Love is all we can take with us to the grave.
A bit morbid isn’t it? I must admit there’s a grain of truth in it. You can’t take money, clothing, and any earthly thing with you when you die – but what about love? Indeed you could take the love of your family and your friends with you to the other side, for it’s in your heart and soul and nothing could take that away from you, not even death itself.
Love is an essential need of a dialysis patient, like myself, and death is not such a peculiar matter anymore. Dialysis patients need all the love and support they can get, but most of us won’t say so. I’m not entirely sure why, and there are various reasons behind this facade. One of them is the desire to regain a certain level of normalcy to our lives, telling ourselves that everything’s still the same and we don’t need that extra attention. Another is that we accept our invisible disability, but don’t want to be a burden to our family and friends.
I guess it’s simply the fear of being pitied, especially by those who are dear to us. We dialysis patients don’t need pity, for we already had an ample amount of that within ourselves when we were at the early stages of the fight. What we need is love to constantly give us the inspiration to fight; care, to make us feel warm and included; and support, to help us ease the burden we’re carrying.
Some of us patients strive to be normal or regain a certain amount of normalcy in our lives. In general terms, we are indeed still normal. We go on with our everyday business, do what we have to do, and try not to let our illness be a reason for inactivity. At the end of each day, as we lie down to bed and begin to think of it as a whole, we come to realize it’s simply not the same anymore. I guess kidney failure doesn’t just deprive you of your kidney’s function; it also takes away a part of yourself.
In my case, I’ve long accepted my illness, along with its subsequent complications and consequences. I had my share of depression, pain, and suffering, but after six years of fighting, I’m still here, willing to continue the battle for as long as it takes. If you could see me today, you would never think I suffer from kidney failure or undergo dialysis treatment, but the truth is that deep inside me, all that remains is a weary traveler.
If somebody dear to you suffers from the illness, give them your love and support. There’s no appropriate time to give these so just give it anytime. Neither must you expect them to tell you that they’re in need of your attention, for this is not likely to happen. Simply reach out at any time and at any moment.
It’s hard enough for us patients to cope with our ailment, harder for us to brace ourselves each time we endure the rigors of treatment, and hardest for us to think that every time we go to dialysis, there’s always a possibility that we might not be getting back. Morbid? Yes it is, but it’s one of the uncertainties that we patients must learn to accept and live with.
We need a simple reminder that someone is always there; a simple touch of care, a simple pat on the shoulder for encouragement, a simple nod of assurance that everything would be all right, even if it were only half-true. These simple things make a great difference to a suffering mind and an aching body.
A warm embrace for a weary soul.