Living with chronic illness, there is definitely a range of “days” that you live with.
At its worst are the days where you’re in a coma – that’s a bad one. Or experiencing excruciating pain . . . or riding in ambulances. Getting a horrible diagnosis is up there as a bad day too.
*making a face like something stinks*
And at the other end of the spectrum. At it’s best . . . there are days when you can pretend that you’re well. Normal.
I’m lucky to be at a point in my illness where I have a few days a week where I can pretend I’m normal.
These are days where I don’t get on the dialysis machine.
Where I bank on my aggressive dialysis to give me extra freedom with my diet and fluid intake.
Where I can forget that I have a catheter in my chest . . . or a defibrillator in me.
Those days are very freeing. They recalibrate me. Give me peace. Set me up so that the next day – when I do have to go on the machine or go see a specialist or pick up medications – I can “deal” better.
Right now, although I am on the machine, I am having a real Zen moment with my health.
Talking to a friend, she mentioned that she can see the finish line for me, with regards to ending my time with dialysis.
I thanked her but I had to disagree.
For my sanity I had to stop thinking of living with dialysis like a race.
(In my mind it went from being a sprint to a marathon – depending on the circumstances.) But now, for the sake of doing the work of being well, I had to give up the race analogy completely.
Even the marathon idea. Who wants to run a marathon with no set finish line?
In order to have peace with the life I live (aggressive dialysis, fitness to maintain heart function and work/volunteering) I need to be prepared for a longer haul than a “race” analogy can convey.
(I don’t think I have an analogy to explain how I’m making sense of my life right now?)
Somehow I have to have peace with getting a kidney transplant tonight or five years from now. Maybe even never?
I can also guarantee that there will be days that I’m not prepared to make peace with that truth. Where I am impatient and too tired to think long term. I pray for strength to get through those days – hopefully they amount to moments as opposed to days.
Today, on the other-hand, with 16 minutes left before I can get off the dialysis machine. And with a Cyclefit class to look forward to an hour, later at the gym. Somehow I’m fine with things.
I do not take that peace for granted. (I can not).
But for today . . . it’s all good. And I am very thankful.