It was ripped from the fabric of my life and morphed into an alternate time line of insufferable suffering.
Through the power of regret, lets travel back to the fall of 2004.
I was thirty-four years old, in good shape and enjoying the lifestyle afforded me by my radio career.
Translation: I was at the top of my game.
Her name was Rene and I had stopped dating other women to spend time with her exclusively. She was an enchanting little redhead who drove me literally insane. She was sarcastic and silly and could have been the poster child for quirky.
My favorite kind of woman.
"You've just got a little flu bug. It'll pass."
That was the last time I saw her smile.
When I finally tried to explain my condition and all the wonderfully annoying idiosyncrasies involved, she bolted.
The last words I spoke to her were "cough, cough" as her Road Runner smoke filled my once pleasure filled bedroom.
At the time, I was angry. Today? I believe she's one smart cookie.
Little did I know that 5 years, 9 months and one week later, she would be the first of many luxuries that would slip through the tattered fabric of my life.
We now return to Stacy Prime, already in progress.
The one aspect of Dialysis that those with stethoscopes adorning their necks fail to want to talk about is The Toll. The price your body will pay over and over and over again until you're left with a shell of an existence so abhorrent, you'll beg for Death to come.
Sure, there are certain aspects I can learn to live with. Going legally blind in one eye. Vomiting up at least one meal a day. Giving up jogging because my joints are shot. Ceasing to date because my skin is so revolting.
At some point you simply have to give in and wave the white flag of indignity and realize certain aspects of your life are lost to the grip of Dialysis.
But that isn't the worst of it.
Its that you slowly start to lose the one friend you knew had your back regardless of what Dialysis ripped from your soul.
"Well, at least you're alive," is always the mantra of the Overly Cheerful Psychologist.
Wonderfully whiny pablum. Was that cliche stuck between the seat cushions where so many hopes and dreams go to die?
Until you've endured The Wash. The completely soulless, life crushing, demonizing Wash, I don't wish to hear about "being alive."
Before this escapade into the Abyss, I was energetic, quick witted and prone to bouts of silliness the bounds of which you'll never know.
For he's gone now. Sucked out of my existence like so much toxic blood.
I liked him. I miss him. And now, because of 5 years, 9 months and one week, I can barely remember him at all.
All things being equal, that's the Precious Toll of Dialysis.