image.jpegThis evening I turned to size up how hot the dog might be in our sudden, hot, muggy May weather.  Grace was panting near Warp 9 so I called for my sister to help me. We got our two portable air conditioners installed with only a modest amount of vocabulary violations.  Grace is cool and asleep on my bed.  ALL IS WELL AND COOL.  We have liniment or equivalent if it is needed in the morning.



Climbing down

Photo on 2016-05-26 at 5.17 PM #2Seems I am not go for transplant after all.  One more doctor has to weigh in.My current bad head cold would be a show
stopper anyway.  So a short term recalculation of the equation.  White knuckles off the phone. Climbing down along with my network of drivers from DEFCON THREE.


self portrait

The world has body image issues. I have come to some peace with mine. It is about time. I now weigh ten lbs less than in university forty years ago: 225 vs 235.  I dropped the weight I had piled on to prep for open heart surgery. I have kept it off. The chest line hanging out of my chest is for hemodialysis. Tubing connects me to a machie which cleans my blood. I go three times per week for four hours of blood cleaning. The chest lines are problematical. No swimming and artful acrobatic partial showering.  With a kidney transplant the line will go. With line gone, I will be able to swim and shower.  You can see my surgical scar where they cut my sternum to open my ribs to get at my heart. It is the vertical line centre of my chest.  I am 62. I am at the top of the transplant list after 7.5 years of dialysis. I am filled with joy at the prospect.  There will be many changes. Almost all of them will be for the better.  The end of the chest line will be huge.

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Buzz-sawed Routine

My sister and I are experiencing near terminal meltdown and cautious joy over the now looming prospect of a kidney transplant.

She and I share accommodation in a forty six year old winterized cottage on Georgian Bay.  We had a routine that worked with dialysis. Dialysis for 7.5 years.

The gift of a kidney coming anytime is a great thing and a little crazy. After you are 45 years old, Change is the enemy even smiling, happy Change.

My retired, arthritic sister Mary with part of the livestock: Grace the dog in the background left, three cats, Louise, Cadbury, Emma

For most of the first 6 years of dialysis I drove myself. Last year my balance trouble due to peripheral neuropathy and my weakening heart grew so I went from cane to walker for secure scuttling around..

I hate the walker. I love the walker.

The walker makes me feel like I can move steadily often without nervous calculation. To make it mine, I put on tape in a herringbone pattern, a smart tape selected at Staples. I had not bought tape in some time. There has been a revolution in decorative tapes.

The walker weighs 20 pounds and folds up. It fits u with a hearty lift and shove in the back seat of the car. When I drove, I fought the walker in and out of the car. then my sister took over. I hate to see her schlep it in and out of the car. I am back to doing this most of the time.

Open Heart Surgery

Last year we faced a quixotic giant. His name was open heart surgery. He might kill me.  He might make stronger. The Giant smiled and I survived and slowly I came back to a strong me.  The walker stayed under me, my indoor, bladeless lawn mower, or so I call it and tell the cats who don’t care for the confrontations much. They find ways to put up with me and my ways, walkered and otherwise. They adore my sister.

Two other boulders sit in the river I wish to pass.

My sister has arthritis affecting her right hip and knee.  She has good days and bad days. Now she he has grabbed one of my canes.  By the way she is amused at the deference and assistance she gets now as she brandishes her war club.  She was in pain before the cane and could have used help with doors and loads then.

The trouble is one last failure of mine. My right eye offers no vision. The left eye remains good, good enough to drive.  I am working on my Peter Falk impression.

My life is small; I have no wife, no children, no grand-children.  That is for the best. My life certainly upon hearing of my fate, kidney failure and dialysis.has had a cascade of bad decisions. On me they fall.  I don’t want any more to fall on her.  She worked hard for her retirement. For her enjoyment.

Gordian Knot: Transportation

We have a transportation problem to solve with transplant.  Transplant coordination is not unaware of this.  I doubt right now I can drive to downtown Toronto two or three times per week.  That is the plan initially after a three week stay  to make sure organ rejection will not be a problem. Then for several months many visits to Toronto.  It cn be handled someway. But my sis and I were taught to handle our oen live independently. Strongest teaching from our Mother who survived the Great Depression nad came from Swedish, stand on your own twofeet Vikings.

My sister san’t manage the ferocious driving. I may not be able to.  I am unused to big city driving although I drove in Toronto for years during my working days.

All this sounds logical, hinting at the emotions.

The week has been Hell.

What will change?  The three four hour dialysis treatments will be gone.  My blind right eye stays. My bad balance stays.

Losing the “Little Village”

As a seriously socially isolated senior (depends on your definition, I am 62, discount some places) who has a little “village.” I refer to the cranky dialysis patients who I get to talk to briefly in the waiting room before we are called in and our separation begins. It is mostly impossible to have a conversation with a patient during four hour treatments. Other “village” residents are the dialysis nurses. A small but significant amount of small talk. Th rub is, I lose my “village” with a transplant.

Losing this “village” came up in my realistic discussion.

The emotions of this seven and a half year trap/salvation roil, burn blast.  Often just under the surface of the skin.  This week they came out into the warming, Spring sun.

I have speculated madly/ Do I who has made such a disaster of my life deserve the gift of a kidney?

Visual Life and Fear of Blindness

I get my gift of a kidney and it works and then my left eye goes blind? Right now i don’t believe I could live blind.

I love reading and watching movies. All my life I have written. Professionally as a technical writer. Creatively as a writer of poetry, short stories and short plays. I don’t think I couid be a blind writer. I don’t think I could be blind. Would it be a sin to tka kidney gift and end my life in the face of blindness?

Failure to Connect

I have lived up here in God’s country, a transplanted Big City type but with summer residency going back to the 60s and Family roots to 1910. I have tried various groups, arts, writers, seniors, even Georgian College. I have failed to build a social network. I have no best friend. There is no one I can call up to have a serious chin wag/ Question is will kidney fix that? Not automatically. My theory is simply that my personality has grown crankier and more toxic during the time I learned kidney failure was coming. I considered it the end of my life. I considered it God’s judgement to punish me both on earth and after death.For all the sins/mistakes I had committed up to that point. Did I see the light sand try to do better? No, a true grasshopper I made many wrong decisions making my circumstance with kidney freedom facing me straitened.

Who knows after hemodialysis for a few years, eternity in Hell might be OK.

Change is a Grizzly bear

Whatever comfortable decaying, grinding down to bits routine dialysis has forced it is about to explode. It is going and we were used to it. The rushing floodwater of change in a canyon is coming at us and we are terrified. Sometimes my sister and I try to smile. But Change can be like a Leonardo gnawing grizzly bear.



Ten years

It hardly seems like 10 years. Ten years blogging with WordPress. Thank you, WordPress. Blogging is quite an adventure. Sometimes you have to ignore the silience and imagine you are talking to an old cat. Dialysis is an adventure. It is going to end soon. Open heart surgery was a helluva an adventure.

Kidney transplant from a stranger will be an adventure.

I am almost paralyzed with fear and joy.


I got the go for a kidney transplant yesterday. I am at the top  of the cadaverous donor list. This means a donor could come available at any time. This means ia huge amount of change is coming  ery shortly.

Yesterday we found driving down to Toronto there was quite a lot of difficulty with traffic. After released from the hospital after the surgery. There will be a period of many trips back to Toronto for a follow up.

This poses quite a bit of transportation difficulty. This is going to be a difficult management issue. I don’t wish this to be a burden on my sister. And for me driving to Tororto with my diminished visio, it is going to be an issue to manage. Don’t get me wrong I am looking forward to being released from the burden of dialysis.

Dialysis has kept me alive. But it is kept me very fatigued. It is been like a chain and ball. It will be a great thing to be free of it and to continue living.

Paperwork setback

imagebad break. It seems my primarfy care dialysis nurse ignored my request that she confirm that all reports had been received by the kidney transplant office for my May 16th appointments. She failejd to followup. I received a letter Friday from transplant office saying less than half the reports had been received. The last two tests were accomplished on April 16th. The letter implies the May 16th appointment will have to be rescheduled. It was originally set bavkmin November. I am beyond livid. On Monday I will try and get the May 16th appointment “unwrecked”. If not it may be months before it can be rescheduled. Oh, by the way, it is nurses week this week where they are to be recognized for their dedication

Me growling through clenched teeth in the photo