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, October 21, 2013

Lest I forget... or any one.

I read a sad article today about a husband and wife music Duo - the wife contracted Lupus, and while on dialysis, she contracted an infection, which weakened her heart and ultimately killed her.  Her distraught husband shot himself hours later.  They were 40 and 39 respectively.

You know, some people think that dialysis is just some "thing" you do, like taking a pill, or getting a shot.  But it's dangerous.  It's dangerous as hell.  When I think about all the risks involved with the process, and how I did it for quite a few years... I count myself lucky.  I also consider myself fortunate enough to have had a wife as amazing as mine.

She took care of me - and was my home dialysis partner.  She made sure the process always ran clean, sterile and smooth.  I never had a problem with anything like that - I got a cellulitis infection in my leg while on dialysis (not because of it, though - had a scrape on my leg, went in a hot tub and got an infection....d'oh!!!) and I was in the hospital for like a week and half! It was insane - it took forever to fight the infection it seemed.

But Jordan... what she dealt with in ensuring my care was immaculate?  I can't even imagine.  And she did it all with grace, style and precision.  She's the reason I'm still here - and to call myself lucky is really underselling it.

If you know someone on dialysis, remember that it's hard on so many levels - and if you know a couple that is doing it together, know they need a little bit of extra love and support, because it's scary, lonely and dangerous out there.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Time After Time

It'll be my nieces birthday in a few days; she'll turn 10.  I'll always know how old she is, because she was born just a couple of weeks before my first kidney transplant.  It's pretty crazy to think that much time has passed - she was just a little new-born baby the first time I took those steps down the road of transplantation and surgery.  Now, she's growing up so fast; I saw her and her sister the other day at a family gathering, and I had a fun time talking to them about school, and singing "What the Fox Says" by Ylvis with them.  They danced around, and just generally brought a lot of joy to the whole room.  It's amazing to see them grow so much - of course, when I think about it, I remember wondering, 10 years ago, just how much I'd get to see of them growing up.  It's crazy how much I love them, and how I want to be a good uncle to them.  And it reminds me of how I definitely want children of my own.

I always used to say "someday", but it's funny when that someday really arrives.  Some of my friends have children that are already teenagers in high school - others have children that are toddlers... having a child is different for everyone.  It was never something for me to consider while I was working out how long I'd be on dialysis, and when and if I'd get another transplant.  Now, that someday really is here - I know my wife and I want to have a child sometime very soon.  Also, as you get older, very soon changes - I suppose I mean in the next year or two. We'll see.  Of course, I have all the regular fears people may have when having a child - wanting to provide them with a good life, and instill in them a decent system of values, and encouraging them to be the best people they can be - and for them to have FUN. 

It's an imperfect world out there, and yes - in many ways, I'm worried about what kind of world my child could live in.  But I see how amazing my nieces are, and I think we're all going to be all right.

I'm now leaving in the town I grew up in, and although it's changed so much since I was a kid, it's still a really nice place to be.  I remember having a lot of fun, traveling places on my bike, and I hope it stays that way.  It does make me a little wistful, when I go by places I used to hang out or play at, and I see them completely different - torn down, changed... nothing stays the same, but perhaps the feeling can.  I'd like to teach my kid to ride a bike on these streets. I'd like to be able to show him all the things I've gathered in my noggin over the years, and smile wryly when he just blows all my knowledge out of the water some afternoon.

Just glad to still be around, and thinking about the future.