111) The Slow Draw & Jack Remembers "The Boz”

March 10, 2007

Jo the Nurse called and asked Liz if I can come in in an hour. I called back at about 11 and we negotiated a 1:30 time. I didn’t want to come in earlier cause of the UT semi-final Big 12 Conference game with OSU.

El Milagro: I am here on time and seated and cannulated by Diane the Tech. Herman the Nurse stopped by and I asked him to explain exactly how 6-hour (overnight) dialysis is “better” than the 4-hour variety I am now participating in. According to Herman, the difference is “the slow draw”. When the blood is drawn through the machine slower 1) you get a higher creatinine clearance because the blood spends more time in the dialysate. Also, 2) a 6-hour dialysis doesn’t result in any cramping or low blood pressure difficulties. The difference between 4 hours and 6 hours is enough to substantially change the outcomes. We discussed the pros and cons that I had listed in Post # 105 and he reported that if they decide to run an overnight group it’ll be at the South Center. I asked it Herman would run it and he responded rather cryptically, “I’d work there if I could just be a shift nurse”. I also mentioned my thoughts about flipping and flopping during sleep, and he recalled for me his experience in hospitals. He expressed that no matter how deeply dialysis patients are asleep, they somehow are conscious of their arms being hooked up and don’t move them in ways that disturb the machine or pull out the needles. I finalized that I would continue to think about the possibility and let him know more as I figured it out.

At 3 the pre-game hoopla for the OSU / UT game started and I excitedly waited like a little kid until about 3:30 when the actual game started. The first half was excellent and I was quite sure that we’d win. But then, of course, during the first half of the second half, I was worried. The game got down to 46 seconds with Durrant having to pull us out with a 3-point shot. By that time Diane is de-cannulating me and I am watching the last 30 seconds ‘holding’ the gauze on my needle holes tightly, eyes glued to the TV hanging from the ceiling, and trying to ignore the itch on my nose. Isn’t it funny how just when you are completely tied up and can’t move, and your attention is focused on something important, you get an itch somewhere that screams to be scratched. The more you try to ignore it, the more it itches. Being able to sit through that without dropping everything to scratch is the ultimate in concentration, me thinks.

The people who say, “If you have an itch, scratch it” (mostly in my memory they were psychoanalysts) weren’t having to hold gauze tightly over two toothpick sized holes that would bleed profusely. The psychoanalyst I recall perpetuating the scratch-itch saying was Dr. Lanis L. Bosworth, my favorite psychology professor in undergraduate school (c. 1969). The “Boz”, as we called him, was the leading eccentric prof in those days. He wore argyle socks with barn-red slacks and multi-colored ties with plaid shirts. He was an older, wiser, yet virile man with a lust for life. He always walked into class (no matter which course it was), and started class with “Any questions?”, and the students would chart the flow of the class with their questions and the questions would cover the ocean of psychological possibilities. “What do dreams mean?”;How does the superego function in adolescence?”;How is the female orgasm different than the male’s?” I recall this one question particularly. The Boz answered it by leaning so far back in his chair that I was sure he’d fall over… and, then, slowly he put his head back, made his mouth into a large oval and began a low, guttural howl that raised in pitch and volume until many of the students were covering their ears with cupped hands. The co-ed, sorority (in my hallucination) girl who’d asked the question blushed and foolishly continued her quest, “Aren’t you exaggerating a little Dr. Bosworth?” to which he countered, “I guess you’ve never had an orgasm, have you?”. I only wish I remember the rest of the conversation, because it was an informative hoot for the whole class. What I do remember is that he always pushed people to their uncomfortable limits and then somehow drew a connection to a psychological debate. From the Boz, I learned that there are always many sides to a story, or a “rule”, or a theory. If “Question Authority” had been an aphorism back then, the Bos would’ve said it. Google doesn’t give a hint about what the Boz is up to now-a-days, but I’m sure that if he’s on the planet he is still a rascal who pushes people’s buttons as a teaching strategy.

Later: Driving home after my session, I started wondering, if 6-hour dialysis is so much better, why don’t all dialysis centers provide 6-hour dialysis as their “normal” offering, rather than 4-hour dialysis? Good question, Jack. And I hate to think that the answer, as in most things, is MONEY. My dear boy, it's always about money! They (The big "They") can make more money with less hours, period! Even so, I should ask Herman about this one, because maybe my hallucination of dollar signs is off key. We'll see.

Notes: In at 74.8 and out at 72.4 Kgs.
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Cheryl Martin said...

Jack, Just checking in and saying "hi" I just read (most) of your entries back to Thelma's memorial service. That (already) seems so long ago to me - life just moves at such a fast pace. Anyway, as always, I enjoyed reading your musings, hallucinations, memories, theories, and experiences. I'll be waiting to hear the answer to the question about the 6 hour vs the 4 hour dialysis - hope it's not about money!! Your Cheryl

Anonymous said...

Like you, I was trying to find out what happened to "The Boz" and found your blog. We graduated the same year from UTEP, so we might have even taken the same classes with Bosworth. You described him perfectly. I did the search at my wife's request since she was fascinated by what I told her about him. Thanks for sharing that and hope you are okay. Robert Johnson

Jack Nowicki said...

Oh yeah. The Boz. What a guy. seems I heard something more about him... will have to look in my piles of stuff. I'll report it here when I find it.

Thanks for your comment. JN