213) Calcium Capers Continue

February 2, 2008

El Milagro: I called in earlier to get an early time and then the UT / Baylor game was in the last few minutes and close… so, by the time I got to the center I was late! UT won! I apologized to Rosie the Tech, who wondered why I said 2:45 and then showed up at 3:15. My chair is in the middle of the room, facing the back of the center, at the end of the row. Before the new TV’s were put in, this chair had the worst TV in the place. Now it’s just like every other middle row chair.

So, Rosie is there to stick me and she says she wants to talk to me about something; prefacing this introduction with a statement like, “I don’t read your blog but others do and this little birdie told me that you wrote that the center had you on the wrong bath the other day.” She continues, “I don’t like to get involved in these things, but…” and then says although she doesn’t usually like to get involved because it’s not her place as a tech, she is willing this time because she is la mujera sabia del Milagro! Actually, I think she means to say that she will talk to me because we get along well and she trusts that talking won’t make things worse. She continues that I was on the right bath the other day and she doesn’t know how I got the ‘wrong bath’ idea.

Since Rosie hasn’t read post # 210, I share with her that Jennifer the Dietician, supported by Dr. Rowder, reported to me that the cause of my discomfort was that staff put me on the wrong bath. Rosie replies that when my calcium crashed she was doing my foot check and she switched out my normal bath for a 1K 4ca bath for about 15 minutes, at Ron the Nurse’s approval, and then put me back on a 1K 2Ca bath. Rosie believes I was originally on the right bath and that the calcium crash had nothing to do with the set-up. “It was just like Ms. Whatchacallit. Her’s crashes sometimes too.” So, in the end, Rosie’s report is different than Jennifer’s and now I am again confused about what happened.

Well, so as the world turns, Ron the Nurse comes up to do a nursing assessment and I take the opportunity to ask him about his perspective of 'the incident'. Ron reports that I was on a lower calcium bath than usual: a 1K 1Ca. When I crashed he okayed Rosie temporarily switching the bath to a 1K 4Ca in order to balance out my calcium before switching it back to the correct bath (1K 2Ca). Ron also says he should’ve explained the whole thing afterwards, but that I looked like was kinda out of it. I share with Ron my propensity for thinking that when something goes wrong it is my fault… something I did or didn’t do (internal locus of control) and that I always want to try to understand any deviations (the good, the bad, and the ugly) from the norm as soon as practical. [Question to Self: Does this proclivity go back to childhood, when I always was given feedback that I wasn’t doing things right? Maybe I just need psychoanalysis!] I add that if anyone at El Milagro reads my blog and disagrees or thinks I am axe-grinding, I hope they will let me know immediately. My intention is to write the blog from the perspective of the patient, including the patient’s worries, learnings, funny stories, and kvetches. Ron replies that he hasn’t looked at the blog in some time, and he understands my intent.

We move on to discussing the tape situation and he explains they are supposed to use one roll per patient. I suggest the idea of assigning a roll to a patient and ask them to take it in their bag until the next time. He likes that idea and adds that the small rolls only have about 8 or 9 strips on them, so he usually uses more than one roll per person. He continues that there is a new person doing the ordering and they are still learning their job. The next order will return to paper tape to replace the Tape from Hell (called silk tape in the catalog).

So the saga continues. From this last Chapter of the Calcium Caper I learn that there are many sides to any story in the Post Modern world and that when I tell my story it gets reviewed in comparison to other’s realities and then it gets retold and eventually comes back to me as another version of the little bird’s version of my version. Every person’s version is colored by their own life story and their own values, focus, and schema. There is no Objective Reality, Pancho! Say goodbye to the Modern World and hello to the Post Modern, Constructivist Era.

Notes: In at 76.7and out at 74.7 Kgs.
Bumper Sticker from Memories of Our Austin, retrieved online from

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