. . . When you read this book, you will find out about giving care from someone who gave care. I never met the
author, we are email acquaintances, but I know what he had been through when he was there for every session of the home dialysis,
and when the endstage renal disease became worse . . .
. . . What do people think we terminally ill people want before anything else? We want someone to give a damn
for us, someone who offers us his or her care, who is there while we are thinking about what Raymond Chandler has called The
Sleep well tonight and think a little about whether you, yes you, might try caregiving as a gesture of goodwill—someone
terminally ill will thank you. It’s a tough commitment, but it’s doable.
"In what must be the most tragic irony of the 20th century, people are dying because they
cannot get access to proper medical care. We have learned how to treat or to cure some of the diseases (that) have plagued
mankind for centuries, yet those treatments are not available because of their cost. Mr. President, we can begin to get our
priorities straight by undertaking a national effort to bring kidney disease treatment within reach of all those in need."
-Senator Vance Hartke (D-Ind.) on the passing of Public Law 92-601 (1973)
Medicare now provided
for the well being of people with ESRD, thus the advent of for-profit dialysis corporations.
With all of the above said, this is a story that does not begin in Luke 14:2 with Jesus and lawyers; it is not a story
about the forgotten father of hemodialysis, Georg Haas, and the first human dialysis treatment in 1928; nor is it about the
beginnings of the United States public health care system or Social Darwinism and survival of the fittest. No, it is not about
Albert Einstein, John Jacob Abel, Fritz Pregl, King Frederick William IV, or the first Medicare recipient, Harry S. Truman.
It is a story within a small period in time in which I lived with a woman who survived for many years all three modern modalities
of dialysis, and a chronic disease that is suffered by over one million people worldwide.
It is a story from the perspective of an eventual caregiver who fell in love with a person and cannot describe
her in simple terms. So he had to write a story by reason of him not finding the clear-cut words as her sister and a friend
have. It is a story about "...her wild antics, her love of gardening and animals. . ." and a woman who was "...loving, dynamic,
mouthy, interesting, honest, smart (maybe even brilliant), kind, thoughtful, demanding, persevering, inquisitive, humorous,
and many other adjectives-in all a most unforgettable woman."