My friend, Dr Robert Bear, wrote a wonderful article based on his presentations about dialysis patients and “palliative care” (healthcare that focuses on relieving and preventing the suffering of patients). He courageously goes where few like to go… End of Life Issues for dialysis patients. CLICK HERE to read his article. To read my previous articles about Dialysis and Death see: Dialysis and Death about my friend John’s passing; Dialysis and Death (Part 2) about Death and how HIPAA creates problems informing other patients about the death of another.
A comment below from a dialysis patient reminds me of another element of death that concerns us: The Process of Death. As I can, I will write about that but it will require some intensive research. I’ve had several experiences with friends and family members passing but I’m no expert.
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 could be hooked up to a machine that would clean my blood as the kidneys should. Three days a week, I went to a dialysis center and had too very large needles stuck in my arm to remove and replace my blood as it passed through a process where it was cleaned and the fluid was removed, a process taking a little over four hours each time.
In November 2017, I received a kidney transplant from a deceased donor. My life went into overdrive. With a "new" functioning kidney, I no longer had to go to a dialysis center and my days were not open to be lived rather than recovering from dialysis which meant dialyzing for three days and resting for 4 days a week. I work full-time and often 50 hours per week. It is something I never imagined. I highly recommend it! HeeHee
I want to advance knowledge about dialysis and transplant so that others 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 in www.DevonTexas.com
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.
I also blog in LegacyTales in WordPress if you are interested in the ramblings of a Old Man. Give a peek and let me know what you think. https://legacytales.wordpress.com/
A podcast where I invite guests from all walks of life to discuss their favorite movies, and we use that film as a starting point to talk about deeper issues such as faith, politics, and social issues.
Thank you for posting the article by Dr. Bear. I am on PD and know that I have a limited time to live. Today’s discovery was that although I do not fear death, I fear the dying process. Another realization that came to me was that I am beginning to seek my place to dream of the past as I prepare to leave this life – like an animal instinctively finds a place to lay it down and pass.
Your blog is meaningful. Thank you again for sharing it.
What was really stunning to me was the point made that we are all in the process of dying and, therefore, we should embrace this and share our thoughts and experiences toward this end (end?). Like you, I find myself looking back to the past, remembering fondly and all too often regretting some things.
You are not alone in fearing the dying process. We all have that but, the more we share with others and are open about it, the less fearful it becomes. In the blog post “My friend Jayne” I wrote about her final days. She didn’t fear death because it meant she would be with the love of her life, Bob. She looked forward and lived in the moment but she also had wonderful memories of the past she shared with me. I was my honor and privilege to be her friend. She taught me a lot about death and dying.
All of us are guilty of clinging too hard to life. Death is inevitable, yet many refuse to acknowledge it’s presence. As surely as the sun rises each day, Death will make its’ presence known. Be thankful for dialysis. I can’t thank the inventors enough. But I know that Death will come. I am ready whenever it is.