61) In Which Jack & Jill Trade Chairs

September 29, 2006

Earlier that Day:
4:45 am and the alarm is ringing and Liz elbows me and says, “Time to get up”, and I grudgingly do so, wondering why I agreed to go for the first shift. As my fuzzy mind clears it all comes back to me. I was stupidly trying to make my family happy. WHY DO I DO THAT? They want to all eat dinner together, like Rabbit visiting with all his relations. And of course, Piglet says it won’t be a dinner without Jack. "Come on Jack, get an earlier time for dialysis". So Jack begs Herman who originally says “No way, Jose.” but then checks the board and finds out Jill wants a later time and we can trade. All these children’s stories collide: Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit, Jack & Jill… what’s it all mean, Alfie? My colliding metaphors only suggest that these all tumble and jumble around in my fuzzy brain as I’m sleepily driving cross town to the center at 5 in the morning.

El Milagro: I walk in and go directly to Jill’s chair and the tech says, “Hey buddie, that’s Jill’s chair” and I reply “But Jill’s doing last shift today and I’m Jack and we traded shifts. Check the board.”. So, it turns out the first shift came in at 4 and set up all the chairs without looking at the board (where the truth always is written) and set up my chair for Jill (See Post #39 in August). Well, I like Jill alright, but I don’t think I want to share dialyzers with her and even though we supposedly tumbled down a hill together, I doubt if she wants to share with me either. So, they have to change dialyzers and then the machine has to be re-calibrated, or introduced to the new dialyzer or something. At any rate, I finally get poked and hooked up by Boris at 6:15 or so. Boris is kinda goofy but okay at poking people. All goes well, meaning I go right back to sleep and snooze on until about 10. I wake up... it's light out, and I immediately wonder how Shayna is doing in her soccer game that started at 9:30. I imagine her running fast, watching the ball, anticipating where she needs to be, blocking kicks and charging on offense. I hope she isn’t lazing because I’m not there inspiring her to play tough.

Herman shows up at around 10:15, looking sleepy… shifting his eyes around as if he is trying to get the sleep out. He makes a quick sweep of the floor and checks on everything like a good supervisor. Now I am awake and want to watch TV but have somehow pulled out my earphones from the wall and don’t really want to bother anyone cause they are taking all the people off who really started at 5:30. At about 11:00 I look over and notice my BP is down around 88/55. Hmmmm? That makes me feel a little vacant. As I think about it, I discover that cold sweaty feeling coming on... like when you’re about to pass out. Oh great. I’m creating my own slide into fainty-land… So, I lay there relaxed (like almost out) and try to imagine my BP getting more activated, like climbing up steps fast. Boris finally comes over to unhook me and has me stand up and checks my BP and it’s like 92/58. “Sit down” he says quickly and checks it sitting down: 90/56. We go through this routine several times over the next 15 minutes and Boris finally de-cannulates the access needle and leaves the return needle so we can put in some saline if needed. Finally Boris calls Herman the Nurse over to supervise and Herman stands me up and checks me a few times, asking me to get angry. All through this I really feel okay and ready to leave. Finally my BP is up to 108/65 and they let me out. Who knows what that was all about? I still have new experiences in dialysis!

Later: After getting home from dialysis I found out that Shayna’s team won, 2 – 1 and that she didn’t play as good as usual… said to her mom she was tired. We spend the rest of the morning rushing around straightening up the house and then in the late afternoon we have our relations over for sauerbraten with pasta, salad, and two kinds of pie. Although the event is billed as Shayna's Third Birthday Dinner; Diane's Big Birthday Dinner, and Grandpa John's Pre-Birthday Dinner, the meal is actually the family’s traditional, large, festive, pre-fasting meal before Yom Kippur and this year it's a day early, by agreement of the elders (Liz, Joan, and Diane). And this year we have my dad joining us from San Antonio, making it 11 at the table. Beginning at sundown tomorrow, Liz will fast through Yom Kippur and we usually attend Kol Nidre services in the evening and services all day on Yom Kippur*.

Notes: In at 73.3 Kg. and out at 72.3 Kg.
* Rich, T.R. (2005) Yom Kippur. Retrieved September 29th online from the Judaism 101 website at

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