Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Great book by Michael Crichton and pretty good movie with Demi Moore and Michael Douglass.
No, this is not about any kind of harassment.
Having a couple of days to digest the events of Aikahi 911!, I'm afraid I did not truly depict the events of the day. In trying to inject some humor into my experience, I'm afraid I've come across as flippant or worse, cavalier.
Such is not the case.
I live with end stage renal failure; my kidney function is less than thirty percent. For that, I spend three times a week hooked up to a dialysis machine for three and a half hours at a time. Dehydration and low blood pressure, unfortunately for me is sometimes a fact of life.
I've wrestled with talking openly about this for I imagined that it did not affect me as negatively as some might think.
In fact, for the most part, it has changed my life for the better.
The events of Sunday though, made me realize that it does have it's dark side.
Hydration is a cat and mouse game renal patients endure. Too much fluid is bad(high blood pressure), too little is bad too, as my experience relates.
The too much part is what makes renal patients different. The EMTs could not just flood me with saline, for it would have been dangerous. Fluid retention is a problem kidney patients must be wary of. I am, by doctor's recommendation, supposed to limit myself to one litre of fluid of day.
The dialysis machine removes excess fluid from my body via blood for my kidneys have stopped removing it for me. On occasion, the machines take out too much hence my familiarity with dehydration and low blood pressure. The great folks at the clinic though, monitor my condition constantly and are quick to deliver a jolt of saline should I ever need it.
You can imagine my consternation when after asking (very nicely I might add) the EMTs and ER doctor to please increase my saline drip I was told they could not.
And I was aware of their reasons.
Perhaps because dehydration makes me a little loopy and a little out of touch with reality, I found myself amused by the irony of the situation.
Here I was, getting the treatment I needed, I was just not getting it fast enough.
I don't believe I was in any real danger, but upon further reflection it could not have been very amusing to my man Hoku.
When thinking about it from his point of view, seeing me pass out and having EMTs work on me could not have been a very pleasant experience.
Then again, writing about things from my point of view is what this is all about.
I'm sure Hoku and I will reminisce about this and I'm sure he will make sure I am properly hydrated on our next ride.
I am a believer in the adage that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and I hope you understand if I approach my Sunday adventure as a mild inconvenience, a flat tire if you will, and continue on with my journey.
I hope to keep it interesting.

And in keeping with my disclosure theme, I write this two hours removed from the dialysis machine where I came off eight pounds lighter (four litres of fluid removed) than when I went on. Am I feeling a little loopy?

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