Eleven percent.



It’s been a long week.

Let’s kick off with a genuine conversation that I have had with a student this week. An A*-target student.

Student: “Sir, do horses lay eggs?”

Me: “No. Horses do not lay eggs.”

Student: “So how do they breed? It’s not like they give birth to little tiny horses.”

Me: “That’s exactly what they do.”

Student: “They’d need a uterus for that. And a vagina.”

Me: “That’s exactly what they have.”

Student: “Don’t be stupid. *People* have vaginas, not horses.”

This conversation is pretty much my week, in microcosm. Like I say, it’s been a long week.

So, yeah. Other fun stuff that is happening: my kidney function has tanked somewhat to the titular eleven percent (way to bury the lede, I know). This means lots of appointments with nurses and consultants who are all very, very keen to discuss my “options” with me, which is a hilariously euphemistic way of saying it’s transplant time, with a potential side dish of dialysis, schedules to be announced. I thought a post appropriate so that I don’t have to endlessly explain on Twitter once my tweets start becoming really cryptic and hospital-centric.

It’s one of those things I’ve known has been in the post for some time. I was told by a consultant in 2009 that I would need a transplant within 3 to 5 years and it just so happens that a majority of that time has actually passed, much in the same way as the 90’s feel like last week but are, in fact, a decade and a half distant.

I’m still not sure how I feel about the whole thing, even though it’s been looming for sometime. It’s not like I have much choice in the matter, though, so might as well get on with it. I dissemble beautifully in a hospital situation. Outwardly phlegmatic, inwardly shitting it. Again, something of a microcosm, albeit one with a more personal slant.

The pamphlets the hospital send out are a joy, though. There’s one that’s obviously been written by someone who is probably far more comfortable writing copy for selling spectrometers than they are writing about renal failure, as the resulting document is quite dark – far more than they intended, no doubt – with its surprisingly upbeat bullet-point list of what happens to the human body if you decide to refuse treatment.

So, anyway. Yeah. That’s what’s happening, or will be.  As you were, internet.

3 thoughts on “Eleven percent.”

  1. Wow, that student. Just… wow.

    I can’t think of any way to phrase “I hope your kidney transplant goes okay and involves as little hospital hellishness as possible” without sounding lame, so… there you go. Lame well-wishes for you.

    And with a nod to your tags: “Bugger” definitely seems like the most accurate way to define this whole situation.

  2. You get asked some funny, awkward and embarrassing questions over the years in teaching.

    Sounds like that student was absent on the day that was covered in class. It’s less likely to get that type of question in a farming community where pupils grow up being a lot more involved with animals.

    Sorry to hear that you will need to have dialysis and a transplant. The leaflet you read doesn’t sound very helpful – rather like leaflets for medicines which list everything real or imagined that has ever happened to anyone in the past when they took that medicine. Hopefully you won’t experience any of the side effects listed.

    Take care and all the best with your writing.


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