Filtering the emotions

Sophomore shares grandfather’s experience with dialysis treatment


Submitted photo

Story by Thalia Hawkins, staff writer

As life continues for my grandfather, a build-up of emotions causes him to have a different persona after being told by the doctor that he has to begin dialysis treatment.

For my family to see one of their own go from someone who used to keep up with the fast pace of life to a person who is dragged down by a tragic experience, sometimes is a tragedy in itself.

In the beginning, he was like any typical grandfather-fun and loving and involved with family matters and celebrations. He had always been the head of the household, the one who made all the decisions and brought home the income.

He was a hardworking man who was also hard on his family, but the love was still there as he could always crack a joke. He was the man that I looked up to and enjoyed being around.

But he was also the man who suffers from diabetic habits.

At first I thought it was alright to like sugary and fatty foods–that it was normal to be a little big around the edges. However, my outlook on this changed when my grandfather’s diet started affecting his health and taking a toll on not only his physical being, but also his moral being.

He had recently got recommended to perform dialysis in order to artificially eliminate waste and unwanted water from the blood where his kidneys would usually do this function.

While being on dialysis, he is more drained of the energy he used to have. It makes him more angry and self-pitying, yet he always tries to keep a facade of contentment above all the change. His work ethic had to be minimized by going to the doctor then staying at home for the rest of the time. It was saddening that a person who had such a spark in their personality could be in such denial.

When the rest of my family got word of the news, they were shocked and felt despair and disappointment. It was hard to believe that their father and grandfather could be easily put down just like that. Even so, it didn’t keep them from supporting him in his time of need. By doing things like taking him to his dialysis treatments, mowing his lawn, cleaning his house, or even the little things like calling him, it makes my grandfather feel better and more accepting about his situation.

This change at first made me question how he really was inside. I was sad every time I saw him, I was heartbroken that he felt that he had to hide his true feelings from me and my other family. Yet this also made me realize that health can make you or break you, and by looking at my grandfather as an example and a lesson to learn, he has taught me what not to and not to do.

Despite the changes, my grandfather’s spirit is still here. He still cracks his usual witty jokes and plays with his grandchildren. He still gathers and socializes with family. And he is still the loving and accepting grandfather that I remembered and still know.