Daydreaming has always been a problem. Not my fault, it's cos I'm a Piscean. We're the least likely of all starsigns to ever be rich or successful and I fully believe it's because there are entire days when staring out the window seems like a perfectly fine way to pass several hours in my book.
From a young age, it was clear to my parents that the traits they expected to have to deal with in a toddler/child/teenager were not materialising with me. Instead of the usual tantrums, constant attention-seeking and hyper-activity, what they found with me was far more disconcerting - a strange, normally silent girl, who stared at her hands in infancy and remained largely lost in her own world the rest of the time. My dad used to call me his 'beautiful dreamer'. My mother called me many other names, all of which I'm sure had love as their source, but which were rather less kind.
The stuff of my daydreams was dependent on where I was in life. I would fantasise about being the first in my class to be able to ride a bike (how cool I'd look), about winning every race at school (how cool I'd look), about walking into the disco, wearing the most amazing outfit and wowing every boy there (how cool I'd look). You see the emerging pattern here.
I still do it all the time now, except these days I daydream about when it's all over. My transplant, that is. I find myself picturing a new, radiant self. Mostly I picture my stomach, without the tube that is its current fixed accessory. I see a scar, yes, but that'll just be part of me, the little souvenir of this experience that I will carry forward and probably come to regard in the same way I do the scars on my forehead (from running into a wall on my first day at school, from running into the fireplace at home as a child and from a car accident when I was 15). I have also planned to tell strangers that the scar is from a shark attack as I believe this will do wonders for my street cred (how cool I'll look).
I daydream too about the simple routine of going to bed. Right now I sleep with a line from my machine (Brendan) attached to the tube in my tummy. I have to set up Brendan every night, do my three-minute hand washes, align the bags of dialysis fluid, connect them all up and then finally when it's time to turn in, there is another hand-wash to perform and then I attach myself to my lifeline.
Sleeping is one of my favourite things in the world (it allows for more dreaming) and I will never forgive dialysis for the way it ruins that pleasure for me, night after night. I love lying on my tummy. Brendan does not allow this. He beeps. And when he's not sounding his alarm bells, he makes a constant humming noise, followed occasionally by a hissing noise, for eight hours until he regards his work as done. Daydreams about a quiet sleep, not attached to that stupid machine are constant.
I daydream too about the ease with which I will perform every task once that new kidney is transplanted. About having a better fraction of the capability of a normal 28-year-old body again. I'd settle for 75%. That'd give me a good shot at actually being able to get up in the morning and get through a whole day of work and pleasure without needing a nap or feeling so exhausted by 6pm that I actually feel like I may throw up. I might also be able to exercise properly again without feeling like my abdomen is going to burst from the pressure of moving about with almost 2litres of dialysis fluid in there.
In essence, what I daydream about is normality. About being ordinary. I no longer dwell on how great it would be to look cool, but how fabulous it will be to have nothing to set me apart from the crowd. So that's where I'll be found for the coming days, weeks and months as I wait for that call for surgery. Looking out a window somewhere, conjuring images of what is mundane and unremarkable to all those who aren't marked out by illness.