The Lucky ones have crutches and bandages

Today I was thinking about all the people who suffer with problems invisibly.

The ones with crutches, bandages, and wheelchairs – we see they are hurting, we empathize, we cut them some slack in our expectations. But the people hurting invisibly need us to loosen our expectations also. Continue reading

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It’s been a year,what a change – my wife inspired this one

(September 19, 2019) Dave, it’s hard to believe that just one year ago today was your first day of dialysis. You were one of those whose life was saved by your dear friend Greg, who gave one of his own kidneys in the Paired Donor Exchange.

Greg gave his kidney to a stranger as he wasn’t a match for you. Another living donor gave their kidney to you on April 24, 2019. What a gift and truly the gift of life. People die while waiting for a transplant. Dave is blessed and so are we. (written by my dear wife Susan)

Her Facebook post written one year ago follows below:  Continue reading

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Some understanding goes a long way

img_1961

A calm Okanagan lake,  just after sunset but not dark yet

Starry, starry night
Paint your palette blue and grey
Look out on a summer’s day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul
Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colors on the snowy linen land

2015-01-08 08.53.23

Okanagan Lake again, probably in January

 

Now I understand
What you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free
They would not listen, they did not know how
Perhaps they’ll listen now

sweet 5

Starry, starry night
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds in violet haze
Reflect in Vincent’s eyes of china blue
Colors changing hue
Morning fields of amber grain
Weathered faces lined in pain
Are soothed beneath the artist’s loving hand

The lyrics above are from Don McLean – his song Starry Starry Night. The song was written after he read a biography of Van Gogh.  It’s a lovely song.

Vincent Van Gogh suffered from mental illness and his amputated ear, but he could still see beauty and his paintings of the hills and stars outside the bars of his asylum, his paintings never include the bars on the windows. A man in torment.

We can’t tell from the outside what others are dealing with, and they can’t see what you are dealing with either.  People with mental illness aren’t crazy, they are sick.

Internet statistic:  Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. (46.6 million) experiences mental illness in a given year. Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S. (11.2 million) experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.

 

 

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Shine On US of A

Canada and the US of A share a huge border and live not only in peace but family trees criss cross the political border to a huge degree, I know mine does.

When crisis happens, like 911, and planes bound for the continental US were grounded unexpectedly in Canada, we welcomed our unexpected guests. See story in USA today here.

It’s no wonder either because In my opinion Canadians know the real America is represented by kindness to others and I see this in my nation also.

Thanks Coach Muller for confirming my belief, click here to see.

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You Sunk My Battleship

A favorite song sung beautifully, and childhood memories are the lettuce and tomato of this post.

Life and Random Thinking

Manning Park February 2012 Manning Park February 2012

Growing up I didn’t have to walk knee-deep in snow ten miles uphill to and from school each day but my childhood was certainly different from the current generation.

Happiness doesn’t depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude.

I am glad for the lack of electronics then as I live now in that age but also have the benefit of having grown up without it and memories of simpler activities.

I can appreciate colour tv because when I was young, tv was black and white. I hope you are sitting down for this, I’m not kidding, no remote control, really. If you wanted to change the channel you had to walk over and do it yourself, same with volume.  We only had a handful of channels anyway.

I can appreciate cell phones because when I was young, they didn’t exist and…

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How has my life changed?

I received a kidney transplant April 24, 2019

The terrific readers who regularly read my post already know I received a miracle this year on April 24, in the form of kidney transplant from a living donor. My living donor was only available to me because a personal friend of mine agreed to donate a kidney if someone else who was a match for me donated to me. It’s called a shared donor program and I believe half of kidney transplants in British Columbia are living donors and most are shared donor exchanges similar to mine.

Mine was actually a type called a Closed Chain.

Closed Chain
A closed chain, is similar to a paired exchange, except there are more pairs included and the donor of the last pair donates to the transplant candidate of the first pair.

There is so much to tell about why my finding a donor was a miracle, but I want to inform you what a difference that gift has made to me and my family and friends.

In the last decade my health seeped away slowly as my previous transplant waned, and eventually was rejected and stopped working. That kidney transplant was an amazing gift also in July 1987 from a deceased donor. We are so grateful to have had that transplant for 31 years !

When your health diminishes at a slow rate, you keep functioning and working harder to do your job, enjoy your off time, support your family and be normal. Like a tree in a forest, you can be too close to see the changes but others do as they are more objective.

2018 I started dialysis of my blood 3 times a week

In 2018 in the autumn, due to end stage kidney failure I accepted I could go on no longer without succumbing to dialysis (cleaning of my blood via a machine) three times a week, about 4.5 hours each visit. Afterwards I felt better than before, but I had a very restricted diet, and nearly no fluids from food or orally in between to make the process possible. No fluids hardly is because kidney failure means no urine and fluids have to pulled out in the dialysis process and only so much can be withdrawn in four hours via your blood during hemodialysis. Not a picnic, but it’s not meant to be, it’s meant to keep you alive.

Click here for youtube interview of me on dialysis.

People are dying on dialysis daily as they wait

Statistics are different due to population differences between Canada and the USA however matchingdonors.com states that daily 22 people die in the USA waiting for a kidney transplant, most waiting 7 – 9 years.

The statistic would be similar for waiting times in Canada but fewer people daily, according to kidney.ca;
There are over 4,500 people waiting for an organ donation in Canada. Sadly, about 260 of those people waiting for a transplant will die every year, that’s about five deaths per week, or one death about every 30 hours that could be saved if they had a viable donor.

My transplant gives me so much

I apologize for this longer post, suffice to say my life has changed – it has been given back.

  • I have more clarity of thought,
  • I have better health,
  • I have more time away from hospitals and doctors,
  • I have the opportunity now to travel,
  • I expect a longer life expectancy (remember people waiting on dialysis often succumb after 8 years, some even finding life too difficult and choosing to go off dialysis and basically dying in 7 to 14 days in hospice).

I have my life back, thanks to doctors, nurses, surgeons, all able to be set in motion because my friend agreed to be a living donor.

It’s a process, and many are willing but are unable to do so but if you want to learn more, go to Considering Living Kidney Donation.

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