Yesterday’s Trip To Boston Kevin J McCarthy Home Paintings & Sketches Crewel Sculptures Photography Writings Doll Houses News About Contact Site design © Copyright 2012-2013 Ray Wallace

Yesterday’s Trip To Boston

I had an appointment at 3 pm with my urologist at MGH in Boston as one of my final visits there with many doctors and for the many procedures and blood tests and x-rays to get closer to being accepted to the waiting list for a kidney donation. It has taken over a year. There had been a major delay which is a whole story in and of itself. It was not MGH's fault. My best friend picked me up in his fancy little sports car to head for Boston. We stopped for gas and iced coffee. We had a nice lunch at the MGH cafeteria. I had herb-roasted lamb and mashed potatoes (which I am not supposed to eat). One nurse told me recently though to try to do the Chronic Kidney Disease diet 80% on and 20% off to make it manageable. Plus I had mixed vegetables. My friend had some sort of Chinese dish and commented on how there were so many choices available there. I had emailed my therapist the day before whom I had seen at MGH twice a week for 20 years. He invited me to visit his office at 2 pm to talk yesterday about old times, etc..  We had not seen each other at all for five years since I moved back here to Leominster to provide full-time home-care for my father who was suffering from Alzheimers Disease. He passed away three years ago. My friend and I finished lunch at 1:30 pm. We went our separate ways. He is a professional photographer and wanted to walk to The Boston Common to take lots of photos. I am sure he did. I still had to have a chest x-ray before my urologist appointment at 3:00 pm but they took me right away. And I made it in time to say hello to my former therapist. I had brought him a present. I am an artist and I have hundreds of note cards which I have had printed with my artwork on them - oil paintings, pastels, acrylics, embroidery and photography. I had a bag of about 25 for him. I charge $3 each for them. He hurried me into his office and just threw the note cards to the other side of his desk. But as he did that he could not take his eyes off of me and I did not understand at first why. Although it was extremely nice to see him. He was a great guy. This went on for a little while. Finally he said "How long has it been?". I responded --- "Five years this month!".  He still could not take his eyes off of me -gazing. I finally realized that it must have been my Weight Watchers 100 pound weight loss  he was reacting to. I was 300 pounds when I last saw him and now I am down to 200. The weight loss was an effort to more easily be accepted to the kidney donation waiting list. My whole demeanor has changed drastically as well for many reasons I think. I generally have a more easy- going view on life these days. It has been  quite a while since I have had one of my public outbursts for instance. I have just started growing a beard and it is at that scruffy stage when it actually is kind of interesting looking as well. He immediately thought I must be dying my hair or "coloring" it as he called it. But I corrected him and told him it was my natural color - that being a kind of brownish-auburn. He is a big rough, tough Irish guy from Dorchester who has played rugby and still does all over the world. He reminded me about something of which I had completely forgotten.  He laughed and said he loved our first session together over twenty-five years ago right away. I had brought him a big bouquet of tiger lilies and there he was that big rough tough rugby player from Dorchester. He thought it was brilliant. We reminisced about many things. He complimented me about my survival skills during many difficult times in my life especially since I last saw him. During this period my mother passed away and my father and my brother who was living with me. He was only 57 years old. He was a vibrant, very involved person when he was younger. Depression overcame him. My former doctor and I had to end our visit because of time constraints for both of us. He escorted me down the hall to remind me of the exit giving me a huge wave and smile as he turned around and ran back to his office. I have been occasionally sending him photos of my artwork for the past few years. He asked me to continue doing that. I had ten minutes at this point to get to my urology appointment at the Kidney Transplant Department.  All three of these appointments were in different buildings. My legs were getting very sore. They are already swollen from Chronic Kidney Disease usually. Plus I broke a toe a few weeks ago ultimately being hospitalized at another hospital for three days for IV antibiotics and never allowed to get out of bed. Not easy. I have been very apprehensive about meeting with this urologist again. During our first appointment earlier this year he said that I would require a systoscopy procedure which sounded very scary to me. It is very physically invasive and is performed under general anesthesia. He had also told me that my PSA level was bad at that time and I would require a prostrate biopsy to check for cancer. He had told me as well that biopsies of both my kidneys and liver would be necessary. But yesterday I walked into his office expecting grim news and many future appointments to agonize over.  I sat down and he turned the computer monitor toward me saying "All of your blood test results have improved markedly and are normal right now". He said with much excitement that I do not need any biopsies or the systoscopy procedure. There must have been a list of about 30 or 40 different blood test results that he was claiming are normal now. My creatnine level is very high still however. I am a Stage 4 CKD patient with cysts. My last creatnine level a month ago was 4.6. That is very high. My nephrologist said that if it was not an accurate test result and my result  goes back down then I will be fine for a while. If it remains that high or gets even higher I will have to consider getting ready  for dialysis very soon. I have elected to use peritoneal dialysis at home 7 nights a week. I will take that as it comes. One has to be on dialysis to be accepted officially after all of the extensive testing for the kidney donor waiting list. But my urologist said he will not need to see me for another year. I was a little manic I think from the great news while scheduling my one year appointment. I called my friend. He was waiting in front of the parking garage for me but he had not been there too long thankfully. I stopped quickly outside the doctor's office to get a sorbet frappé made with passion fruit sorbet and orange juice for the drive home. What a way to end a very busy day.   I took my shoes off as soon as I got in the car.                                                                                                       I will look forward to seeing my friend's photos from the Boston Common. I think he said he was trying to get shots of squirrels.
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