“The material creations are manifested for sometime as perverted shadow of the spiritual kingdom like the cinematographic focus on screen and attracts people of less intelligent calibre who are attracted by false things.

“Such foolish men have no information of the real reality and take it for granted that the false material manifestation is all in all. But more intelligent men guided by the sages like Vyasa and Narada know that the eternal kingdom of God is more delightful larger and eternally full of bliss and knowledge. ”

Srimad Bhagvatam (1962 Edition) 1.1.17

An American Indian spiritual leader who attended an interfaith conference in New Vrindaban in the 1990s made the point that there is spirituality, religion, and culture and that you have to be able top tell the difference.  When asked what it was to be spiritual, he said, “Don’t take things for granted.”

I have found that to be very profound, more so than one might think at first hearing.  Do we see a sunrise as a miracle? Or do we take it for granted?   Devotees greet the sunrise with the gayatri mantra, at least in a ritualistic way not taking it for granted.

I just got out of the hospital after three days and two nights.  My kidney markers, BUN and Creatinine, in my routine blood work have been creeping up more than the normal level of being too high ever since my liver transplant so I was referred to a kidney specialist.  Plus high levels of protein are showing up in my urine.  She wanted to do a kidney biopsy to determine which of three conditions my kidneys are assaulted by is causing the most damage. The candidates  are Prograf toxicity, diabetes, and Hepatitis C.

The Prograf is essential for my survival in this body as it keeps my xenografic liver transplant from rejecting, but is well know n to be bad for kidneys in the long run. At best you get 15 years before they blow out.  I am in the 6th year on Prograf.

Diabetes, another side effect of Prograf, also is hard on kidneys  and Hep C is pretty much hard on everything.

The idea was knowing which was the worst culprit in my worsening kidney problems we might have some recourse.

I have had 3 or 4 liver biopsies over the years and never had a problem so the odds were due to catch up on me.   This biopsy I had some bleeding which lead to blood clots in my bladder and an inability to pass urine. For two days my level of discomfort varied between we need to pull over at the next exit “no discussion” and “PULL OVER NOW, I am not going to make it to the exit.”

When I would attempt to pass urine, it would start and 5 or 10 mls would come out then it would stop in a most unpleasant way, including spasms and charlie horse like symptoms.

The first catherization gave temporary relief but no fix. The second instead of simply being one tube, had three tubes.  One was for inflating a little balloon to hold it in the bladder.  Then one for letting fluid flow out and another for adding fluid in.

They then started to run some flushing  fluid in, total of ten gallons worth over about 15 hours.  When the incoming fluid would start backing up  because out flow was plugged, they would disconnect it and put a big syringe in the tube and essentially use it as a plunger like you would a plugged toilet.  Eventually that did break up the clots and they passed out.

Anyway, I am home now and able to pass urine freely, and never has so much happiness been generated for me by this simple act.  I am not taking it for granted.  Which certainly is merely a shadow of truly not taking things for granted but it suffices for me today.

BTW, the results of the biopsy didn’t help us determine any course of treatment because all thingies in the sample they look at to determine type of injury were already scarred, all of them, so nothing to be learned there.  The scarring means I am near the end of the useful life of these kidneys.

When pressed the specialist  estimated I might have as much as a year before requiring dialysis, which is a whole another thing to consider do I really want to go through that.

My plan was after the biopsy to go on a ten day Master Cleanse fast but I almost wasn’t released from the hospital because my hemoglobin had slipped to 8.9 (normal range low is 13.9) and  under 9.0 the protocol is to get a blood transfusion but I successfully lobbied to avoid that as it would have kept me in the hospital longer and I wanted to go home.  The deal was I have to go back in today and get blood work done again so that is next on my schedule. Point being not a good time to start a fast.

One reason I wanted to get out was my roommate is one of those people who live alone and for company keeps his TV on all the time.  I confess to watching TV but not constantly.  It was low grade hellish. It made it hard to sleep.

Even when I could hear him snoring and knew he was asleep I would turn the TV off but within a few minutes he would wake up and turn it back on again.  ACK!  Plus all the regular hospitalness one must endure.  I was quite eager to go home.  I wish I was as eager to go back home, back to Godhead.