165) Travel to DC

September 18

El Milagro: Well, its been a long time since I came in here at 5:30 in the morning, and I recall why I haven't... this is really EARLY! I am not yet awake and every thing people ask me is responded to with a vacant look. Jackie is bright and bubbly as she pokes me. I just want to lie down and go back to sleep. I do. And then I wake up and listen to NPR for awhile.

So, of course, since I am here and then must shoot out to the airport to fly to DC, I begin to feel funny and ignore it for some time. And then I try to ignore it and finally I end up calling Phyllis the Nurse over and tell her I'm feeling a little faint and clammy. She checks my BP and says, "no wonder... your BP is 70 over 90". So, they shut down the machine and let me build up my BP to where I can walk out of the place.

I sit there holding my arm as long as I can stand it, then tape myself up and zoom out to the airport to check in and get on the Time and get bored.... boy it takes a long time to fly to DC... not like jetting from Austin to Dallas. I arrive at Dulles and am happy I pre-arranged my SuperShuttle... all I have to do is check in and wait about 10 minutes for them to drive me the 40 minutes to the Madison Hotel downtown. I'm Here!

I check in and get a non-smoking room that smells like stale cigarettes and has an ashtry right on the bed table, where one can easily burn the place down while falling asleep. I call and they send someone to meet me on the 6th floor with a key to a new room. Its funny that the non-smoking room with the smoke and ashtray has a new fangled thin TV and fancy dan radio and my new non-smoking room has no ashtray and an old thick TV and old radio. I guess smokers get upgraded supplies here, since they're gonna hafta die earlier.

I must decompress... turn on NPR and sit still for awhile trying to decide what costume to wear to the first DaVita Patient Citizens Meeting. I decide to wear exactly what I'm wearing... whew... what difficult decisions we have to make in DC. I go down to the designated meeting place and there are already about 20 people there. I look around and a woman smiles at me and I walk past her table and then turn around and go back to sit beside her, thinking that smile was friendly and I don't need to find any better table to sit at. She is Elizabeth and she's on the Board. I also meet lots of kidney dialysisers and more staff of this non-profit supported by the for profit that is DaVita. Curious still I am all eyes and ears and soak up as much information as possible. Chad is the leader and he has worked on Kerry's campaign and I hallucinate he is a little pushy, but it may be that he is just a "DC" guy. Tonya seems more approachable and the board members of this group seem to be very nice.

There is food for dinner, a short presentation and we all introduce ourselves. We are from different states and from different SES and flavors of kidney disease and dialysis. All flavors are represented and lots of the folks are around my age, so I slip right in.

So, for the next few days I hope to post every day since this is dialysis + kidney adovcacy a-la-modes ville.

Notes: In at 75.0 Kgs and out at 72.5 Kgs.

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