I think life may be settling in to something resembling normal. Dale has been making some progress. He felt well enough to go to church Sunday. He has exchanged the walker for a cane and has been doing some chores during the day while I am at work and the kids are at school. He folds laundry, deals with the dishwasher and either cooks supper or at least gets things started before I get home. This last weekend he even did a little yard work. He was stiff and sore but his muscles have not gotten much use for four months so that is no surprise.
We are getting into sort of a routine with dialysis three nights a week and extra meal planning on weekend and the other two week nights. Renal diets are tricky – limited phosphorus, sodium, and potassium. That takes a little research and planning if you want to be pro-active. Potatoes can remain in the diet but they have to be peeled, cut up, and soaked for at least four hours to “dialysize” them (remove some of the potassium). High protein is important and since most everything that contains protein also contains phosphorus Dale has to chew a large phosphorus blocker tablet with meals that tastes like chalk. His biggest problem foods are dairy and fruit, vegetables, and beans. He swears when he gets a kidney transplant he is going to buy an entire hoop of rat cheese and eat it himself.
Too much potassium and he gets tachy (too high heart rate), too much sodium or fluids and his feet swell and his blood pressure goes up, too much phosphorus and he itches and some gland kicks in that starts to leech calcium from his bones and and cause fun things like degenerative spinal disease and even calcification of the organs and death. On top of all that factor in the vestibulopathy from the gentamicin which damaged his inner ears and cause him to have difficulty with focus whenever his head moves and I am in awe of him – he is truly my hero. He deals with challenges every day and still has a sense of humor, dignity, and is a good husband to me and a great father to his children. How many men are able to do that and are healthy physically?
Work is settling down. A large percentage of the grades are showing up on the website for parents to login and view and most of the gradebook issues have been taken care of. Maybe by next week I will be able to concentrate on the lab and getting it inventoried (again – the original inventory was on my computer that was stolen) and upgrading what I can. At least I can catch my breath now. For the first few weeks I felt like I was running through the day with one day melting into the next and it was hard to see any progress.
I have been settling in with the MAC too. I already love the look and feel of it but I am growing to appreciate it for productivity as I get more comfortable with it. To start with it is lightweight which is great because I carry it everywhere. I get about three hours on a battery charge and I have worked at implementing GTD techniques to keep my desktop and my email organized.
I finally managed to get the church webpage updated so at least the service times reflect the changes and all the ministries are listed. I hope I will be able to be more faithful now. I am trying to make a routine of treating myself one night a week to a latte and some wireless surfing at Hastings. I go while Dale is at the dialysis center and just relax for a little while. I think of it as my mental health time.