Monday, May 18, 2009

5 Year Anniversary of Hell

On May 16, 2009 I marked five years of achingly annoying and highly horrific Dialysis treatments.

I was diagnosed once again with my long lost companion, End Stage Renal Disease (all Dialysis patients say "ESRD" because it sounds like a cool show on the Travel Channel) in March and my nephrologist stated it was going to be a quick slide to eventual Dialysis.

Year One was pure torturous. Every treatment flames of burning ignited by Dialysis himself. 1000mg. of Vicodin doubled. And then tripled.

And still I suffered.

Year Two began the habit of lying on my office floor for 30-45 minutes before and after a show just to keep my job. Everyone believes radio broadcasting is easy, but it takes a tremendous amount of energy.

Energy that my body no longer befriends.

Year Three the staff thought I would never last transferring into a research program and changing my treatments to six days a week, two hour time limit.

Again, I sacrificed my sanity to feel 20% better so, once again, I could keep my job.

Year Four I tried dating again with little success.

"I won't date you unless you always cover up your gross arm."

I never even said goodbye.

Flirting with a cute redhead at the bagel shop ended abruptly when my graft gauze began to express itself in bloody terms.

Everyone just stared. No one even bothered to help.

Damn Yuppies-Who-Used-to-Be-Anti-Establishment-Hippies-Who-Sold-Out-and-Are-Now-Fat-and-Worried-About-Their-Cholesterol.

Year Five has been a rollercoaster teetering on the top of a wooden hill that should have been condemned five years ago.

I had a chance to guest star on Dr. Anonymous' internet show and share my experiences about Dialysis. I even managed to convince the manager at my Dialysis clinic to shut off all the TV speakers so I wouldn't die because none of the tech's could hear me. I even pushed myself to get out of my bed and hang out with friends.

That last one's a major accomplishment.

Better things are on the horizon. My sister is visiting in a month. I'll see my parents later this summer. My best friend and his family are going to spend a weekend here in Sonoma County.

These are all good, positive events that will make Year Six somewhat more bearable.

But I have a little secret I've told no one about and it could ruin all succeeding years.

I'm getting worse.

My muscles screams echo through my entire system, begging, pleading for me to lie back down.

Fatigue is my constant companion. If I do the math (and I rarely do because it makes me sad) some workdays I'm in bed twelve to fourteen hours because I'm just too weak.

And don't ask about weekends.

But its really not the pain that bothers so much. Its a constant companion that whispers its power over me at its own discretion, for sure.

Its my lack of productivity. My lack of sparking purpose.

And what scares me even more? The fact that some days I just don't give a fuck.

I once believed that God was punishing me for past indiscretions. But I feel my sins are minimal at best.

Those thoughts morphed into God possibly trying to teach me some grand lesson that I was too dense to comprehend.

Yet what have I become?

A crazy loner curmudgeon who finds most of the human race lacking in intelligence and grace.

I can't do another five years. I just can't.

I'm unwilling. I'm unable. And I'm just not worth all the medical expense required to keep me alive.

The divisions between Potential Stacy and Present Stacy is so wide, the two shall never meet in my lifetime.

And that saddens me to no end.