By Irwin Dunsky
I found out my kidneys were disintegrating about seven years ago. They were working about thirty-five percent. I stated watching some of the things I was eating and a year later they were at thirty percent. My doctor told me that soon I would have to get a new kidney if I didn’t watch it.
My kidneys kept going down, and four years ago they reached twenty percent functioning. I went to three hospitals to get on a kidney transplant list. They all told me that my heart was a risk factor that they wouldn’t take.
My kidneys finally went down to fifteen percent. Then three and a half years ago I got a fistula and went on dialysis.
The first year was rough. My fistula was difficult in the beginning. My fistula got clogged, and they had to go in and clear it out. I used to hate going to dialysis. I had a lot of pain with the needles going in. They went through my fistula three times causing swelling and so much pain. I was scared every time they approached me. The night before I was to go to the dialysis facility, I was always scared, constantly thinking about going. But go I did.
They switched the needles from seventeen to sixteen and eventually fifteen.
One day I was sitting there in my seat and I realized how fortunate I was to be on dialysis. Nurses helped me; technicians gave me medication at the right times. How lucky am I to be on dialysis—I get the gift of life!
I’ve learned how the spend my four hours in the chair comfortably. I’m grateful the technology is here, in my time, to serve me. It’s a wonderful time in my life. I’m seventy-five years old and I’m in the best shape in my life. Thank God for dialysis.