Monday, May 10, 2010

Send in the Clowns

Ambitions unrealised.

So many of them, I don't care to count. And this feeling that can't be shaken that they won't ever happen now, because I'm just too tired.

It is to my deep frustration that all my childhood I was waiting to do things "when I get big", but then I grew old before I grew up. I may still be in my twenties, but I missed the middle part, the bit that lies between having hopes and gaining hindsight. That's the important phase. That's where you define yourself.

It seems like all my potential is lost. Perhaps it was stored in my kidneys and now it too has failed or is chronically impaired.

The goalposts have of course shifted considerably. Ambition to succeed has been overshadowed by a more basic desire to just survive and feel well again, but there is still regret for the life I thought I would have and the person I thought I would be.

Now I'm defined by a medical condition. Never more so than when in hospital when the semi-circle of junior doctors forms around my bed and I'm presented as an "end stage" or a "stage five".

I just wish I had known. If I had been given some hint that it was coming, maybe I would have spent less time messing around and more time making it count.

Those who know me will say 'nah, you really wouldn't have Reg'. They're probably right. But maybe I would have surprised everyone. Most of all myself.


  1. Only thing I can think of is 'this too will pass,' if it hasn't already.

  2. Being defined by your medical condition I find is part of that constant battle you spoke of, to be normal.
    Waiting for a transplant though is like a catapult, held back for a long time but eventually you get moving. I was a very immature 19yrs when I went on dialysis, I like to think it gave me great maturity, but my children
    disagree, they think me more of a Phil Dunphy character from ‘Modern Family’, nothing to do with the your medical history, just a behavioural thing they say.

    I am bringing them Sea Kayaking in a few weeks, it’s something I used to do before all this happened. When on dialysis I never thought I would be able to do it again, nothing seemed possible then.
    Many people have defined you here as an excellent writer with a wicked sense of humour,
    as for junior doctors, they’re up there with surgical gowns on my list…in fact very similar really.

  3. Radge - Thanks again. Wise words. I know, cos I said them.

    Duffer - It was a melancholy moment that caused me to write all that. It is seldom enough that I sink to such sad thoughts, thankfully.
    I look forward to this 'bounce back' element of the transplant. I have been told it's like waking up in a new body. It certainly sounds like you're making the most of your second chance.
    Enjoy the sea kayaking and thanks for your kind words...

  4. this too is passing

  5. Oh I've been there. The frighteners.

    I have to say Reg, your writing defines you, not your condition. I'm just going to catch up on your other posts now so I'm kind of commenting in reverse.

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  7. I think most of us miss our real potential for exactly that same reasons, getting old while waiting to be ready. I've been fit and healthy my whole thirty-odd years and I look back now at my twentys spent in a mire of same-old drink and boring drugs when I should have been doing what I am/was good at. I could have been a really good fighter (martial arty type) amongst other things, what was I at?
    But sure there'll be other avenues to explore, other things to be good at.
    Keep writing, more and more often, you've got a talent there.

  8. KFS - You're right when you say that those feelings are probably shared by everyone as they get older, sick or otherwise. I was always a 'why do today what I can put off til tomorrow' type. It started with homework and studying and continued on to form the basis of my approach to life in general. No point regretting that though.
    As you say, hopefully there'll be other doors to knock on in the future. Thanks for posting

  9. the post one doesn't want to like. but does. just don't think of it as getting old. it's not that