Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Answers to some Frequently Asked Questions

I have considered getting these put on a t-shirt, partly to save time in conversation and partly cos I'm a sucker for bullet points.

  • Yes, both my kidneys are screwed
  • On dialysis since June '09
  • Every night, for 8 hours
  • A machine by my bed pumps fluid in and out of my peritoneum cavity
  • Through a tube in my tummy
  • No. Really. You don't want to see it
  • Give the machine its proper name - Brendan
  • Why Brendan? Don't you watch Home & Away?
  • On the transplant list since August '09
  • Average wait is two years
  • It could be more, it will hopefully be less
  • I only need one good kidney - to ask for two would be greedy
  • Yes, I still go to the bathroom, though not as much as 'normal' humans
  • I rarely feel sick
  • I constantly feel exhausted
  • I would love a kidney from you, that's so generous
  • Oh, I thought that was what you meant when you asked "is there anything I can do to help?"
  • (Awkward silence)
  • Well yes, I could ask a loved one to donate a kidney
  • No, I'm not going to do that
  • Partly because I find it impossible to ask for help
  • Partly because that person would have an excuse to solicit deadly christmas presents/birthday presents/anniversary of transplant presents/annoying favours from me for the rest of my life
  • I just wait for someone to die
  • That person will have to be in and around my age and weight and be a match for my blood and tissue type
  • What do you mean you don't have a donor card?
  • Text 'Donor' to 50050. They'll send you one.


  1. One (awkward silence) t-shirt coming your way.

  2. Perhaps you should start selling the tee-shirt? I'd go around with 'Give the machine its proper name - Brendan' on my back/front rather than 'I'd let Edward bite me', or even worse, 'I love Jedward'.
    Think of what it could do for the economy, once it got rolling and the stallholders on Henry Street started to knock it off!

  3. Hi,

    Great article in today's Times. I had IgA too and was on haemo. Doing great now though! Its rough being on dailysis and gradually losing touch with your friends and your normal life.

    I hope you get transplanted really soon.

  4. Those answers are delightfully funny. Your article in the Times is a treat to read. Like the perfect lemon tart, it has just the right amount of bitter and sweet. I carry a donor card, but hope your publicity will prompt many others. Best wishes.

  5. I know a lot of this is gonna sound very very harsh but I m only trying to help. I read your article in the Times and you might feel better if you let go of the negativity a little bit.
    I know you re sick but thats the way things go. Cry me a river, oh wait you already have.... Its only gonna do two things
    1) Drive you further into depression.
    2) Push friends/family away from you.
    Even when you do get your new kidney you ll still be carrying around all that bitterness. You ll be left with no joy in your life, although to be honest I m not sure if you had much before CKD.

    I m sorry if that seemed very harsh,

  6. Hi,
    Feel miserable if you want to. Ignore any idiot who tells you to 'let go of the negativity' - that's just a load of hippy crap. Sometimes you feel miserable and it's justified, and you just want to slam the chirpy fucker in the kisser when he/she tells you 'it could be worse'. Because, yes, technically, it could. But for you it's pretty damn shitty at the moment, and they just don't understand that you can't just get up and shake that feeling off.

    Chin up. Do what you can to get through this whole thing - if this blog helps, keep it up. Be kind to yourself - do what you can to make yourself feel comfortable, if not good.
    It might be small comfort, but I think you're great.

  7. @tommo24 i know u just want to be fed as a troll, so whatever has made you such a bitter person, i wish u the very best xx

  8. Eoin - Great to hear from someone who has been there and done that and I hope that I will soon be standing where you are, looking back and dialysis and thinking "Screw you Brendan". Thanks for posting

    Brendan - Glad you enjoyed the article and that you found something "sweet" in there to offset all the talk of sickness. I try to encourage others to carry an organ donor card, but I feel a bit like an undertaker sending his business card to the neighbour who is poorly!

    Siobhan - I fully intend to ignore people who make comments that are unhelpful! There's always one, isn't there? Thanks for saying such kind things, I genuinely appreciate it

    Milo Shaper/Blank - You may be purple and wear corrective shoes, but the 'knight in shining armour' look really suits you:-)

  9. Give me a shout if anyone else needs a kick in the shins :-)