Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day: in a Reflective Mode

Enjoying a peaceful Father's Day. No one here but myself. Michael called from his backyard in Santa Fe, enjoying their garden. While we talked he was watching a huge black and yellow butterfly flit about three feet in front of him. It's blazing hot in Dallas today. That butterfly would spontaneously self-combust if it were here. Susan's at the Natural History Museum in New York. Travis is working on his Math dissertation at his apartment in Brooklyn. They're meeting up with friends for dinner somewhere in New York. I'm drinking a beer and flipping between the Open at Pebble Beach, the World Cup and a baseball game.

And thinking about the last couple of weeks.

Heard talk on the radio the other day about how it was 16 years since the big OJ Simpson chase across Los Angeles. I remember that well. We watched it from a New York City hotel room while the family was on a choir trip. It was on that trip that I discovered I had super high blood pressure and PKD began to have a dramatic affect on my life. Up until then I had thought of my life as normal.

I went back and read all my postings on this blog last night and after I got over the many minor edits and the  goofy spacing Google Blogger puts between paragraphs that have to be deleted to make it look halfway decent, I decided I rather liked a lot of the things I said. I really did give short shrift to the time spent on dialysis and I need to work on that. When I've tried to write on dialysis it always turns into informational reporting. Which would be good except that I'm just drawing on information that's already out there on the web. There's a gillion web sites, doctors, nurses, dieticians, handouts and posters that tell why it's a bad idea to eat foods high in potassium and things like that. My writing is at its best when the information comes from personal experience, and that's been difficult.

But what really stood out was the period of denial and uncertainty when I was fighting a tendonitis of the achilles which wouldn't heal because of the aggravated swelling caused by the chronic kidney disease. I limped around in a walking boot for months in a state of constant pain and exhaustion. The future of dialysis and transplant was dark, murky and uncertain.

Now I've been limping for a couple of weeks. It was something of a relief to find out that the cause is a broken bone which has a finite period of healing. The BK Virus is another thing. It's a threat to the graft and the treatment is filled with uncertainty. Treatment is more successful than it used to be, but it's nowhere near 100%.

The combination of the limp and the virus creates a veil of depression and the temptation is to succumb. To some degree I have over the last few days. It shows when I step on the scales in the morning. But to yield to depression is the easy path. I have to remember that I've been living in open ended stoppage time for the last three and a half years. Each setback has to be a path to a new well of strength.

Well, I guess the blog just got personal again.

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