One thing I find, especially when I’m not 100% fit, is that the BigD takes on a disproportionately prominent role in my life.
Sure, it’s important; it keeps me alive and kicking. But it only takes 15 -20 hours of my time per week. What’s that in proportion to my total awake time? Assuming I’m awake for 16 hours a day (which is a bit of a fudge, because I rarely sleep eight hours per day), then I’m awake a total of 112 hours per week. 20 hours is just 18% of each week – less than a fifth.
And even when I’m on dialysis, I don’t spend all my time obsessing about it, there’s other stuff to do.
So logically, dialysis should feature be a fairly minor part of my week (and my life). The trouble of course, is that lots of things affect my quality of life because my kidneys have gone AWOL. So any minor health hiccup could be a problem. But constant worry and awareness has its downside: when do I stop?
Over the last 20 years, I have cycled through total ignorance, denial, hyper sensitivity at every tinge and tingle, resignation and dogged resistance – all very normal for the kidney impeded. During these times I could have spent considerably more than 15 percent of my waking hours thinking, worrying and lamenting the role of dialysis and faulty kidneys in my life, except for one thing: I was busy. Our young family was growing up, I had a small business to run, trips to go on, hobbies to get lost in.
All the while I didn’t realise that there was a major benefit of being busy: BigD took a back seat.
This has become obvious to me now, because our family is grown up, I’ve just moved my business to run from home (ideally three days a week), I dropped my Mandarin classes after I resumed dialysis because the times conflicted and I cut down going to the gym after my recent kidney removal surgery. Obviously, I now have a little more down time, and, big surprise, I’ve found that I have been stressing about every little BigD hiccup.
For me, the answer is simple: time to get busy again. Fortunately, I have just begun a new project at work which will fill three days quite nicely. Also I am looking around for a daytime Mandarin class that fits my new weekly schedule, I’d like to do some volunteering around something I know and, something I’ve always wanted to do: attend some of the public lectures put on by several of the universities in the city and the ‘burbs.
Most delightful of all, my eldest son and his wife had my first grandson (ok, their first son) about a year ago, and I know I would be a welcome reliever for a few hours a week.
Finally, there’s this blog, which is sort of dialysis related, but fun.
With all this, I confidently expect to relegate the BigD part of my life back to the important-but-not-dominant factor in my life.
That’s me. What can getting busy do for you?