230) In Which Joseph the Hulk Sticks Me

March 29, 2008

El Milagro:
I call in to find out what time I can come in and Ron the Nurse says, 2:30 so here I am at about 2:45, finding my chair on the back wall. Today it seems like the place is short-staffed, there are three nurses I can see and two techs. The guy who is in charge of cleaning the re-usable dialyzers, known as the ‘reuse technician’* is working the floor as a tech! He c
omes up and takes my BP and is setting up the machine and I think that he will do all that and then call Gladys’s the Tech over to stick me. But no, he plans to do it himself… and he looms over me and asks in a quiet yet formidable voice, “Is is okay if I stick you?” with a little grin.

Now, let me tell you a little about Joseph the Reuse Tech. Joseph is about 6’8” tall and probably weighs about 240. He is tall and thick like a tree, or a linebacker. He is Hispanic with short cropped hair and a tough look, with sometimes a sinister grin. He always wears black t-shirts and when he has his clear plastic apron and surgical gloves on he reminds me of a Frankensteinish figure of imposing magnitude. I don’t know if he actually has tattoos, but he could have them. He drives a dark metallic green late model Mercury sedan painted and tricked out like a moderate low rider with spike wheels and when he drives out of the parking lot late at nite it is an ominous site… such are my hallucinations about Joseph.

So when he says with that little grin, “Okay if I stick you?” I gulp and respond “Have you ever stuck anyone before?”. “Lots.”, and I choose not to question that at all. He is a slow poker, going from step to step in a laborious way that causes me to hallucinate that either he doesn’t know what he is doing or he is very careful to proceed with each step in a self-conscious and thoughtful way. Throughout the process, as he goes back and forth to the machine, he continually asks Jo the Nurse questions about the settings, so even if he does know sticking, he seemingly knows the machine less well.
I ask Joseph, “So, is sticking people a move up?” and he just looks back without letting me know anything about if he even understood that question. He makes a non-informative grunt or maybe it is an affirmation… or, maybe a shrug… it is hard to read… and we go on.

I note that although Jo the Nurse is coaching Joseph on the machine, neither she nor any other nurse comes by today to do a nursing eval.

Joseph sticks me with the power of a 240 lb man with Blutoish arms… the needle POPS into my vein with none of the normal resistance my scared veins put up. Pop! In goes one needle. Pop! In goes the second. Done. He deftly tapes ‘em up and I say, “Good job” and he grumbles, “Thanks”. Whew. That’s over and Joseph the Hulk moves off to loom over another patient down the line.

Ah Saturday:
I don’t feel like reading the book I have been bringing every session, which I am supposedly reading in prep for my Fall class on SF Therapy. The book is Dennis Saleebey’s, The Strengths Perspective in Social Work Practice and today it lays in the bottom of my bag untouched. I draft this post and then I surf the channels and end up watching one of the History Channel's shows on How the Earth was Made, about the clash of continents and the upheaval of mountains, etc.

From there I go to the clash of March Madness Basketball teams; specifically North Carolina and Louisville… the white headed wonder (Roy Williams) chesting up against our brylcreem boy, Rick Patino. A good game and yet we all know in our hearts that NC can’t really be beat this year… at least not yet. So I keep cheering for Louisville to come back, even though they spend most of the game 7 points down. And, of course, on my brackets I have NC at this level… but it is more fun to cheer on Patino’s boys.

I finish my blood cleansing session before the game is over and rush home to watch the final few minutes. And so it goes, Kokomos.

In at 77.1 and out at 74.4 Kgs.

*What is a reuse technician? Retrieved from Davita online, at //www.davita.com/UploadedImages/ReUse
16&hl=en&start =11&um=1&tbnid=YtG6is1zJugywM:&tbnh=104&tbnw=104&prev=
/images%3Fq%3Ddialyzer%26um %3D1%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dsafari%26rls%3Den%26sa%3DX
New Readers:
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billpeckham.com said...

You never know who the good stickers will be.

there is something off about that artificial kidney picture. Usually the blood lines would be coming out top and bottom, with the dialysate lines on the sides. Where is that pic from?

Jack Nowicki said...

Bill ~ I just surfed Google images for a dialyzer pic and picked the one I thought was most aestetically pleasing to me... and didn't really inspect it for correctness. Here is the link: http://www.moldedproducts.com/images/Dialyser_setup_all_c.JPG.

I'm happy you got the point of my Joseph the Hulk post... even the Bluto-ish guys can be gentle. JN

billpeckham.com said...

It's set up for reprocessing - I'd not seen that before. Thanks.

Jack Nowicki said...

You are a fountain of knowledge Bill! Thanks for all you do. JN