My dear wife, Susan, has been with me in my health battles all the way through. Two years ago, when I was too sick to continue without dialysis, she was there to help me resume dialysis after 31 years without further delay.
I had been delaying, and to the risk of my life, nearly too long.
I stalled because once I succumbed to beginning dialysis – my transplant function would further collapse, however at that point in 2018 it made no difference – it was almost nothing already and the plus 15 pounds of fluid in my lungs and tissue were at risk of causing a heart event of some type. I had been sleeping sitting up for months because breathing was a problem.
This is what my wife posted in September 2018 on her Facebook page:
Today was a difficult day as Dave started hemodialysis. It wasn’t planned for today but was planned soon.
It became necessary as his GFR was at 6 and his body was failing him. Normal GFR is above 60.
Although we’ve been through this a long time ago, it was still heart wrenching.
The two hour dialysis took 2.3 litres of fluid off his body today. Tomorrow he will be there three hours and they will take 3 litres off.
Then on Saturday four hours of dialysis. Four hours of dialysis three times a week will be his new normal. In all 10 litres of fluid needs to come off his body.
We are hoping and praying he gets on the transplant list in October. From August on Dave has been struggling to live as his body has been failing him.
It occurred to me that his body was killing him a little more every day. We also hold on to the hope of better days ahead. There were tears today of letting go and giving in but not giving up.
We’re both just tired today. Dialysis will keep Dave alive while we wait for a transplant to go ahead. Please keep Dave in your prayers.
Canada has a low rate of organ donation and I hope by sharing this that it raises awareness. Dave has lived over 30 years on one kidney.
If a living donor donates a kidney in a paired exchange and they ever get sick they immediately rise to the top of the transplant list because of their donation.
You are welcome to please share this post to raise awareness.–
The two year anniversary of my first dialysis treatment in 30 plus years was a few days ago,
but I struggled deciding on whether I should write a post. I decided to post this remembrance because I wanted to recognize what happened after she posted.
Amazingly to me – my wife’s social media post resulted in more than a hundred messages of encouragement -that was super inspiring.
Secondly, it lead to us deciding to have party inviting friends for my birthday. We needed to celebrate something positive.
I could not eat or drink hardly anything at the party because of my dialysis, but I was stuffed by the warmth of the love in action. Friends I hadn’t seen in person in years came to celebrate, travelling hundreds of miles. They shared kind memories, they came to look me in the eyes.
That is the reason for the post today.
I want to emphasize how my friends gave me strength and hope a few weeks after return to dialysis three days a week. Letting go of a kidney transplant after 31 years and a prospect of a diminished life span was all I had to look forward to along with the daily challenges of life of dialysis.
But they came and we celebrated my birthday together, and it helped me to be positive.
It strikes me that in the lives of people who read this that everyone has trials, rough road to travel in their lives.
It could be health related, relationship related, it could be work or zillion other things.
What is important is that how I react when I see someone hurting.
My friends responded wonderfully. They responded in action, a special few of them took the effort to learn what dialysis meant. Some came to the hospital and sat with me for one of my thrice weekly four hour treatments. They watched the needles being inserted and taped up for the duration. We visited while my blood was pumped around and around through the filters and the toxins were pulled out.
I hope that when I see my friends, cousins, nieces, nephews, in need of support that I will be there. It makes a difference to act.
It made a difference to me two years ago and now looking back, I see it helped me to look ahead.
Two years ago, my wife wrote and my friends acted, and I am still grateful.
Thanks for reading – David
PS – I was able to get a new kidney transplant, April 24, 2019. It’s a miraculous story – I write about it in the Health category here. I am still celebrating ! ♥♥♥