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, April 21, 2011

Controlling the Anger

Being human means getting angry sometimes.

It also means feeling other less than desirable emotions, such as jealousy.  As a man on dialysis and waiting for a kidney transplant, I do have a lot of anger and jealousy to deal with inside of me.  I can't deny that; I try, for the most part, to keep a positive attitude and a sunny disposition about my life.  There's so many great things in it, that for me (fortunately) this is probably easier than for some.  Dialysis patients can be some of the most angry, ornery and easily upset people in the world.  In fact, we get a bad rep for this - and sometimes, it's heartily deserved.

Living this way, though, is tough - life on dialysis (and even with a transplant) is about maintenence, not a cure.  I will never be cured of this problem, and it will plague me until the day that I die.  No respite.  When you get told that at 24 years of age, you get real angry real quick.  And, man, I have my moments.  They're few - and mostly private, but I know there's a few people out there who've been with me when I've broken down.   And I feel like my whole world crumbles when it does.  I've had some awesome friends pick me right back up, though, and guide me to the things about myself that are pretty excellent.  When I got married, each and every one of my Groomsmen were one of those who helped me see the light when I was sick.  I had EIGHT groomsmen.  Heh.   I really couldn't have done it without those guys.  Or my wife.

I get jealous too.  A lot of people get jealous over what "they don't get" or "they don't have".  I'm the same way - though I pine less for material things, and I'm jealous that I don't have my health.  I get jealous when I see people I know abuse themselves in all kinds of crazy ways, go to sleep, wake up with a little headache - but carry on.  Slightly miserable, but eventually it wears off.  What.... I wouldn't..... give.... to be able to to that again.  Whoa.  I get jealous of their ability to just pick up, go and do something...... where as I must be on some kind of regiment at all time, as I have to do find several hours everyday to do dialysis - and I must really be home to do it.  Sure, I can travel with lots of planning - but I couldn't get just say, tomorrow, let's go on a trip!

I covet that freedom.  I know a transplant will help with that.  But I'm angry.  I've been on the list four years.  Four.  Years. of my young life.  My prime.  Wasted away, blowing in the wind, waiting for that miracle hand-out.  Four years of waiting, with my cell phone in pocket - hoping that I get a call that tells me "We have a kidney for you."  Four years of yearning to be the best person I can be - and always feeling like I'm falling just a few feet short.  Yes.  I am angry about that.  But I put that away after a musing, because holding on to that anger will not change anything - and if I wallow in it too long, it will become me - not just a part of me.  And I don't want to be that bitter, whiny, angry dialysis patient.  I've seen too many of them, I've read too much of their whining, and I know I don't want to live to be that person.

So, I wait.  I wait, with patience and dignity - but I'll tell you, if they don't get me a kidney soon.... I'm gonna do something stupid, like poop in the middle of the ER just to get some attention.


~Steve

6 comments:

  1. I know it can be hard sometimes. I was on dialysis for 12 years and had a transplant that failed after 5. It's probably not a good idea to try and think about "the call" too much. It will happen when you least expect it. As you said yourself, there are people on dialysis more Ill than you.

    I don't know if you work or how good your centre would be about adapting dialysis appointments to your life, but I had a hobby that helped see me through. I also tried to make sure I had something to do while on dialysis. A book, a film, learning something.

    It probably doesn't help a lot, but It really isn't ad bad as you think!

    Are you a member of a patient support group or anything?

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  2. I do dialysis at home - I'm on the NxStage System One - which offers some freedom. And, heh, trust me - hobbies are my forte. I always have a movie or something to do during dialysis.

    Oof, dialysis for 12 years - you are a trooper, sir.

    No, I'm not a member of any patient support group at this time - but there are quite a few good ones out there. I don't think I'm quite down to the point where I need a group to support me - I have an incredibly supportive family and wife, thankfully.

    ~Steve

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  3. I know we don't come from the same place regarding faith, but the Catholic Church teaches redemptive suffering. We all suffer in some way, some more than others, and if we choose to unite that suffering to Jesus' suffering for us, God can take pain and allow something good to come of it. When I was working outside the home and so miserable leaving Lauren each day, I would try to offer my sadness and heartache in order to lessen the heartache of those who could not conceive. I may never know if it helped anyone.....or someday in heaven maybe I'll meet someone who it did help.

    I can't imagine how hard it's been for you, and we worry and think about you so much. I think the way you handle your anger and jealousy (which most of us also have, yet for far less important reasons) is good. Anyone who knows you can't really think of you without smiling, and your disease and all that comes with it is secondary to YOU, the happy person we all know.

    I'll remember you in my prayers today (as always) Stevie-G. :)

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  4. Hi steve, just stumbled upon your blog and Im glad I did. I to was on dialysis and received a transplant 2 years ago. I was 17 years old when I started dialysis so I can relate to how angry this disease can make you knowing that for the rest of your life you will have to deal with it. I'll keep you in my prayers for sure and look foward to following your blog.

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  5. I hope you got your transplant.

    The catholic who posted can go fuck himself

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