Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Here I sit, piddling around. I started to say doing nothing but I'm writing in this blog so clearly I am doing more than nothing. It may not be a lot more, but certainly more. ;-) Spent a lot of time on Facebook -- basically doing nothing! Read past blog entries  -- not very productive! Now I'm about to piddle some time on this blog. One might ask :Why?" Of course, I could respond "Why not?" I truly wish I understood my motivation -- not only for this but for many of the things I do.

One would think, why not read a book. Perhaps the condition of my eyes is the reason I don't read as much as I used to. My understanding is my condition is called "diabetic retinopathy" or something like that. Oh well, this may or may not be the reason that I don't read as much as I used to; however, I will use that as an excuse not to read. Perhaps things will change as the doctors continue to work on my eyes. The eye surgeon said there will be six more injection in my eyeballs to stop the leaking. In addition, he and the ophthalmologist have decided to do cataract surgery on my right eye following the next two injections. Those injections will be in the next few weeks: September 14th for the right eye and September 28th for the left eye. We don't have a definitive date for the cataract surgery, but it looks like it will be the third week in October. So the long and the short of the rationale for not reading is that it is difficult and not enjoyable.

Well, I could clean up my study. Goodness knows that it is a mess and needs cleaning up. Do I have a valid reason for not cleaning it up? No, not really. I could use the excuse that Margaret and I are going to leave at 4 p.m. to play golf and it is 3:50 now. Clearly that isn't enough time to clean up this mess. Why I would barely get started before we would have to leave. Naw, that is not a viable idea.

If the truth be told, I just don't want to do it. It is tough when you get old ..... and lazy. WAIT, am I really lazy? I'm going to go play golf. That means I am going to do something. So if I'm going to do something I'm not being lazy -- interpreted to mean do nothing. And hey! I'm typing this blog. Right. That is doing something. :-)

Well, "tenpus fugit!" Need to finish up and edited this piece before I save it. Take care and have a good day.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Dialysis end wk 1

Determining how you count things, this was the end of week one on peritoneal dialysis. With the new cycler, everything went well. Margaret said she was woken up a couple of times earlier in the week but I didn't notice a thing. AND since I am the dialysiser rather than the dialysisee, I guess we have to go with "the sick and not shut in" version rather than the care-taker version. I must admit, Margaret is doing an excellent and wonderful job. She said the cycler alarm went off a couple of times earlier in the week but I never noticed. Slept right on through the alarms like a champ. Makes me wonder how people who are doing it on their own with no caretaker make out! Truthfully, Margaret has been a champ. She is right on top of this stuff.

One of the things the doctor said was is that I'd feel better after I've been on it for a  while. Perhaps it is too soon to tell but I don't feel as good as I was anticipating I would feel. I admit that I am not as groggy and sleepy as I was but I'm also not feeling like a young spring chicken wanting to run around and get into everything. Maybe being 75 years old has something to do with that! You think? Don't get me wrong, I am pleased with how I feel but I am not "up and at em" like I thought I would be. To be honest, I am a little apprehensive because I'm not feeling all bright and bushy tailed. I guess you just can't please some people. On the other hand and with a more serious frame of mind, I need to keep in mind that this has only been one week. I seem to sleep longer -- i.e., I sleep about 9 hours a night rather than the six to seven hours that I was sleeping. I've also noticed that I fall asleep in the easy chair after dinner before I get up and go to bed.

Talking about not feeling as tired, sat right here and fell asleep at my desk. I'll try to keep better track of my napping for my next entry.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Beautiful Wife

I am looking through the different screens trying to figure out how to edit and manage this blog. I found one entry that appeared twice -- once in a draft mode and once in an edited mode. I think I finally found a way to eliminate the draft mode. Wow! I probably need to go back to see if there are any other double entries. My intent is to make entries that make some sense but also to share (i.e., with who ever is interested) my thoughts and reflections. In addition, I hope to get some feedback to help me understand this marvelous phenomenon that we call life. I think about things that have happened in my life and wonder "What if...?" The answer to that question usually generates a series of other questions,

For example, my mother died when I was four years old (I'm 75. now). I frequently think about all of the what if(s) had she lived. One of the results(?) of her death was always a longing to belong. I don't know that I was looking for motherly love but I know I was looking for companionship and compassion -- someone to be with, care about me and someone I could care about. Consequently, when I was dumped in the 11th grade by the first girl I was pseudo dating -- we weren't really dating but that is another story --  I felt rejection. The sad part about that is neither one of us claimed or declared the other as a special friend or that we were in a special relationship. The significance of that relationship was that I never took boyfriend-girlfriend relationships seriously. After all, I played football, basketball, baseball, and was on the track team participating in field events and running the 440. The big deal to me at that time was being a good athlete and playing professional football. And given that I was named to the Associated Press' All-State football team as a junior, I was well on my way -- or so I thought! But you know, fate has a funny way of dealing with those things.

What's the point? Well, the point is that my wife and I have been married 45 years and I don't know what I would do without her. I love this girl -- mature young lady? -- more than you can imagine. Never saw it coming nor thought our relationship would be so great and fulfilling. I mean she was beautiful and pretty when we met but she has taken on the characteristics of a fine wine, Miss America, and imperial goddess! To put this in perspective, I was engaged to a girl for 4 and a half years but we broke up because she was in college and marriage didn't seem important to her. I met another girl broke the engagement, married the new young lady I met, had a daughter and shortly thereafter my wife died. My daughter was only a year old when her mother died. Whoa! Here I am,  single again. All because God took or allowed someone  to go out of my life again. This exit or departure was by death which no human being had any control over. Admittedly it wasn't voluntary  but hey my mother and my wife both left me. Tends to make one a little insecure.

Ah, but I digress! As I indicated previously, my wife and I have been married 45 years. You talk about being close, I love her more than you can imagine. I just enjoy being with her in the same space, house, room, etc. To top that off, she is beautiful, intelligent, smart, and witty.  She is such a comfort. We laugh, joke, talk, walk, play, and have fun together. I don't know what I would do without her. She takes good care of this crochtity old man and has really been a trooper since we found out I have stage V renal (kidney) disease. She seems to be on top of things and has this peritoneal dialysis machine down. She takes notes and compares things with the nurse and doctor(s) to make sure everything is going the way it should. I don't know what I would do with out her. I have been blessed!

Sunday, August 14, 2016


I've written three blog entries abut the dialysis process. I'm still learning so I didn't save the entries when they were written ..... wait, that is not correct. I did save them but I didn't publish them. At least I think that is what happened because I saw them in a listing but they were listed as drafts. I've been piddling around and now they are all saved. Oh well, se la vie!

 I like to talk but I don't want to bore anyone or appear self absorbed. Of course, I could write this stuff in Facebook but I think the entries are too long for Facebook or too large for Facebook. So in order to satisfy my craving for talking and interacting with folks, I am going to try and satisfy my desire for communicating by writing and maintaining a blog. The idea is that if they are entries in a blog, it is easier for you to either read them or dismiss them. It is up to you. Hopefully this won't seem like bagging and at the same time it will allow me an opportunity to get things off my chest. I guess I am really being self-indulgent.

Rather than focus on the dialysis process in this entry, I want to take a moment and share a frustration and/or /observation. I've been relatively healthy all my life but now old father time is creeping up on me. Here is what I mean, in 1949 when I was nine, I had an appendectomy. Ten years later in 1959 I had a compound fracture of the left ankle which ended my football career. I had big dreams -- was 2nd team AP All-State linebacker as a junior in high school. Any way, the next serious illness was in 2008 when I experienced a tenosovectomy (or something like that) in my right hand. Now, I have anemia, kidney disease, gout, arthritis, diabetes, plus cramps, aches, and pains through out my body.

I'm not complaining mind you, I am just observing. Heck, a lot of my childhood friends are no longer on this side of the grass. And some of them died several years ago -- e.g. like 20 or 30. I wonder sometimes how God decides when it is your time. I happen to strongly believe in God so life to me is not a chance or hit and miss matter. I believe we -- each and every one of us -- are born with a specific purpose in mind. That purpose may be manifested over several acts and events or it my be the life we live, or it may be a series of events and things. I don't have the answer but I believe our individual lives are more than happen stance. Obviously, my beliefs are fixed and shaped by my experiences. I pray every night and often through the day for guidance, patience and understanding. I think if more people believed in Jesus Christ and prayed to Him, we would be in a kinder, gentler, and safer environment. On the other hand, I guess you would have to have been introduced to Jesus in order to believe Him or in Him.

Good News

DaVita delivered a new Cycler on Friday, August 12th. It has worked like a charm. Sure hope this post doesn't jinx it. To my knowledge, I've slept through the night with no problems. Margaret said it went off both nights but I didn't hear it. The rest has been very comfortable as well. When I woke on Saturday morning, it was finishing up the drain on the fifth cycle. There was a little tugging but not very painful. This morning, I was awake when it finished the fifth drain and I didn't feel a thing. I sure hope things continue as they are.

Things are going well. Feel a little groggy but no pain. That is a blessing.

Change of subject -- I need to get better at working this blog. Used to know a lot more then I do now. It is probably because I haven't fooled with it much over the last couple of years. It is a little difficult to find the instructions. The word skills are not difficult at all -- I mean we are basically talking about Microsoft Word. The saving and publishing of the blog is the issue. I think I've lost a couple of entries but can't be sure. I basically create these blog entries by trial and error. If you have any suggestions on how to become more adept with this software, please feel free to share.

I like blogging because I can get things off my mind and I don't feel like I am particularly bothering anyone. If you want to read it, you can. If you don't want to read it, you just skip by it. I like to talk and share things with people. It seems like a blog is a great way to do that.

Well, I've basically shared what I had on my mind for today. I will sign off for today and go explore the blogisphere to see what I can. Peace and Love!  Bob  (written 8/14/2016)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Day After

Well, last night was the first full night with the cycler. By my account, it was roughly eight and a half hours. Four cycles I believe. I feel okay but was hoping I would have a little more pep to my step. Perhaps it will get better with time. I am not in pain and that is a good thing. Just feel kind of draggy (groggy). Don't have the old "get up and go!" I am relatively sure that things will get better with time. I think part of it is that my body has to get used to this process.

Hey, it could be a lot worse! One of my fears was alleviated when I was able to get up in the middle of the night and go to the bathroom -- I'll spare you the details of that adventure -- without having to unhook from the cycler. Did have to unhook from the c-pap machine but that was no major problem. And quiet as its kept, I was able to hook the c-pap back up and fall off to sleep relatively quickly. The essence of this side note is that everything came out okay -- that is probably more information then you wanted to know.  ;-)

I just happened to look up at the calendar on the wall in my study and notice that it is turned to the month of March. Obviously I don't use that calendar very often. In fact, now that I am thinking about it, I wonder where my desk calendar is. Don't see the desk calendar but I changed the wall calendar to August. I think what this is telling me is that I really need to clean up my study. Oops, moved something and there was my desk calendar. It was two weeks behind but "HEY!" now I'm current.

I'm schedule to have lunch today with a friend from church. He is a good guy! I enjoy our conversations. We mostly talk about family and how we got to where we are and how family got to where they are. He is a Duke graduate and did some graduate work at the University of Chicago. He had to leave to take over the family business when his dad died. He did a great job and turned the business over to his son a couple of years ago.

He and his wife were in a Disciple Bible Study I conducted for the church over the past four years. I don't think we will continue this year. My eye sight is not what it used to be and my stamina leaves a little bit to be desired. I haven't completely ruled it out but I think there are times when we have to recognize our limits. As I look around at how junky my study is, the time might be better spent getting things organized and getting rid of things which I doubt seriously that I'll be using again. For example, I have a ton of books -- both academic, professional, and religious -- which I doubt seriously that I'll be using again. My children have not indicated an interest in them. Perhaps I should give them away to an organization who could use them or see that they get passed on to an audience who would appreciate them. Although I doubt that we will be down sizing any time soon, getting rid of things which we don't use any more may be a prudent thing to do.

AAahhh, tempest fugit! Gotta go meet my friend for lunch. Take care and have a good day!

Home Dialysis -- One Week

Well, it is a little over a week since I've been using  the catheter on a daily basis. Like any new thing, there is some experimenting, adjustments, and getting used to how this whole thing is suppose to work. There have been highs and lows -- and just getting used to living with this thing. In a nut shell, I am glad I did it. I truly do believe that I feel better but at the same time, I am beginning to think and wonder what the future holds in store. I've always been an active person but for the past few months, I haven't had much energy. Since going on dialysis, I feel better. Perhaps I will feel even better in the future and be able to do more things..

I am waiting for a Baxter delivery of supplies. They sent a notice that they would be here between 1:30 and 4:30. Well it is 4:05 and they haven't shown up yet. I guess I'll have to give them a call if they don't show by 4:30. The supplies we have are just enough for one more night and they aren't exactly what we are suppose to have. Obviously I could sit here and worry about the delivery OR I can just go on with typing this entry and making do with what we have.

The Baxter delivery just arrived. The driver was a very nice gentleman. Very professional. He is from Wisconsin. We talked as he worked. He didn't lose any time in getting the job done. He unloaded and transported at least 45 boxes of supplies to an upstairs bedroom across from the master bedroom in about ten minutes. He had a hand truck that climbed the steps. It was interesting! He was a very interesting and nice fellow. He is going to the northwest corner of the state to make one more delivery today and then spend the night. He will finish his deliveries tomorrow and head back to Wisconsin. He was very friendly.

I have to say, I've been impressed with the folks I've met and worked with during this process. When I was initially diagnosed with kidney disease (renal failure?) my primary care physician referred me to a kidney doctor who was very unimpressive. I gt the impression that I was just another revenue source to him and I came away with the attitude that I'd rather die than go through this disease and treatment with him. Finally, I had to tell my primary care physician that it just wasn't working out and I didn't want to see him again. During this period, a very close friend of mind had to undergo a liver transplant. He was very pleased with his doctors and suggested that I see them. I did and was very adamant on my first visit that I was not going to do dialysis. She didn't try to talk me into it but she did suggest that I at least look into the options.   Over the course of the next couple of years, she worked with me and monitored my condition on a regular basis. As my condition deteriorated, my doctor kept me informed of how things were going and she finally said that either we needed to do dialysis or call in hospice. Well, as  fate would have it, my wife and I visited our grand children in the DC area and I came to the conclusion that we might want t take a closer look at peritoneal dialysis/ The treatment center that my doctor uses is DaVita. Their staff is very caring and they follow-up on our concerns and treatment in a very timely and professional manner. In fact, the head nurse who oversees my training and acclimation just called to make sure the Baxter delivery was made and included everything we needed. She is a sweetheart.

I don't know what the future has in store for me. For that matter, none of us really knows what the future is going to be. I'm surprised that the whole dialysis thing is going as well as it is. When I was the Executive Director of the Council On Aging, I would have to transport dialysis patients from time to time. They looked so haggard and worn out after dialysis, I swore to my self that I wouldn't do that. Well here I am and I'm doing dialysis. Granted it is a different type of dialysis but I am doing it. And granted, we are just starting on this journey! God truly does work in mysterious ways.

Thank you God for one more day on this side of the grass.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A New Day

About two or three months ago, my kidney doctor said she thought it was time to have a catheter inserted for dialysis. We did that and it worked okay for a couple of weeks and then it got clogged. A couple of weeks ago they went back in and unclogged the blockage. Since then, DaVita (i.e., the Dialysis Center I use) has started training my wife and I on how to do peritoneal dialysis. I imagine that within a week or so the training will be over and we will be doing dialysis at home on a daily basis. Thus far, things have been going well and I haven't been experiencing any pain.

We have made some changes to our bed room in order to accommodate the machine that holds the dialysis solution and more or less automatically administers it to me while I sleep. Right now, the dialysis solution is given to me over a 2 to 3 hour period every other day at the DaVita Treatment Center. As I understand it, once everything is in place and the training is completed, I will hook up to the machine every night at home and be on dialysis for about eight to ten hours. Since I wake up at least once during the night to go to the bathroom, I assume the same sleep pattern will be evident when I am on the machine overnight. I guess they will explain how that is suppose to work. It is my understanding that you can disconnect from the machine but that hasn't been explained to me yet.

As I think about this situation, it isn't as bad as I anticipated. When I was the Executive Director for the Elkhart County Council on Aging, I used to transports patients to and from the dialysis center over in Elkhart. Man, those folks did not look good when they were going in for treatment and they looked even worse when they finished. That is why I was pretty much convinced that I wasn't going to do dialysis. However, when Margaret and I visited the grandchildren in March, I had a change of heart and said I'll give it a try. Right now, I am glad I decided to give it a try.

They (the doctors) tell me that my kidney disease (failure) is basically due to the diabetes. My dad had diabetes but he died in his mid fifties. I guess that was so early, the kidneys didn't have a chance to go bad. My mom died much earlier (1945) and my understanding that her death was due to incompatible blood types during an operation. No one has every really explained the situation to me and to be honest, I never really asked for an explanation. My attitude has always been that I'll be told what I need to now when I need to know it.

I am going to try and blog more because I need an outlet to express my thoughts of what is going on. I would put it on Facebook but I think people might misunderstand. I am not looking for compassion or sympathy, I just need to talk and get it out. I don't really want to bother anyone with what is on my mind, I just want to get it out. Perhaps if I put things in this blog, I'll feel better because I won't be complaining and people won't have to listen or read my thoughts unless they want to. I've always enjoyed the company of others and hearing about their experiences.