Yes, back from the dead, you could say. I've just not been willing to share what I was going thru since Ricky died. I'm sure you understand, cuz I know you've either gone thru it, or know someone else that has had to deal with it.
And this past year has not been a picnic. I got selected to get a transplant by my doctor, but the process isn't that simple (Haha, what ever is?). I went thru the orientation, was all excited too, then I shut down. Thinking about the operation brought me to a halt. I've been thru several operations, more than ten actually, and lately I've found that if I start the "What if I die on the table" routing, I can't go thru with it. So, I had to muster up my courage AGAIN, finish my questionnaire and get my clearance letters from my dentist and cardiologist.
Oh, did I tell you that I almost died right after my 50th birthday? No shit. See, I had a fall maybe a month before October 1st, that left a bruise on the left side of my back. Didn't think much of it; just tried to be more careful. September 30th rolls around and I darn near burnt the house down with 50 candles on my birthday cake, but I wasn't feeling much like eating it. Went to bed like I usually do when my belly hurts, watched some TV and tried to get ready for football the next day (who played that sunday?).
It didn't go away. I held out until the early afternoon, then called 911 cuz this wasn't normal pain, and I didn't think I could make it driving myself.
Turns out that I had internal bleeding into the peritoneal sac that surrounds the organs like the kidneys, liver, stomach et cetera. I found this out two weeks later, after I came out of the coma I went into in the emergency room. My doctor told me that my blood pressure went very far south. I remember bits and snatches of things, but not until that thursday did I regain consciousness. I don't recall what they did to stop the bleeding, but with God's help and some time, I'm about 99% recovered.
For awhile, I thought that episode would make me ineligible for a transplant, but it didn't. My cardiologist did a catheterization to look at my valves and stuff, and he cleared me on March 1st, 2007. Now I'm in line for more blood testing and probably a visit to the GI folk. If I make it past them, and whatever else is thrown at me, I'll get on the list this year, and hopefully get a matching kidney in the next 2-5 years.
I know, it's a lot of work and contingent on my health, but what choice do I have? I've been on dialysis for nearly 7 years now. Being unable to work is only as depressing as the changes to my body. But I have to deal with it, or give up and die. Lucky for me, this process is much better than what my father went thru when his kidneys failed. He did give up, because he couldn't stand the pain he was in. The 8-hour dialysis treatments he went thru were not as effective as the 4.5 hour ones I go thru now. His treatments only removed about 40% of the waste products (creatinine et al); mine get rid of about 70%.
So I've given Enrico a proper send-off, and it's time to get back to my life. I don't know how much writing I'm gonna do. I thought I'd try giving some political opinions, but things are too damned crazy for me. I can only get upset trying to make sense of these fools. But there's other stuff I like to do, like music and Unreal Tournament (yeah, Vehicular Capture The Flag ROCKS!) and networking (computers, not people).
So, we'll see what the future holds for these bits I call mine...