My kidney is killing me right now. Something must have happened with one of the cysts. I probably have an infection, for all I know, which would explain why I’ve felt especially sick for the past week-and-a-half.

Are you gonna see the doctor?

Since no one has specifically asked me this, I’m going to answer this in the bluntest of terms.

Which doctor? My nephrologist? The dialysis doctors? And what are they going to? Maybe, at this point, they’ll check blood and urine to see if there’s the possibility of an infection.

Whether there is OR NOT, they’ll probably be inclined to suggest antibiotics. But there’s usually not an infection. So then I take antibiotics that are probably doing more harm in the long run since I don’t need them.

And my main concern is THE PAIN. What to do about that? The only medications that will actually help THIS level of pain will make it impossible for me to go to work.

Your health is more important.

No, my keeping a job is more important, because, if I have no job, I have no income, and I become a full-time dialysis patient.

But if you don’t get treatment…

Yes, I’ll probably go to my primary care NP tomorrow, because she’ll actually talk to me for more than 60 seconds. But, my point is, it’s probably NOT an infection, and, therefore, there is NOTHING anyone can do about it.

When it all comes down to it, for 20 years, I’ve had this big-ass kidney that has been hurting me to varying degrees, and there has been NOTHING that I can do about it. I’ll be on a new job, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ll be on my prom date, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ll be trying to study for exams, and there’s nothing I can do about it.

And it tends to put me in a really shitty mood.

Everyone thinks, oh, there’s David–he’s always so down and depressed. He should talk to someone. Etc.

There is not an anti-depressant on the planet that will help me. I need to be rid of this pain. I really tried to explain this to nephrologists and mental health professionals over the years. I haven’t received the help I’ve sought and, yeah, it has pissed me off that I have to deal with this.

I am not Mohammad Ali or Michael J. Fox or, quick, who had cancer and beat it? I’m a terrible spokesperson for disease, but I DON’T cope with it. I DON’T thrive in spite of it. Oh, oh, I’ve got it…

Patti LaBelle has diabetes…but it doesn’t have her!

I’ve got this watermelon-sized kidney, and IT’S GOT ME! It’s got me, and it’s had me…for maybe 6,000 or 7,000 days… (I’ve got two, and they’re both massive, but the left one has given me 90% of the pain.)

But you’re gonna have one removed, right?

I might very well have gotten it taken out by now, actually, if I hadn’t taken the new job. Or, if HR at the new job been less threatening about sticking to my start date, I’d have negotiated a later one so that I could get this nephrectomy done. I’ve got a surgeon lined up to do it. Unfortunately, I didn’t get in to see him until the end of October.

Now I am waiting to hear back from his office to learn when the earliest I could have this surgery might be. Then there is the matter of informing management at the new job. I have mentioned this, that I will need this surgery. Management is supportive, but it’s certainly not convenient. I’m just ramping up, and should be ready to be a productive member of the team by January…just in time to take a month off?

So you’re gonna wait?

No, I don’t think so…I don’t know…I’m not sure. The one thing that’s really stopping me is the thought that, for all the difference not having this left kidney might make, I might be trading it in for a worse predicament by way of increasing the criticality of dialysis.

Dialysis has been horrible lately. I can go into that again some other time. But it has not been getting any better. I have actually felt better, overall, the weeks I have skipped one day. My kidneys are still making lots of urine. I don’t need fluid removed from me when I have dialysis, unlike 95% of dialysis patients. Once I have a kidney removed, it becomes much less likely that I skip dialysis, and that means tolerating it three time a week no matter what. This is the trade-off I will be making, and, so, it is not a no-brainer to have a kidney removed.

Anyway, that’s my rant for tonight. I did not plan on making such a rant. I was recently recognized as a kidney disease blogger, and I honestly don’t think I provide any useful information to anyone. I only do this because it’s therapeutic, an alternative to having all this frustration just stew inside me.


On a personal note, to the individual who recently told me that one’s disease was not as important as the personality of the person who has the disease…you’re not a nice person. I’m just making an informed assumption. I’m probably not a nice person for throwing this in here, since it’s totally off-topic and irrelevant to everyone reading this but you…but you could’ve been so much kinder, and you chose not to be out of some sense of moral superiority. You have my permission to not read anymore of this blog.

Everyone else, this is one of those posts where I shall kindly request no comments. I will assume that someone read this from beginning to end, and that makes me feel better in itself. Thanks.