193) On the Front Porch of the Di-Allysis Hotel

December 8, 2007

I call in and Phyllis the Nurse says I can come in at 1 and I negotiate down to 12:30, saying that tonight we have the relatives over for our Chanukah dinner.

El Milagro:
I weigh in and again find my chair isn’t ready. An old old woman is sitting in it and looks up at me as if to say, “I’m not moving until I am ready, buddy!” I return to the weighting room, passing the nurses’ station, where Monica the Nurse commen
ts, “I didn’t think we’d be ready by 12:30 when Phyllis negotiated that time with you.” “That’s okay” I say. I chuckle to myself about Phyllis saying okay to my negotiation, probably knowing that I’d have to wait. Today I brought an article I am late on reviewing, thinking I can catch up. I start finishing it while I’m waiting. Pretty soon Rosie the Tech wheels the old old woman out for final weighing and I watch her delicately and gently adjust her covers and set her near the window so she can watch for her ride. Then she comes over and quietly tells me that Amanda wants to cannulate me today, adding that she needs practice and that she is a bit nervous so I should be very supportive. So, of course I say “okay” to Amanda Ambrosia poking me! I can’t wait. So, I move in to my chair and pull my stuff outa my bag to set up. Kim the Nurse floats up like a balloon (her budding baby bulge leading the way) and listens to me and takes my temp. Rosie does my BP and I notice Amanda on the other side of the supply station moving back and forth nervously. Finally I can’t stand it any longer and I call out, “Aaamannnndaaaa…” and gesture her over by hooking my index finger. She smiles shyly, grabs some gloves, and comes around to my machine. I say,So, I hear you want to practice sticking people and I am happy to let you stick me.” She shyly mumbles something like thanks and very gently yet deftly wipes down my fistula and begins the process. I comment that she doesn’t have to learn this if she isn’t ready and she replies that she does have to learn it because she is studying to be a nurse.

As she is
pushing in the arterial needle, I encourage her by saying “push… good…” and, “that’s right” as it pops into the vein. She finishes up setting the machine and I watch Rosie walking by every few minutes, looking over Amanda’s shoulder, ensuring that she is on target with her adjustments. Afterwards I tell her she did good and she moves on to care for someone else. I am sitting beside John today and we begin a conversation that interrupts me from my normal TV focus and listening to Folkways. At some point Phyllis the Nurse drops by to say it isn’t a mistake that she sat us by each other. John and I discuss a variety of things from Austin restaurants closed down to great albums like Super Session, to Texas towns to books by Wierdos. Finally our conversation peters out and we both go back to our solitary pursuits of reading and watching sports… but it was a nice friendly good-ole-Texas-boy talk and I enjoyed it. We coulda been two guys jawin' on the front porch of the Di-Allysis Hotel.

Beginning and ending weights were recorded but forgotten by my swiss cheese brain… in memory of Hunter S. Thompson’s gravy brain.

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