It has not been my finest hour. These past few weeks I have been reckless, sleeping on the job - the job being dialysis and my duty being to watch my step each and every day because the divide between my life and death is not half wide enough.
The warning signs were trying to catch my attention, but I just wandered along, like one of Enid Blyton’s more challenged characters heading for a picnic in a minefield on what promises to be a thundery day.
My weight was dropping. Somewhere between the turkey dinner of last month and the world returning to work, I shed about five pounds. Another week on, and my scales was registering the lowest weight I have been in my adult life.
There were headaches too. They could have been put down to the remnants of a cold that would not go away, but the blood pressure machine poked a gaping hole in that theory. Last weekend, it hit 160/110.
My heart rate joined in. It went up to 115. Beating almost twice every second, the same way it would if I were distressed or terrified.
Not easy to sleep when your body is gone into fight or flight mode. So exhaustion also made a late entrance.
But all of these things can be ignored if you put the mind over the matter. Which is what I did, because no matter what else was going on, I simply had to make it into the place that offered paid employment every day.
When the work is casual and your bank balance is as limp as mine, you can no longer entertain sickness. You act at being able and willing and twice as enthusiastic as the person beside you.
But then the throwing up started and my vision became blurry and I started to feel a little shaky in the shower or when I moved from sitting to standing or even when I was just walking around the office.
I was having to get up half an hour earlier than necessary for work because I would need to set aside time for vomiting. That’s just not practical.
After several phone calls, progress of all sorts was made. I broke up with my consultant. The one who delivered the news of my kidney disease almost three years ago, way over there in the city that God chose as the location to test me.
It was all “it’s not you, it’s me...our long distance relationship just isn’t working...I need someone who can be there for me”.
He took it well in fairness. Referred me on to the woman who will bring me the rest of the way, to transplant and the new life beyond. Having heard my symptoms, she agreed to clear a lunchtime to see me. The tests were done and she had three guesses about what was wrong.
I like this woman. I like her proactive approach. She made changes to medication, changes to my dialysis regime. She took me off my energy injection but I will forgive her for this in time.
The worst of the symptoms are gone. My weight is slowly creeping back up and my face is filling out again. I am back to my usual throwing up routine.
I must not take my eye off the road ahead again. It’s that kind of recklessness that sank the Titanic. And I can’t swim.