Post 2168: bloody hell…

The temporary access catheter got one use before a permanent one was inserted the next day. Though my stay in Scottsbluff at the Regional West Medical Center was short, it was busy.

I am home now. Bloody hell! You can’t imagine how much blood, shooting five feet / 1,54 meters out from one’s body, comes from a ruptured pseudoaneurysm! The apartment, as noted my friend Chris in guest post 3, was a murder scene except for a missing body. Ugh!

My  friend Judy took care of the kitty boys, who boycotted the wet kitty food. (Of course! Kitty Tummy Time told them Judy didn’t feed them wet food at the same time I do.)

Click on the photo next to mine above and you can read what the surgeon who created the fistula in the first place had to say about the fistula a bit longer than three years after he created it, when it failed spectacularly in, well, bloody hell.

Yes, I’d just stepped out of the shower and was drying off when the shower of blood began. The pseudoaneurysm began to swell weeks ago, which prompted the dialysis unit nurses to make me an appointment with Dr. Hughes. Ironically, it was for this past Monday. Of course, it ruptured on Saturday. Serendipity.

I was especially pleased to be naked and covered in blood when the first responders arrived. Fortunately, I’ve been hospitalized enough that “dignity” and “modesty” no longer apply to how I handled that. (With no dignity and to hell with modesty. I was naked and covered in blood, sir, madame, miss, and ms.! Toss a sheet around me and it’s bloody toga party time! So they did.)

A short time in the emergency room at Box Butte General Hospital, my local hospital, was sufficient for the on duty doctor to establish nothing but a surgeon could handle my issue, so I was transported to Scottsbluff (53.8 miles/ 86,6 kilometers away), where the surgeon (Dr. Hughes) met me, in time, in the emergency room there. He removed the temporary bandage applied in Alliance, blood spurted out of the wrecked fistula, and he told me an operation was needed, that the fistula was toast! 

I will get a new fistula later , perhaps September, but am stuck with catheters sticking out of my chest till them. The worst part of the catheters (literally infection control, though I’ve never had an issue with infections around catheters) is a return to sponge baths. You aren’t supposed to get them wet. Though I’ve tried various tricks to avoid getting catheters wet in past, none worked without fail. Sooo, it’s sit in a bath chair, wash myself down with a soapy wash cloth, rinse myself off with the wash cloth after rinsing the soap out of it, and rue the day I lost the best advantage of fistulas: one can shower and get really clean with one of those!


Yeah, those spots on the wall under under Andy are blood splatter! Dougy was on the sill with Andy shortly before I took this photo, but left before the &$%#@ smart phone completed its start up routine, annoyed me with advertisement for stuff I will never buy and other little annoyances. That’s another story. See next paragraph!

When I finally left a trail of blood to my smart phone, which was in the front room, I had my right hand applying pressure of the bloody ruptured pseudoaneurysm. I am right handed. So, with my left hand, I tried to get through all the phone’s  start up routine, annoyed me with advertisement for stuff I will never buy and other little annoyances to get to the place I could type 911 (the emergency number in the USA). 

The bloody phone (both a curse and a literal fact by that time) took forever to let me call 911.  The thought going through my head was “I could bleed out and die in the time this phone takes to let me make an emergency call to the police dispatcher!” I was terrorized!!! As we say in America, no shit! I was in fear for my very existance!)

Eventually, in mega-slowtime, the phone (you know, why they call them “phones”) finally showed the numeric keypad. In my bled-out state, I typed 991 instead of 911, then I had a heck of a time finding the bloody way back to a fresh start at typing the right number to get help. Did I mention I exhausted my entire vocabulary of vile words learned in the US Army during this long phone ordeal? No? Well, I did! 

The ambulance with the Emergency Medical Technicians and the police cruisers with the police arrived so fast, I swear they took less time to be at my aid than the whole ordeal of making the 911 phone call took to make. They were magnificent! So were the medical staff of both hospitals and the EMTs on the ambulance that took me to Regional West, not to forget those from the Alliance Fire Department who took me to the Box Butte General Hospital in Alliance.

As for my telephone service, I believe I shall make a little visit to theitr local shop and quietly, in excruciating (and very bloody) detail describe how their &$%#@ smart phone  put my life at peril. You know, me, the guy who pays almost $100 a month so I can get endless advertisments and crap I don’t want so I have a means of communication if I am experiencing a literal blood bath!

The CEO of Viaero Wireless – yes, I name them to shame them! –  deserves to have a print out of this post so he/she can appreciate what happens when a  &$%#@ smart phone start up routine and all those unwanted advertisements and crap imperil their customer! I repeat: I was terrorized and in fear for my life when all this went on. You can’t imagine how much blood you “leak” when a fistula goes bad.


Some friends suggested this is the time to subscribe to one of those “Help! I’ve fallen and cant’t get up!” services. I think they have something. I’m looking into it!


94 thoughts on “Post 2168: bloody hell…

  1. YIKES, Mr. Doug, so sorry you had to go through that ordeal! If pussycats had designed those phones that you humans use, they would be truly smart and not smart in name only, and our phones wouldn’t have put you through such horror. There wouldn’t be advertisements and you wouldn’t have to go on a wild goose chase in order to dial in 3 numbers to get help. Hugs.

  2. What a horrific trauma to go through Doug! I cannot imagine what it was like. That phone is a big problem considering your health problems. I definitely would look into having a simple flip phone standing by fully charged. You don’t even have to have it hooked up because 911 is a service offered without having to sign your life over to! You can pick those phones up dime a dozen too.
    You could carry it in the car or on your person.
    Very happy you survived Doug!

        • Yes. That’s the tedious part about having to deal with catheters till the new fistula is ready – can’t take showers! (Techniqually, one can IF one can keep it dry, something easier said than done.)

          • I appreciate that! This is one of those complications that comes with dialysis. I talked with the manager of the dialysis unit recently, suggesting creation of a priority standard for having changes in fistulas evaluated by the surgeon. Though an appointment was made weeks in advance for that evaluation of my fistula, it continued to get worse, fast. Now that they and I know the signs, I think we’d contact the surgeon for an earlier evaluation.

          • Fainting coulkd be an issue for some people, either because of the sight of blood (which doesn’t bother me, though the volume lost was terrifying) or because of the volume lost. There is that point where you lose consciousness. I’ve been there, know the symptoms and sensations to going into shock or becoming faint, and I didn’;t, fortunatgely reach that state.

  3. What I have just read, Doug, is frightening . I have an idea of what it was because I got a leak of blood at the end of a session of dialysis . The blood flows under pressure .
    Take care of you because you lost a lot of blood .. And I am weaker now;
    In friendship

        • I instantly got feedback – that’s the one that… Debbie Downer. They each have good and bad points. The one I got doesn’t uyse offshore people to answer emergency calls. Love the Indianss, but, man, not when I need to talk with someone with a familiar accent!

  4. Oh my, dear Doug, what you lived… I am so glad you are back, get well soon and as soon as change your phone. And I am so glad that medical service ambulance, etc. reached you very fast… I can’t imagine this event in my country. I hope and wish thew worst remains in the past… Love, nia

    • Thanks, nia. I am getting a device I wear that yoiu can access emergency help more quickly. I don’t trust the smart phone after this experience.

    • Thanks! It left me anemic but they gave me a medication and iron to help build up my blood. In the meantime, I need to eat more protein.

  5. Here in England, I’m fairly certain that my daughter’s phone has a button which is just for emergencies. You would be better with a “pay as you go” phone if you have such a thing in the USA.
    But most important of all, get well soon!

    • I’m learning of these devices from others, and am researching them for the one best for my circumstances. I’m a new beleiver!

  6. You should really think about the “Hausnotrufsystem” as we call those lines where people call in 911 for you, when you press a button – and who also need you to press the button at a fixed time once a day or they will send around someone to make sure you are ok.

    • I am, in fact, looking into systems here that others (including you) remind me are availablke. I am not sure which one is best for me, but I am going to go this way because of the experience with the smart phone that gave m,e advertisements and crap to work through to get to the place I could a=call 911 to save my life!

    • Gad! Me, too! Along with the cleanup, I am following the suggestions of getting a subscription to one of those “help I’ve fallen and can’t get up” services. It’s just a matter of some research for the right one. I never thought of them as a medical emergency service so much as for minor things like a fall. Strange!

  7. OMG Doug! I cannot even start imagining what you had been through! Your graphic description brought back the memory of finding my father on the kitchen floor, unconscious in a pool of blood (for a different reason, but the same frightening experience). My heart goes out to you! I am happy to hear you are back home, but it seems that you are not fully out of the woods yet – am I right? Praying for your health every day!

    • No, I will have follow ups with the surgeon and others, with a new fistula to be coinstructed in my right arm. This will go well into October, I believe.

        • I have catheters surgically inserted into my aortic arch, Dolly. Sounds groim, but the main thing is they work as an alternative to the g=fistula till one can be constructed and has time to “mature”. I anticipate that will be sometime in late n=November.

          • I am quite familiar with catheters in various places (lungs and such) and emptying and/or changing bags every day, making every effort to avoid infection. Home attendants, who were provided for my father by Jewish Family Service as a Holocaust survivor, were not allowed to touch him, only to do light household duty. I was “it”! That’s why when the girl came in at 8 am and found him on the kitchen floor, she couldn’t do anything but call me first and 911 second (home attendants are usually not the brightest). To this day we don’t know at what time of night or even evening it had happened! He did pull through that time, though; he really fought for his life. I send you blessings for the same spirit, Doug – fight!

          • I tell people I intend to live to 140 =, not because it is possible, but because it is a way of focusing on a future that is possible! I am, basically, a positive pertson, someone who believes in the power of positivity!

          • First of all – good to hear he survived the Holocaust. I always feel a huge rush of shame as a German (even though my own parents were only born 1942, so hardly responsible personally). I hope he had the chance to pass on his memories – the witnesses of that gruesome, dark time are dying out (we just had one of them here in Hannover passing. He went into schools to tell the young ones.) And the times are getting darker here in Europe, again.

            Second, good to hear that that frightful experience in the kitchen wasn’t the end of his way!

            And third: hope you recovered from that shock.

          • Dear Fran, first, I thank you for your comment, your understanding and compassion. There is no reason for you to feel shame – you weren’t even born then! Yet, you are right – we should never forget!
            That experience was only one of many, unfortunately, albeit probably the most frightening. Fortunately, I was able to find a good placement and excellent care for his last months. I took everything in stride; after all, caring for my father was both a duty and a labor of love. Whenever I felt a need to unload, I would call my son and cry to him on the phone for a while, then put fresh makeup on and go back in with a smile. You see, I had no right to be less brave than my father!
            Again, I thank you for understanding, dear friend.

          • It is very generous of you to tell me, I was not born then. You see, I wrote about this vicarious shame I feel for the deeds of the generations that went before my parents’ on the Guardian Reading Group last month, when we discussed Primo Levi, If this is a man. It is something I cannot shake, just because I was not the one to commit those atrocities. I still live in a country that profitted from those! All the forced labourers worked for German companies, most of which survived well into the postwar era – and contributed and still do to the German state that was and the one that is now. As a result of those companies I did profit from their taxes that went into my education that enabled the libraries I borrowed books from, the public pools I used as a child to learn swimming, the streets I drove my bike on. All of that was paid for by taxes and most of those taxes were paid by companies. And most major companies, even a cookie company like Bahlsen here in Hannover, used forced labour! The reason that we lived so happily in the 70s and 80s and are so well off now is because we inherited those assets from the times when those atrocities were committed. How can I not feel uneasy about that? I was not personally responsible that those things happened, but even I, two generations later, had my advantages from it. The least I can not make those things undone, but I can at least feel uneasy how despite losing the war (and good it was!) we “won the peace”. How can I not feel shame that we, who were responsible for all that happened had a shorter period of rationing than the UK? Does not sound fair to me.

          • I have a disease called Wegener’s granulomatosis, named after a German pathologist, Dr. Friedrich Wegener, whp died in 1990. Lately, the disesease he described in the 1930s was change to
            Granulomatosis with polyangiitis or GPA for simplicity’s sake or GPA. GPA in the US typically means “Grade Poimnt Average”, so the way you piull up the disease onj Googhe is to rename it WG/GPA. So confusing, so I continue to call it Wegener’s granulomatosis. It is a nasty disease, with the full potential; of eventually killing me. The kidney disease I suffer from now is a diurect effect of the WG! So, to get here from there, I note that the alleged Nazi Party membership and participation of Dr. Wegener in Nazi medical experiments (or whatever charges are against him) means to me that the disease named after a Nazi doctor is appropriately named after a nasty Nazi doctor! I can’t appreciate fully what a citizen of Germany feels about the history of recent times and the terrible things done in the name of the citizens of Germany. Terrible things always are f=done in the name of citizens of countries. The US will always bear the stench and burden of enslaving Africans for hundreds of years. Though the blood bath of the Civil War “helped” because it resulted in freedom for the slaves and amendments tyo our Constitution, it didn’t change the hearts and minds of diehards in the South (some in the North, too), and gave rise to another atrocity, the American Ku Klux Klan, responsible for many murders (lynchings) of black Americans, and those groups who combine hate for all non-whites and a form of Nazism, who are the remnant and shame of that mentality. Let’s not forget the treatment of indigenous Americans and how they were treated in the 19th through 20th Centuries! Sam,e black spirit of miond! I’m sure the current treatment of South American, Central American, and Mexican im migrants is a continuation of this same black spirit in the American sould. My point, developed over long examples, is that decent people (you and I) can feel that anguish that comes of the terrible things done in our names ort in the names of earlier generations. That is because we are decent people. (I had a hard time thinking of the people that had among their citizens a Ludwig van Beethoven, Josef Haydn (who managed humor in seriojus music) or the godly and best musician, composer of all times, J.S. Bach, could also produce a Friedriuch Wegener or Himmler the chicken farmer or Mengele the son of the farm equipment family, or…a host of other monsters! I know many victims (not just the Jewish victims) thought “it can’t happen here, not among these highly intelligent and civilized Germans”, then found out the perversion of Nazism ran deep and deadly in the same people. It is fair that you feel shame, agaimn=n because you are a decent person. Sadness is OK, too. Awareness of what happened there and what happens still in this world on various scales, is what helps us make sure these things are addressed in a timely manner if possible, though several genocides in Africa, Eastern Europe, and (most notoriously) places like Cambodia still have happened. The best we citizens of democries can do, though, is make sure these atrocities never happen again in OUR countries! Knowledge is power Niemals vegessen!! How many times did I see that carved in stone, cast in metal whgen I was blessed with being stationed in the Bundes Republik Deutschland as what was a remnant of an American army of occupation that by 1970-1972 had morphed into a NATO member army of protection from another brutal, murderous regime, the USSR! Yes, you won the peace, became a good world citizen. I drive a VW Golf Sportwagen (lots of fun and handy, too!) with nio sense of shame that it originally was a project of Adolf Hitler to offer a “people’s car” to German citizens, who faithfully put down money for the car that wouldn’t get past development stage until the Bristish army of occupation found the protypes and put it into production. I feel sorrow that we did put Japanese in concentration camps, yet pioud that we helped our worst enemies, the Germans and Japanese, develop into economic giants. These devlopments, helped at the start by American taxpayer money, when turned over to the Germans and Japanese, brought out the best qualities of those peoples, who reformed their governments, became democratic countries you, as a German, can be proud of.

          • I truly appreciate your sincerity and your sentiments, dear Fran. I’ve heard the same from several people while visiting Germany, especially the younger generations who, like you, feel responsible for atrocities they had not committed and benefits resulting from those. Yet what troubles me more is what you have euphemistically called “the dark times” in the entire Europe, not only in Germany.

          • Hate dies hard, and the right wing thrives on it. I think any decent person is alarmed when these people become active, no matter where they are,

          • An interesting comn-bination of comments this time. Please look through them for a response to a German friend on the same issue, from the side of the German citizens who still deal with the Nazi past they had no part in. I reminded her of the phrase I saw many places over there when I was stationed in Germany: Niemals vergessen!, Never forget! Only by keeping the abuses of the past in mind, teach the children of these abuses, keep the memoriues of the victims alive, can we be prepared to deal with the new Hitlers of the world. It is the responmsibility of very decent p[erson to do thisd, and to stand upo against totalitarian forces, fight the war if we have to. The warsaw Ghetto is the standard for that! i AM GLAD YOU WERE ABLE TO COME TO aMERICA. i AM GLAD MANY PEOPLE OF MANY SHADES OF SKIN MAKE IT TO aMERICA. tHAT TELLS ME THERE IS STILL SOME FAITH THAT aMERICA IS A DIFFERENT AND WELCOMING PLACE FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED REFUGE, EVEN IF THE CURRENT PRESIDENT IS AN IDIOT WHO DOESN’T REALIZE cHINESE (sorry for the uppercase- too tired to change it all! and Irish, both peoplkes nativists scorned and didn’t want to come to America, helped build the transcontinental railroad that opened up the Western US, mkost of which we stole from Mexico in the 1840s! History is a strange thing. In this coluntry, we want cheap labor, illegally hire immigrants without proper green cards or citizenship, then periodically round them upo for deportation. The people who hired them get away scot g-free though they broke the law hiring people desperate to make moiney to wire back to their home countries.], people trying to be economically free! Yes, even the president of the USA is one such boss who se properties are staffed with underpaid illegals! None of us can be less brave than your father, Dolly, and he should forever be one of those people in our minds when we vote with a choise betweeen woman with considerable experience in goivernment or a xenophobic, nativitst, racist man who is an amateur with little knowledge of economics or much else! Niemaqls vergessen! Never forget! I’ve met survivors of the Holocaust, seen theirt tatoos, learned of their skills they brought to M+_America along with their stories. I was honored to know them. I am sad that the new generations will learn about horrors of the 20th Century as history, not actual human beiungs whom Gxd saved to give witness to the horrors of their time.

          • I thank you, Doug, for your thought, your compassion and understanding, and your sentiments. I feel guilty for getting you and readers into this discussion that takes away from the adventures of The Adorables and, most importantly, the updates on your health.
            As to America still being the best country in the world, despite various inept politicians, it always reminds me of one of the stories in Boccaccio’s Decameron, where a man visited Rome and heard about all the excesses of the Borgias and sundry cardinals supporting Pope Alexander VI Borgia. He came back and reported to his friend who had initially feared that, having learned all that, who could retain faith! “If the princes of the church are the greatest sinners in Christendom, and the Vatican is still the greatest power in it, I’ll stay where the power is.” Same with America, I believe.
            My father, may he rest in peace, had always insisted on celebrating Thanksgiving and always raised the first glass to “G-d bless America for taking us in.”

          • I am glad we had the discussion. The three of us had a chance to say things that need to be said. Niemals vergessen!

          • This conversation between you and Dolly has been an unexpected opportunity for us all to shed a bit of the past and to work toward some meaning in history that helps us avoid errors of that past. Thanks you for giving us the German point of view. I personally like Germans, and try not to put blame on those too young to have been involved in the atrocities of war. Time has taken most of the participants on both sides, and the new times are here. It is up to you and me to makes sure our people never forget the errors of earlier generations and centuries, and to work for a positive direction in the way our countries develop. (I am proiud I voted for the current preident’s competition in 2016, for example. I didn’t feel the current president had the knowledge or temperment to be president, something he proves over and over.)

  8. Good to see you posting today! I’m so sorry you went through such a terrible ordeal, Doug! Good for the ambulance personnel, the police,and the medical personnel who responded quickly! Hugs from me and purrs from Franklin for everything to go smoothly from now on.

    • Thanks1 It weas an inyteresting if scary experience. I am still weak from anemia and blood loss. The former could be from dialysis, though.

  9. How frightening that has been, blood everywhere and trying to phone 911. Good to know you survived. You must get a phone you can phone straight to 911. We have phones were is our 911 ( 112) is always behind one tap. We wish you recover quickly!

    • There is a service in this country where you wear a necklace or other device that you push and an emergency operator answers to learn what your problem is. I do have some issues with contqacting someone else to have them contact someone else.

  10. Doug, I am so very sorry to hear that you had such a terrifying experience. I’m also relieved to know you survived.
    As per phones, if you’re planning to make a change, my husband and I have android phones, which we bought at Republic Wireless. Our original reason for choosing them was because the phones work either on sprint cell towers or via wi-fi … thus, when we’re over seas, we can still use our phones when we’re near wi-fi. They have been good for us and we get unlimited talk and text for $15/month … I believe that internet would be about $10 more per month, so they are economical and we don’t turn them off – or get advertisements…. Just plug them in when needed.
    BTW, hydrogen peroxide is generally helpful with blood stains.

    • Mine is an Android 6p (or something like that). Photo quality if fine (providing the kitty boys stay in reasonably decent light) but I get so many crapo and spam advertyisements that the phone is difficult to use. I’m looking into one of those services you contact directly (“Help! i’ve fallen and can’t get up!”, though it seems indirectly contacting 911 has its consequences, too. Oh well!

    • Thanks! I use “bloody hell” both as a descriptive phase, but alo=so as a secret naughty curse. At least it is a secret naughty curse in the USA., You know, like the little kid learning something naughty and walking around the neighborhood saying repeatedly, “Bloody hell! Bloody hell!”

        • I know the time and the words! “Good grief! I just smooshed me bloody thumb!” LOL! Bloody! Bloody! Bloody! Than=t;s my impression of an English carpenter. If it were an American carpenter it would be more like, “Jesus f’ing Christ! I just nailed my mfing, gd, f’img thumb!” A little blasphemy with some maledicta is just the ticket!

    • Thanks, Chris! Your kitties get rave reviews (of course) and your updates helped mlower stress about my absence. I can’t thank you enough for doinf=g this for me…again! In case anyone wants to see more of your kitties and your always interesting blog, they should click on the link.,

  11. I’m so glad that you are back at home but I cried while reading… what a horrible moment… and all the blood… why you had to go trough such sh*T… I’m so sorry and I hope hope hope for better days for you, because you deserved them. A lot. Hugs and potp to you

    • Thank you. It was the most frightening experience of my life, and I’ve had a few whappers! The blood spurting out of my arm was shocking, terroizing, frightening.

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