The Songs of Dialysis

No matter how well you manage your BigD time, you will have your ups and downs. It’s like being normal, only more so. Some days you’re great; on top of the world, marching forward with energy and attitude. On others, each step requires basic animal grunt, plodding silently onward.

I have songs for these periods.

Overall, John Denver helps me through the ups and downs with:

Some days are diamonds some days are stones

Sometimes the hard times won’t leave me alone

Sometimes a cold wind blows a chill in my bones

Some days are diamonds some days are stones.

Ah, John Denver knew a thing or two. Very satisfying singing this to yourself when you are in a miserable mood.

Why the difference? What affects you most through your dialysis week? For me, it’s the length of time between runs. If I’ve had BigD for a run of days, I’m fine (diamond days). If I have a day or more off, I’m not so hot (stone days). And it takes a run or two to get back on top.

Today is Friday. I’ve had four straight days of the BigD, with about a 20 hour break between each run. Bloodwise, I’m pretty pure. After early gym and breakfast, I arrived at work this morning on a tide of wellbeing, serotonin and Handel’s Messiah, ready to get things done.

I have two days off the BigD each week: today and Sunday. So the toxins will accumulate through the tonight until I begin my next run tomorrow (Saturday) at 7am, a 34 hour break. That’s not such a big issue, and I know I will feel pretty good within two or three hours after I get off the machine.

But my next run is not until 7am Monday, a 45 hour break. I don’t feel so bright. I sleep through the run, then shuffle off the work for a low key, no-big-decision day. America and Horse with No Name is a favourite here, travelling through the dialysis desert riding a nameless horse can be a surreal journey… but at least you’re out of the rain.

By Tuesday, I’m back in the groove, facing life’s joys and frustrations like any other dude. I’m moved to underbreath sing some of my old Navy songs – He Played His Ukulele Till The Ship Went Down, I Stuck My Finger In The Woodpecker’s Hole, or Down behind the GPO… Playful but pertinent.

Finally, I have a song I play in the car each time I head home from the BigD: Another one Bites the Dust. Another one gone, another one down.  Ahh, Queen is king if you ask me.

What BigD songs do you have?

2 thoughts on “The Songs of Dialysis

  1. ‘Climb every mountain’ comes to mind-I almost liked nuns after the mother superior sang this in ‘Sound of Music’-when I need inspiration. ‘Beds are Burning’ is stirring keeps the radical fires alive– great to blast in the car-except for the past year my radio has stopped working, but listening to headphones on mobile still works OK (radio always better of course) Any of Beethoven’s symphonies makes me weep with their sheer genius and I am always in awe of it and the struggle of his life.
    Happiness is ABBA-almost any ABBA-it lightens the load.
    ‘Winter’ of the 4 seasons has me conducting and back to study again.
    Paris (though I haven’t been yet) is always alive in me when I hear Piaf-and that haunting accordion, and that incredible voice. She pushes me to not give up my travel dreams.
    Tell you what GREG-a modern one-this year/last year- Jason Moraz-‘I’m Yours’ – lyrics start:
    ‘Open up your eyes and see like me
    Open up your mind and damn your free’…..
    Find it and listen-You’ll know it. It’s great! You feel you can do anything, achieve anything and nothing can touch you-for at least 2 minutes anyway. Celeste

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  2. If it is any consolation Greg the dialysis nurses or at least I do, often have that particular Queen song playing in my head at the end of my shift.

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