Nineteen people die every day waiting for a kidney. Nineteen people! One person seems like it is too much but 19. Every day I wake up I beat that statistic. I am one of 20 million with kidney disease. The truth is I am waiting for a kidney. I am not one of the 19 today.
I am living with a terminal illness. My kidneys will never get “better”. Dialysis and transplant are the only treatments. I am acting as if my new kidney is on the way. I am getting my body ready to receive it. I am praying that I will be put on the transplant list. I have one more medical test and evaluation before the final assessment if I am a candidate for a kidney transplant at Mount Sinai. I am hopeful. I pray for the 19 that will not open their eyes today, and I pray for those that do. I pray for those of us who are on dialysis and our care partners too.
I have been working on a group of pieces called meditative windows. As I sit for 3 and a half hours on the dialysis machine your mind wanders to all sorts of places. I have tried to paint some of these destinations. It is with gratitude that I announce that my wife has become my care partner. We will be doing at home dialysis. I will be on the machine 5 days a week instead of three. The process is said to be gentle for your body. This is the second year on dialysis. I am bringing this series to a close. I thought about painting it for a long time and than it took a year to complete. The last window pane has text and reads love, believe, wisdom and truth. Truth is probably the most significant. Yes, 19 people die waiting for a kidney but there are others who will die in a day as well. The truth is all we have is today and at some point we will be one of the 19. We all have a terminal diagnosis and it is life. It begins the moment we are born. I choose to LIVE until I die kidney transplant or not.