Can Dialysis Stop You From Living?

Can dialysis stop you from living? I believe this can only be determined by the person that is on dialysis. But this can also be asked of anyone that may face a life changing situation. Why many may have their own answer to this question, I want to share with you the reader a story, the lessons, and my philosophy on this very subject.

The Story 

When you have a life changing situation sometimes you wonder if life will ever be normal and this can go even into having a relationship. I was 24 during this time and desired to have a companion, someone to share my life with, raise a family and grow old with. How could I, being a dialysis patient, obtain this far-fetched dream?

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It was at the start of September that a friend of mine was talking to me and suggested that I ask this young woman that I had known for sometime on a date. I was not too thrilled at the idea at the time. Looking back, I wonder if it was the thought of being worthy of such an opportunity, or was I just plain scared of what could happen? Being a little hesitant at first, he suggested perhaps give her some flowers and see where it would lead. Within a few days, the flowers had been purchased, and I was at her door. But alas she was not home, so laid the flowers at yonder door and left. 

Within a few days I texted to see if she had received the flowers to which her reply came back yes and thank you. After a few casual Texts back and forth, I got the courage up to ask her on a date. 

A dialysis patient and going out to eat sometimes don’t mix. Unless you know what restaurant you are going to and what they have on their menu that you can eat. Which to my delight the restaurant that I had suggested she loved as well. By the end of the night, not only was the food good, but I felt comfortable in her company, comfortable enough that a second date was planned. 

Being that I worked retail at the time and did dialysis, my schedule was a little hectic. There were only a few nights that I would have open in the week and generally after work, say around 10pm. This being the case, our dates ended up at a drive through that was open until midnight. 

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Engaged and Married

It was not long in fact it was that October that I asked her to marry me. The answer was a yes and now there was a date to set which we set it for December yes of that year and a wedding to plan all in a short 3 months. It was a flurry of activity, wedding plans, the music, food, rental hall, planning the honeymoon, scheduling dialysis in a different state yike I could not forget that. The next treatment day I asked to fill out a travel form, which I did, and that was that. Never once told my dialysis care team I was engaged or even dating, you would think I would have, but that did not come out until the wedding was about 3 weeks away. During one of my treatments, I asked the tech that was taking care of me how early I could come in. She said 5:45 which I was already coming in at that time, then she asked why I wanted to come in earlier than that. Well I am getting married that day and the sooner I run my treatment the better it would be. The next thing I know, she yells You’re GETTING MARRIED, I DIDN’T KNOW YOU WERE EVEN DATING. Well, that got the attention of the whole room of both staff and patients. Next thing I knew, everyone was asking questions about my fiancé such as, how old was she, how long did I know her and what did she look like, what did she do and so forth. By the time the questions were over, I felt like I had been put through a wringer, but the staff were like family to me and wanted to make sure that I got a good wife. They even said to come in around 4:45-5:00, and they would try to get me on earlier. 

Wedding Day

The big day was upon me and having rehearsal the night before and getting things set up. I was pretty tired the next day and I got up around 3am and finished packing and then went to dialysis. After dialysis everything was a blur, get ready, pictures, set up well you get the picture. By the time I walked down the aisle I was very tired but despite being tired I made it down the aisle and the wedding went, I was able to even sing to my bride during the ceremony. By the time the reception came, my new wife and I had talked and we both agreed that we would leave as soon as we could. So after eating, we told our parents goodbye and left. 

The Lessons

  1. Life Goes on with You or Without You, It’s Your Choice. 
  2. If you wait until every aspect of your life is perfect for that special moment. You will never experience it. 

My Philosophy

While some may argue that certain circumstances in their life holds them back. I would dare say that they are right, there is one thing that holds them back, and it is them. I could have allowed dialysis to hold me back in my life. In fact, my wife could have allowed dialysis to hold her back, because she knew that she dated and married a dialysis patient, and she did not have to. There were so many reasons for her not to do either, and they were valid reasons, but she looked, I looked beyond those reasons and moved on with life. If it was anyone that held me back, it was me. There is no question in my mind that had I allowed myself to hold me back, I would not be married, have a family. And do the things that I have the privilege and opportunity to do. So I ask, can dialysis stop you from living your life? It can, but only if you allow it to. That is totally up to you. 

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