Being a father with kidney failure

Manuel was born and with him a father of two. If with Guilherme everything happened very fast, I feel that with Manuel, the father/sons routine is less hard then the first time.

I remember that I started my treatments ten days before Gui was born, and if that shook my life positively, it was also a great shock to reality. Back then, the risk of heredity was still possible: Could be that my sons might need the same necessities of hemodialysis treatment that I do?

I knew that I didn’t inherit the disease. Maybe I was born with it but only had the symptoms years later. In my case, the assistant doctor played a fundamental part and was a much lighter burden for me to carry because it was not something that you can pass from father to son.

It was a rush of emotions with Guilherme. I wanted to be more present, but on the other hand, I was still adjusting to this new reality. Everything was physically and mentally more demanding.
Catarina would spend the nights alone with a newborn when all was still new for both of us.

Meanwhile, Manuel was born, and if the adaption could be a little bit more complicated, in fact, by having Guilherme and by continuing the treatments, everything becomes more simple and easy. All the treatment process is rooted in me. It’s part of my routine, part of my daily basis, and it is all very well defined. 

That makes me more available to be a dad and enjoy all the moments I lost the first time. I had had incredible moments. 
I was already going to the dialysis with a great spirit. Now, I have three enormous motives to get up early in the morning every day and want to return well always. For me, for Catarina, and the two most incredible kids I could ever had.     

Guilherme’s why questions.

If there are things that we rather do not hide from Guilherme, my necessity of hemodialysis treatments is one of those. We always told him, ‘Dad is going to the dialysis.’, even if he didn’t knew what it was.
Meantime, Guilherme grows, and the necessity to question his surroundings grows with him: ‘Why does Dad goes to the dialysis?!’.
During three years, the answer ‘Because he needs it.’ was enough. But with three years old, Guilherme’s will to understand, that sentence does not comfort him. His heart pinches, and everything becomes more complicated…
Still, we decided that truth was more meaning full than a fairy tale story. This is how we live, our routine, and we can’t deny or pretend that it doesn’t exist.
Sometimes, after the treatments, I show him the bandage, at which he calls owie, and in a simplified way, I tell him that is what allows me to return to him. He thinks that the illness is in my arm. For a child’s eye, everything it’s easier when it’s touchable and visible.
He knows I need treatments to be with him and to see him grow, even if we know that, in the end, for him, it doesn’t matter. I still prefer not to leave and spend that time at home. But he accepts and doesn’t ask questions. 
It is a challenging reality when you have to explain all of this to a small child, but with love and truth, everything becomes lighter. 
For him, there is an explanation, and for me, Guilherme is another reason that makes me come back home. 

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