175) A Village Loss

October 11, 2007

El Milagro: I hear through the grapevine today that we had a death in the center (very unusual for people to die here) this morning… staff is more docile than usual, it seems to me. The rumor is that Ms. S. came for dialysis and looked fine to everyone. She was hooked up and when staff came to give her her meds they observed her eyes rolled back in their sockets. The staff jumped into emergency mode and tried to revive her while calling 911 and the doctor-on-call. After spending some time trying resuscitation techniques on her body, laid out on the floor, staff put her back on a recliner and surrounded her with privacy screens. She had departed this world. One staff reported to me that it was “real nice” how respectful and gentle the staff were with Ms. S’s body. Three police units, the fire department resuscitation unit, Dr. Moritz, and the coroner all arrived and the staff and folks on their machines got real quiet as the authorities went about their duties. I hear that our departed villager is survived by eight children… all but one grown up and out on their own… and, that she had been on dialysis about a year and a half… and had other medical problems and a hard life. DaVita will send sympathy cards to the family. The staff here are very compassionate people and when something like this happens they go about their duties under a pall of somberness. It seems that when there is some emotionally stressful going on a number of staff drift about and will quietly share their feelings with me... perhaps because they perceive me as a person who listens (bears witness) to their pain. And maybe that's just my hallucination and I am the one who ferrets out the details of these happenings to post in this blog. Or, maybe it is a bit of both.

Carol the Tech is cannulating me and we review my dry weight and it is recorded now as 72.7 (160 lbs) and she hooks me up and sets the machine to take off 2.1 kgs. I tell her about my last session cramps and she replies, “that’s cause you left here at 71.6 last time”.

When I got here today I immediately found Angie the Administrative Assistant to get copies of the new newsletter to hand out to my shift. I picked up a stack and started on my delivery route… and, noticed the copies were… being polite… less than adequate. The front top corner showed a folded-over corner and the darker graphics copied as black boxes. I gave myself a few deep breathes to calm down and then returned to Angie to ask what happened. Turns out she copied from a stapled copy of the document, instead of copying directly from the PDF file. I sternly asked her to copy directly from the PDF next time and she smiled. I held myself from asking what the Hell she was thinking when she was making our copies, and does she think that the way they came out is acceptable. I walked away telling myself, “If you want something done right… do it yourself.” Passing out the newsletter, I felt like apologizing for it’s looks, but I just pleasantly said “Hi”, “How ya doin?”, “Here’s the newsletter”, and stuff like that.

Tonight is TV night in dialy-land… so I watch the ABC News, Survivor, and most of Gray’s Anatomy. Survivor is in China this time and seems more back on the interesting-to-watch than last season. I’m not sure who I favor yet and am just enjoying watching these people get to know each other. And, yes, I do know that it’s not reality… it’s a weird sort of meta-reality where people don’t really act like themselves… and yet… they still have quasi-human interactions that are metaphors of the real world. fl the way I see it.

So it goes.

Notes: In at 74.3 and out at 72.4 kgs.
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