I’m dying to live!
I’d never seen something so beautiful. The sun glazed the snow-capped mountains, the occasional cloud drifted past the summit and I couldn’t wipe this stupid enormous smile off my face. As I sat eating my lunch amongst the highest peaks in North Wales, I just didn’t know if I’d ever top this moment. Fast forward a year and I’m setting up my machine for the 300th time, I connect the lines of the machine to the lumens hanging from my chest and think back to that day on top of Bilberry Terrace so many months previous.
During dialysis I planned every aspect of my life, I rewrote the script over and over. Where I’d climb, what I’d see, who I’d meet. Then my machine would alarm, and I’d be dragged kicking and screaming back from my day dream into my reality. I pushed my first epic transplant failure to the back of my mind daily and longed for the chance to be the abnormal 22-year-old I wanted to be. I didn’t want a family, I didn’t want a 9-5 office job or a glorious house in the Cotswolds (not that there’s anything wrong with those things) I just wanted to be the Tara who I’d abandoned months before. When I wasn’t spending hours on dialysis, I tried to find new ways to occupy my time, painting, knitting, reading, jigsaws but nothing kept me satisfied for more than a few weeks. I longed for adventure, freezing days on the hills, sore skin from climbing hard and the joy that came with it.
When I got a date for my potential transplant, days felt like weeks, weeks felt like months and my patience was wearing thin with dialysis. I played every scenario over and over in my head, I had no idea how I would deal with life if the transplant didn’t go ahead. I considered stopping dialysis but I couldn’t die knowing I hadn’t given myself the chance to live. I am a great believer that the mind is an incredibly powerful tool, my dreams kept me going and without that I have no idea how I would have survived life attached to a machine.