Notes for New Readers: Since I handed out about 35 business cards with my blog address stamped on the back at the TNOYS Statewide Conference this week, I anticipate a number of first-timers visiting here. For you all, here is a map of this blog.

Along the black RIGHT SIDEBAR you will notice there are various informational LINKS to websites about kidney-related topics.

Below the informational links are the PREVIOUS POSTS links for the latest month. Generally I write one post each time I go for dialysis and it starts with my experience in the dialysis center and then, many times expands in whatever way my mind is going at the time. Since I go for dialysis three times a week on TTS there are usually three posts per week. I aim for ironic, humorous, thought-provoking, or at least interesting anecdotes related to my experiences.

Below the Previous Posts are the ARCHIVES. These are previous posts by month. I started this blog in April 2006, when I started dialysis. If you want to read about my introduction to dialysis and the experiences of my first session, you need to click on April and page to the bottom, since posts on blogs are always listed with the most recent date first. A basic review of posts by month is as follows:

April ~ In which Jack experiences dialysis for the first times; learns about how they measure the dialysis (urea reduction); has infiltration bruising, introduces my Doctor Moritz, the Kidney Guru; and explains my general theory of life.

May ~ In which Jack experiences more dialysis; learns about watching and lowering phosphorous; writes various personality studies of my dialysis colleagues and the staff; reports my brief history of dealing with the medical establishment; writes about AV fistulas, morphic fields, and systems thoughts; explains parathyroid glands; and notes about going to the early shift.

June ~ In which Jack Integrates dialysis with the Kerrville Folk Festival; discusses transplant possibilities; is the victim of a critical incident at the center (and the aftermath); reports more about kidney donations in the news; and posts some thoughts on driving north from Laredo.

July ~ In which Jack (and good friend Hans) write about the Ethics of Transplants; writes more about phosphorous; takes a vacation to Dallas; describes being a bionic man; stops eating enchiladas; discusses “Hallucinations” and muscle cramping during dialysis; and compares Dr. Moritz to Captain Picard when he was assimilated by the Borg.

August ~ In which Jack reads summer novels; talks to his kidney cysts in a TNOYS training; gets bored with the whole dialysis scene; reports on his dad’s new book; reports on gas mileage and pickup truck tailgates; and worries about his phosphorous getting really high.

For new readers; a Glossary of terms:
El Milagro (the miracle) is the center where I receive my dialysis sessions.
Cannulate or canoodle is the process of getting stuck with a needle the size of a toothpick so the blood can be filtered by the dialysis machine. (Also called poked or stuck or jabbed)
Staff at El Milagro are usually identified by name and function, i.e. Jennifer the Dietician.
Notes includes my beginning weight in kilograms and my ending weight, since they measure the dialysis in body weight loss during treatment. My “dry weight” (perfect weight they aim for) is 71.5 Kg, or 157 lbs.
Moritz is my nephrologist, Dr. Charles Moritz, who is part owner of El Milagro and a partner in Austin Kidney Associates.

Comments are made by you, the reader, by clicking "comment" at the bottom of the post. To be published, your comments must be approved by me. Basically, I do not publish "get well" or acknowledgement comments, although you can write them to me for their curative purposes. I do publish comments with reflections about your personal experiences, your thoughtful responses to my ramblings, contributions or critiques about my writings, significant or thought-provoking ideas, or various haiku that my friend, Cecilia, writes. If you don't want your comment published, let me know and I will respect your wishes.

El Milagro:
Got in today at 11:30 am. Phyllis the Nurse is back from 9 days of vacation, seeming very up-beat and happy. Diane cannulated me and is still doing much better at sticking me. The woman who says "help" (see #11 in May) is right in front of me today. Her name is Sandra and she curls up in a little fetal-like ball in her chair, with her feet sticking out over the chair¹s arm. She usually puts her quilt over her head when she is saying "help". According to staff, she used to be just like all the regulars, but over the years she has sunken into this state. When the EMS folks come to pick her up today, one of them asks her how she is doing, and she says, as normal as can be, "Okay". Then, a few seconds later, it's another "help".

Today I am watching Tiger Woods getting 4 bogies in a row! That is very unusual and yet, by the end of the day, Tiger has come back and is in second place. Tiger¹s confidence and commitment to excellence is a model for the rest of us! When you screw up or something bad happens, you simply (I admit it's not so simple sometimes) shake off any negativity, walk to the next doorway, step through it, and again focus on doing your best. You can¹t live in the past and you can¹t predict the future. So, all you can really do is be in the present, live fully, do your best, and laugh a lot.

Yesterday, as a closing for our conference, John Irvin reminded us that Groucho Marx said, "A clown is like aspirin, only he works twice as fast." See more about John at www.johnirvin.com .

Notes: In at 72.7 Kg. and out at 70.9 Kg.
If you want to read a new article on the Good Samaritan beharior of giving kidneys to strangers, read:
CNN.com (June 5, 2006) Would you give your kidney to a stranger? The ethics and hazards surrounding living donors. Retrieved online August 25th from http://www.cnn.com/2006/HEALTH/06/01/living.donors/index.html

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