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.

Monday, November 8, 2010


I have to go to the hospital in couple days for a minor procedure.  It's no big deal, really; I've had it done before - though last time I did, it was performed in an outpatient center and something went horribly wrong and I ended up being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.  If it wasn't for the quick thinking of my wife, who's a nurse and asked to be in the room, I would have coded out.  Instead, I woke up from the procedure coughing out massive amounts of frothy blood.  When asked how I felt, in the midst of throwing blood all over the room, I calmly said "I think I can feel the effects of the medicine starting to abate."  Always trying to impress, I am.

So, this time, my doctor is doing the procedure in the hospital to ensure that if anything goes wrong, I'm in the best place for emergency treatment.  That's what it's like with me; I have so many co-morbidity's, that simple procedures can become life-threatening situations.  I'm used to that feeling now; the first time I really encountered it was back when I had my first transplant, and I had to go in for a "minor procedure" that I would "be out for the weekend."  I spent almost two months in the hospital after that one and almost completely lost my transplanted kidney.

So, since then, I have always been a little scared when I have to have something done.  It's normal for anyone to feel nervous about medical procedures.  Medicine and surgery is a pretty amazing thing; it's come so far in the last 100 years - it used to be such a barbarous practice.  It's amazing what they can do now - and it's amazing what the body can endure.  But it's funny; sometimes people endure the most horrific and difficult situations and they come through clean, and other times it's just a slight, little mistake that kills them.

I've survived some pretty crazy and intense situations.  I used to feel so bad all the time, I thought I was just some kind of weakling.  Turns out, I'm actually pretty strong - I kept myself going through things that either slowed down or killed other people.  So, on one hand - I'm pretty proud of the constitution I've had for a long time. 

Still,  I get scared.   I'm not the most afraid of the procedure going wrong; sometimes shit happens, they say.  What I'm scared about is what I won't get a chance to accomplish.  There's always something more to do in life - and the thought of not being able to achieve goals that I dream about, still, scares me more than anything else.  I'm scared of leaving people behind - leaving them behind without letting them know, honestly, how much they meant to me.  And it's not just "saying" it - it's the things I do for them.  I still have a lot to do for people to show them how much I love them and how much they mean to me.  The fear of not being able to do that is palpable for me.  And, in the days before the "procedure", these thoughts consume me.

It's not enough that we say we love each other - although that's an amazing thing, and a good start - we have to live that way as well.  Our actions must speak as loud as our words - and this is often the hardest maxim to live up to in life.  But it's wanting that - wanting the better - that keeps me going and keeps me strong in the face of these hard times.

So, I'm waiting for the date - trying not to let the fear wash over me, but also keeping in focus what's important to me. 



  1. I know what you mean. I need to have my gall bladder removed, which is about the simplest surgical procedure that you can have, but I am putting it off in fear that my defective immune system will betray me again.

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