Each time I make a visit to the hospital, I see myself, everywhere. In every patient sitting patiently waiting for her name to be called for her turn, in the patient on the bed, the patient in the wheelchair, the patient on the stretcher making her way to the OT, in the patient who's son was telling the doctor that post surgery his father had become more emotional, got angry faster, to which the doctor bluntly said, 'it has nothing to do with the surgery'. But I wanted to scream telling him it had everything to do with the surgery. Everything.
I go there and I think I got out of it easy, from start to finish it took us four months. I had a brother who risked losing his job in Vietnam just three days after reporting for duty, to rush back and be by my side. He didn't think twice about risking his health, he quit smoking and drinking at the drop of a hat. In his mind there was no need of looking else where for a donor; he was right there. I had it easy. But there are some families that have to wait for years for that one match, that one donor willing to give life to someone else. Patients I have seen right from the beginning, coming in with their spouses waiting for their turn to cleanse their system, and this they will do 3 times a week, 3 hours a day, live 3 hours away. The 'bright side' of this was that patients could eat their favorite fruit or dish which they couldn't otherwise, kidney dialysis patients have a strict no salt and no fruit and no to many vegetables diet on normal days.
Each time I go back, I think about how I too were in their place, I used to come back from an exhaustive three hour dialysis, thinking when it would all be over. I would sit all alone in the ICU, look at the pouring rain outside itching for my hands to get wet, to smell the mud, to feel the breeze, sit cozy at home with my family sipping coffee eating something delicious mom made, laughing - these are the things I craved for. Those were things I used to crave.
I live now in fear, each day, each moment, I fear something will go wrong and I will have to be there again, on that bed. Waiting for that match. Only existing, not living. Each time I give my blood for a test, its like my 10th boards times a thousand, and when the report finally comes, I'm sure I would pass out with with the level I have psyched myself that something will go wrong. And so, when I see no red, I don't breathe a sigh a relief, no, I go back to square one.
And so I run faster. I laugh louder. I raise my hand up faster for that chance to say yes to anything. I push myself out of my comfort zone. Fight the urge to resist. Fight all my monsters to feel the rain, to smell the mud, to feel the breeze, to be at home with my family, eating home made deliciousness, and laugh.