14) The Early Shift


El Milagro: I got here at 5:30 am! There were already a number of people cannulated and the place was jumping. All the nurses and techs were busy with patients and I had to wait about 20 minutes for Debbie to start on me. Now, this was a bit annoying, since I said I¹d be at work by 10 am. I¹m sitting here realizing that when I come in for dialysis in the afternoon, it doesn¹t really matter how long the whole process takes, since I¹m just going home afterwards. Coming in before work is already making me feel the anxiety of having to get to work by a certain time, so let¹s get this thing going. Debbie finished cannulating me at 5:50, adding 20 minutes to my 4 hours.

It seemed that every single thing that could happen to slow the process down happened today. I was able to fall back asleep and slept until about 8:30. Around 9 I started feeling very clammy and faint and James came over and said my blood pressure was way down (75/56) and he began giving me saline to raise it. That was another 20 minutes added to my time. I finished the session and James pulled the needles and put gauze on the holes for me to hold until they began to clot. I held them for about seven minutes, and then Debbie came by to tape them up. She peeked at the arterial hole and it spurted blood about a foot and a half, so she clamped it and that added another 8 minutes or so. This added time wouldn't worry me if I was going home, but like I said, I still have my workday ahead of me.

Data Notes: In @ 70.6 and out @ 70.1

The Rest of the Day: By the time I got to work it was 11:00 am. Boss Kim said she was worried about what had happened to me and we discussed how variable my arrival times may be with this new schedule. I felt okay for most of the day at work, getting a little droopy towards the end of the day. Late in the afternoon my fuzzy brain got fuzzier. When my brain is fuzzy, it’s difficult to recollect and summon up at will specific small pieces of data. If I ask my brain to find the info, it’s like a slow librarian. She comes back with the data sometime in the future, when I’ve feasibly forgotten why I wanted it. The larger concepts and ideas are accessible, but the minutiae is off somewhere in a dense fog. So, when this phenomenon is occurring I can work successfully on writing or developing projects, but if the work has to do with detail work, I am very fuzzy. The fog is good for day dreaming or creatively imagining things but not much good for left-brain activities. That’s the way it seems to me.

Once I got home after work, I watched the news and then fell asleep for a 3-hour nap.

This experiment of going in for dialysis early in the morning, at first measure, is seeming to be too much for me. But, I have to do it on Thursday and Friday so I¹ll get more data points in order to see if it¹s just a time adjustment problem. I¹m going on Friday instead of Saturday this week because we are heading down to Kerrville on Friday for the first weekend of the Kerrville Folk Festival*.

*Online at

1 comment:

Orlando said...

Jack, thanks for trusting me with this news I was completely unaware of. You and I have known each other for ten years and have worked together now for the last eight. Please know you got my support and let me know if there is anything I can do for you. All my best to you amigo, Orlando