[I originally wrote this story on September 3, 2008 on my personal Facebook account, about 3 weeks after my Peritoneal Dialysis surgery. Four months before I met my wife. At the time, my new means of dialysis did not seem like a viable way to meet someone or lay down what little game I had. Who knew Boo a.k.a, My Ease, was just around the corner? You are looking for someone to accept all of you too. Here is a little something to help when you feel a bit blue.]
Greetings to all. So it has been some time after my surgery. I did have some...unexpected complications that arose the week after my surgery (there are good days, there are bad days, then there was August 22, 2008) and I had to see my Primary Care Physician. I've been back to work since last week, I am driving and basically back to normal, or well, as normal as I get.
So I started my Peritoneal Dialysis this week. I am in class all this week, and I dialyize during the class. The PD nurse said I'm doing well, and we're ahead of schedule. She put 2 liters of fluid in Peritoneal Cavity (we all have one already built in. I know right!) today for the first time...yeah that was weird. Basically, on the PD, I drain the fluid, refill with 2 liters of more fluid, let that dwell 4-6 hours, then drain, fill, repeat.
As the fluid dwells, it absorbs all the toxins in my blood stream that get caught in my catheter and so on. Having the 2 liters in me feels like I just ate a really big meal. Imagine having a 2 liter of soda around your stomach. Yeah...that's how I'm rolling these days.
Everything healed up well, and I'm rocking the tubing. So I have 22 inches of tubing coming out of my stomach. I have it curled up and taped to my side. Can I feel it? Yes. Do I know it's there? Yes. Does it hurt? I put it to you like this.
Last friday I went out with the crew to see my favorite local band Third Stream Giants featuring Anthony Campbell at The Loft in downtown Fredericksburg, Va. I danced and I danced and I danced the night away (esp. to my favorite song of theirs, "If I Were You". That is my jam!). By the end of the night, my side with the tubing was hurting pretty bad. But my goodness, it was the release I needed and I can't wait to dance again.
I think most of it is mental. It is one thing to be self-conscious, it is another thing to know you have 22 inches of tubing coming out of your stomach. Granted, I don't walk around without a shirt on as it is, but I know it is there. And with the dialysis, I will have 2 liters of fluid around my stomach at all times.
2 liters of fluid + 22 inches of tubing= a fairly self-conscious Jermaine. But...maybe I can use it as an icebreaker: "Hey baby, I got 22 inches of tubing coming out of my stomach, would you like to dance?"
It is amazing how far medical science has come, that I can do Peritoneal Dialysis at home now and not have to do what I was doing before with Hemodialysis.
Getting stuck in my arm with 15 gauge needles, sitting in a chair for 4 hours 3 days a week, feeling sick to my stomach after EVERY treatment session for a year and five months...oh no, I don't miss it at all. I can suck up having a tube, it is infinitely better than going back to Hemodialysis. Oh...God...Hemodialysis....
I figure, if I do meet a quality female, she is going to have to accept me for all of me, tubing and all. Yeah...that's the spirit...say word on my tubing, y'all!
I actually feel really, really good after the PD, and the PD nurse said it is a better dialysis than Hemo, because I will be dialyzing 4 times a day everyday vs. 3 times a week for 4 hours. Say word!
So that is the update so far. Now, if I can keep my car from being broken into, that would be progress (it was broken into twice in the past week at my apartment complex). I think it might be time to move...
I hope you all have a great day and God bless.
Written by: Jermaine Jay Lane
Photo: This is a picture of me take an hour before my Peritoneal surgery.