Joseph holbrook chronicle
Personal Chronicle
This Chronicle is to note some observations surrounding a medical condition I've been dealing with for quite awhile.  I’ll refer to it here as the ‘kidney situation’ and  I'll add to the Chronicle as the situation changes.   I have no idea if anyone else will derive anything from this, but in all honesty, it’s primary purpose is for cathartic and legacy reasons anyway, i.e. it’s for me.

My Wife:  Patti  has always worked in the medical field and as of last June, we've been married for 44 wonderful years.  Her knowledge and experience gives her the capacity to slice right through all the medical terms, forms, doctors, requirements and procedures. . .She's a Star.   Her beautiful character guides her responses and attitudes.   
        But I have to admit that I’m surprised with her ability to remain so stoic under such an emotional situation as ours’.   She's as concerned as a loving wife can possibly be about my health and well being, but she handles it so well as to be nothing short of  amazing.  
        Without her love and care, I haven’t a clue as to how I would have dealt with all of this through the years.  And to use a phrase that shouldn’t lose it’s meaning from overuse:  She’s the Love of my life.  She’s my reason to be here and the reason I am  still here.  
12/29/14: At 58 years of age I was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease and informed that Hemodialysis would be required for about 12 hours per week,  until a compatible kidney was available for Transplant.*  Today is my 68th birthday and marks Ten and a-half years on dialysis.  I've been completely without kidney function for about 9 of those years.   Numbers vary, but about fifteen thousand people receive kidney transplants every year.
	 This chronicle, however, has less to do with the medical condition than with some psychological and philosophical variables I've noted along the way.  I’m alive and still reasonably sane, so they haven’t been too drastic.  I'm just a person who finds what and why people think what they do, interesting.  And as it happens,  I’m particularly close to the Primary subject here.  
        As you might suspect, perspectives on Mortality have been influenced over this period; primarily, being required to consider it more often than normal.
Up front, I should say that I don't think about my situation being as severe as what others’ have to deal with.    I’m unable to survive more than a week or so without dialysis, but there are those out there that only have that amount of time remaining, due to disease, or injury.  Not to mention those wracked with pain or drastic disability.  
        I'm not required to contend with extremely painful or toxic therapies, I feel normal most of the time.  I'm not disfigured or crippled beyond repair, all my limbs are functional.  I can see, I can hear. . . I feel fortunate and I laugh often.  
From the very beginning, my attitude towards informing my friends about the ‘situation’ was to keep it all very low-key.  It's my experience that many people who are aware of another's dilemma (particularly medical)  tend to classify that person accordingly.  And no matter how caring it may seem, I've always found it objectionable when it's used as a 'regular' subject of conversation.  
        There are people who need constant attention in order to feel cared for, but I don’t think any balanced person likes to be thought of in terms of his or her frailties or problems.   Nor are they interested in fielding continual questions about such things.   Simply put: to ‘care’ for people is positive, but to classify and ‘regularly inquire’ about their condition often can be a negative.  It’s an area of discussion that should primarily, if not exclusively, be broached by the person that’s, ‘in the situation’.  
        This year, Mom turned 90 and to this day I’ve never told her about any of this.  Some mothers worry because that's what they think they're supposed to do, since there isn’t anything else they CAN do, and mine is one of those.    That kind of information could take an unnecessary toll on her mental-well-being for a long time.  Why would I want to do that ?   I’d prefer she be as unencumbered as possible at this time of her life.
	    Over the years, everyone else of importance in my life has become aware and they’re all very accommodating about keeping it low-key.   I think they honor the perspective and realize that if anything does change. . .They'll certainly be the first to know.  And, they understand that whether I require their counsel or just their conversation, I’ll never hesitate to ask.

 Observ:   As the first observation, it’s important to note that my cadre* of friends, without a doubt, are my most precious asset.   Without friends who genuinely care, I don't have a clue how different my perspectives might be.  I could attempt to surmise I suppose, but how could I know?   
        I think that under adverse circumstances, friendships allow one's attitudes to somehow flow more peacefully, positively and objectively.  I can’t quantify the benefits, but I feel confident in saying that a person with close friends receives a form of spiritual fortification that is unavailable to those without friends and those incapable of friendship.    BENNER%20PHOTO%20ALBUM.htmlEXPECTATIONS%20OF%20THE%20SELF-CENTERED.htmlshapeimage_7_link_0shapeimage_7_link_1
* Over the years, operations, treatments, restrictions, medications and side-effects etc. are more complex than outlined here, but further details would serve no purpose as they're not really the point of the diary.  Suffice it to say that any long lasting medical circumstance brings baggage.  And though pieces of baggage can individually and cumulatively weigh on some mental ramifications, I'll only be specific about them if it seems applicable.
Prologue The ‘kidney situation’ does bring Mortality to the forefront; but it's also been a consideration during my spiritual journey.  Since death is Inevitable, it makes sense to consider it rationally.
Later: observations about:  Smiling at Needles, Blood,  Funny what you miss,  Adaptation, Time inconsistencies, Drugs. . . . .
* cadre |ˈkadrē; ˈkäd-; -ˌrā|
a small group of people specially trained for a particular purpose or profession : a small cadre of Holbrook friends.
a group of activists in a Caboodleistic organization.
a member of such a group.
ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from French, from Italian quadro, from Latin quadrus ‘square.’
This page was originally intended as an introduction to a specific chronicle, which I have since decided against doing.  Chronicling psychological and philosophical tendrils emanating at particular times for various reasons, simply turns out to be too complex an endeavor for my taste.  Future commentaries will be about Over-all conclusions.