Tuesday, May 18, 2010

For the week that's in it

For every seven weeks of denial, there comes again the week of tests. My regular check-up with the doctors who decided against becoming renowned brain surgeons or specialising in human spontaneous combustion, but who chose to become experts on kidneys.

It brings its annoyances, of course. Nobody likes having a needle stuck in their arm and my veins are notorious when it comes to stage fright. There's only one diva amongst the lot of them and she sashays forth to the skin's surface each and every time to take one for the team. The semi-permanent plaster mark on my right arm is a testament to her durability and bravery.

But before the needles, there is the onus on me to collect what urine I pass over the course of 24 hours. A particularly un-ladylike process. Difficult to maintain any sense of grace and femininity when balancing over a toilet bowl, aiming at a container - which brings us to the collateral damage of sickness. After it has hit you physically, it moves on to niggle away at that ridiculous human delusion of dignity.

The blood tests and the urine gathering are the preamble to the main event which will come on friday, the appointment with one of my consultants. There are two of them who work in tag team action. Both men, both nice.

I am however entirely uninteresting as dialysis patients go. I don't have some strange underlying condition that caused my kidneys to fail, my dialysis is working fine (high five to Brendan), I am not overweight (which can make getting on the transplant list difficult) and I'm not a defiant smoker who steadfastly refuses to quit.

Thus my appointments are four-minute affairs.

We go through what medication I'm on. They ask how my energy levels are. They do the obligatory swift examination, but then as we approach wrapping things up, I delay matters by asking some pointless questions.

"Can I roller-blade backwards anymore"?

"If I hang upside down for one hour every day and try to angle all the blood in my body towards my kidneys, do you think that would stimulate function again?"

"Would you think all my other organs are in there pointing and laughing at my kidneys and calling them losers"?

I can only hope that if I annoy the consultants sufficiently, they may slip a backhander to the surgical gods in Beaumont and urge them to transplant me quickly so that they can get rid of me.

I never put a price on love, but ethics can surely be bought at the right price.


  1. "Justice has a price, the price is freedom" John Wagner wrote that, its from a Judge Dredd story called America. Cool as fuck though isn't it?
    Ethics probably has a similar price, if you're lucky its measured in something gettable like jellybeans but it's is more likely that its something painfully ethereal like honour. Its fierce difficult to haggle when you trade in unquantifiables.
    You don't blog enough, by the way. You must think we all have something better to be doing. We dont.

  2. Just realised that you posted twice in three days, sorry about the "not enough" jibe. I have fierce short-term memory issues.

  3. KFS - I welcome both the quote and your thirst for more posts. I'm finding it difficult to quantify how many is too many in one week.
    I know some other people with "fierce short term memory issues". It makes the art of conversation all the more interesting.

  4. Check out Rosie at http://spanishexposition.blogspot.com/
    She posted 364 times in 2008. Holy shit. And that wasn't too much, so there's your guide.

    fierce short term memory issues: http://www.blog.neonengine.com/?p=80
    its hellish, I tells ya.