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Sunday, March 07, 2021


Please allow me to vent for a moment.

I hate dialysis. I know it's saving my life but I really, REALLY fucking hate it.

Kidney failure is no picnic and neither is the ongoing treatment for it, but I must endure until whenever a kidney becomes available that is a perfect match.

Dialysis is physically painful, thanks to the needles and the occasional bloody mishaps that go with them, and aside from my own agonies I am constantly reminded of the pain involved by the moans and screams of my fellow patients. I may experience pain, but I will not give it the satisfaction of making me scream. A yelp or two here and there, but never screams.

I hate the dialysis center. It's a depressing facility straight out of a medical horror movie. Its white floors and walls that reflect the glare of the overly bright lighting, the rows of dialysis machines and the assorted noises that they make. The chairs that one sits in during the dialysis process may as well be a prison for the mind and body while one is there, as one is trapped in them and forbidden to move for close to four solid hours, during which time one learns firsthand to understand relativity, as one feels those hours stretch on for what seems to be a century.

While I fully understand that they have no control over their actions, being among elderly dementia patients for several hours three days per week is a soul-destroying affair. They are lost within their own heads as they cry out to be released every two minutes, some screaming and crying in pain as well as in confusion. Mr. Adler in particular is an especially tragic case. He's a bearded old Hasid who was once reportedly a knowledgeable scholar and teacher of his faith, but now his mind functions on a disconnect from time and space as he wonders where he is and constantly asks to be set from his seat and from the machine. I do not know him outside of treatment, but it pains me to see a once great mind reduced to being stuck in a time loop.

While I love the experienced nurse/techs, I dread times of cutbacks that lead to under-staffing. Those times find the veteran nurse/techs occupied more on specific sides of the facility, thus leaving those of us in the middle in the care of inexperienced intern nurse/techs who will hopefully gain experience on the fly. We patients fear being in the care of these well-intentioned newbs because they have no skills in practical application, so they often fumble in ways that result in pain and blood. There's no sensation quite like standing on linoleum in a puddle of blood that has spurted from an artery in your arm where a newb nurse/tech mis-applied the needles or failed to properly bandage the entry points after treatment, resulting in blood dripping all over the place like syrup at a pancake house breakfast.

Yes, I have an assortment of items to keep me distracted during the process, but I would rather be nearly anywhere else, doing anything else, but until the kidney comes through I will be stuck in the endless loop of treatment one day, rest/recovery the next day, then back to treatment and rinse and repeat.

And I must admit I am beginning to psychologically break from being stuck in all of it. One can only be so strong for so long, and I am definitely reaching my limit. When one's life is on hold thanks to forces beyond one's control, one's life becomes a purgatory.

I am not religious and I never will be, but if I were the praying type, I would implore the gods for swift arrival of a replacement organ, but it's a case of "wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which fills up first...”

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