109) Kidney of Darkness

March 6, 2007

El Milagro:
I am a bit early today and find that they aren’t ready with my chair yet, so I am sitting in the waiting area listening to the end of Fresh Air and Terry Gross interviewing Mary Weis, formerly the lead singer of the Shangri-Las*, the late 60’s tough girl’s group... remember "Leader of the Pack"?

I finally get into my chair and get cannulated by Jason for the first time. He does an okay job, but seems a bit nervous, which makes me a bit nervous. So I’m hooked up and listening to All Things Considered when Jennifer the Dietician comes up with the newest lab report. My phosphorous is up (5.8) but not seriously “up” and Jennifer says lets wait until next week when we get the results of the annual labs that cover every possible chemical aspect of my being. Aside from the phosphorous report, the other readings are looking really good (calcium 8.3; Cal-Phos=Product 48.1; Parthyroid 163). We spend a good amount of time talking about her looking for a house to buy and whether it is good to build or buy. I refer her to my mortgage broker, Michael who knows more about such things than any of us.

At 5:30 I watch the ABC News and am happy to see that Bob Woodruff is back on the news, and tonight with Elizabeth Vargas… a flashback to when they were in the spotlight before he got blown up in Iraq. Even though he had to get blown up to make a splash, I'm thinking that the silver cloud is that now all of us are hearing and paying more attention to the horrible living results of this war. After that I doze awhile and wake up to watch PrimeTime and all of a sudden the room goes black with a “pffft” kind of sound. I’m looking up at a black tv screen in a black tv in the middle of a black ceiling in the black room… until some emergency spotlights come on, attached high on a few columns. It is an eerie sight and the staff is immediately rushing around on crisis mode. The lights only light up the ceiling area and the staff are all hunched over the machines trying to see to clamp off one line and prepare to manually get our blood back to us before it begins to clot. They say you should only go a few minutes with the machines off before you must get cranking.

Where’s a flashlight?”, someone says. “Unhook the patients venus lines and hand pump the blood back into them”, Nurse Ron says as he comes over to my machine and starts that process. In the dark, he feels the lines, clamps one off and then starts to hand crank the blood that is in the machine, back into my arm. So, he cranks and cranks and cranks and the the sound in the dark is something like the sound of hand-cranking an ice cream maker, "tshrik….. tshrik….. tshrik…. tshrik". And he is also talking to the others as their leader in this crisis, saying things like, “Who has a cell phone… we need to call Herman” and “How many people are still on?”, and “Someone get the hand-pump BP”. The few patients left on machines are mostly laying low, but some of us are excited about this new turn of events, and are cheering the staff on. Finally Ron leaves to go talk to Herman the Supervisor on the phone, and the guy I don’t much care for comes over and is pumping my blood back. And actually now he seems more okay since he is putting my blood back into me by hand… tshrik….. tshrik….. tshrik.

Well, my blood is all put back inside me and Jason de-cannulates me and gauzes my needle holes and I "hold them" while they clot. The whole place seems to slow down and adjust to the darkness. Now there is a flashlight flashing around, and some trsansit drivers have come to pick up one of the patients and Herman finally gets there to take over. I wait for the ten to fifteen minutes I have to to ensure I’m not gonna leak, and then Jason tapes me up and I weigh out. I have stopped dialysis 30 minutes early so I know I didn’t get the full benefit of a session. Yet I feel okay and as I leave I’m wondering how my weight indicates the shortness of the session, since I still lost 2.4 Kgs. I must’ve been really immersed in that thought
because I got half way home before I noticed that I left my glasses at the center. My eye itches and I scratch it and wonder why there isn't a glass barrier there. OOPs

March 7, 2007
Wednesday: I drop by El Milagro to get my glasses and Herman tells me that the cause of last night's power outage was a car crashing into a utility pole on the other side of the freeway, knocking out power to the center and the whole block around it. Well, whad-a-ya-know?

Notes: In at 76.2and out at 73.8 Kgs.
New Readers: For A Welcome Post, click August 2006 on the Sidebar

*Penny, B.K. (2006) Shangri-Las retrieved online March 2007 from The History of Rock-n-Roll. website at www.history-of-rock.com/shangria-las.htm

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