Monday, 20 May 2013

Sometimes I Forget...

For minutes, even hours, that the reason I started this is because my kidneys are failing. My mind doesn't dwell on every twinge in my body and think "Is this a symptom?", is this the beginning of the end? Kidney disease, it would appear, is deceptive. Because there is no real pain, and the only symptom I felt was a period when I was terribly itchy (phosphorus builds up and your body can't get rid of it) it is even harder to wrap your head around the fact that there is something critically wrong. And according to the specialist (and the literature) it is not a painful way to go - most people start to sleep more, slip into a coma and pass. Once I'd read that, I went through a few weeks when I was afraid to close my eyes (for obvious reasons) and when I did fall asleep - would wake with a start every couple hours just to reassure myself that I was still here. While that has eased somewhat, I still understandably wonder when...will I be one of those patients who hangs on for five or six years with no treatment - or will I last through the summer? Questions no one can help me answer. For now my kidney function is said to be around 10 per cent. As the specialist says, if we see it go down by one point a month - we can make an educated guess. Indeed, even I - not a wizard in math - can make that calculation! So I try to distract myself which I suppose is a long way of explaining why writing has become so important - why I feel the need to explain how I got here and to translate some of what I am feeling into words. What I have been given as a result of this exercise, has been nothing short of miraculous. Deep connections with people that a few short months ago I could never have imagined would occur. So I will take the uncertainty, if it means I have some time to learn from this and to wrap my arm - figuratively or otherwise - around someone else who is suffering or has suffered. I will kiss my dogs and hug my partner and smell the flowers in the garden and write like my life depends on it.

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