01Feb23: dialysis day…

Yeah, there are needles involved. Two of them, one for arterial blood and the other for venous.

There’s the machine that takes the blood, cleanses it, then returns it back to the patient. The process is painless unless you get cramps.

Mostly, you can hit the heat button on the recliner, enjoy the warmth of that and the blanket they put over you. Sleep if you wish or…

…turn on the television that is available at each station. I usually watch the television.

There is that time, though…

…when your four hours are almost up! That’s when the clock stands still! Some people have longer times than others, and some have shorter times than others. Four hours seems to be pretty much typical.

When I turn the key and open the door at home, Andy comes running to greet me.


My kalanchoe plant is blooming right on schedule! It gives me a winter show every year even though all I do for it is water it when I notice leaves are falling off some of the stems. It is my kind of greenery!

Post 1424: day trip and surgery…!

“Where have you been all day?” The kitty boys demand an answer! I returned two hours after “kitty wet food dinner” time! Why, their little tummies were caved in!

Well, it’s a long story. Hang on dear readers!

The dialysis fistula that is used to give me dialysis treatments showed signs of poor flow on the venous side, so arrangements were made for an appointment at Regional West Hospital in Scottsbluff’s Exploration Radiology unit to determine cause and treatment.

Treatment turned out to be an angioplasty in the restricted portion of the venous portion of the fistula. As explained to me, the vein isn’t able to handle the same pressures as the artery, and micro-tears form in the interior wall of the fistula during dialysis.

Those micro-tears form scar tissue that eventually restricts the flow of blood during dialysis, placing additional pressure on the fistula wall because of (sorry to get technical!) hydraulic principles I understand having worked nearly 36 years in the hydraulic and industrial hose industry in various Quality Assurance roles. Take my word for it, the same volume of blood going through a fistula now restricted by scar tissue will have a higher pressure than it did when it had a bigger ID!

So, let’s get right to the fun part! Beer!

Woo hoo! Yeah, I went in at 9:30, waited till 10:40 to go in for pre-op preparations, was operated on around Noontime, I think, then completed my post-op wait by around 1:00. My friend Terry (we’ve been friends for 65 years, amazingly!) took me down to Scottsbluff, and I promised him a nice restaurant meal for his efforts. No pictures of the meal, just the beer because that was my treat to myself! (Well, and a nice filet mignon…!)  


By 2:30, Terry and I were ready to come home. We saw an incredible amount of evidence of the recent tornadoes, wind, hail, and thunderstorm between Alliance and Scottsbluff. It made us sad to see so much damage to the shelter belts, one of the enjoyable sights in past along Highway 385 and Nebraska 26 along the route to Scottsbluff.

Linemen were restoring power by reinstalling poles and wires ripped out by the storm, residents with damaged out buildings and homes were collecting debris into piles for future removal.

A BNSF railroad crew worked hard from when we passed by in the morning the train blown off the track (!) down by Angora to put the dozens of cars on their sides by the track back on the track by the time we passed it again in the afternoon. 

The tractor trailer had been uprighted and removed by the time we passed, as were some large containers dropped by the tornado by the side of the road. What a mess!

The power of wind never ceases to amaze me.

That little abandoned schoolhouse on Nebraska 26, a landmark all of us locals fondly recall and wished someone would buy and restore now is a pile of well-aged lumber. Rats!


Yeah, kitty boys, that’s where I was and what I did today. Now stop your fretting and I’ll put out your kitty food!


p.s. To all those who gave me their best wishes and prayers and comments of concern on Facebook, thank you and know that I was touched by your thoughts and concerns.

I posted that photo of me in the recovery room because I had nothing better to do for an hour. Little did I know I’d get the response I did. I am fine. I have a small wound from the angioplasty performed on my dialysis fistula. It will take no time to heal. I had no pain before during or after the procedure.

The procedure will help reduce blood pressure on the venous side of the fistula. That, in turn, will reduce the frequency of those “bloody hell” moments where I bleed out after what should be sufficient time for coagulation to take place at the sites of the two “buttonholes” – permanent places used for the dialysis needles instead of using new places each time – and, thereby, sparing me blow outs that cause significant bloody messes!

Remember the photos below? Yeah, “bloody hell”! That’s what happens when a fistula has a blow out because of high pressure on the coagulation plug in the buttonhole. Andy comes optional, and is the only good part about the whole mess. LOL!