The Rise of the Pod People

Friday, I had a pretty crappy morning. It was my final dialysis stint for the week. I always look forward to it because it means by 11:00, I am a free woman! I am on my way to garage sales and yard sales. My name is being called. Tea cups and saucers! Old and ancient books from the turn of the century – and not this century. Jig saw puzzles for a dime. They are all calling my name and asking for a place in my home. Just as soon as I get out of this dialysis chair and get my running shoes on, and I’m off! Mechanic Man is my driver, and we careen around Spokane, making sudden u-turns because we do drive by look-and-see viewpoints of potential treasure troves.

Only, Friday, my preplanned itinerary went up in a puff of disappointing smoke. My dialysis access site was sluggish. They tried to flush it. It still was sluggish. They put some sort of gunk-eating, residue-evaporating fluid in my access site to soak for an hour – suspending dialysis until it was finished. STILL sluggish. They restarted my dialysis and said we’d limp along until Monday when I could have surgery to fix the site or . . . . . REPLACE the site. Only Monday is a holiday. I sat in that chair for over five and a half hours. I’d like to see anybody with half the strength and patience I have do that. Without moving.

Now this gets me riled just a tad. Dialysis patients do not know what “holiday” means. We go in, faithfully, steadfastly, religiously, every other day, three days a week, every week, every month, every year, forever. There are no such things as a three-day-weekend. But hospitals, for “unnecessary” procedures, have holidays. So the procedure can’t be done until Tuesday.

So, I will go in on Monday and see if my body will be able to “do” dialysis. If not, I go in on Tuesday, have the procedure, maybe they can roto rooter it out, maybe they can’t, and THEN I will have dialysis, and then go back on my routine starting Wednesday.

Crappy, crappy, crappy.

I drove home, a crazed homicidal maniac - all of you escaped certain death. I set myself up for a well-deserved pity party. A good old fashioned pouting session. I was prepared to eat ice cream right out of the carton. I was going to get passionately grouchy about this whole dang thing.

But my eye caught the caption on today's Spokesman Review. Staying Positive. Yeah, right! I thought to myself glumly. But I started to read, and I couldn't put it down. Becky Nappi grabbed my heart (thank you, dear friend). (Located here). This article is about Carol Stueckle, who got fired from her latest job (and not for the first time to be fired) and found a new job at age 72. Stueckle is inspiring and funny and uplifting.

I have found my personal life guru. I am going to follow Carol Stueckle for the rest of my life. Whatever wise words she has for me, I am going to take them and emblazon them on my forehead, on my roof, on my car windows, on my bathroom mirror. I am going to make flash cards and put them in all my books, in my purse, in my jewelry box. I am going to pass them out to my friends, to my pharmacist, to my children, to perfect strangers.

Stueckle noted first off, “There isn’t a thing that happens in life that isn’t temporary. And most things have solutions.” So – this failing dialysis site, redoing it, replacing it, slicing and dicing away at my veins – is temporary. This too shall pass. A solution is out there.

Just for giggles and to kind of amuse myself, while I’m sitting there, having my blood race around a machine getting cleaned and filtered and fluffed, losing about five pounds in three and a half hours, I like to mentally visualize a time-lapse film above the room of the 19 or so dialysis patients who are also getting drained and cleansed and losing several pounds in a few hours – just think of it – fast forward your time lapse camera and we are all squiggling and wiggling and shrinking as we sit there – we are pod people being probed by aliens .

Ok, I’m back to earth now. Less cranky.


Word Tosser said...

How are you doing now? Hope it turn out so you didn't have to have surgery...

JeanieSpokane said...

I had surgery on the 7th (a week ago today) - it went well. My catheter was replaced and now I go on. I'll write about it later (such exciting stuff).