It was at Christmas time, a few years ago.

I was a first-year resident learning in Nephrology. As each day the dialysis room was full.

There were people of all ages, older but also young people, connected to the dialysis machine. 

The hours passed there connected to life. Some of the patient were isolated from the rest and listened to music, others already knew and passed the time chatting, others were watching television, the journal…It was all loaded daily life and routine. Occasionally some good news, some patient had been transplanted the night before and had already left the dialysis, for awhile, or maybe with luck forever.

Suddenly an urgency.

A person with lung edema needed urgent dialysis and those moments that activated me. As a first-year resident I was eager to learn techniques, applied vasoactive drugs, see complicated cases… That routine bored me, when only life was passing. 

I remember that the Nephrologist knew the names of all patients, family members, and was interested in personal stuff of their lives. It was a family visit pass, closer than a strictly medical visit pass.

One day in the passing visit we spoke with a patient. There was sadness in his eyes, resignation. He had been long time ‘engaged’ to the machine. He received a kidney transplant on one occasion but had a rejection and lost the kidney. Inevitably the conversation came out the theme with some sadness, Christmas… And we were talking about life, family… Trascendental things, themes very usual in the dialysis room and there was a moment in which my soul froze up and my eyes were watering.

“My desire for life is a kidney.”

And you…What is your aim in life?

Dra. Olga Rubio