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Showing posts from April, 2010

Belief in things unseen

There are some things in this world, like miracles and those texts to his ex your boyfriend swore he never sent, that have to be seen to be believed. Sure, you've heard tell of them; maybe the brother of the gardner of your neighbour even swears blind he witnessed one. Yet until you set your very own eyes upon it, faith alone is not sufficient to convince you that such a phenomenon is real.

However, today, I had the rare and dubious pleasure of seeing one of these improbabilities in action, first-hand. Sometime last year,I was offered the chance to see a physiotherapist in order to discuss partaking of some exercise. During dialysis. Dialycise, if you will. The premise is that a set of pedals is affixed to the chair and the dialysis patient sits there cycling for some of their session (four hours would see Chris Hoy struggling), the benefits of which include increased fitness and reduced propensity towards DVT. And dying, presumably. Perhaps it is required training for those wish…

All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well

That's it: no more moping and feeling sorry for myself; I'm chalking up my bad week to character-builiding and claiming the match. I tried very hard to prove that dialysis is overwhelming and I am mentally unbalanced as a result, but unfortunately this has been established not to be the case - my psychiatrist told me so.

As a result of an unfortunate situation at the start of this week (I KNEW sleeping with my housemate was going to come back and bite me in the ass) I flipped out a little bit and, ever the pragmatist, concluded that I was going to need a little bit of help. On Tuesday afternoon, I had a tearful session with my new favourite psychologist, the lovely Beth. At this point, I was at my nadir and Beth felt it would be helpful for me to at least form a connection with a resident psychiatrist so that an extra layer of help would be available in the face of any future freaking out. As the week progressed, the situation with My Housemate eased somewhat and I began feeli…

Worse things happen at sea

Things are rotten in the state of Denmark. Or, at least, they were; it was friends and family to the rescue as usual, unable as I seem to be to dig myself out of the ridiculous holes I unfailingly fall into.

I went back to work this week which had been a source of simmering anxiety. As with most novel enterprises, the anticipation is far worse than the reality and there is nothing quite like 30 five year-olds, with their over-sized heads and miniature clothing, calling you "Roooowsy" to reinstate a smile on your face. My last dalliance with the professional world was fairly catastrophic and the experience, unsurprisingly, coloured my perception of how any new job would be. I needn't have worried: I start at 8:45 and finish at 1 so the hours fit snuggly around dialysis. I leave the job at the door and hence am free to enjoy my M&S sandwich and West Wing in relative peace; I also have two blissful afternoons of comprehensive freedom which I shall use to write. Future …

Dialysis: friend or foe?

I either have Munchausen syndrome or I am developing a fetish; whatever, the way I am feeling cannot be healthy. I didn't realise until I reached my 28th month on dialysis that it was possible for hatred to exude from your bones, but living with this disease has been nothing if not enlightening. That said, the monotonous, unyielding nature of kidney failure lends itself to a perverse kind of reassurance.

When things are going badly in my day to day existence, it compounds the dismay I feel at having to deal with kidney failure. Conversely, when things are going well, they are tempered by the disease lurking in the background; in short, you can't win and it all sort of sucks all the time. However, when I find myself adrift in life's turbulent seas, dialysis is a constant. It never changes and never promises to deviate from how it was advertised. It is always a bit painful, a bit boring and a bit soul-destroying - but at least it is always the same. As walls relationships, f…

Easter? Bah, humbug...

Today, I am Easter Scrooge; I am the Easter Bunny with miximatosis. Though for a nominal few Easter is about Jesus and resurrection and blah blah blah...for most of us, the true meaning of Easter is trussed up in garish wrapping and devoid of any nutritional benefit: easter, praise the Lord, is about chocolate.

Unless you happen to be in kidney failure. This morning my mother presented my little brother with a hefty Lindt egg, and I got...a hug. My phosphate level is too high: Something about the calcium leaking out of my bones...I forget what the dietician said, I was too busy watching ER and eating a bag of Jelly Babies. Without an Egg to call your own, Easter just becomes another day and dialysis doesn't stop for bank holidays.

To make matters worse, it is not just chocolate that is now off the menu. All dairy produce and shellfish are banned, in addition to Diet Coke, which is like being hit in the nipples. My potassium level had also rocketed, taking with it my ability to eat…

A change will do you good

A new dialysis schedule; a new cast of equally unsavoury fellow patients; it can only mean one thing: I have moved dialysis units.

Thank God for small mercies. Having stopped dialysing in the evenings some time ago, I was recently moved from the fifth floor to the fourth where the daytime dialysis programme is run. I started my haemo on Bostock Ward over two years ago, so in many ways it was like coming home... if your home happens to be some sort of fetid drugs den full of unsanitary characters in which you loathe every second you spend. I was greeted as a prodigal daughter by the kindly Phillipino nurses who cheered and hugged me when I arrived. I am the Mick Jagger of the renal world.

The benefit of dialysing on Bostock is that there are less patients; theoretically, this means the unit is more peaceful, and that I can get started on the machine a lot quicker. However, if there is one thing you can rely on in this life, it is the ability of elderly dialysis patients to be disgusti…