Fresenius Medical Center #6422. This is where I have spent the last 6 months. And it's time to give a shout out to the staff here! (Please hold your applause until the end.)
Keith, Lee, Heather, Dawn, Misty, Leslie, Gerald, Maria, Tiffany, Christy, & Kate.
And the crowd goes wild!!!!!!!
I just realized I probably missed someone. Yikes. That would be bad. Since I was sure when I started this post that I wouldn't. Anyway, I didn't mention any of the office staff or doctors. But to that awesome tech that I forgot to mention, I am really sorry and what follows applies to you as well!
So, you crazy dialysis peeps, this is for you:
Just over 10 years ago my life took a drastic turn and I was introduced to a side of the medical world that I had never been exposed to before. All things Kidney. Kidney failure, kidney doctors, kidney function, kidney jokes, and dialysis. It was a whole new experience for me and I was blown away by this sub culture of people living with kidney disease. I was made aware of the importance of the kidneys and how it is so intricately related to the heart. But dialysis was the most fascinating part.
These machines are amazing! Dialysis is amazing! When you told me about the history of dialysis last fall, I remember googling it and being even more amazed that the origin of it and how it has changed over the years. As I sit here and listen to the hum of the machines, the swish of the pumps, and the alarms of the guy beside me, I am truly amazed and grateful for it's life-giving purpose.
For me, dialysis has been a positive experience. 9 years ago it was positive, and it has been that way the last 6 months. It makes me feel better. Some days are harder than others and most days I go back to my mom and dad's and crash on their couch for a few hours. But the days in between have been great. Dialysis for me has been a transitional activity until I get my transplant.
*For the rest of you non-staff readers: For many of the people that come in here, there is no hope of a transplant and the rest of their lives will be spent here 3 days a week if they choose. Their days in between aren't so good. Some are brought in on transport beds or in wheel chairs. Some are driven here by family members or friends. For those with weak bodies, dialysis is something that takes a toll on them and they don't come here as happily or as easily as I do.
Now back to you dialysis workers:
I know that you have a thankless job a lot of the time. When I walk into the big dialysis room and see those who are struggling with their fistulas, their artificial legs, their catheter ports, their diabetes, etc., I know that not all of them are able to thank you. Or they don't want to. Or they don't think about it. I mean, it WOULD be awkward to hear "hey by the way, thanks for keeping me somewhere between comfortable and miserable until I finally die."
But I want you to know that I am extremely grateful to God for you. Thank you for doing your job so effectively. Thank you for being aware of every patient's needs and for treating us like individuals. I love that I hear laughing from you from time to time and that you have ready smiles for us. Thank you for sharing your lives with me. I loved hearing about your families and the trips you would take and what you did on the weekends. Thank you for listening to my stuff, too! Thank you for noticing those 25(or whatever) times when I almost passed out on you. You all can move pretty fast! And "de nada" for keeping you on your toes.
But seriously. I appreciate you. And I can honestly say that I will miss our interaction and how normal you made me feel in a less-than-ideal situation. You all gave some something to look forward to and I'll miss you.
I know you know how important kidneys are in general, but I want you share something real quick about their importance to me. Originally the kidneys were considered the place where the soul resided - the innermost part of the body. Once I learned that, these two verses from the Bible took on a different meaning for me:
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
The "inmost being", when translated, is "kidneys." God created my kidneys -- my whole body, my soul. He is in complete control of all of me. And I can praise Hime for that. And I praise Him for the fact that YOU have cared for my inmost being.
If the Lord grants me a successful transplant, I will come back and see you soon!
P.S. I'll be the one with four kidneys.