Things to do while you’re on Dialysis or otherwise indisposed

Who do you know who wouldn’t like to have 12 – 15 hours per week quiet time, sitting relaxed, doing what they like, guaranteed? Nobody I know.  This is of course another members-only benefit of BigD club membership.

Yes, there can be a down side: you have to sit quietly, sometimes with an occasional pain in the arm, sometimes you don’t feel up to much. But most of the time, especially if you are keeping your brain sharp, you will be in a reasonable state of health and mental alertness, capable of most anything anyone else can do sitting down.

Your options cover the spectrum: work, rest and play.


I work full time, so on the days I leave early for the BigD, I take my computer with me and once I’m hooked up, I continue what I was doing. This is not difficult. I use a wireless broadband modem (my unit is not blessed with wireless yet), and I use Gmail or remote desktop to my work pc. It’s just like being there, except that afternoon tea comes to me.

I am most alert for the first hour, so first I do things that need a little thought: write emails, proposals or other thinking stuff, phone customers, etc. The second hour, I’m not quite as sharp, so I catch up on reading: blogs, subscriptions, magazines, etc. Then I might have a little nap, say for 20 minutes. Then, ready for the easy life, I log onto TED,, Slow TV, a scholarly lecture, The Onion, The Chaser or some other stimulating program, to catch up on the latest.

Rest (sleeping or staring into space)

Not much to talk about here. This is probably the most common activity at most units, and it shouldn’t be. To me, sleeping is useful in small doses, like as a break between different activities (unless you’re catching up, like at 0650 some mornings, when I should be asleep anyway). Only sick people sleep or stare into space for hours on end. The rest of us do stuff.


This is where the action is. With the right tools, toys, and attitude, there is a world of things you can do. For a low-tech start, read a book (if that is too taxing, read some of the great graphic novel s (like Watchmen). Buy a cheap Netbook computer for$200 – $400 and surf the web: catch up with friends, start or join a club, listen to the radio, learn a language, play games, write your life story, read amazing blogs, talk to the world!

If that palls, watch a video (I hire boxed sets and slowly work through complete series), listen to audio books or podcasts (lots of both to download from the web), join an amateur radio club and talk and listen to the world.

In the real world, just for a change, I’ve: arranged for a massage at my chair, had a podiatrist do a chair call, got a haircut (a failure – too much hair) and of course organised for take-away food on special occasions.

Finally, there’s always that old zero-tech standby, talk to the people around you.

Time on dialysis is a gift: don’t blow it.  Do something, worthwhile or silly, every session.

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