Usually anniversaries are times of celebration. MIlestones in your life. Perhaps it’s a job, a graduation, a marriage, a notable achievement. A day to reflect back on something important in your life.
Today is kind of a bittersweet anniversary for me. It’s my 1 year anniversary for starting dialysis. On August 10, 2015, the techs pushed those first needles into my arms. I remember that day a year ago like yesterday. I was pretty nervous of the unknown, but I did trust my doctors and nurses. I also remember walking into that building feeling like 100% crap, and walking out feeling like a whole new person. I’d forgotten what it was like to “feel normal”. It was like a light switch… my life went from dim and dark to very bright. For that I am very thankful.
It’s bittersweet because I’m very thankful for my treatments and am so happy to still be alive a year later. That’s pretty important haha. 🙂 But at the same time, reflecting back on all the work I’ve done in the past year may seem overwhelming to some.
I’ve gone through a lot in the past year. I did hemodialysis for 2 months (4 hour sessions in a clinic, 3x per week), and have been on peritoneal dialysis for the past 10 months. I prefer peritoneal because I do my own treatments myself, and there are no needle sticks or clinics to be go to. I’ve adjusted to the lifestyle pretty well. I’ve done 4 treatments per day, every day… so over 10 months that adds up to over 1200 treatments. Each treatment takes about 30 minutes… so doing the math you can see that I’ve been attached to my treatment pole for 600 hours in the past year. Seems like a big task, no?
Sounds like a lot doesn’t it? Well trust me it doesn’t seem that bad in practice. when you break that into 30 minute chunks it’s not all that bad. I’ve got a lot accomplished in those 30 minute chunks. I do Spanish lessons on my iPad, I read books, I surf the web, I talk on the phone. Time goes by pretty fast thankfully. Just like this past year has in general.
Along the way I’ve developed some very good habits. I eat healthy, I exercise regularly. I’ve learned how to live in a routine, which is total opposite of my normal lifestyle. That may sound tedious and boring but it keeps me alive. I get up, I do a treatment, I go to work. I do treatment, eat lunch, then work more. I come home, do a treatment, exercise and have dinner. Relax, do a treatment, then go to bed at a decent hour. Get up next morning, wash rinse repeat. Trust me I’ll take dedication to routines over feeling sick.
Here’s to continued positive thinking and good attitude. There’s no sense in complaining or feeling all “woe is me”… that does me no good. I have a life to live – I may not have been dealt the best hand but I can still play. I’m not folding any time soon! 1 year down, hopefully about 40 or more to go.