Not just survival, someone gave me life

I love a friend’s tshirt, it reads ” Of course I’m an organ donor – Who wouldn’t want a piece of this?

Kidney failure is not rare, and neither is dying while waiting for a transplant unfortunately.
Please be an organ donor and sign up today or even investigate being a live donor. Live donors face limited risk and are more common every day and save a life.
Thanks for reading.

Life and Random Thinking

When someone said yes, allowing their loved one’s organs to be donated, it did not mean I was going to survive, no it meant I was going to live again.

Today I celebrate my re-birth (transplant day) but I am also thinking about those waiting for a transplant.

Utah - Arches and Canyonlands-11Living on dialysis is something I did, I had no choice. I lived doing peritoneal dialysis until I got an infection and nearly died. I did four exchanges a day, even when I went to work, every day, even Christmas. Four times daily, and each and every time I hated it, but it gave me another day to hope for the call.

Then I did hemodialysis three times a week for 5 hours, better but worse because I had to be so careful about fluid intake.

July 6, 1987 –  I got the call, they had a kidney for me. Hopeful, excited, nervous…

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Greetings, Hello, Hi There

This gallery contains 7 photos.

Originally posted on Life and Random Thinking:
This Muppets skit is priceless but so hard to explain to anyone else.  But if you are in on the joke…………..then you get to laugh about it with your friends through imitation.  That…

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Testing and More Testing

There is nothing like a story, a true story, to understand and connect with the storyteller.

5th in Line to Donate a Kidney

Day one of testing finally arrived. My day began at 7:30 am, in the lab.  I was finally able to rid myself of the big, cold, full jug and None too soon!  As I walked into the lab with my huge tote bag carrying not only “the jug”, but also everything I thought I might need, the phlebotomist laughed and said, “Unload the bag.” When she saw that my jug was full, she smiled brightly and said, “Oh child, you did good!” She seemed quite pleased with me and the humor of driving across state lines with a jug in a cooler burst out of me in a story that made her call over other lab employees, so we could all laugh together. It was a really good way to start my nervous and somewhat embarrassed day. I soon learned that nothing about kidneys or bodily functions seemed to bother…

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5 Ways My Recovery From Kidney Donation Was Nothing Like What I Expected

I am happy to be amazed by good people who become a live donor, and I shudder to conceive those who die on dialysis, needlessly and waiting , hoping, suffering, eventually dying.

Leaving it better than I found it.

I haven’t posted a blog in quite some time. In the weeks since my last entry I’ve been struggling with how to depict what my recovery has been like. I had more than a year to build a series of ideas in my head of what the experience would be, and as the weeks and months have unfolded since my surgery day… I was way off.

Some of my expectations were that it would be extremely painful, I’d have a really hard time getting my fitness back, and that I’d look at my kidney donation as being a really pivotal point in my life.

Nope, nope and nope.

Here are five things that were totally unexpected in my recovery.

1 – I didn’t have much pain at all.

As part of the surgery, gas is pumped into your abdomen to puff you up so the surgeon can see what he’s…

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Snow wonder

 

The air seems a little more blue this time of year, and snow wonder is all around. I went walking a few days ago and took some pictures of Okanagan lake (above) and included a couple pictures from when my wife and daughter went snowshoeing at Apex mountain {link to the left if you are curious} over the Christmas/New Year holidays.

toqueIt takes a little more discipline or determination to get out and walk this time of year. All dressed warm, toques on, gloves on and nose poking out from my balaclava; it feels good, refreshing, rejuvenating to face the elements. Plus there is tea and hot chocolate waiting by the fire.

The Okanagan valley definitely has all four seasons and each part of the valley receives from Mother Nature differently. The south end towards Osoyoos is always the first to receive spring and the last to receive winter.  The fruit trees in the south are the first to have ripened fruit, cherries sometimes in early June. At the north end of the valley which runs north & south, the city of Vernon will have two feet of snow when midway near Penticton we will have just a few inches.

heart-snowWe are over the December 21st “hump” and daylight hours are advancing slowly again. Soon the longer hours of sun will be more noticeable and everyone will feeling optimism in the air. Gardeners will be starting seeds indoors, and lawnmowers and grass seed will filling their thoughts..

The cold chill will be soon replaced by leaves on the trees, and plans for fixing of fences and lakeside sashays.   Naked branches wait the first blooms heralding the picking of fruit and the joyful singing of birds.

winterBut right now the calendar says it is winter, and snow wonder is still to be enjoyed.

Thanks for reading, for following this blog. Comments, feedback, and suggestions always welcome. – David

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Chapter 5 – Skywalker : My treat

LAST chapter! Which did you like the most? Did you read all five Call Me Skywalker? Would you like story to continue? Any comments welcome.

Look under recent posts along the right side if you missed any previous chapters.

Most importantly Happy New Year to you, and thanks for following my blog and encouraging me with your messages.

Life and Random Thinking

Sophie stepped out of her car and into the light as the cyclist approached, she was striking to see with her military posture, flawless skin and her face and lips just slightly damp from the light misty rain.

The cyclist approached steadily, and his right hand reached for the brake as he saw Sophie standing close to his path. Satisfied it was safe to proceed he started past her silent figure, but then shuddered to a stop when he applied his wet brakes. Twisting his head back at her, he then walked his bike toward her.

Sophie watched him stand up his bike, take off his helmet and run his fingers through his flattened bike-head hair. Luke grinned at her, and his eyes shone.

Standing there along a bike path, in the light rain they looked at each other. Sophie trying to piece what her mother Stella had told her with…

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Skywalker #4 – Coming home to walls

Here is the 4th chapter of the five.
Missed the beginning go here https://dfolstad58.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/call-me-skywalker/

Or go dfolstad58.WordPress.com and see the Categories on the right hand side – the category is called Call me Skywalker.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Life and Random Thinking

Sophie was stunned. She was returned from deployment on a submarine for six months, her heart filled with stories to share with her Mom, Stella. But all that waited for her was silent walls, and not the homecoming she expected.

Sophie’s Mom Stella was gone, holding her tongue she had said nothing to Sophie about her terminal diagnosis fearing holding Sophie back from the most exciting opportunity in her naval career.

Sophie stood silent, unmoving in her apartment except for the racking of her lungs as she tried to breath from the tears. “Mom, I would not have gone, I would have been there, I love you, I need you” and her tears ran, and her heart broke with shock and it felt like she was knifed in the heart. The wound cut deep.

Sophie sat on the floor until the darkness forced her to her feet to turn on a light.

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Skywalker #3 – A revelation in the rain

This is the 3rd chapter of the five, and you can start at the beginning by going to the right margin and finding the Call me Skywalker .

Your feedback is always requested and appreciated.

Life and Random Thinking

my iron horse with lightsLuke aka Skywalker felt content, and wet. The rain, cold and soft, ran down his face and over his chilled face. Not exactly a grin, and not exactly a smile was on his face as he rode his bike along the paved path.

The path was cracked, with moss in the cracks and chunks missing here and there. Luke was soaking up the silence in the off-roadway path and nodded his head at the dog walkers and cyclists he passed.

The laugh lines around his eyes condensed as he realized that this was meditation for him. The misty rain and the cracked pathway seemed perfect to him and to his head space.

Crickets! He skidded to a stop, and rested his rear, which was sore from the bike seat. The crickets music to his ears as dusk approached. The crickets song clear and in harmony to him. The cool air…

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Call Me Skywalker #2

This is second short story in the category called Call me Skywalker.

I hope you love each one, comments are so appreciated , and go check out the others in the small series. They are each brief and just wrote a few, five I believe.

Life and Random Thinking

view from cape foul weather I think

To read Call Me Skywalker from the beginning click HERE

Stella died a month ago.  Luke’s mind still saw her face easily, picturing her laughing and singing along with the Beatles.  He half smiled, and his eyes twinkled remembering how she always seemed to be singing a song or pieces of a song during the day.

Stella loved to infect him with a melody of song so after he sat with her, laughed with her, the rest of his day had these earworms of pop music popping up.

Luke chuckled, one week she kept singing “Bennie and the Jets” and he walked around singing Bennie, Bennie, Bennie and the Jets all week. He smiled but there was a tear in his eye.

Luke was doing better now.  After the funeral he had felt dazed, his face felt numb and it almost seemed like he had his face pressed against a…

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Call me Skywalker

This is first short story in the category called Call me Skywalker.

I hope you love each one, comments are so appreciated , and go check out the others in the small series.  They are each brief and just wrote a few, five I believe.

Life and Random Thinking

God’s providence or karma brought them together – it changed both their lives.

He was just graduated from nursing school,  and turned 25 years old. Excited to be starting his new job at a hospice, he moved to a whole new city to start his career. The first day on the job he met Stella.

Stella was 83,  and she found the days long, dark and lonely at the hospice.  She was looking out the window at the rain, when her new caregiver came to bring her breakfast at 7:30 a.m.

Good morning Stella, my name is Luke but please call me Skywalker. Today is my first day and I will be your caregiver. How are you today?

He looked deep into Stella’s eyes and for the first time in weeks she felt like she was in the centre of someone’s attention, and not somewhere out on the edge.

Stella…

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