I’m still working my way gingerly around the news from my kidney doctor that dialysis is in my future. My kidney disease has steadily gotten worse over the last two years, and my kidney function has shown a corresponding decrease over the same time.
Getting older is bad enough, but having my body steadily falling apart just makes things even harder to adjust to and accept. When I can focus my mind, I feel like I’m 25 years younger. However, when I try to get into action, reality sets in rather abruptly.
There’s no set time for me to start dialysis. The decision will be made based on my medical results, and discussions with my doctor.
Mortality is leaning over my shoulder as I write this, chuckling softly to himself because he knows that he wins in the long term. My goal is to live the best life I can until Death finally collects me.
I’m almost afraid to write this blog post. It is a very sensitive subject for me to discuss here, but I do know that therapy stresses writing to get my feelings out in the open.
My recovery from last fall’s hospital stays has been excellent, according to my doctors. COPD means I’ll never be a runner. I won’t play tennis or basketball anytime soon. Compared with my condition last December, I have made significant progress, but that progress has slowed down almost to the point of not improving anymore at all.
Is my current condition the highest plateau I can reach? Part of me screams “No!” but my rational side says this is probably true. I still get dizzy when I have to bend over for more than a second or two. I feel like I’m running out of breath very quickly. Thankfully, I can use meditation and controlled breathing to stop myself from getting into real trouble.
I am only mortal, as are we all. I recognize that I’m closer to the end than the beginning. I see the world going straight to hell, and there’s nothing I can do about it. Stupid people want to argue, and I don’t have the stamina for that anymore.
If what I feel now is my new apex, I want to spend a lot of time here before I start the inevitable downhill slide. I am currently focused on the quality of my life more than ever before.
Today’s meditation quote points out another aspect of the idea that we never achieve perfection because, to do so, we lose the struggle that defines us as human beings. I am struggling with stress caused by my health right now, but unless I find the correct way to fight the problem, I won’t get any better.
Too often, we feel like the struggle is pointless. That is nonsense. Some people give up, but they will always be stuck in the situation that causes them to give up in the first place. I was taught to analyze the obstacles facing me and then to find the best way to overcome them and to get to work to overcome those obstacles. Self-pity is for losers because it interferes with the struggle for success.
I spent extra time with my meditation this morning, and I can really tell the difference. Honestly, I had gotten so busy that my entire meditation routine had just stopped altogether. I will do my best not to let that happen again because I recognized immediately how much better I feel after taking the time for myself.
I realize that I had lost myself. I was so busy reading about the world’s problems that I let my health and well-being deteriorate. I am too important to let that happen because I am a human being. I can’t feel good if I surround myself with nothing but bad karma. My focus needs to shift to find myself once again. Meditation is the method that helps me along the way.
It is 80 degrees this afternoon, and it feels awesome. I’m sitting on the balcony and soaking up some sun as the afternoon passes by. Hal is waiting for maintenance personnel to show up to work on some items around the apartment. If we had known the weather would be like this, he could have delayed the maintenance request until Monday.
I finally went back inside, but it felt good while I was out. The pollen is simply too much for me right now. I’m going to wait for Hal to finish whatever he needs to before going out. In the meantime, I’m making spaghetti in the InstaPot, so there will be more to eat here. I used the last box of spaghetti, well, angel hair pasta, actually, but there’s no sense getting more spaghetti pasta until after we move next Friday. In fact, I want to empty out the refrigerator and freezer as much as possible before the move.
In one week, the rivers will still be bringing things into the new apartment. I know to take things easy and to avoid any heavy lifting or exertion. The last thing I need is another hospital stay.
I went to my primary care doctor Wednesday morning for a scheduled checkup visit.
I am working with the Long Term Disability people to get the payments rolling. I am going to be in Ling-Term Disability through the end of May. I’ll meet with the doctor before then to see what the next step will be.
Things move in their own time, I have to keep working on my recovery and try to be patient. Rushing a process like this will just lead to trouble.
For some strange reason, probably insomnia, I find myself writing late at night when most of the world is asleep. I certainly wish that I operated on the same schedule as everyone else, but I seem powerless to control it. So, I write this blog post at 0400 on a Saturday morning after being awake for more than two hours already.
Now I start to make the necessary mental preparations for the rest of the day. I recognize that I will have to stop whatever I am doing at some point in the day and surrender to what amounts to unwelcome sleep at that time because my body will be exhausted.
This is not an enjoyable life. Seemingly, there is nothing I can do at this time to correct the problem, so I just feed my desire to write and to read what others have written. I know that at some point in the future that the insomnia will pass and sleep will come naturally, until them, I write.
Later today I’m meeting someone to possibly purchase a portable oxygen concentrator called an Inogen One G3. I have been checking about acquiring one of these machines through my insurance, but the insane rules and excessive cost make that very unlikely right now. Instead, I will check this machine out for myself.
The person selling it recently lost a loved one who used the machine and now they want to sell it to someone who can use it. I could certainly use it if it’s in working condition. The person is selling it for a decent price compared to other retailers and private sellers, so it’s worth taking a look.
I hate lugging an oxygen canister with me when I’m out. The comfort of knowing I have O2 is balanced against the realization that when the O2 runs out, I can be in serious trouble. I would prefer to have the portable oxygen concentrator to provide oxygen as long as the battery is charged. A place to charge a battery is much easier to find when one is out than a refill station for an O2 canister.
This is what I have now. You can see the limitations it has. It is bulky and limits mobility when I’m out. It takes up most of a large shopping cart at the grocery store and then the tube limits how far I can move away from that cart.
The Inogen One G3 has a carrying bag and is much smaller. It makes its own O2 from the surrounding air. I hope that this machine is in working order and worth the asking price. If do, I’m buying it and taking back a degree of freedom that I lost late last year.