Post 1121: how I spend my time three times a week…

This is the post I tried to do last Monday but was unable to complete because of photo uploading issues. Thanks to the IT people on WordPress, this finally is ready to go! The solution to the problem  – no sheep had to be sacrificed…WHEW! – was to use a new link to this site instead of the one I got back in 2009. Makes no sense to me, but I am pleased to be back…I hope!!!

Dialysis is relatively routine, yet it gobbles up at least five hours at a time, three times a week. Some weeks, side issues to dialysis gobble further time. For example, this past Friday, I had an appointment before dialysis to get my dialysis fistula checked with an ultrasound. 

81316 arrows on fiastulA SITE

Gad! That light-colored streak across my arm is sunlight, not a scar! My arms’s marked to aid in hitting the spot to get the best source of blood. Notice the cat hair trapped on the bandage???

I like ultrasound appointments. First of all, Peggy, the person who does them, is very time-conscious. If you get there before the appointment time, you may get in before scheduled. Great! But you still wait.

81316 waiting in the waiting room

The fellow going down the hallway will have to turn left at the end to get to the dialysis unit. This was one day Peggy was behind time as my appointment was for 9:00.

Friday was a bit better than usual because Beth, the nurse who hooks me up to the dialysis machine, wanted to be there during the ultrasound look at the dialysis fistula. We shared photos on our smart phones and had a nice chat while waiting.

There was some concern about the maturity of the fistula for use and where best to poke the needle in to get adequate blood flow. Ick! But necessary detail, I assure you! Beth wanted to mark the identified sites with a black Sharpie (unfortunate name for the pen…!) so she could poke those spots for my next dialysis session. That was to happen shortly after the ultrasound evaluation.

81316 my view at dialysis in close up

This is my view in the dialysis unit. There’s a television connected with a satellite television service to occupy us for the four hours of dialysis. The dialysis machine on the right side of the photo is one of six in the unit. I named mine R2D2, though “he” is a lot taller than the original R2D2 in Star Wars. I guess “he” grew up! 

Marked up, I marched through the hallway to the dialysis unit. Thanks to the arrows, Beth was able to get good blood flow and I had an uneventful session. 

64 thoughts on “Post 1121: how I spend my time three times a week…

    • As I mentioned to KittNoir, the hard part for me as a retiree is to have to do something on a regular schedule. I rather liked the old normal where I didn’t follow any schedule! LOL!

  1. My “HE” takes a friend of his to dialysis once in awhile when his wife can’t take him and he has told me of the drill. It is time consuming but oh so necessary. Doug I’m glad you can get there as often as you need and that you have found a way to…if no enjoy…at least accept. Glad you unit is good and the people are there for you. ~~dru~~

    • I drive myself, which gives you an idea of how benign the process is. Of course, with my low blood pressure, there are times he nurses keep me there a bit longer at the end of the treatment. One has to have blood pressure above a certain limit of they are concerned you might pass out. Well, I am able to function well below “normal” levels, so that can be frustrating!

    • Thanks, Sheldon! As I noted, I don’t feel sorry for myself because the dialysis unit is modern, the best one I’ve experienced, is staffed by excellent nurses, and I have a nice four hour rest each time I go there. More specifically, I don’t dwell on my medical issues and despair because each day I survive beyond the initial crises are days I can celebrate: I’m not dead yet! LOL!

      Incidentally, I hope people reading this take a bit of time to check your blog out. I enjoy your insights, the poetry, and your collages, and I suspect there are lots of people out there in the blogosphere who don’t yet know they will, too!

      • Why thank you my friend
        I had become accustomed to seeing you
        And when you fell ill
        I missed you
        I glad you have found your Peace
        In your situation
        I am still working on finding mine
        As always Sheldon

        • I’m not sure where I found that peace or when, but it came to me early on. I appreciated the response to my illness, and it gave me lots of incentive to get back on my blog! The biggest surprise was that the number of people following it increased during the time there were no new posts or any sense of when the posts would begin again. I was touched….

  2. Hi Doug,

    It is very hard not to think of yourself as a patient first and anything else 2nd and so on. I commend you for the amount of time you spend in the hospital doing these things. Your dialysis machine looks somewhat like my pace maker checking machine except their is no robotic arm hanging onto a tv. You have my purrs, well not mine, the cats. hehe


    • I don’t think of myself as a patient so much as a client of the dialysis unit since the only medical part of it is the part where the nurse hooks you up to the machine or disconnects you.

      Sitting there watching television, you don’t really think about the medical procedure going on because there generally isn’t any issue that involves your action. The nurse, on the other hand, may have to make adjustments to match changing variables you aren’t involved in for the most part. It’s hard to explain, but it seems less medical than something else.

      Of course, Friday one of the two needle sites didn’t clog off because I didn’t have my finger pressure centered correctly, and I bled like a stuck pig all over my chair and one side of my shirt. It happens, though this was a first for me. After they pull the needles out, they put a wad of sterile gauze over it, and you apply pressure to the site for ten minutes. When you bleed like that, it definitely can become a medical emergency!

      At the end of ten minutes, they put tape over the gauze. Typically, there will be just a bit of blood on the gauze when you take the tape and gauze off a day later, but that mostly will have been from that moment between taking the needles out and getting the gauze place over it and finger pressure is applied.

      Whew! Too much information, I’m sure!

  3. I have wondered how your routines work out. It’s like mine but different. I don’t go nearly as often as of now, but that may change. Thanks for the peep to your world.

        • Yes, I have no doubt of that. I tell myself, while waiting for medical procedures or during them, “…and that’s why they call us ‘patients'” to t=remind myself to be patient. I can’t imagine what it must be like for people who still work to go through dialysis. As a retiree, it treat it as a lovely little social experience since I know several of the fellow patients, am getting to know the others, and we are a fellowship of people with a common problem, getting a living-enhancing and saving procedure. It actually is rather pleasant, if time consuming. I doubt what you went through was that comfortable, if the experiences of others I know is any indication. You are through with it, aren’t you, except for follow ups? I don’t recall.

    • Very true! The nurses in the Box Butte General Hospital dialysis unit are very competent, caring individuals. I am pleased with the care I get there. Though it isn’t a big units as these dialysis units go, it is the best one I’ve experienced of four total.

    • It must have worked because two photos uploaded without any effort and I managed to put out a very short post. Of course, all this happened after i shot off a very ugly email to the Happy Engineer who helped me the most during this ordeal, telling him the fix didn’t work, my post 1121 came up with one photo, not the three I spent a week trying to put into the text, etc. I reposted the darn thing after I redid it, putting the missing photos into it. I'[m exhausted. I a, tired of settling for what I can get, not what I want on this site. I hate the new edit page because it causes more problems than it solves (as far as I’m concerned), especially when I come back after posting something, and find it changed the finished post by dropping out two of three photos included as I posted it! Dialysis takes lots of my time, so i don’t really have time to mess with quirky edit pages and uploading photos in a process that takes minutes instead of seconds, then, when I come back later, uploads in seconds. I don’t get it!

  4. I see some cat hairs on the bandage….. 🙂 Dear Weggie, I love your positivity, and your imaginations too! Blessing and Happiness, Love to you, kisses your little angels 🙂 nia

          • It took me four hours to get Post 1123 finished today, and it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. I was just so happy the photos finally loaded, I went for what I got. I HATE THIS!

          • That I am. I have been in contact with the WordPress help people on the matter. They’ve given me lots of good suggestions, but they haven’t worked. I think it’s t8ime to create a new blog, retire this one. I just sent an email to WordPress asking them a lot of questions about doing that, but using the suggestions they made to better use the resources available, that is, starting fresh without having to learn what not to do since I made lots of mistakes doing this blog! It would save me lots of hassles, I’d post smaller files (960 px maximum width is what they recommend, and I know I exceed that a lot!) Anyway, I just got tomorrow’s post to load…taking most of the sunlight hours (circa 10 hours!) to do. It is minimalist – just three photos of Andy – but is a visual pun. I think it will be appreciated in its simplicity and for its gentle cat humor.

    • You weren’t here to hear the salty language I’ve spewed into the atmosphere this past week, I fear….

      I try to maintain a positive attitude about things since a nasty one doesn’t resolve the vicissitudes of life. When it comes to computer-related issues, however, I start turning into a Luddite after the first few days, and have to hide hammers and other blunt objects in case I accidentally smash my computer into atomic-level pieces.

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