2.20.2011

Desperate Housewives are Desperate!

Oh, let me count the ways I used to be a fan of Desperate Housewives. That's right - past tense. After tonight's episode, I quit.

I have watched every episode three or four times. I have bonded to Terry Hatcher, as Susan. I have related to her ever since she locked herself out of her house, stark naked. It’s something I would do. I have followed her every antic thinking how I would handle the same situation, and I have found myself thinking, when I’m in a predicament, “What would Susan do?”

And, shazam! They made Susan go on dialysis - just like me! This has got to be good, I thought. BUT - Susan is NOT doing what I do and I would be embarrassed and mortified if I acted as she is.

I am a dialysis patient. I have dialysis three times a week, for three-and-a-half hours every session. Susan has it for six hours every session and let me tell you that no dialysis patient has dialysis for six hours at a time unless they are 400 pounds, diabetic, retaining water like a fish out of water, and have several other diseases tasking their bodies for some kind of normalcy. Also, I do not enter the dialysis room and “choose” where I will sit. I do not whine to police officers that I have dialysis and therefore they should let me go. I do not complain to restaurant hostesses to move up my reservation because I have dialysis. Not to mention the very restrictive diet I am on, which includes the amount of liquid I drink, and the types of foods I eat. No cola. No oranges. No potassium. No sodium. No chocolate. I do not drink a 32 ounce cola just before I go on to dialysis. We get weighed before and after dialysis and our goal weight is deducted from our starting weight and all that extra liquid is taken off during dialysis. Also, dialysis patients don’t all sit around with a beeper for a potential kidney transplant – in fact the majority of dialysis patients have myriad other ailments that disqualify them for a transplant, which on a good day would take three to six years to get.

I am totally disgusted with the way Desperate Housewives is moving with regard to dialysis. They should be ashamed of themselves. They are giving all dialysis patients a bad name. I pride myself in having an up attitude and see that same gumption in all the patients around me. And, also, I am surrounded by people on dialysis that are far, far worse than I am – most of them are diabetics, the most common reason someone needs dialysis. Most are in wheel chairs. Most use oxygen. Most have other diseases. We are not exempt to other ailments just because we are already “serving time.”

I don't go through my life acting like dialysis is this huge albatross around my neck. It's a routine I do - I get up, brush my teeth, get dressed, bring in the paper, go to dialysis, shop at the store on my way home, and I LIVE LIFE! Susan needs to get a grip.

I quit you, DH. Quit!

.

15 comments:

Al said...

I had said to my wife, "If they really ran her 4 days a week for 6 hours a day they would suck her so dry she would disappear!". I agree that DH is hurting the image of all dialysis patients everywhere.

Al said...

And further more, why does her run time keep changing. Last week it was 5 hours, last night 6 hours. A couple of weeks ago 4 days/wk, last night 3 days. Hokey Smoke!

Anonymous said...

I empathize with your plight, but this is a fictional show. Don't you think you are getting a little too bent out of shape over the storyline of this character ) dialysis and a kidney transplant. I am not offended by this though. Yes, it's silly that they can't get the details of the treatment correct and that Susan is using her disease to get special treatment. THAT is exactly how Susan is though! She is high drama! She pushes the envelope. ALL THE TIME! I find her extremely annoying. It's not going to keep me from watching the show though. I think it's a very entertaining drama.

Good luck with your dialysis. I hope you are able to find a donor match soon.

JeanieSpokane said...

Thank you for your comment, Anonymous. As a dialysis patient, I have been hyper aware of television's take on dialysis, since it has been written in several different shows,including a couple reality shows. Those of us who know that we are on the edge of making that final decision, grab whatever information we can. I did a lot of research on it before I went on dialysis. It's an overwhelming issue and pretty much a full time job, watching what you eat, your fluid intake, (your fluid output, too, which can be down to nothing), infection, general health.

I know this is a fictional show with very unrealistic plots - but the editors need to consider the hundreds of thousands of people on dialysis who are stuck watching their shows while they sit still for 3.5 to 5 hours a session.

A positive attitude is everything!

Beth Bollinger said...

And when a show takes on a subject that real people are experiencing, it makes sense to act responsibly and give accurate information - at least with regard to treatment. Not everything has to be outrageous. Oh, and - love your writing, Jeanie! I always do.

Anonymous said...

so silly

Anonymous said...

lol great article and i agree! i am a 25 year old woman and i just started dialysis a month ago...and as silly as it seems , my first session i was looking around, and the only thing i could think was "hey,where is my beeper? how will i know when a kidney becomes available if i don't have my beeper?" lol..i can Thank Desperate Housewives for that idiotic thought lol

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to you for having to go through what is generally regarded as a very strenuous procedure. But when was the last time any television show portrayed the accuracy of a particular situation to the 'T'? I'm a law student, and all the Desperate Housewives courtroom dramas (not to mention the ones in Dallas, etc) were pretty innacurate. But I don't 'quit' those shows in a fit of rage. Offer them constructive criticism, but don't give up on a show you obviously love because of one storyline you happen to be disgusted by. I think Bree and Keith together was a stupid, pointless storyline. But I still love the show.

Al said...

So, I just read a little spoiler (and wish I hadn't 'cause I have no intention of NOT watching the T&A riddled DH). Considering just about everyone on Wisteria Lane has committed or abetted a murder, I guess they can go wacko on the dialysis as well. Beats real life, that's for sure.

JeanieSpokane said...

Good luck to you, anonymous dialysis patient. It's a daunting task but it is not the dreaded thing I once thought it was. I call it my mini spa. Now if I could just get a manicure or even a foot massage. . .

The guy next to me answered his cell a couple weeks ago, with snow outside and bitter cold, "Yeah, I'm just sitting here by the lake."

Kim said...

I think the storyline was insensitive to people on dialysis never mind the fact that it wasnt accurate at all. I dont expect DH to be accurate but compassionate I do. My dad died on dialysis and so did everyone in his unit. He wasnt eligible for a transplant. I dont think anyone is being SILLY about being upset. Dialysis isnt funny or silly and God Bless everyone out there on machines. My dad and his unit were every Tue,Thur and Sat. I miss him and all of them very much screw you Desperate!!!

JeanieSpokane said...

Kim, I am truly sorry about your Dad. My Dad also died while on dialysis - 17 years ago. My brother, Al, who commented above, was on dialysis for 6 yrs and received a nearly perfect match kidney four years ago. It is remarkable how technology and science have changed over the years.

Dialysis is a serious deal - but also, and more important to me, is the fact that I am healthy otherwise. I really don't like to be called a patient.

Anyway, I really appreciate your sharing such a personal loss with me. My heart and prayers are with you.

Kim said...

Jeanie
Thank you. My dad was on for almost 10 years. He died 15 years ago and I am sure dialysis has changed alot since then. My father was diabetic that complicated things. So was most of his unit or dialysis buddies as he called them. They were a great group of people laughed thru most of the treatments. I wish you great health and keep the positive attitude thats a great tool in fighting any illness.

Anonymous said...

You go girl! Well spoken, when the media takes on this type of content, there should be a responsibility to be at least partially accurate. Hugs to you! And cheers to the folks that patiently go through dialysis, whether waiting for a kidney transplant or just waiting.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate reading all your comments. My husband has been on dialysis for the last 2 years, he attends hospital 3 times a week and his sessions last just over 4 hours. I also thought 6hrs a week was too excessive, especially for someone who is probably a size 0, but thought perhaps things were different in the States, thanks though for clarifying. I am also interested to find out how "Susan" was able to go immediately onto dialysis through a Fistula line. My husband has been receiving his treatment through a canula since his diagnosis. He recently had an operation for a Fistula line but as it required approx 6 weeks to harvest, he has only just been able to use it this week. It's interesting that Terri Hatcher's character has perfect arms, no needlemarks or raised veins. I know this is only a TV programme but like some of the others who have commented, I think the researchers of this programme could have done a bit more homework on the facts of this illness & it's treatment. My heart & prayers go out to all dialysis patients.