Not Good Today

Dialysis did not go well today. The machine had an error message that would not go away with the steps the techs and nurses were following. I was able to get 1.1 kg of fluid out of me before being untethered from the machine and home. I can feel the effects of not having dialysis not go very well. Since I have been home after 1 PM, I have had a dizzy spell for getting up too fast that lasted for more than ten minutes. I had to back up to my corner chair slowly to sit back down after taking three steps in my living room.

Sometimes Constructive Criticism is Necessary

I did speak to LV the nurse about SAM’s attitude this morning.  LV promised me she would talk to SAM discreetly when the time was right.  A nurse should act professionally at all times despite the chaos of what is happening around her or him.  On Tuesday, SAM’s attitude about a doctor’s handling my case with the catheter was not appropriate.  Her tone was snotty.   I understand that she was looking out for me and wanting me to be able to dialyze without any hitches, but catheters are finicky pieces of plastic tubing sometimes.  Talking about how a doctor handles a patient’s need can get a nurse in serious trouble if they are not careful.  Today was an excellent dialysis day.  My dialyzer did not have any warnings.  It stopped once because I had moved to lay back to rest my eyes.  The catheter was being finicky about me lying down.  In other words, the catheter was being finicky about my position.

Dialysis Update

Dialysis is back on track now. I saw Dr. A at the clinic this morning before being tethered to the machine/dialyzer. He did get my message on Friday regarding my dislike of how things were taken care of on Thursday. Yes, I was still feeling the pressure of everything that was going on at the clinic. Unprofessional at best given that half of the machines/dialyzers were not working. Today, I understand that it was right to have my catheter checked since it was not working for proper treatment. One of the nurses seemed to cop an attitude about how the IR doctor Dr. S. didn’t do specific tests to check if the catheter needed to be removed and have a new one put in, and she wanted a new one put in. I will be speaking to LV the nurse tomorrow about this one nurse’s attitude. I believe doctors know what they are doing. My catheter did not need was not needing any replacement at this time.

Now, please understand that I understand this one nurse’s feelings at this time. The catheter was giving us all trouble on Thursday, and it needed to have an inspection. I’ve had this catheter almost ten months now. The only part of the nurse I do not understand is the attitude she had towards the doctor who does the procedures/catheter placements. A nurse should never judge or question a doctor’s decision unless it puts the patient in a dangerous position of some sort or even death. I am not happy with this nurse’s attitude whatsoever. I believe nurses are to be professional at all times. Yes, an opinion can come about from time to time, giving the circumstances, and yes, we did have seven machines go down last week that brought out chaos and mayhem. Doctors, nurses, and technicians took the time to get all the devices a test to get them all up and running as smoothly as possible with the machines being problematic. When a machine goes down, they have to pull them out and look at them to see where the problem lies. Dr. A told me that there were bacteria in the machines, and they needed to dialysis team had to take time to service the devices to optimal use. The idea of bacteria in the dialyzers is frightening. As far as for a patient’s safety, I can see that it can be frustrating.

As far as dialysis went today, for me, it went well. I am back in chair number four. I was able to dialyze without a hitch at 3.5 kilos. Because I couldn’t dialyze properly last week, I reached 94.6. That is the highest coming-in weight I haven’t seen in a year! I will get back to 88.5 kg soon. Dr. A believes it will be by Saturday. I feel different about it.

A Better Day

I will be frank and sincere about today, but first, this week at the dialysis center has been very crazy because half of the dialyzers are down.  Today was one of those days where the clinic had five people at a time dialyzing.  I was in chair #12 today.  Another patient was in chair #3, chair #1, chair #4, and chair #10.  Time on the dialyzer was shortened to 2 1/2 hours so that all of the patients could come in respectfully at different times of the day until closing for the weekend.  I was in at 7:45 AM – 10:30 AM.  They didn’t want me in until. 11:45 AM, but that time doesn’t work well with my schedule.

Even though the dialysis center had a crazy week, my time at the center cannot be changed with twenty-four notice because my worker DKF has other clients to work with throughout the week, and most of the time, my schedule cannot be changed. I understand that things happen for a reason, but sometimes as a team, we have to work with how plans go for others.  My schedule is set in stone as far as my personals cares are concerned.

I hope that the unusable machines get fixed soon so that the dialysis center can get back to a regular schedule, and all the patients can get back to their regular schedule/time.  It is serving, it causes great anxiety for me, that my schedule gets thrown off.

A Bad Week at Dialysis

Dialysis didn’t go well today.  I ended up being taken off at 12:30 PM.  A little after 1 PM, I went up to the hospital to have a procedure done to replace the catheter.  I get to the outpatient surgical area, get prepped, and in the operating room.  A doctor, forgot his name, looked at the catheter from top to bottom, the way it flushes and returns, and found nothing wrong with it.  He saw that it was working fine, and I didn’t have to have it removed/replaced.  I was free to go and go home.

I feel that I have wasted a doctor’s time, my insurance on getting an IV in my arm, medicine that was being used for prepping me.  The way my day was handled at the dialysis center today didn’t make me very happy.  The nurses and techs we’re all over the place while I was the only patient in my pod because 3 of the machines were down.  My machine kept beeping, and it took a tech a long time to come.  I was not very happy.   Going to the hospital may have been a good idea, and have my catheter checked or replaced if needed, but it was a waste of gas and money as far as my insurance was concerned.  I didn’t get home until 5 PM to rest for the night.

Because of the nurses and the techs being all over the place, my mind was going in every direction but down.  I was not happy how things were going today.  I have something to do tomorrow.  I know that L (female) will be in and I can talk to her.

May 2, 2020 Dialysis Day

Today was an excellent day for dialysis. My dialyzer went through treatment without anything going goofy or haywire. I was able to go to Bible lessons and worship service and enjoy what I was hearing and learning. When service finished at noon, I had a half-hour of dialysis left for the day. I can handle it. I could tell that JA was not feeling very well, so our communication was at a minimum. Communicating today was at a minimum because I had been busy on my phone today.

Dialysis went well. I got out of there by 12:30 PM today.

April 28 – Treatment & Appointment Day

Another dialysis treatment week has begun today. Tuesdays are always appointment days with the nephrologist doctors. Dr. A had been making his rounds, and it looked like he materialized right in front of me. He was far away when I first saw him, and all of a sudden, he was talking to me. Being hooked up and the machine doing what it is supposed to do, I explained to Dr. A about the dizziness I had on Saturday, and the experience I haven’t had for almost a year. He told the goal weight; the amount of fluid taken out of my body can have some dizzying effects — side effects. He explained that if I continue to have dizzy spells, he will adjust my goal weight a little bit because also a healthy gain of weight from eating can be affected as well, and taking too much fluid can cause what I experienced Saturday. I felt like I was going to leave my body and be floating about above everyone at the clinic. I do not like that feeling. After Dr. A left for the day, I was able to sit and relax a little bit. My neighbor JA was sitting in chair two while H (male) was sitting in chair three. It made conversation difficult with JA today.

Dialysis went smoothly. It was a good day. The weather proved to be somewhat decent while I was out, but it has been raining since I have been home from treatment. I am feeling a little wiped out, but not as much on Saturday after that dizzy spell I had experienced. Now, we will see what Thursday brings to the table as far as treatment goes.

Anniversary

As of April 24, 2020, I have been dialyzing for a year. Time does go by fast most days — more so than others. Although death is imminent no matter age, culture, condition/disease, I rarely think about it. I can’t think about it because it would make me feel crazy, and many people would look at me strangely. Of the year I have been doing dialysis, I have known two patients I have gotten to know for a few months before they passed away because of their health. Both women were in their 80s. My heart broke when I learned of their deaths. I know of another patient who passed away, but I did not him like the two ladies who did. Yes, I did not know anyone at the center until I started going there myself, but once you sit in the same area with others, you will strike up conversations or say hello. Now, being at the clinic for a year, I feel I have a new family.

Dialysis, April 25, 2020

My dialysis has begun, shortly after 1:30 PM today. I get there a little after 8:30 AM, and my chair is available by the time I get there. I get hooked up to the machine a little before 9 AM. T (female) is not there, but the first pod seems to be buzzing with hard-working technicians as they work with each patient. My machine has given us a little trouble, so they moved me to chair two and hooked up to the machine there. The patient who usually sits in chair two sat in my chair after they set up the device. I do not think that the patient liked the idea of being in the corner chair. Like the machine did when I was hooked up, it decided to do the same thing. The patient in chair four was unhooked, and the device was swapped out for a different machine, He was hooked back up and dialyzed fine. In chair two, I was also dialyzing fine. Because of the delay, I did not get out of the clinic until 1 PM — shortly after.

During the last forty-five minutes of my treatment, I ended up getting very dizzy. The feeling was its worst, an experience that I haven’t had for a year. It felt awful. My dizzy spell reminded me of a year ago. I was sitting in chair two when I experienced a dizzy spell precisely like the one I had today. I learned that my blood pressure was on the low side during the time of my dizzy spell. The technician K (female) and the nurse J helped me get comfortable by laying me back in the chair for the remainder of my treatment, and K gave me some fluid. When it came to getting unhooked from the machine, K took the chair and set me up slowly. While sitting up, my blood pressure still read low when she took it. She gave me some more fluid — saline solution — in my catheter line on the machine. As my blood was returned, I was beginning to feel better. When she unhooked me from the device, and then she took standing blood pressure, have me sit back down so she could burrito wrap my catheter before I weighed out and left for the day. I finally got out of the clinic by 1:20 PM or so.

When it comes to dialysis, we never know what is going to happen until we get there or if we get a call saying that our time will be delayed or we have to wait for an opening to come in before our next dialysis day. When dialysis days do not go as planned because of incidences that are out of our control, I do get a little frustrated and annoyed. I am one of those people who will apply to the importance of getting something done. I do not play with my health when something is necessary and needs to be done. I take getting to dialysis seriously. I will not play games with my health when it comes to life or death. I choose life.

Dialysis Weekend Will Be Here

Dialysis weekend will be after treatment. With time being a few minutes before 8 AM, I am sitting here at home, taking a few minutes to say a few words.  T is now gone and will return in August if God allows.  She went back home to Ohio, where the Coronavirus pandemic has a hotspot right now.  Her plans to return in August are being formulated at this time.  She will be missed after being here a year as a traveling dialysis technician.  She has worked in Pod 1 while she was here; now, there is going to be an emptiness, a void.