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 7, 2016


I literally almost died during the colonoscopy.  No joke; I don't talk about it much anymore, and I don't remember talking about it much at the time - but the anesthesiologist really messed up during this.  I was on dialysis, and given a fluid expander, which is a no-no.  My lungs filled with blood, my BP dropped, and I was choking. If Jordan​ hadn't been in the room monitoring the process, I'd have died in a freak accident in North Medical Center.  Her quick thinking and stepping to action saved my life.  I woke up coughing, feeling groggy, and a bit stuffed up.  Turns out I was coughing massive amounts of blood all over the room and walls.  The nurse who worked there had the audacity to say, "Please stop coughing blood all over the walls, sir!" as if I was doing it purposefully and maliciously.  Also, later, I found out the doctor found a mass and at the time said, "Oh, there's the cancer."  I can only imagine what ran through my wife's mind.

I've, uh, been through some things in the past 13 years that I don't often recall or talk about much.  You just file some of these things away, or else you'd go crazy thinking about them. All I know is that I would be literally dead if it wasn't for my wife, and that's not hyperbole.  Her picture's gone around the world for such a silly thing, but not many people know what a real hero she is.  Reading this "memory" reminded me of all that, again.  I've been lucky and fortunate in so many ways in my life, in spite of what some people might deem a raw deal.  I wouldn't change a thing I've experienced.


Saturday, March 26, 2016

DInner With Pawpaw

So, recently, a photo went viral on the internet - no, I'm not talking about the one featuring my wife. (Angry Splash Mountain Lady) but the one of a grandfather in Oklahoma who made 12 burgers for his 6 grandkids.  Only one showed up, tweeted a picture and the internet went crazy; his grandkids eventually not only came by to spend some time, but they threw a big barbecue and hundreds of folks showed up!  It was a really sweet thing, and one of those times I remember the internet can be really great.

It got me thinking, too, of my grandfather.  My father's Dad - he passed away in 1998, when I was 19, just short of my 20th birthday.  It was a difficult time for me - I had not been feeling well, and was having tests done to me.  Soon after, I would be diagnosed with Sleep Apnea and given a CPAP, which really helped change my life.  But I was kind of out of it when my grandfather passed - and I was very young.  Quite unaware of what a hole in my life he would leave; I took for granted that my grandparents were around.  I was lucky enough to grow up with not only my paternal grandparents in my life,  but my maternal grandparents as well.  I just took for granted that most people had two sets of grandparents.

He was a big man - a former police officer and sheriff, and he loved to read.  I remember being fascinated by his bookshelves as a child - he always had interesting tomes of literature on them. I definitely mourn his loss for our family, and for me personally - I mourn that he never got to see me as a grown man, who married and eventually had a baby son - his great-grandson.  I miss conversations we never got to have; I miss not being able to pick his brain, and learn more lessons on adulthood from him.  I have a lot of regret that I was a typical foolish teen, and perhaps even a bit disdainful of my elders.  Being young is about being silly and making mistakes, and hindsight is 20/20.  There was time, when I was young, when older and wiser people told me "Someday, you'll miss this time."  Someday came, and hit me like a ton of bricks - but then I also remembered the good times we had.  The laughs.  The smiles - I remember his face on Christmases - with all of us grandkids around.  I still see it when I close my eyes and think of him - and I'm reminded that he was happy, and full of love for his family.  And I know that.  So, even though I can't have another burger with him, he's still there, in my mind, every time I spend time with my family now.

My maternal grandfather isn't doing so well these days, either.  I'm going to have a burger with him this week, I think.  Introduce him to his great-grandson, and spend some time with him.  Life is so cruelly beautiful sometimes, and I want to remember it all - good and bad.  And still smile.