Today is Monday, this post is from Sunday night when I did my yoga. Maybe it’s been a bit confusing because I’ve been doing yoga one day and then posting about it the next. I usually prefer to do my yoga at night time before bed, that’s when I’ve done most of my exercising for years. Most of the time exercise doesn’t energize me, it exhausts me. I like to take a hot bath or shower after and fall into bed. Feeling accomplished, weak, and tired. Today I’m writing about yesterday’s yoga. Then I will tell you about my day today.
Yesterday I felt pretty good all day, especially since I hadn’t had dialysis for a week. They started locking the door at dialysis because of COVID and you have to ring the door bell. Usually they come out within a few minutes, but I waited outside Monday morning for 15 minutes. Ringing the bell a few times. I don’t have a cell phone anymore, I refuse to pay hundreds of dollars a month for something that isn’t adding equity to my life in some way. Standing out there at 6am in the wind and rain with wet hair from my shower I began to wonder if maybe the cell phone was worth it. I quite literally leave my house twice a week for 4-5 hours a time and go to dialysis. Standing out there I didn’t know what to do. I was holding all my bags, a coffee, my keys… I got pissed off and left. Well first I went to my car, sat in it for a few minutes, then I left. By the time I had gotten home they had called my house, my grandparents told them I wasn’t home. I called them back at dialysis and they wanted me to drive back in. I got even more angry. It’s a 30 minutes each way to get there, so it wasn’t like it was that easy. I said no. I would see them on Monday. Which brings us to today.
I want to explain how dialysis works briefly. They judge how you’re doing at dialysis by a couple of things. The weight you gain between treatments and your labs. They check if you have high potassium, phosphorus, creatinine, etc. once a week with blood work. You have to play around a bit when you start dialysis to see what your “dry weight” is. Your dry weight is the weight they think you should weigh without any extra fluid. When your kidney’s fail they stop filtering out toxins, and stop taking extra fluid out of your body, and you stop making urine because your body can’t excrete it on it’s own. Fluid starts to build up in your limbs, usually starting with your feet and ankles and then your hands and fingers. You also start to get fluid build up around your lungs, making it hard to breathe. The built up toxins in your body can also be very dangerous, high potassium can stop your heart - it’s actually what they use when they execute people. So ya, it’s dangerous. And it makes you feel like shit, achey all over, tired, dizzy. However, yesterday after six days with no dialysis, I felt pretty good. I had a lot of energy, I was peeing a lot throughout the week, my feet weren’t swollen. I was surprised. I figured I would be way over in weight, but I was only 2.2k over. Which isn’t bad at all. A lot of people are that much over in two days.
The other side of dialysis is the actual treatment. It’s exhausting. They take your blood out, clean it, remove extra fluid and give the blood back. It’s a three or four hour treatment of sitting in a chair doing nothing, most of the time freezing because so much of your blood is out of your body. They take fluid off and basically dehydrate you. I had to stop the fluid removal today because my feet and hands were cramping so badly. I couldn’t open my hand for nearly ten minutes, until they gave me more fluid back. I’m not sure if I’m explaining this well. Basically what the cramping means is they're trying to take too much fluid. I get a dehydrated type headache and Charlie horses in my feet. That’s when I know it’s time to stop. After my feet start cramping, my lung starts to on the right side and then my hands do. When this happens we have to move my “dry weight” up to compensate for the cramping so we don't try to take as much fluid off next time. They want you to feel bad, just not terrible. Ok, I don’t think they want you to feel bad, it just comes with the territory.
I explained all this because I knew nothing about dialysis before I started it. I had no idea what to expect or what was coming. I like to understand what’s happening to me, and I think the world is much friendlier place when we know what others are going through and can sympathize. I’m telling you all of this because of how awful I felt after dialysis today. I always have to come home and sleep for a few hours or else I get a horrible migraine and start vomiting. Today was worse though, I didn’t get sick but I felt sick to my stomach all day. I’m tired, I hurt everywhere - as if I just did a major work out. So there will be no yoga for me today. I’m trying my hardest not to throw up just sitting here typing this. I will let it go though. Let go of the fact that I can’t do yoga today, it doesn’t happen everyday. I’m writing and journaling instead.
Now for yesterdays session. I felt pretty good yesterday I did lots of yard work outside, got some errands done, I felt proud of what I accomplished. Then I did my yoga. Yesterdays pose was Ragdoll Pose (Baddha Hasta Uttanasana). I was prompted to let everything roll of my shoulders and drip onto the floor. That’s exactly what I did. I let my body hang as long as I could, thinking about things that I’ve been carrying and trying to let them go. I swayed and let it all drip down. It felt good. My writing prompt asks how I release the weight of heavy burdens daily? I have to say that my writing is how I release most anything I’m carrying with me. I read somewhere that once you write something down it allows your brain to forget it because it knows it’s stored elsewhere. I don’t know if that’s true or not but I’ve carried it with me for many years and used it to help get over any emotional burdens I’m carrying.
There are a few more things I would like to do daily to help release these burdens even more. I would like to sweat, a hot work out in the sun, a brisk walk, a swim, something to really help me release those toxins from my body. I would like to write more, write what’s bothering me, but also what I’m thankful for. I would like to have deep belly laughs daily to feel that joy. I would like to sing and dance to get out any pent up emotions. There are so many things that make me feel better overall and I would like to do those every single day.