Friday, August 7, 2009

I Am Having Trouble Understanding

Yesterday, I was watching Man vs. Food on the Travel Channel. Adam Richman finally made his way to San Antonio and I'm really not sure what took him so long. While I only caught the last 15 minutes of the program, I saw more than enough. More being the key word. Adam is a sizable guy, and these locals who were cheering him on as he ate some stupidly spicy hamburger were probably doubly as big as Adam. There's probably a 99% chance one of them will be sitting next to me in clinic at the Transplant Institute next week too. Thankfully, kidney transplants have become a safe surgery with minimal risk and minimal recovery time. But I worry that because it's become a fairly common operation, people are going to take their health for granted even more than we Americans already do. There's a solution for every problem that we bring upon ourselves. We all too often are just looking for a magic pill or in this case even operation. Let me just tell you that while the surgery is easy, the weeks leading up to it are nothing but.
Last night, I was laying in bed playing out a routine that has sadly become all too familiar. I was curled up in a ball, trying my very hardest to concentrate on anything besides the overwhelming feeling of nausea that seems to sneak up on me sometime between my last dose of medication and the second episode of Sex and the City on TBS. Renal failure is no walk in the park. In fact, it's quite unpleasant.
There's times I feel like I'm losing my mind. I'll start a sentence and not remember where I'm going with it. My brain is not sharp. I can't concentrate on things. I'm dizzy standing up, sitting down, all the time. Even words off the television makes me dizzy. And books have become nearly impossible, which makes me sad. I bought a new David Sedaris book which unfortunately doesn't get any funnier when you have to read the same page three times to understand it.
With all this free time, I would have imagined myself cooking up a storm. But I can't seem to muster the appetite or the energy. Simply being, living and breathing is all I can seem to handle these days and even that requires a two hour nap at some point to recharge. I'm never hungry. I remember in the early stages of my kidney disease, when I would WebMD "renal failure" and see loss of appetite for a symptom, I'd wonder why I'd have some of the other symptoms like high blood pressure and never that awesome side effect. I mean if I'm gonna be sickly, do I have to be chubby too?!
Well now I miss food. I miss drooling over meals. I miss craving things. I miss planning where I wanted to eat. I miss snacking. I miss being hungry. I miss cooking and the satisfaction it used to bring me to make something and have it taste good. These days, I'd just assume eat air.
I've come to realize I'm a special case of medication induced renal failure and that type 2 diabetes is the number one cause of renal failure. Let me say I'd never wish what I'm going through on anyone, even my worst enemy, if I had an enemy. It's physically and emotionally exhausting. And because you have energy for nothing else, it's all consuming. Last night, I couldn't help but wonder how anyone could allow this disease to take over, knowing in so many cases it is totally preventable. I don't say this to judge anybody. We all have our bad habits. I had to break up with my boyfriend Jose Cuervo a few months ago cause I realized it was doing nothing but bad things for my health, so I know how it goes. But if you or someone you know is at risk for renal disease, and you live in this city that is ignorant to the downside of a 3 1/2 lb cinnamon bun, let me tell you that what you stand to go through in renal failure is not worth it. Man vs. Food. Man does not always win, at least in the long run.

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