Weekly Thought – July 21, 2015
Fred began dialysis July 1999. As part of his processing he wrote a piece which he called Dialysis University knowing much learning was ahead. In an unusually long weekly thought, the entire article is reproduced for you. In the intervening years many ask for these thoughts applying them to any permanent life changing event. May it bless you this week and beyond.
My life has permanently changed. I accept the change; now I must try to understand it. In order to get the most from the change I must consider myself, at 84, to have enrolled in a new school which I call DU (Dialysis University) with classes three days a week for four hours each.
There are certain unique features to DU. The teachers share the responsibility with me. They keep me alive with their medical skill and I decide what courses of learning to follow from a great variety of possibilities, the first being a comprehensive understanding of the full dialysis process. They provide the quality time and I decide what I will do with the time. It is a joint responsibility.
Another unique feature of DU is the lack of a graduation; therefore, a diploma doesn’t determine the course selection. Exit from the school is entrance into eternity.
In order to maximize the experience I have decided to adopt a philosophy of dialysis that will guide me as I progress. I have put it into writing so that I might read and review until it becomes a mental/spiritual habit and eventually a living reflex.
Constructive Adjustments To Dialysis:
1. Gratitude for the discipline: Don’t rebel against the restrictions. I am being helped rather than restricted. This discipline assures life.
2. Respect the diet: It is not what I can’t have; it’s that I don’t want what I should not have. Abstinence is positive, not negative.
3. The expenses: I’m making an investment in a quality of life, not being forced to spend money on assistance that I once didn’t require.
4. Recognize the variable value of time: Spend the most valuable hours on the most valuable activities. Have interesting, productive things to do during the hours of energy. Don’t fret about the survival mode in down times. I am only responsible for what I can do, not for what I would like to do or think that I should do. Only my capability is my responsibility.
5. Guard against negative thoughts and remarks: Guard against them either within myself or with others. I am not competing in a health race with others. Accept that sickness can be destructive to a proper attitude. Disciplined silence can be constructive.
6. Not part of divine punishment: I consider my sickness as normal, therefore in no part divine punishment. Nothing is happening to me “that is not common to man.”
7. Be careful not to lose the good of this difficult situation: Look for each bit of good and express appreciation for it. I believe that God is in my circumstances mysteriously, even though I can’t understand or definitely define each element. Faith, therefore, is a major factor in my adjustment.
8. The situation is for life: Therefore I must take the long view and not be occupied or anxious about every up and down blip on the screen. Up times will be limited just the same as the down times. It is good to remember, “This, too, shall pass.”
9. Dialysis will not define my life: Dialysis may alter my way of life but will not define it. I am not living to have dialysis; I am having dialysis in order to live. Therefore it will not dominate my thoughts nor conversation. It is a means to provide quality life.
10. Control: I will not use my dialysis to control my family or friends.
11. Experience the joy of life: In early dialysis I’ve had some experiences of the joy of life that helped me to understand Paul’s acceptance of his “thorn” or Solzhenitsyn’s gratitude for “the stinking straw.” Suffering’s chief function is to purify – purify our thinking and promote the growth of our faith.
Hail to Old DU!
My choice: Be a victim or a victor.
This week think about: 1) Which point hits home right now? 2) Who needs to read this? 3) How can I best apply Fred’s thinking to my life?
Words of Wisdom: “My life has permanently changed.”
Wisdom from the Word: “I am able to do all things through the one who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 NET Bible)