Well, it was everything I expected...the Big Apple Film Festival, that is. . The caliber of the films screened was very high and I was proud to have my film participate. There was a solid turnout for our screening, and lots of uplifting comments during the Q&A session that followed.
A few good friends came all the way from L.A. to be there, and I was jazzed to make new ones. Life On The Bridge was on a double-bill, paired with a feature-length documentary, titled Angel of Nanjing, filmed in China by two New Yorkers, Jordan Horowitz and Frank Ferendo. Interestingly, this film was about a man who voluntarily patrols an actual bridge over the Yangtze River, saving people from committing suicide. Life on two bridges, right? Brilliant programming by the BAFF folks.
For a 4 !/2 day trip, I needed 2 dialysis appointments. That's what it takes to travel with dialysis. It does no good at all to consider that as down time. I think of it as a time that is not only absolutely necessary to keep myself well but an opportunity to meet new people - the patients, the staff and the administration of the clinic I'm visiting. It's a great way to get to know the locals and to find out where their favorite restaurants are. Especially if I find someone who I jibe with, food-wise. And speaking of jiving, I love to talk to people in clinics to get a sense of where they're at, in terms of how thry approach doing their dialysis treatments or working with people. One of the nurses I spoke with, Anuja, I connected with immediately. It was so clear from her warmth, her interest and her oveall brightness how much she cared about the work she did. Her previous position had been as a nocturnal home hemodialysis training nurse and was planning to return to graduate school to get an advanced degree. She was aware of the possibilities in dialysis and also the realities. "You know," she reflected, "I just don't think there's enough love in the world of dialysis." She floored me with that simple heartfelt observation. I had never heard it put just that way. If we had more staff like that in dialysis clinics, it just might be a different world. But for now, I'm grateful to you, Anuja, and for those like you, for the work you do to make make dialysis the best it can be.
An extra treat while being back in New York was a chance for Joel to go back to the Bronx with me. We checked out the house where I grew up. We drove by Einstein Hospital, where I began dialysis so many years ago. To the right, there's the old homestead in the Bronx, and below, is the old Einstein building, which wasn't old then, and the settimg for my first three years of dialysis. Another lifetime ago.