I’ve spent a lot of time in my apartment lately and when I think the walls are beginning to close in, I go outside. Today the temperature was a brisk fifty. I rushed my dialysis garbage down to the dumpsters in a black cart. When I first decided to go from Boulder city living to the outskirts of Henderson and from the bottom apartment to the third floor, a friend advised me to cart.
“You’ll need it for everything,” he said. Up until then I had been able to easily carry a box or two. Now I don’t know what I would do without one of these marvels. It has taken me three or more surgeries to bless the friend because he was right. At pushing sixty, I am not as strong as I was at 55.
At the beginning of the year, I have been pushing back disease for eighteen years. In that time, I’ve gain prednisone weight and I’ve lost it. I’m now about the weight I was during my late 30s and 40s before I dealt with disease. Dialysis gives me some energy, but I still collapse in the afternoon and sleep. If feels more like sleep than a nap. I wake up drowsy and wondering where I am. Sometimes I try to jump out of bed the way I used to do at 30. Of course, I realize my age when my feet hit the floor.
Even eating is an adventure. I need to eat protein, but I also have gout. After a couple of severe gout attacks, my doctor and I decided that I needed a medication to help with the uric acid. I can report that the pain is gone. I only feel a few aches in my feet, but that is so much better than the searing unspeakable pain.
The remarkable thing about dialysis is that I have had less illness. Really. I wouldn’t believe it. I started dialysis in May 2020 and I have had allergies once and no flu or pneumonia. Without dialysis I had severe allergies and at least one shot at flu or pneumonia every year.
Even I, who am isolated due to my immune problems, do not like to be isolated. This year I have been more isolated than ever. And I sadly see how it affects the seniors around me. They are less friendly, more unhealthy, and more frail than ever before. They aren’t dying of Covid, but of neglect. Many of them are showing heart failure. If a heart could break, it would be many of these seniors.
My dog has been there for me through this entire thing and especially through the surgeries. She cuddled against my legs and guarded my dreams. She is getting old too.
I am writing off and one. Just a little bit here and there. I’m finding that I write more and better when I first wake up.
I still have a FB page, but you can find me in other places.
FB Cynthia Bagley
I’ll be putting poems and first chapters on cynsshadowland– second chapters and so forth will be behind a paywall.