The Adventures of Kidney Boy

A Journal About Living With End Stage Renal Disease. Dialysis. Transplants. Love. Family. Friends. The Unsung Donor. This is my life, from the end of a needle to the bottom of a pill bottle.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Love and Dialysis Part I

Love is a complicated thing.  It makes you crazy at times, and you end up doing things and becoming a person you never thought you could be.  I know I'm not treading any new ground with this revelation, but it's really something you go "Oh!" when it happens to you.  You read about it all the time, but until you feel it - it's just not as "real".

I didn't want to like Jordan as much as I did when I met her.  She hates it when I say that now, and honestly - it has nothing to do with her.  I was just miserable at that time in my life, and honestly, I was being a big baby and wallowing in my misery.  So when I found myself genuinely LIKING a GIRL, I threw a tantrum to myself.

Real mature, I know.

But I remember sitting in my friend David's living room, late night, lamenting "Aw, man... I just don't want to like her.... I'm gonna end up asking her out, aren't I?"  My friends just chuckled and laughed, because they knew I was going to go for the girl.

I figured I'd be up-front about my ESRD with her.... and we'd talked about it at length in our casual conversations.  She said her mother was a nurse at the VA and she'd been around nurses, hospitals and sick patients all her life.  She really seemed to understand all that I was going through.  I used to carry about a large box of pills with me, and I showed her my pill collection - showing off tablets of a drug called Neoral (cyclosporin) because they smell funny.  It's one of those "This smells awful, you smell it..." moments.

Like I said, I didn't give her a call - and we mostly just hung out and conversed when we randomly saw each other at karaoke night.  Slowly, I started to think she might actually like me - but I'd mis-read signals in the past.  I was convinced she just thought I was a "cool-guy" and that I was like "her brother" or her "best-friend."  I'd gotten a lot of that in my life, so I was always wary with girls.  But one day, I went to visit her at her work (she was working at Barnes and Noble at the time), and we really just hit it off.  I'll never forget that day - it's just one of those simple times that's burned into your brain.  Someday, I'll be old and gray and I'll remember the day she wore her orange sweater to work and I came in and told jokes as she put away magazines, and when I left, she touched my arm so gingerly... I got chills.  

So, after hanging out a few times, I finally mustered up the courage to kiss her.  Those first kisses are always awesome.    Suddenly, we were spending all our free time together.  We met each others families, attended holiday functions, and suddenly we were a serious couple.

All during this, though... I was starting to feel worse and worse.  I was getting tired out more easily.  I could feel difficulty in urinating.  I knew things were getting worse.  I was seeing my doctor frequently, and having blood drawn.  My labs were not good.    I was sinking, feeling bad, and becoming really miserable.

It was a dark time for us - though we were a new couple, my health was failing, Jordan had gone back to school to study nursing, and I was pushing her away.  I was losing my kidney.  I would have to go back on dialysis - the inevitability and horrible sentiment of the sentence hung in my mind.  I couldn't put her through that.  She wouldn't want to be with a dialysis patient anyway... though it broke my heart, I broke up with her, and resigned myself to the fact that I'd always be alone, that was my lot in life, and I'd just have to learn to live like that.



  1. These cliffhanger posts are going to take getting use to ...

  2. At least this better be another cliffhanger (like your Dad's outcome).

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