11) Two Posts Today...

Saturday (5/13)

El Milagro: Today Michelle cannulated me and did a painless job, although the nurse had to come over later and re-stick me because the outgoing needle was “bottoming out”. With my minimal knowledge, I think bottoming out is where the needle is resting against the inside surface of the vein and thereby not drawing blood as well as it can. So, the nurse put in another needle and capped off the first one. She said they don’t like to withdraw it after I have received my Heparin, because it thins the blood and I would bleed too much if they took that needle out. So they just close the valve on it and tape it down until I’m done for the session.

Michelle is on dialysis too, which I didn’t even notice until she said my fistula looks like hers. Both were done by Dr. Settle, who seems to be the reigning artist of fistulas in Austin. Michelle does her dialysis at home with a machine she got through Medicare. But, she has to dialysize every night for nine hours…. I guess because the machine is much slower than these Cadillac’s we have here. Michelle has been on dialysis for 4 years now, and started because her Lupus worsened.

So, now I have 3 trocars in me and the last one was put in without the local anesthetic I usually get. Makes me feel like a real man! I was thinking recently about trocars, calling them turoks in my fuzzy brain. It seems to me that trocar sounds like an instrument that a Klingon would use. But now that I think more clearly, I guess ‘turok’ would be Klingon for truck.

Today there is a patient here somewhere in the maze who keeps saying “Help” in a faint, forsaken voice. The voice gives no hint of a gender; just a sense of desolation and weakness. These feeble “Help’s” emanate from some point in the room that I can’t readily see, so I can’t pin them to a person. But, it is curious that none of the staff seem to be going to the aid of the patient who says help. Finally, after about 20 “Helps” I hear a staff say, “Sandra; you don’t need anything.”, and I can’t see the staff either. A few minutes later the unidentified staff says, “You keep saying the same thing over and over Sandra.”. Sandra replies with a bit more life in her voice, “Shut up!”. Afterwards, it seems Sandra’s “helps” diminish although when I finally see her being rolled to her waiting son (my guess) in her wheelchair, she is again saying “Help……..Help……..Help” and her relative kindly says, “It’s okay. I’m taking you home now.” I, as many other patients I'm sure, was relieved that Sandra was being taken home by someone who loves her.

Notes: Weighed in at 71.9 and out at 71.3 Kg.


Tuesday (5/16)

El Milagro: As I was being cannulated by Kim and Tori today, Jennifer the Dietician was going over my “Detailed Nutrition” report (results of latest blood work). Kim and Tori were working together because Kim’s first attempt at sticking me found a clot in the needle, so Tori stepped in to find a better spot. According to Jennifer in reviewing my report:

& My albumin (protein) was good;

My HCT CALC(HGBX3) is really good (that’s my red blood cell count btw);

& My FERRITIN is good (stored iron);
6 My PHOSPHORUS is very high and I must lower it by taking my binders and eating low phosphorus foods;
6 My CAxPHOS CORRECTED is also too high. Calcium + Phosphorus = Product. Again… take the binders.

So, Jennifer and I discussed my taking binders with every single morsel I put in my mouth: 5 with meals, 4 with ½ meals, 3 with snacks.

The only other thing of note was that I forgot my Dialysis Bag today so I had no earphones, no TV clicker, and no blanket. I had to be satisfied with a recent issue of Family Therapy Networker and my note pad…. but I didn’t really feel like writing. So, after reading awhile, I kinda laid there in semi-consciousness, listening to the hum of my bionic machine and the other various noises of a dialysis center.

Notes: In at 73.9 Kg. & out at 71.6 Kg.

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