Search This Blog

Tuesday, May 30, 2023



It's a day off between treatments, and when I awoke my mind felt numb from how my life is on an ongoing holding pattern thanks to my battle with late stage kidney failure. Yesterday marked my 145th straight week on dialysis, so with three sessions per week, plus yesterday's, I have undergone regularly scheduled dialysis 433 times, and there's more to come. And that's excluding the handful of times when I had to go in for an extra session to remove excess accumulated fluid. (I forgot to note those on my calendar.)

It could be worse, but it's a torturous existence. Mentally and emotionally, I am just exhausted and I have little or no energy for doing much of anything. My medical odyssey has been ongoing for just about a decade, starting with my first stents for my heart, then the years of agonizing atopic dermatitis the rendered me looking like the titular character from THE HIDEOUS SUN DEMON, 


                                                      THE HIDEOUS SUN DEMON (1958).

more stents, a near-fatal bout of pneumonia (that was mis-diagnosed by Presbyterian-Methodist), kidney failure leading to dialysis, and finally my recent foot surgery. It's as though when one issue is dealt with, another comes to take its place. It just does not let up.

In relative terms, it was not too long ago that I was unfettered by medical woes and I could go anywhere and do damned near whatever I wanted to at the drop of a hat, but those days are behind me and my time of unavoidable inactivity during the past ten years has allowed me a great deal of time for introspection and consideration of the life I have lived up until now. It may sound corny, but hindsight is indeed 20/20 and I should have paid more heed to the excesses I was subjecting my body to during my misspent youth and early forays into adulthood. I certainly had a lot of fun — or at least I thought I did — but if I knew for a fact then what I know now, you had better believe I would have lived my life more sensibly.

Yes, some of my issues are no doubt part of the inevitability of aging, but I think it's a safe bet to say that the majority of this can be chalked up to the abuses I put myself through during those days when one is either blissfully unaware or unheeding of one's own mortality. I was a mess for a good three decades, which is a long time of not getting one's shit together. Deep down I knew that I was self-medicating as a way to avoid dealing with my rampaging inner demons and the trauma wrought by assorted deeply-scarring childhood and adolescent trauma, but rather than seek professional help I just carried on partying while ignoring the earliest signs that there were issues with my health.

It took me until between the ages of 40 and 42 to finally get to grips with my mental/emotional ills, at which point I cut down my consumption of liquor and weed by something like 98%, seemingly overnight and with no symptoms of withdrawal, but shortly thereafter is when my body began its unignorable deterioration. At first I had no medical insurance, but Obamacare eventually got me sorted in that department, and without it I have no idea what I would have done, so while I may grouse about the ongoing state of being caught in treatment limbo, I am grateful that I have it.

Please pardon the rambling, but on days off my mind tends to wander and it helps to articulate those thoughts in order to get them out of my head, even for a little while.

Anyway, bottom line: NEVER take your health for granted, either mental or physical or both.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023


 Okay, gotta be candid.

Though it's a day off between dialysis sessions, I am enjoying none of it. I'm feeling weighed down by the relentless nature of my medical situation and its attendant appointments to various facilities, plus to say nothing of the car trips to and from the center. Excursions that feel like a treadmill to and from some nameless, faceless limbo. My life is basically on hold during all of this and I am just plain bloody sick of being stuck in a window of less than 72 hours (at most) between sessions, which prevents me from getting away from all of it for any decent amount of time. And do not get me started on my treatment schedule and lack of income from a steady job, coupled with my ongoing state of physical exhaustion and nausea that keeps me feeling like hot garbage.

I feel like an animal in a cage, one that's only let out periodically to be examined and attended to by a staff of keepers. I hardly ever see my friends, and when I do my enjoyment is curtailed by the limited amounts of time that I can spend with them. Having Michele in my life is a gift beyond words, but she has her own life and career and cannot be around as often as either of us would like, and it's not her responsibility to make sure that I stay on an even keel.

Bottom line: If you are enduring the mental/emotional agony that is having your life in a state of perpetual pause while weathering a serious illness, just know that sooner or later the wait will end and whatever medical panacea that you require will someday be in sight. And I must keep reminding myself to stay strong and strive to maintain as much positivity as I am capable of mustering. That will not work on all days, this being one of those off-days, but as Devo said...