Saturday, March 11, 2017

Living with Kidney Disease Like You're Judd Nelson

My new pulmonary doctor is located at the Lewis Cancer Research Pavilion off of Reynolds. After
my doctor’s appointment I was walking out to my car when I saw this in the lobby and it grabbed my attention. I read the placard and was moved by what it said:

Ring this bell                 
Three times all’s well
 It’s toll to clearly say
My Treatments done
Or a milestone won
And I am on my way 

            I don’t have cancer and somehow felt like it wasn’t my place to even consider ringing this bell. I wanted to show respect to the people who had fought and earned that right because I can sympathize. I did take that picture because I knew I’d want to remember this moment.
As I walked out to my car I remembered the past eleven years of living with kidney disease and dialysis. The number of ways it’s impacted my life to trying to just live normally overwhelmed me:  Lugging that damn cycler on vacations and trips for NxStage, not being able to camp for more than two nights. having to stick myself with damn buttonhole needles nightly, the pain from that, not being able to make love to wife when the urge hits us while hooked to my dialysis machine, labs, fatigue, maintaining a fulltime teaching gig, missing tour guiding were just a few of the thought going through my head as I fumbled for my keys to unlock the Falcon.
The key was in my hand when that line hit me. “Or a milestone won”
Getting on the Transplant List for a kidney has got to count for something and it's a milestone for me. ......
I walked back and rang the hell out of that bell and I walked out like Judd Nelson at the end of The Breakfast Club.
Screw you, kidney disease

Cue Simple Minds song....

March is National Kidney Month. Love your kidneys. Trust me, it's a divorce you don't want....

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