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  • J.L. Whitehead

My struggles of late

Every now and again, I get anxious. And then after I get over being anxious, I get angry…and that anger can last for a few hours. I hate dialysis. I hate being attached to a machine. I hate what this illness has done to me, my body, my mind, how I used to live my life and the energy that I took for granted.


Having CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) has robbed me of a few years of what I can only describe as physical freedom to do what I want, when I wanted to do it. I’ve gained weight which brought me into the obese category. And I must be tied to this chair for 4 ½ hours a pop, 3 times a week and cannot afford to miss one treatment.


I hate it.


As a result, it has wreaked havoc on my mental state. Being in that chair takes a piece of me every time I go for treatment. It robs me of my mental capability while preserving my life. And while I appreciate the fact that my life is being preserved, it’s my quality of life that has me in a quandary.


I still work full time although I do see the inclination to quit and go on Social Security Disability. However, I cannot survive on what I would receive per month should I choose to do that.


All of this affects my mental outlook.


I am seeing a therapist to work things out because I don’t know how much of this is my illness, how much of this is the aftermath of my molestation, and how much of this is just being tied to a machine…something I never wanted in the first place.


You wouldn’t know it based on what you have read but I do try to walk in gratitude. Despite my illness, I have a wonderful life. I am loved…immensely. I am grateful for so many things that it is too numerous to list in this article.


I get down in the dumps sometimes about my health, but I am so grateful that I have what I have. There are people that don’t have an 8th of what I have.


And yet I’m finding joy in my living. I have found joy in just worshiping God, something that at this juncture I life feels new to me…almost foreign. Now for any atheist that is reading this, I want to advise that I am not at all suggesting that you have a come to Jesus’ moment even though it is perfectly alright if you do.


That is not the reason why I am writing this Op-Ed.


I am writing this to express my humanity…my anger and my gratitude.


I have my good days and bad days. My bad days are when I am too tired to do the basic things around my home. But there are days when I forget that I have CKD. Those days are my blessings.


I am loved…and I am not alone.


Neither are you.


If you can wake up in the morning and plant both feet on the ground, you are blessed. If you can physically get up and make your own coffee in the morning, you are blessed.

If someone loves you…you are blessed. And if you can unequivocally return that love, you are blessed.


If you are sheltered from the elements, you are blessed. If you can go to your job, pay your bills and plan for your future…you are blessed.


I get angry from time to time about dialysis. That is simply my human side. I know that at the end of the day, everything will fall in the alignment that it should.


And that is what I hold onto.


~ J.L. Whitehead


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