Wednesday, February 11, 2015

In Praise of Filters

Today one of my best South Florida friends goes in for a procedure that will eventually lead to dialysis--unless a donor kidney comes through sooner.  I will keep her in my thoughts and prayers.  I will teach one of her classes tomorrow.  I have made her a care package, but I can't give her what she really needs:  a new kidney.

Rather than beat myself up over that inability, let me shift my focus.  Let us today praise filters of all kinds.  It's amazing that a machine exists that will do the filtering that her kidneys can no longer do.  Once failed kidneys would have meant death within weeks or months.  Now she can live a long time while she waits for a donor kidney. 

I am grateful for my own kidneys, while feeling guilty about my good fortune.  I could have treated my kidneys better.  I think of all the water I haven't drunk.  I think of the extra calories my body has had to process.  I don't think I've pumped poisons into my body.  I'm lucky to have lived most of my life during a time period of tighter pollution controls.  Thank goodness for those filters that take the poisons out of our air, water, and food.

I'm grateful for technology of all sorts.  It's amazing to me that my friend will have dialysis and  hopefully a transplant.  What a miracle that we can recycle organs.

Vaccines are also on my brain, a much smaller miracle, but an amazing development nonetheless.  I've been listening to reports of parents who don't trust vaccines.  What stories are these parents reading that make them trust microbes rather than over a century of successful vaccines?  I am grateful for my years of education that makes it easier for me to filter stories to determine their validity.  I am grateful for my decades of reading that make me understand the horrors of these diseases that vaccines vanquished.

I'm grateful for even smaller miracles too.  When I came home last night, my spouse's skin was hot to the touch.  This morning, his forehead is cool.  I'm grateful for fevers that break overnight.  I'm grateful for the filters that are part of his immune system, the filters that can separate what cells should be there and what cells can't.

Today is one of my longer days at work.  It's a day of meetings, at least one meeting.  I'm praying for all of my filters to work, as I go through my day bombarded by all kinds of messages.  Let my inner filters work, as I think about what's worth saying and the best ways of harnessing the language.

No comments: