Tuesday, December 20, 2011


     During the time my Dad was ill, Wayne’s kidney function dropped to only five percent.  His condition made it necessary for him to begin dialysis.  According to his doctor he had a choice to make; to be on machine dialysis, called hemodialysis, or to use Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD).  The CAPD procedure can be done at home every four to six hours, whereas the hemodialysis is done three times a week at a clinic and takes four hours for the process, CAPD allows the patient to lead a normal life and not to be tied down, so Wayne chose that one.  Since he loved to play golf and often attended golf tournaments with is friends, this was a perfect dialysis for him.
     We both took lessons for two weeks learning the procedure, then they surgically implanted a tube in his peritoneal cavity to accept the solution that would cleanse his blood and organs of the impurities and remove the fluid build up from his failing kidneys.
     He also had the option of putting his name on the waiting list of people who needed a donor kidney, but his age and physical condition were against him, or so the doctor said.  He was’t ready for that decision since he believed he could live a long time on the dialysis.  His doctor assure us that he had patients who had successfully been on CAPD for twenty years.  Since Wayne was sixty-five, he decided he could live out his life with CAPD.  Looking back I can see that we were rather naive to think he wouldn’t have any problems along the way.
     Not long after Wayne began dialysis and my father passed away, my mother became afraid to live alone.  This is quite a common reaction for a widow and I thought that eventually she would get used to the idea and settle into a normal routine.  How wrong I was.  She wanted me to sleep over at her house for the first month that she was alone.  I urged her instead to come to our house, but she refused, even though we lived right next door.  I think I agreed to stay with her hoping she wouldn’t need me too long.  It became a problem for me, because I had to get up early in the morning, go home, shower, dress, feed Wayne and get to work by 7:30 a.m.  I don’t know why I gave in to her wishes, because then it was hard to stop..  When I began tapering off on the nights I stayed at her house, I felt guilty when she started crying.  She finally suggested that we add on another room for her, but she didn’t think that would be enough.  She wanted at least three rooms, and that would have cost an arm and leg.  I don’t know why I felt so obligated; she had a nice house and so did I...why couldn’t she leave it at that?  i tried to convince her that she should take in another woman to share her home.  But she had her mind set to live with us.
     My mother and my husband got together and started to look for a new house, one that had plenty of room for all of us.  I finally gave up resisting the move and started looking for a house with five bedrooms all on one floor, with no stairs, because of Mother’s heart condition.
     The realtor looked for this type of house, but there was nothing available.  I was happy about that.  I thought if I could hold them off for a while, maybe Mother would forget about the whole thing.
     She didn’t give up..  We looked and looked until Wayne finally found a house.  It was every that we didn’t want.  Everywhere stairs, stairs and more stairs.  The one redeeming factor about this house was that mother would have a separate apartment downstairs.  It had a large family room with a wet bar that could be transformed into a kitchenette with a refrigerator, microwave and sink.  There was also a bedroom, a bathroom with a walk in shower, and laundry room on that floor.  Even though it was everything we said we didn’t want, Mother and Wayne loved  it.  We sold both our houses and bought it.  It was a nice house, just not what we started out to buy.  I knew that it would cause problems in the future, but I didn’t know how many.  I soon learned.

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