Words escaped me for the last week or so. There was just nothing more to say. Or so it felt.
It’s the least wonderful time of the year for many pursuits. Dialysis is top of my list, followed closely by wallowing in what went wrong and how I ended up here with nobody to talk to.
Christmas is a big deal to me. I missed out on too many happy holidays in my teenage years, so in adulthood I have tried to make up for the magic that was lost. I drive festive tackiness in the family home. I make people wear party hats and I over-decorate the tree and I insist on any squabbles being placed to one side for that day.
My situation last Christmas did not easily allow for the creation of happiness. Affairs were topsy-turvy and unclear and unsettled. And the ‘good room’ in the family home was cluttered with dialysis fluid to get me through the holiday, not serving its usual purpose as being the space into which Christmas visitors should be ushered.
This Christmas feels no different and will be no different. In fact it feels already as though it will be worse.
But I know I should update you on what has been happening. Last week was my usual week of usual tests, but not with the usual doctor.
This woman asked different questions, the first of which was "any symptoms"?
"Why yes, doctor, I've notice there's a machine attached to me for 8 hours every day".
She placed much more emphasis on the length of time I have been waiting for transplant and asked the nurse to fetch figures on my "matchability" (it's 93%).
All keyed up from the news during the week of a living donation by keyhole surgery at Beaumont, she asked if I wouldn’t try and look into finding a donor from my family. She enforced her argument by telling me it would really be better for my general health to get off dialysis as quickly as possible.
Little revelation for me there.
My bloods were all fine anyway, thus re-affirming my title of Most Boring Dialysis Patient in the World Ever.
Last week also brought me to the Cardiology unit for a heart echo - something required by Beaumont to ensure my name remains on the transplant list for another year.
I hate heart echoes more than any other test. Aside from the embarrassment of it, there is the sound of my heartbeat to contend with, amplified and in surround sound for those twenty minutes or so.
It may seem odd that I hate hearing my pulse. You’d think I would have developed some grá for it with sickness. Hating it seems akin to a person in danger of going blind having a severe dislike of opening their eyes in the morning and seeing the sun.
But I did look at the screen to see my heart thumping away from every angle, reassured to find that despite everything, it still beats.
Bruised surely, but not broken.