I feel like I’m through with all the testing, but that leaves me in a parlous position. As I understand it, the goal of the renal specialist was to identify the underlying condition damaging my kidneys so we could treat it. Then my kidneys could have improved, I suppose, although I have mostly seen that kidney damage is permanent once it’s been done.

“Some people get better,” one of the doctors said to me, “but most people get worse.”

I haven’t actually gotten worse. I’ve even gotten a little bit better. But I am still in stage 4.

So I looked to see if there were treatments for stage 4 kidney damage, apart from the idea of treating the underlying condition, and found that the prognosis for people in stage 4 is one year. That is, people usually live for one year after diagnosis.

That would give me a couple more months. Like maybe I should expect to come home from Germany and die.

I was somewhat alarmed by this.

However, I do not have any symptoms of kidney failure. I have signs: foamy urine, blood numbers showing the damage, interstitial nephritis found in the kidney biopsy. I certainly have kidney injury. Google tells me that people often have interstitial nephritis with no symptoms, and that is obviously a better deal than having those symptoms, but it’s hard to believe that I could just die without having any pain or anything first. Maybe that’s hard to believe because I don’t know any better.

I do have medical appointments out in the future, though. Surely doctors wouldn’t be making appointments for six months from now if I were going to die in two months.

On further reflection, I decided that I wouldn’t change the way I’m living if I knew I would die soon.  I have a good life.