Thursday, October 14, 2010

When Death Becomes More Real

I've been a dialysis patient for more than 5 years. And in these 5 years, I have experienced the death of many friends. Most of them, people above the age of 50.

You would experience a sense of detachment when you read of people dying in accidents or natural disasters in the newspapers or even if you have visuals from a TV news report. It's like a 'things that happen to others who has nothing to do with me' kind of feeling. You feel that it is not likely to happen to you and it's none of your concern, so these deaths that you read, watch or hear about takes on an unreal kind of feeling.

But when someone you personally know like a friend who undergoes dialysis with you passes away, then it brings it much close to home. It becomes too close for comfort when you think : "Oh my God, the next one could be me!". Death becomes a lot more real.

I, personally have been warned again and again : "Watch your fluid intake, you don't want to end up like Uncle A, who passed away because he was literally drowning in his lungs because he drank too much water each day!". Dialysis patients rely on their treatments to extract the extra fluids and to filter urea, creatinine and other waste products in their system as their own kidneys are no longer capable of doing that job. Trouble comes when you 'owe' the machine some body fluids per session over time. The fluids then have nowhere to go and get accumulated in the patients lungs, till he/she literally just drowns in their own body fluids, that's how Uncle A died.

I know, I have been warned again and again, not to make the mistake Uncle A and most of the countless others have done but then again, when you're thirsty, you're just thirsty, you know. You just have to drink. But I have decided to take up the challenge to weigh less each time before my dialysis treatments.

Unfortunately, I have been accustomed to drink as much ice-cold water as I want, so it's definitely going to be a challenge but if I want to live longer and not die prematurely like the uncles and aunties that have passed away, I'd better have more self-control when it comes to drinking water. No more chugging down as much cold water as I want. It's time to discipline myself! Wish me luck!
 
Author: eowyn