ONE FULL YEAR

I can’t believe it’s been one full year since my G.P.’s phone call, telling me to get to St. Joseph’s hospital. Once there, shortly after arriving, I discovered I was in Renal Failure, starting me on a journey that would eventually bring me to the realization that I would need to go on dialysis. It has already been Eight months since being trained on the cycler machine ! (peritoneal dialysis). The older I get, the more difficult, I find it is to understand the concept of time. This past year though, has gone by so fast and yet is not the blur that I would expect it to be. This experience is crystal clear in my mind. ( Yet upon reading the rough draft aloud, to my husband, it seems he remembers things a little differently). My take is slightly different from his. None-the-less this is how I remember things happening. When I am forced to up date some one, who genuinely is interested in what happened to me, I’m sure that I sound somewhat detached. I usually let Mike tell people the details when we are out together. I used to at first , but quite frankly, it exhausts me to verbalize the details now. I have also come to realize that most people have the tendency to get caught up in the Who’s, What’s, When’s and How’s. Which is normal, I know. For me though , I am learning, with the help of this blog, that the gift of writing is a wonderful way for me to unload, uninterrupted, in a Magical, rejuvenating way.
When I begin to type, it’s as though the ordeal has just happened yesterday. I see it in a kind of slow motion . I am grateful for that first night in the emergency ward, for the gift of prayer. It brought me a degree of peace and clarity of mind that, I have discovered, is not so easily achieved now because of normal day-to-day interruptions. Some that are unavoidable, some that are necessary and enjoyable. Some that are honestly just a waste of time! I find I’m most balanced and happy when I remember to buy out the opportune time to meditate on God’s word. This is not for every one and I respect that. It works for me though, so I need to express it some times. I could clearly see, that night in the E.R., lying alone on that skinny cold cot, with only sheets to cover me, (why is this?) that I could quite easily rehash the details of what was and had been obvious for some time now, or I could choose to embrace my new circumstances and just accept them and get on with it , completely and with no reservations and that I needed to embrace the help all around me; God, The nurses and doctors and all of my family and friends. As a child I learned that fear when embraced or challenged could work to my advantage! I used this strategy for years and it worked, This time though was a little different. I had to face death for the first time in my life!! I have never wanted to die! lol Starting from the visit to my G.P. Friday after work, to that night at home enjoying the evening with Mike and Rayne , our grand-son. Then receiving my G.P’s phone call to rush my self to the emergency room in Comox hospital. Than two days later going down by Ambulance to Nanaimo hospital for a two-week stay. Than back home to Courtenay for a few months , with many trips down to Victoria Kidney foundation to be educated ( wonderfully I might add) , while they prepared me for the choosing between Hemo or peritoneal dialysis . I gravitated immediately to the peritoneal dialysis. It just fit. With peritoneal dialysis the blood is cleaned inside your body rather than in a machine. the inside of your abdomen is called the peritoneal cavity and it is lined with a thin membrane called the peritoneum. This membrane surrounds the intestines and other internal organs. In peritoneal dialysis, this cavity is filled with dialysis fluid which enters the body through the peritoneum. This fluid is then drained from the body and discarded. The process (called an “exchange”) is repeated, in my case, as of now, four times (every two hours) for eight hours a night, while I sleep. My last fill of 500 ml of dialysis fluid is left in to dwell, for the remainder of the day. In the evening , I drain this fluid out when I connect myself to the automatic cycler for the night. I am independent and some what of a free spirit, so this idea seemed, to me anyways, to give me the most freedom and control over my new life. I found this three day training to be exhilarating! I know how weird that sounds. I still do to some extent. Even after eight months. It is truly a marvel to me! The strict routine after about the sixth month began to get to me, but can not be switched up or changed in fear I forget some step, For example when on holidays or when I am tired . It must be done in the same pattern that I was trained to do. Here’s a sample: I take my blood pressure every night after hooking up, the hand washing and sanitizer afterwards to avoid infections become fanatical and can be exhausting to say the least! Once done , in the morning I have to record four different readings into my log book, take my B.P. once again and record it too. Weigh myself and record it into the log book, then pack up all the used supplies to discard. It doesn’t take long but can test a spontaneous person like me. I have learned endurance through this ordeal. I have discovered that the meaning of words become so much clearer once we have experienced them. ENDURANCE: I read about this many times and thought I understood it, but how could I have? My life was really quite lovely for the most part and I feel blessed for this time. Every one should (in a perfect world) have a happy little life , untouched by tragedy. Then we grow up and learn that this is not always the case and that sooner or later we all go through trials and tribulations such as they are. I like that I am more present and that I am closer to my Creator and am relying less on myself and relying more on my family, friends and community.

8 Responses to ONE FULL YEAR

  1. Great post Angie! You are definately getting better at putting your thoughts into words. You are a real trooper and I am very proud of you and love you dearly. Wish I could be there to give you hugs to help you along. Keep your chin up and be proud of who you are and what you’ve accomplished no matter what life throws your way. xoxoxoxo

    • I love you so Paul. You just did, HUG me. Thank-so much for your encouragement, It means every thing. I hope you’re getting a lot done , over the long weekend. I hope to see you soon!

  2. Oh Ang, Very good update. You really organized your thoughts well. Your message is always so crystal clear when I read your blog. I love ya. xoxo
    Terri

  3. Hello Ang, I finally figured this thing out. First I would like to say your my hero. I have been reading your blog for a while and I am thankful for this site.It is how I have kept informed. I miss you and Love you so much. You are amazing. God bless.

  4. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa We did it! Your on now… Love U2

  5. Good blog Ang. You are a hero to all of us. Love you Dad

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