Tomorrow marks the third month since my collapse. It's hard not to think of these days as time to reflect on what's happened to me since September 2nd. Yet such reflection is also overwhelming. My memories of the early days of my illness are patchy, which may be a blessing. One foggy incident in my mind involves a test in an x-ray machine. I couldn't understand why, as the machine moved and squeezed me into and out of the proper positioning, the nurses had chosen to leave overstuffed pillows covering my body, which made such movement extremely difficult. I felt claustrophobic and suffocated. But I realize now that the overstuffed pillows did not exist; they were me, as I had swollen up to 220 pounds with fluid. In turn, a memory of the nurses struggling with my bloated body, as they transferred me to a bed comes to my consciousness. Such memories are uncomfortable, yet they pale beside others, in which I can see my blackened and dying limbs, in which I try to move them and fail, in which my doctor asks me what I think about my right hand's potential for viability. A nurse reminds me that I responded to him, "At least I learned to play the violin." I'd like to write soon of my days of hallucinations -- those memories will have to wait for another post.
Reading my brother's post about the early days of my illness also makes me think of the tremendous outpouring of support that I had at that critical time. I'm certain that reading the cards sent by friends and hearing of all the good thoughts directed toward me contributed to my recovery: my kidney function picked up and gradually returned to normal. The team of kidney doctors and the dialysis machine have not been part of my routine for several weeks.
It's my intention with this blog to work out some of my memories, experiences, difficulties, and also my progress and hopes, as I adjust to this new life. I am so grateful to be alive.