So I started dialysis last week Tuesday… What a nerve racking period it was, pre-dialysis. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t stop thinking about what could go wrong..infections, the tube not working, pulling it out of my body by mistake etc; above all the fact that this is my life now. I would no longer be that slim, elegant woman who was care free, loved life and just got up and went. Things were probably going to change a lot especially due to dialysis timings. Lots of ‘what ifs?’ plagued my mind and I tossed and turned at night, sometimes, cry and during the day, I just did some more of it.
The day dawned, I was a mass of nerves but outwardly, you couldn’t see much of it. When the community nurse, Joanne, came round and went through the supplies which had already been delivered the week before, I was really upset and shed a few tears. Joanne was very understanding and listened to my fears and tried to allay them.
She went through the whole process of washing and hygienic environment before and after dialysis to avoid any instances of infection. She really drummed the importance of calling the nurses or ward if there was any concerns about infection or if unsure, so that they can treat it before it becomes a real issue. It dawned on me again that this was my life now. It was sad!
There’s nobody in this world who wouldn’t feel this way because as we all know, whether as CKD patients, nurses or doctors, this is going to be our life from now on until we are lucky enough to get a donor; even then, it isn’t certain that life returns to normal. You can never go back to how it was before..”all the kings horses and all the kings men….” comes to mind.
However this is going to affect me, I have decided to make the best of what life has dealt me. I’m not wallowing (although sometimes, I think I’m allowed LOL) but I never asked for this, nobody ever asked to be this ill that they depend on relatives, other people coming forward to donate a kidney and the grace of God for survival. In a way, I think I got off easy. There was someone looking out for me “up there”. What I didn’t mention in my last article is that I was lucky to be alive. I’m grateful to be alive! There must be a higher purpose for me surviving two very serious illnesses with a whole host of life threatening complications and cheating death with just renal failure.
I looked death in the face and I laughed. I laughed real hard and said, “No! You are not taking this one!”. I might not be what I was before but I am going to make the best of what I have been left with.
I got stuck in with the dialysis routine (home PD). By the second day, I was able to do some of it myself. It was awkward at first, clumsy sometimes but with the clear directions and support from Joanne, I was able to ‘do’ myself without supervision. I have never washed my hands so much in my life! I’m sure my hands must be thinking (if they had a brain) why the sudden washing every 4-5hours and in between. LOL
The first week is over and I can say with confidence, I’m an old hand at dialysing myself. Whilst I can’t be put back to what I was before, I believe I can make do with what I have before me. New kidney? The virgil begins!