Dialysis and Thankfulness (Updated again)

Another Update: I’m working on the disaster planning post but, dang, it’s really complicated!  I figured to have it done this morning but it’s going to take longer.  Bear with me and watch this space! 

Update:  I don’t have much time today for blogging but I’ve identified my next topic:  “Dialysis and Disaster Planning”.  With all the unusual and violent weather events lately, we need to be prepared.  I will work on this tomorrow morning. Watch this space!  And have a great day!

Today, I’m really thankful and need to reflect on the state of things in my life.

Forty or so years ago, if you were diagnosed with kidney failure, that was the first step on the way to certain death.  The kidneys filter toxins, excess chemicals, and water from the body and remove that as urine.  If they stop, toxins and chemicals in the body build up to the point that it effects other organs.  For example, Potassium, in high concentrations will stop your heart.  If that doesn’t happen, or before it does, you will experience general organ failure and death.  But, thanks to modern medicine, we have dialysis and we can avoid that.  It doesn’t completely solve the problem but it takes the extreme danger out of the formula.  So, long story short, I’m thankful for dialysis.

I’m thankful for the many people who come to read this blog.  As a disabled person,  I don’t get around like I used to and it’s difficult. But I’m also a very outgoing person and I love the company of others and lively discussions.  I blog in the hope that I can make some contact with the world other than the dialysis center I frequent.  When I see that you have visited this site, I’m pleased that people are reading my words and, in effect, having a conversation about aspects of  my life.  Feel free to comment and have some “conversation” about my postings.  I’d love to hear from you.

I’m thankful  I found a center where the staff and patients are lively, friendly, compassionate, and sharing.  Just a couple days ago in a chat with a tech, we were reflecting on the passing of another patient recently.  She remarked at how the center is like a family and when someone passes, it’s sad.  I appreciate that she felt that way, not only for the passing of someone, but for the center being like a family.  As you might know from my experience at a another center, I know the value of a center that feels like a family and not a venture through the Land of the Living Dead.  (I still feel a need to blog about that experience… so I will… note to self).

I’m thankful I’m retired now.  It wasn’t my intention.  I was working full-time and planned to do so until I couldn’t do it any longer.  But, I was “laid off”.  At least that’s what I was told.  But that’s not the truth.  They got rid of me in a convenient manner with an annual layoff of second shift staff for the winter.  I’ve filed a case with the EEOC for several things including age discrimination, disability discrimination, denial of benefits, etc.  I will blog about it another time because disabled people, especially those on dialysis, need to know their rights and how to protect themselves.    I am haunted by a young fellow I met at the other center who was fired because he had to have surgery on his access and missed work.  They told him he was missing too much work.  I was shocked but not surprised.  He was totally unaware of the protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as most people are.  We dialysis patients don’t often see ourselves as disabled and protected by the ADA.   I’m thankful for the ADA but filing and pursuing a case with the EEOC is another adventure all by itself.  I’m just thankful, I know what I know about it and I want others to know, too!

I’m thankful I have two young men to help me.  My boys have really pitched in as I had to back off from many things I used to do.  In addition to being gregarious, I’m very self-reliant.  I always took care of my own business and myself.  I rarely asked for help.  I’m still as independent as I can be, but I’ve reached a point where I can’t do everything and I need help.  I’m so very thankful I have help with all those mundane things like grocery shopping, running errands, cooking, driving, etc.  I don’t know what I’d do without my guys helping me.  I’d find a way, but I’m thankful they are here.

The list of things I can be thankful for goes on and on. There are so many people that support me directly and indirectly and I’m thankful for all of them! But, I’ve gone far enough for today.  My eyes are failing so I can only view the screen for so long before I can’t see a thing. I want to spare some eyesight to edit this before I publish it but I wanted to share with you that, today, I’m feeling thankful.  I could be angry and frustrated at my predicament but as long as I have life, I have reason to be thankful.

© 2012 DevonTexas

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About DevonTexas

I am a person with ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease) which means my kidneys don't work. Forty or so years ago that would have been a death sentence but today there is Dialysis which means I can be hooked up to a machine that will clean my blood as the kidneys should. Three days a week, I go to a center and have too very large needles stuck in my arm to remove and replace my blood as it passes through a process where it's cleaned and the fluid is removed, a process taking a little over four hours each time. I want to advance knowledge about dialysis so that other patients can learn from my experience and mistakes. We shouldn't have to reinvent the wheel, eh? There is so much to be learned and experienced about our predicament. There are vast resources available to support us and enrich our lives but many patients don't know about them. There are also many issues that we have to deal with whether we want to or not. So I blog about them. All comments are confidential until I approve them. If you don't want your comment public, let me know and I will respect that. So, feel free to leave a comment. Enjoy.
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2 Responses to Dialysis and Thankfulness (Updated again)

  1. Hello! I just signed up on this Davita website and yours is the first post I read. This is all so new and scary. I have been getting dialysis through an emergency catheter for less than a month and am waiting to use the graft site put in a couple of weeks ago. I go to dialysis on the night shift, but stay for 3.5 hours. I am retired also, and very thankful for that. God has worked out the details so wonderfully well so far. I am still here! My father and his brother died of renal frailure – complications of diabetes and high blood pressure. I did all that I could not to end up the same way, but genetics will out I guess. They are both gone. My dad at 65 and my uncle at 82. I worked so hard not to go that way, but … I am not a candidate for a transplant. Each day is a gift now and I appreciate them so much more than I did before. I will read the rest of your blog as I am able. Thank you for sharing your story: courage, strength and hope! Renee

    • devontexas says:

      And thank you, Renee, for reading my work and I’m especially pleased you found it helpful. I try to post every day so bookmark this site and return often. If there’s something in particular I can write about that would help you, let me know.

      Devon

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