, and the staff are the balls being flipped around by the beeping machines, which of course are the jumbo flippers.

Survivor is on tonight and I begin watching it and then doze off in the middle. Dozing off during Survivor? it must be getting too boring for even me, one of their two staunch surviving watchers. I slept through the part where they divvyed up the one tribe into two teams and had the immunity challenge. I woke up to see 4 disappointed survivors heading up the trail to tribal council and then, after a short Q/A about who likes who, one got their flame snuffed. So it goes.

Notes: In at 75. and out at 72.8 Kgs. Standing BP at the end was 10 over -20. (gniddik tsuj)
* Robinson, M. (2007) Kurt Vonnegut dead at 84. Retrieved from the Washington Post website at
New Readers: For A Welcome Post, click August 2006 on the Sidebar.

So, how can I characterize this past year? It has been a real drag on the family. The older kids worry about my health and Katie has even ruminated about her fears with her friends. Liz has had to adjust her whole life around my various disabilities, diets, medications, and schedules. And Shayna, on some level has to be careful how close she gets to her daddy (<-- my hallucination).

Anytime a long-term chronic medical condition invades a family it becomes a daily reminder of the fragility of life. We who have this daily reminder (like the fickle finger of fate) can likely think it is by the grace of God (Buddha, Brahman, Shiva, etc.) that we ae here every day to enjoy living. The sense of control and future planning of our lives is shattered. We no longer have control and we are reminded of that fact daily when we take our 10 to 12 meds and when we do our time on the machine of life.

When I had no ESRD I ofen went for months at a time without thinking of my mortality or having the spectre of death wiggling it's woeful way into my schema of life. These are my thoughts on my anniversary of starting dialysis.

1 comment:

cheryl martin said...

A year on dialysis? I feel shocked....as in,"I can't believe it has already been a year!" I will be interested in reading your thoughts about that when you get them posted because I am sure I can't even begin to imagine whether this anniversary seems fast or forever in coming to you. I'm glad to hear that your reports are good and that you are feeling well. Bye for now. your cheryl