“Hello Mr. Lebherz, follow me. I am Dr. Ping Pyong.” I shook his hand, entered his office. My girlfriend came behind me which made me worry that I might have to take my clothes off with the lights on.
“I am chief of Kidney Transplant surgery. Could you loosen your pants and lie back on the examining table? Do you have diabetes?” he asked. Yes, for 25 years, for many years, my blood sugar was out of control. I still eat cookies.
He said he needed to check the pulse in my pelvis. He stuck his hand in my pants and lay it flat right next to my special parts. I told my girlfriend to close her eyes, which the doctor found amusing. I made another astute comment that I thought my pulse was in my wrist. I looked at my girlfriend and rolled my eyes as if I was enjoying this. Unfortunately my body is big, my special part is not. If he moved his hand just slightly to the right he would feel this. I broke out into a sweat. He removed his hand and with a frown said your pulse is weak. Strangely, my girlfriend said she already knew this. She was frowning too. I just can’t win these days.
Two years back I went through the trap door to our ancient basement. I wanted to check on the oil, being aware of snakes and mice that live down there. Lining the wall near the furnace was a group of large creepy bugs possibly from the dinosaur era. I turned to run when one of them jumped onto my shoulder. I had not felt fear like this since I shit my pants on Thanksgiving. I stumbled up the creaky steps, smacking at the creature and screaming. Slamming the trap door, I sprayed some Raid bug spray through the crack in the door. I hoped this would be the end of these carnivorous, hairy eight-legged spider crickets.
Last night to my horror, two of these freaky jumpers casually walked across my kitchen floor during dinner. My girlfriend made short work of them with a frying pan while I watched standing on a chair. Later that night I felt a tickle near my groin inside my sweatpants which I had picked up off the floor and put on. I dropped my pants with amazing speed. The largest spider cricket yet fell onto the floor. Once again I screamed. The thought that these man-eating creatures every bit as big as a nickel were now upstairs and in the underwear region of my pants was too much for me. Even after taking two strong sleep medications I lay eyes wide open with my flashlight, a baseball bat and garlic bulbs by my side.
Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I go into a room with 32 recliners. The people in these chairs are missing feet and legs, and some are missing their minds. Some are old and near death. You sit, a technician sticks inch long needles in a surgery enhanced vein in your arm. A machine runs all the blood in your body seven times through a man-made kidney. After four hours you can go home, dizzy, drained, and thinking fuzzy until the next morning. You have to accept this. Some people give up and stop treatments. They will die within weeks. I thought life would be unbearable. I am actually happier now than before dialysis. I enjoy the small things in life more. Sunshine, my dogs’ wagging tails, my girlfriend’s laughter, a couple strong drinks, good music…the list goes on. Life goes on, thank God.