314) Rodolfo's Kablooie

January 10, 2009

El Milagro: I'm here right at 3, after informing Rosie the Tech this morning that chores were more important than coming in at 11. I am in the corner today. Ann the Nurse pokes me, sets up the machine, and does my nursing eval.

I am facing the bank of chairs along the back wall of the room and right in front of me, in the first chair, is this old guy voraciously eating a plate of food while I get set up. I can't take my eyes off his eating. His food is on one of those new-type styrofoam compartment plates, as if he had just walked in from a cafeteria. He has a baked potato (yes, while on dialysis!), some sort of meat patty with gravy, and some indistinguishable veggie in the third compartment. On the arm of his chair he also has some pre-packaged something-or-other, a square saran-wraped sandwich, and a white styrofoam cup of yellow pudding. He shovels food into his mouth and chews furiously... I wonder... is he so hungrily inhaling this food cause he's starving or is he beyond tasting food and just sucking it in for nourishment. I mention to him, "looks like a good lunch" and he replies that he enjoys it... "...for the rest of my life." and I don't know what to make of that... and go back to simply observing his wolfing. This old man I have seen here before but I don't know him and today's interchange doesn't lead to knowing him any better. He goes on devouring his food and I go on watching from the sidelines. As he is eating he concentrates on his plates and everytime he unwraps something, he tosses the wrapper over the left side of his chair, slightly missing the waste basket beside the chair. I count his chewing briefly... about two chomps a second... chomp chomp chomp chomp... chomp chomp chomp. Really! Its like watching a human chomping machine; his steely eyes looking off into nowhere ahead of him while his jaws are working overtime. He is dressed like usual; with khaki's, old penny loafers, a plaid flannel shirt covered by a gray sweatshirt hoodie and a black woolen stocking cap perched on his head so it's top almost flops over. I guess he is about 70 but I am a terrible age guesser, so who knows.

George with the new Heart is sitting to my left... he came in shortly after me and Rosie teases him and his neice about coming in later than they said they would. As Rosie walks off from George on the left she goes by the Old Eating Guy and scolds him... "There isn't no maid service here..." and scoops some of his trash into the waste basket and then moves the basket over in front of his chair.

So it goes on this Saturday, and I open my novel to read and plug my ears into Folkways... immediately all the clinic drama fades out and is replaced with Jennifer Warnes, The patriot's dream and then Bobby Bridger's Heal in the wisdom...

"there is a season, there is a time
there is a purpose, and there is a plan
and one day together we'll heal in the wisdom, and will understand"

What a way to replace the mundane sounds of a dialysis clinic. As I am reading, Folkways completes it's Saturday run with James Mcmurtry's Down on the Delaware and finally, James Taylor's Lo and behold... so I read on and listen on and all of a sudden a face from the past walks up smiling.

It is Rodolfo the Kid (see post #204; The Spanish Lesson) coming to visit. He says "Hi" to George and turns to my chair smiling and says, "How ya doin?" in his broken English. He reports that he got a transplant from his mother back in May and is doing great. I reflected to him that he looks Great and asked about his life now. Rodolfo asks about my situation... "No relatives for a kidney?" and I shake my head and briefly complain about no paired exchanges here... He is happy to be out of dialysis, is very healthy and not minding taking the few meds he reports he has to take. Since he got the kidney from his mom, he doesn't have to take as much of the usual anti-rejection drugs. I am happy to see him and tell him so, "You need to go by everyone who is awaiting a kidney and say hello to them to show them what the future is like without dialysis." Rodolfo smiles and I'm not sure he understands exactly what I just said... but he nods and smiles and moves off to speak Spanish to George with the New Heart. I muse as he moves on... "Wow... he looks so good and happy and when I finally get my new kidney I want to come back to say Hi to folks here too. It is awe-inspiring to see him looking so good! Makes me happy too."

As the time passes I also want to tell Rosie my Saturday story, and she finally comes over and we converse. She reports that when Rodolfo disappeared back in May they all thought he had gotten a cadaver kidney, but unbeknownst to all, he and his mother had been planning and preparing for this operation for some time, and then, kablooie, he's gone and they find out months later that he got the kidney from his mom. Kablooie? I wonder if that is a good word meaning fast kidney transplant. I would like mine to be a Kablooee type transplant. To me Kablooee suggests a one-word translation of wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am... or as otherwise known: a quickie. For me, Rodolfo's kidney plug in was a "quickie"... he was there... he was gone... now he's back. Kablooie! He's got a new Kidney. Probably didn't seem that way to him though.

So, my funny Saturday note that I report to Rosie is that she calls to see if I want to come in at 11 and I think, "No, I've got to get my pop-up from Bobby" and ask for a 3 o'clock chair. I am single minded about getting the pop-up in my garage by the end of fall (January is close, we decide). So, Johnny the Son and I drive out to Bobby's and with some minor glitches get the pop-up and are about to leave and Bobby says, "See ya tonight" and I remember that it is Stuart's Celebration and I reply, "Oh yeah... see ya then...". We drive on home, squeeze the pop-up into the garage, mention to Lizzie about the party tonight, and eat lunch and along about 2 I realize that there is a party at 7 and I'll be in dialysis to 7:30. For some reason I had never until this minute put the dialysis/party schedule together. Like I said, single event planning is the mark of a fairly functional ADD person! It is funny to me that I never could put chore/dialysis/party together... that's THREE things. This is how my life is complicated.
Rosie is very sympathetic and reframes my self desparaging story as "We all are so busy these days it happens to all of us. Just the other day I went off and forgot...." something or another which gets past me cause I am off in my brain trying to figure out how I ever get anything done at all. She goes on and I do respond and it is a nice little conversation about how the advanced technological society has overwhelmed us old folks, basically.

So it goes.

Notes: In at 75.7 kgs. and out at 74.5 kgs.
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INDEX, click January 2008 on the Sidebar and page down to post # 207.
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