74) Dialysis in Galveston

November 18, 2006

Island Dialysis:
Liz drove me over to Island Dialysis, on Broadway, at 6:15 am this morning. We are here in Galveston for my agency’s board of director’s annual retreat; where they look at the short and long-term directions of the agency, focus and refocus our focus, and update and take on new tasks in each of the committees. We got in late last night and I am doing dialysis here before going to meet with the board for the rest of the day and until noon tomorrow.

Island Dialysis is an unsuspecting store front in a third generation strip mall on the way out of town toward Houston. It is a bit larger than El Milagro, but less crowded it seems. Some things are the same as El Milagro… since both are operated by DaVita: the new translucent yellow paper gowns the staff wear when the bosses are around; the basic procedures; and the staff / customer attention behaviors. The charge nurse introduces herself and the techs who will stick me and watch over me. They are all friendly and much more awake than I am at this hour of the morning. Oh yeah! I haven’t had any coffee today. No wonder I am so dull when the tech asks about my low BP. I just look at her and say… “Uhhh, I do have low BP sometimes… but I don’t know about the mornings, since I don’t check it in the mornings.” Right now it is like 106 over 68 or something similar. Since I’m so fuzzy anyway, how can I tell the actual numbers? But it was low. During my time here today it gets low
er and higher throughout my session and I remember November 11th it was low too. They ask the normal question of whether I’ve taken my BP meds and I am quite sure I haven’t and say so. Heck! Its 6:30 in the morning. What do I know? I feel like my Austin nurse Phyllis shoulda pinned a note on me for these people. Really though… they are very nice and just trying to do a good job on me.

The tech sticks me easily and I am there, looking around to see what its like. The chairs are light green and when the recline they actually don’t change their angle of seating: they just lean back and there you are reclining in a sitting posit
ion. When I throw my blanket over my feet, the chair pops up and I’m sitting upright again. So I have to push against the back and pull my knees up to my chest to fall back into the reclining position. I watch the old Audie Murphy western, Destry*, based on the original Tom Destry movie, Destry Rides Again. By the time I’m done, my BP is okay and I walk out to meet Liz and Shayna, who take me over to The Children’s Center for the board meeting.

The Meeting: I walk in as the board is taking a break, and immediately face a few members; one of whom says, “What happened? Did you cut yourself?” pointing at my bound up fistula. I say something about being on dialysis and there is a gasp and now it is officially public information with more of the board. Thankfully, the meeting is about to start agai
n, so I don’t have to explain everything. I will tell them all to come here for the review, one-at-a-time, as they ask.

Saturday: While I am participating in the board meeting, Shayna and Liz are able to go down to the beach a couple times to collect shells, eat lunch at The Rainforest Café**, go horseback riding on the beach, and swim at the hotel pool. We get out a little early and I shoot up to our room to catch a bit of the Michigan / Ohio State game.

Then we are all off to our federal contract administrator’s (Ralph) place on the bayside on a canal. Shayna, Liz, and I get to go out into the bay on his 35’ fishing boat and it is the perfect end to a perfect day for the girls. That's Shayna in the sunset picture at right ----->

Notes: New Readers --> Click on August for a Welcome Post
** http://www.rainforestcafe.com/

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