The outlook in depression is also real, though not balanced. Mine has led me to see something I think is going to feel like a big relief after I get a night's sleep. Because you think about death, and how you're just so tired of all this. Most of all I am tired of knowing tomorrow this kidney could fail. This is less likely the further I get from transplant - 11 months now - but shit, I have a torn rotator cuff and will probably never play guitar again, an inflamed SI joint, crumbling vertebrae, a worsening hip, a bad knee, an incurable toenail fungus, what might be gout on the other big toe, a tendency to blood sugar problems, can't drink ... people, getting old sucks as much as being young (except you can get good drugs legally). Add to that having my very dear friend almost snatched away by a heart attack, and no telling how she'll be after lots of rehab. You learn a major Buddhist truth - you can read The Five Remembrances on the side of this blog - anything can be taken from you in a flash.
And I thought, if this kidney fails, I'm done. I'm not going to die slowly on dialysis. I've had it.
Would I take another transplant if some miraculous kidney was offered again? Don't know. What an ordeal this year has been with 11 infections, steroid flashbacks, and all the usual crap of normal life. I am not likely to get to make that decision, so forget it. I am about to turn 69, and that's part of my depression. I lost the last five years to severely low kidney function. The five years before that were a hell of mother dying, brother dying, Tom becoming too disabled to work. Jesus, when did I have a good year? Maybe next year?
So that's where I'm at after 14 years of pretty dedicated, not to say intense, spiritual practice. Right there in reality. Which sucks sometimes. If anybody tells me to look on the bright side, I will hunt her down and kill her. But quickly - I do have some compassion and, I guess, still a sense of humor.