A sharp metallic clack as my knife blade locks into position, the principle of inertia used to get it there after a flick of my thumb and a quick back and forth snap of my wrist gets it moving. While being able to open my knife one handed saved my life once that is not the case now. I am merely using it to cut the third hospital ID bracelet off my wrist in the last 7 seven days.
Which to say I am back home in no imminent threat of immediate death, albeit with what I am viewing as a constricted future. My kidneys failed completely and jumping to the car chase I have started on dialysis.
Too many things have happened to try jam it all into one post so I will do a little bit each day but this spoiler is here because I didn’t want to leave anyone hanging as to where it was going to lead.
Kidney disease is classed into 6 stages. I have been lingering in stage 6 of 6 for a while. One symptom is ascites. “Ascites is the accumulation of fluid (usually serous fluid which is a pale yellow and clear fluid) in the abdominal (peritoneal) cavity.”
I can tell you that today I am 5 kg (14 lbs) lighter than I was 7 days ago, the loss all due to having shed my ascites. All that fluid builds up and has no where to go so it competes with internal cavities like the stomach, bladder, colon and lungs.
Last Saturday I was having a lot of difficulty breathing. I had to sit up because laying down caused me to pant. Getting the 10 feet (3 m) from the couch I spend a lot of time on to the bathroom was getting me as winded as a 30 meter dash marking (defending) an attacker used to get me when I was still playing soccer.
Vidya, my wife, talked to our neighbor Kelly, who is a nurse who used to work in ICU, and she advised taking me to the hospital. I agreed to go hoping that maybe they could drain out some of the fluid or get me unto some oxygen equipment.
I don’t like going to the emergency room because you end up laying around doing nothing but paperwork and tests for a tedious of time but not breathing well can get you to do things you might not otherwise have done.
Any way, blah blah blah I get diagnosed by X ray to have pneumonia.
I have previously described an earlier bout with ascites as being due to a pleural effusion. I had thought this because I received the results of a Cat Scan that said I had a pleural effusion and ascites. As a pleural effusion is fliud on the lungs I had assumed that was the problem but the ER doc advised me that the pleural effusion I have is not big enough to present clinically and that it was the ascites that was crowding the lungs. Still a fluid problem, just I had the wrong cavity.
So he prescribed some antibiotics and sent me home. Wouldn’t it have been nice if that had been the end of it?
In nature, when a member of the herd is weak , through being young, infirm or old, the wolves keep the herd strong by culling them out. When under attack, the herd will circle and protect the young and weak , but if the wolves can get the herd moving then the weak get separated.
“Jivo jivasya jivanam. One living entity is the food or living means for another living entity, by nature’s law. ”
Srila Prabhupada class Bhagavad-gita 7.1 — Sydney, February 16, 1973
Pneumonia used to be known as the old man’s friend. You would get weak and then instead of a long lingering debilitating illness it would take you relatively quickly. So pneumonia is essentially like microbial wolves. This time the herd protected me.