242) Snoozeville

April 29, 2008

El Milagro: I am almost 30 minutes late today. I walk in and find the stack of newly printed newsletters ready for me to hand out, so I walk around the place giving people a salutation and a newsletter. All but one person wants one and most people immediately set about reading it, making me feel like it is a useful service I provide. This month it is late again, mostly because I have had these incredibly busy weekends so I hadn’t had time to get it finished. However, late is better than never.

Rosie the Tech comes over to stick me and we discuss Susanne the Administrator’s article in the paper, and plans for making the meetings in the daytime so more folks can attend. Both of us are worried that after a year of PAC meetings, more than half the initial members have dropped out and there doesn’t seem to be any interest amongst people to re-inject the group with new blood (Ha Ha)

I get situated, stuck up, settled in and watch the news: consumer confidence is the lowest since 1992. ABC News reports on a bereaved husband testifying to congress on tainted Heparin killing 81 dialysis patients and that the FDA doesn’t have the control to catch these things. The Heparin came in from China through Baxter* and it is believed that the contamination was done purposefully to save money. I look over and see my Heparin shot sitting there and sigh. Do I tell the Nurse “STOP… don’t shoot me with that tainted Heparin!” or do I just “take my medicine” and trust in the good old USA? Do I trust my luck of the draw? Do I give it up to God? Do I refuse my meds and make El Milagro staff prove to me that my Heparin is Clean? "ARGGGGGGGGG!"

I fall asleep to escape these serious thoughts, thinking that at least I’ll ask them later what they are doing to protect us from tainted Heparin. Mostly I sleep and sleep and sleep, only waking to catch part of NOVA’s show on the Yamato and part of Carrier, life aboard the Nimitz.

Here is my Editorial in the new issue of the El Milagro News:
Editorial ~ We are a community here at El Milagro: perhaps a society of compulsory and even reluctant members, but a community none-the-less. As a community we are all responsible for keeping this place the safest and most agreeable place it can be. It is administration’s job to deliver a well-organized medical service to us, the customers. It is our job as customers to receive this service as any service given by professionals and to respect the administration’s service in our interest. They need us as much as we need them… making it a true collaboration between a delivery system and the customers. Since it is not easy for any of us to shop elsewhere, I believe it is in all our interest to participate in making this collaboration work as smoothly as possible.

The PAC is a committee of patients who have taken the responsibility for representing all of us in meeting with the El Milagro administration and in serving the other patients. We’ve been doing this for a year now and four of the original six of our volunteers have made it clear that they are ready to pass the torch along. Some of us here are in more severe medical conditions than others and we must respect folks when they say they must move on. We need new blood (pun) in our PAC.

Think about your own medical condition. It is true that the more active patients get in their care, the better they do with their treatment. So, if you volunteer some time for your PAC, you should do better with your dialysis, statistically. Also, you will feel better, knowing you are contributing to your community. We need four or more people. Join with us.
Notes: In at 78.5 and out at 75 Kgs.
* Tainted Heparin appears Deliberate retrieved online from http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5ikP1hN91jmfr4buDa4Bw_5JpeYPA

New Readers: For an INDEX, click January 2008 on the Sidebar and page down to post # 207.


Cheryl said...

I'm raising my glass (of water) and toasting your second year anniversary of dialysis. I can't believe it's been two years now. I can remember when you commented on your first anniversary!! My, my how time does get away.....

I wanted to say hi - it's been awhile since I've checked in, but I haven't forgotten you! Stay tough! Your Cheryl
p.s. Very good editorial!

Anonymous said...

My dialysis clinic, as I am sure yours also, recieved warning months ago about the tainted heparin and we immediately tossed out our supply.

I guess there really is no way to comfort your thoughts on tainted heparin but be assured that most dialysis clinics make every effort to stay on top of these things. And if I were your tech I would not be offended if you asked me where that particular heparin came from. It is in fact your life.

Jack Nowicki said...

ATPT ~ I know in the logical part of my brain that the heparin scare is old news... in fact I probably posted about it back in December or so. However, in my ADD front- and-center in-the-moment ZEN focus (which has no past, only present) when I see the latest tainted Hepasrin news on the news, my brain immediatly is stimulated to fight or flight. And since it is a 21st century, somewhat neurotic brain, F or F is acted out as W or H: Worry or Hide. My blogging is, as you may have noticed, stream of consciousness purging of my thoughts and feelings of the moment. In response to my W or H response I emailed my administrator to ask her to assure me they have done everything possible to protect us from tainted Heparin. She hasn't sent me back an email yet, but I feel comforted by my action none-the-less.

Actually, your idea of asking a tech is a good one too... they probably know the answer. Thanks for your note. JN

Jack Nowicki said...

Cheryl ~ Glass of WATER? You are such a "good girl". I would've thought that by now you woulda been driven to drink, if you know what I mean. You deserve a good shot of whiskey! Thanks for your ongoing support. Jack

Anonymous said...

Mr. Nowicki, my name is Damon Brooks. I was a client of yours a long time ago when you were doing family counseling. First, I'd like to say, sorry to hear about your ongoing strtuggle with the dialisys and kidney problem. I'll keep you in my prayers. Mr. Nowicki, I'm wondering if there would ever be a way to visit with you again? I've done plenty of growing and am now realizing that I truly still have plenty of issues I still need to deal with. I always felt comfortable around you and this many years later I still wonder where I would be now if I had been able to continue seeing you. I'm just a guy trying to live life the best I can and function in this twisted society. I hope to hear back from you and I also hope you continue to beat life's challenges that are set in front of you. Keep rockin'

Jack Nowicki said...

Damon ~ Of course I remember you and your family. If I still had a counseling practice I would be happy to talk with you. However, I have retired that segment and have moved on to consulting and teaching other counselors and writing about my experiences. In my humble opinion I would recommend that you sit down and make a list of everything you remember about the things you liked and were helpful to you back when you talked with me (or, for that matter, any other person in your life who was helpful). Then pick a few counselors, or call LifeWorks (the place you saw me ~ they work with all ages now) and "interview" a counselor, asking them questions that will give you some sense that they will be similar to what you liked about me. Look for them to focus on what you want to work on; respect your ideas about what will help; and encourage you to try little things that will take you in the direction you want to go. Also, ask if they encourage you to give them feedback about how they are doing in working with you.

Any reputable counselor will be willing to have you interview them for no cost in order for you to make a decision about whether or not meeting with them would be a "fit" for you.

For more ideas about questions to ask, google "interviewing a therapist". One of the links will be: http://www.myneda.org/uploads/ file/toolkits/NEDA-TKP-B06-Therapist Questions.pdf.

Good Luck to You Damon. JN

Damon said...

Mr. Nowicki, thank you for your response to my enquire. It's sad that you've retired from that segment of your life. I know you were a big help to many as I'm sure you still are. Thank you also for your professional advice in helping me to go about finding another Dr. I will take your advice and check out LifeWorks!!
Thank You,