Dialysis seems like a distant memory… in fact the reality is it’s closer than I ever thought.
10 years ago this month I was diagnosed with kidney failure I “crash landed” and was put on dialysis just 2 days after being diagnosed. In short, my story consisted of dialysis 3 times a week, 3 hours at a time, for 3 and a half years until I was lucky enough to receive a new kidney in October 2010.
A lot has happened since that day. Amazing things have happened since that day. I have been dialysis free and achieved things I thought would never be possible.
I graduated from Uni (twice), moved out of home, got a full time job, been on lots of holidays, got a doggy, found myself a wonderful man.
Now I find myself back at square one. 10 years older.
I was told at clinic the other day I am 6-12months away from dialysis and needing another kidney transplant. Boom. It hits you like a tonne of bricks. It’s news you’ve heard before. It’s news that you knew would come again one day. It’s news that you cannot prepare yourself for.
The first time I heard that news I was 17, lying in a hospital bed feeling like I was dying (ok maybe an over exaggeration, but I really wasn’t well) I remember crying but it was all a bit of a blur and once I started dialysis I never cried, I have no idea why, I just never did.
Since transplant I am probably the most emotional person I know. I find myself crying at the drop of hat, seeing my niece in her dancing show or watching a television programme.
The second time round I heard the news I was sat in a consultants room, my Mum (and rock) was with me as she always is. “Things aren’t looking good.” The consultant says. I reply with “So it’s the beginning of the end?” “I’m sorry, yes. I know what your next question is… 6-12months.”
So the tears streamed down my face. I knew things hadn’t been good for a while. I knew my kidney wasn’t behaving as it should. But 6 months. That was a shock. A bit dramatic but I feel like the last 10 years flashed back before my eyes.
Ok, so I’m not dying and I know I’ve done it before and will do it again. I’m one of the lucky ones. Dialysis can keep me alive, me waiting for a kidney transplant is not a matter of life and death.
I’m still not quite sure if it’s a good thing that I know what to expect this time round. Things are very different now. This scares me. I feel like I’ve got a lot more to lose. I have a full time job, I have my own apartment, and I have A. He has been fab, not going to blow his trumpet but the whole snot thing I talked about last time… yes there has been a lot of that these past few weeks (from me not him).
It’s a lot for me to take in second time round, but he is coming into the unknown (albeit with the help of google he is educating himself). I wouldn’t blame him for running from the situation, but there’s no way he is doing that (or so he’s told me), maybe I have found a keeper after all.
I haven’t written this blog for sympathy. I’ve written it to get it off my chest, I’ve written it to make sense of everything (it helped first time round) and to hopefully share my experiences and help other people .
I kind of feel like I need to go and write a bucket list of things I want to do before dialysis. I have a couple of holidays booked so if I can make it to them in relatively good health I’ll be happy. I’ve got everything I need in the people I have around me. There is just one person missing. The one person who would know exactly what to say.
And so the journey to the beginning of the end starts…