In honor of National Kidney Month, I want to take this month to share my experience with kidney disease and faith in hopes that other kidney patients will know they are not alone and that God still walks beside us.
Dread- Verb- to fear greatly; be in extreme apprehension of
Noun- Great fear, especially in the face of impending evil
There is a film I enjoy based on the Clive Barker short story called “Dread.” This R-rated film focuses on the psychological aspects of dread and our biggest fear. I enjoyed the psychological aspects of this movie and story and what dread can do to people. I also had some trouble understanding it because, though I am scared of things, there wasn’t anything I dreaded. Until last year.
Last August, I participated in my third kidney walk. The proceeds from the walk go to Alabama Kidney patients and, before I need assistance from the Alabama Kidney Foundation, I am trying to pay it forward. Most years my closest friends walk with me. But this year they couldn’t go, and I chose to walk alone because this was so important to me.
The walk was great as usual. I bopped around the track with my ipod, enjoying the lovely day and the free goodies that generous companies donated. I participated in raffles and auctions and just had a good time.
I was very intrigued by a demonstration they had planned to do later in the morning. So I made sure to stop by the booth of the at home dialysis machine. It allows you to hook yourself up to it and night and have dialysis while you sleep. Sounds like the best solution to dialysis doesn’t it?
But as I watched, I could feel dread tingling in my toes, creeping up my legs, tightening my chest. It had suddenly occurred to me that I would have one of those machines one day (if I could afford it). I would need dialysis. I would hook those tubes up like they did to the demonstration bag. My fingers trembled; my head spun; my mouth went dry. As they were about to turn on the machine I had to walk away.
It is one thing to have the idea that you will need dialysis in twenty years, but a whole other thing to see that in front of you and imagine your own body hooked to that machine. Writing about that feeling brings tears to my eyes and makes my heart race, but I have tried to get that fear under control, because the dialysis machine will be the thing that saves my life.
“Dread” refers to “facing the beast” and that through facing the beast we can overcome our fears. While it didn’t work out well for the cast of the story or book, I think facing the beast has truly opened my eyes. I won’t be blindsided by the dialysis machine in twenty years, but I know it will frighten me. But I pray to God for strength everyday. I know he is giving that to me, because I don’t have that same sinking feeling of dread that I had that day. I know when the time comes I will be even more brave. Because God will be beside me and then the beast will tremble in fear.
Kidney Facts: 75,000 patients are waiting for a kidney transplant.
More than 375,000 American need dialysis or a transplant to stay alive