I will be 59 in October which is not terribly old.  Perhaps if you dial in my various illnesses it is older than average.  Which is a polite way of saying I am not going to live a helluva lot longer.  It is still up in the air if I will qualify for a kidney transplant.  If that answer turns out in the affirmative then my day to day life will change enormously.  I have not tried to describe the Groundhog Day movie with Bill Murray feeling that dialysis presents.   Many weeks of the year it feels like my life is getting up each day and trying to fit a few things into the morning then scampering over for dialysis which eats the entire afternoon and I get up and do it again.  Not literally true, it is three afternoons per week, but if often feels like that is all I do.  I try to defeat that sensation by getting out and doing a variety of things.  My budget is not enormous and so I try to keep to low cost activities.  I try to add new things not just the same old haunts.  I find it a bit desolate to just go to dialysis and then come home.   By the way I refer to dialysis as D or the big D.  It is curious to consider what my life has been like since November 2008 when I started D.  I was near death with fluid around my heart and my heart enlarged.  I had thought it was a bad cold.  D made a difference immediately.  But over time D wears one down.  It is unrelenting in its routine and its restrictions.

I believe it has affected my personality and not for the better.  I have somehow earned the reputation locally of being a difficult person who is a little intense and interested in getting things done quickly and on time and well.  I note details and I follow up on them.  I generate ideas and make suggestions.  I ask questions.  I get things done.  But the local volunteer organizations seem not to appreciate that approach.  Impatience has been a core trait of mine since I was a kid.  Now it seems what little patience I have is needed and exhausted by my kidney failure and my treatments.  It takes patience to sit for four and a half hours in a chair and keep your left arm still with two needles stuck in your forearm with all your blood running out and back to a dialysis machine.

It is time for me to find a different way to defeat the tyranny of dialysis.  The main players of the volunteer organization have for the past two months basically stopped replying to my emails.  One on the phone listens to my ideas and deflects them or directly rejects them. For this group I have become a pain in the ass, someone to work around, to avoid.  To some extent the work I have done for the group has been accepted and even valued but the cost for them and for me has become to high.  It is no longer an activity that can be described as fun.  So I will turn away as they have turned away.  I will find a new area of interest.

When I found it I will try not to repeat my mistakes of the past.

what was that old checklist:

  1. learn something
  2. dont spend too much
  3. have fun
  4. have a real passion or at least a genuine interest
  5. dont hurt anybody else’s feelings
  6. give more than you take
  7. let other people do things their way
  8. get something done

As far as number six I can rest easily when applying it to this group where I have worn out my welcome.


Author: William J. Gibson

62 year old - writer/photographer Canadian, survived open heart surgery, received kidney transplant, sometimes dour, sometimes amusing, over six feet in height, severely follicle challemged

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