Singing on the Kidney Trail

There is an ancient story that says two men were in prison and though they were not in the most desirable place, instead of getting down in the dumps they started to sing. Soon after they started singing their feet were loosed in the stocks and not long after that they were released from the prison. What a wonderful story this is! Imagine being in a difficult situation and all you can do is sing even if no one else hears you it may help you on your journey.

So what does have to do with my story? Ever since I was little music, was a big part of my life from singing to playing musical instruments. At age 16, I started to learn the piano and took voice lessons. These music lessons not only helped me to enjoy music more but it would be a significant part in battling dialysis and kidney disease. Many times when I am hiking or on a trip, one way I pass the time is to sing. So it was on this journey singing and playing seemed to pass the time.

When I was sitting in the chair, it was a long four hours and many times encouragement was needed. So what would I do? SING of course, quietly at first. In fact, the first few treatments I sang quietly to myself but over time the singing would get a little louder until the staff and patient could hear me. Now lets say you walked in my dialysis clinic, at the time what kind of songs would you hear. Songs of encouragement ones that can uplift the spirt and give hope to the hopeless strength to the weak. Then there was Disney, sigh, yes I am a Disney song buff. I can still hear “A Spoonful of Sugar”, filling the room or “There’s a Great Beautiful Tomorrow” pouring out in my audience of the other patients and staff.

There are two stories about me singing come to mind. The first one happened on 3rd shift which I started treatment around 4:30-5:00pm. Now in this clinic we had a morning shift and evening shift staff and sometimes they would work the opposite shift. This particular afternoon one of the morning shift was taking care of me was not used to me singing. Not long after the treatment started I started up and my first selection that I wanted serenade my audience with was the Josh Groban Song “when you say you love me” and things were going great until part where he belts it out so what did I do I belted it out too. With in a few seconds the nurse came running in the room and asking was if I was “Ok”? Was I dying? Now keep in mind, she had never heard me sing and was not expecting it and knew nothing about me except what she read in the chart, and I am sure that no one ever put in the chart “Caution He Sings”.

The next story was similar but it happed early in the morning I had switched shift that day and and went in at 5:45am to start my treatment and around 9:00 I started up and must have gotten a little too loud because the nurse came over and asked me to sing more quietly. I asked her was it a bother she said no but the other patients were trying to sleep and she did not want them disturbed. Yup with that kind of answer I had bothered her and probably gave her a headache in the process. Ooops

There were other story’s to such as some of the staff and I would play the game name that tune or request song for me to sing. Music whether it was singing in the clinic or playing the piano in the middle of the night when the mind battle was severe, music gave me strength and hope to travel on.

What about now you may ask? Yes I still sing and play and it still does the same thing for me now that it did back then, in fact, even more for I understand that music that can heal the soul. Now what are you during a challenging time? Do you get under it or do you sing over it so to speak? I know that me choosing to sing even when I did not feel like it made a big difference in my outcome and it might for you.

Music can heal a broken spirt and uplift the down trodden to heights that you never knew existed.

Anthony E Reed

I am grateful not only for music but the ones that taught me about it for they truly made a positive impact on my life. Tune in next week as I would have to learn how to get back to life and not only get back but to go farther than where I had been, and don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss any new and exciting content especially the new Kidney Trails comic series that is coming very soon.

Anthony E Reed

CEO/Master Kidney Coach/Blogger

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