Wednesday, February 7, 2018

IWSG: Diving Into Dialysis


It's time for another edition of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Be sure to visit Alex J. Cavanaugh and the rest of the talented writers who are always willing to lend a helping hand.

My brother took this photo during one of his frequent visits to dialysis.

January got off to an unexpected start, as I began undergoing dialysis due to a hereditary condition known as polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Though I inherited the disease from my dad, and my brother underwent a kidney transplant about 13 years ago, I was surprised when my doctor informed me that my kidney function had decreased to 7%.

The good news is that the dialysis center is less than five minutes from home, and the nurses have been wonderful. The bad news is that it could take a few years to receive a matching kidney for a transplant in Illinois and the same is true for nearby Wisconsin.

A friend told me a CBS News story about a dad who went to Disney World wearing a T-shirt announcing that he had five kids and needed a kidney transplant. His blood type and cell phone number were also imprinted on his T-shirt. 

He met a man at the theme park who offered to take a photo of him to post on his Facebook page. The photo went viral, and the dad received thousands of responses. Months later, the dad received a new kidney and a friend for life.

 I told my friend that I was thrilled for the dad of five, but I'd prefer to have a dead donor.

Concerned Friend: Well if I live one knocked on your door and offered you something workable, would you turn it down?

Me: That's a tough one. How would I ever be able to repay the person and what if he/she had complications from the surgery? I'd feel horrible for him/her and their family. So I'd rather not be in that position.

Concerned Friend: Sometimes people do things without wanting anything in return. I'm not saying that I'm one of them, but that happens.

I decided to nip this conversation in the bud.

Me: The truth is, I just don't want to have to be nice to anyone.

For now, we've agreed to disagree and my friend still hasn't given up on me.

 I'm  grateful that my family has been so supportive. My older son has been calling hospitals to find out about donor lists and researching websites, and my younger son has made the ultimate sacrifice by finally friending me on Facebook.

Additionally, my husband/caregiver has been constantly by my side driving me to appointments,  talking to doctors and bringing me my favorite foods. Oh, and he even offered to donate a kidney, but then I'd never be able to win an argument.

My treatments are three hours, (a total of four hours start to end), three days a week, and after a few more months I might reconsider my options.

In the meantime, I take comfort in knowing that I don't have to worry about being too nice.