Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Drowning Hopes in a Sea of Disappointment

I remember the weeks leading up to my second kidney transplant. For whatever reason, my mind had created this perfect vision of how much better I would feel once the procedure was over, how I could return to work and get on with my life.

Unfortunately, that fairytale never materialized in that chapter of my life.

Once you're transplanted, you're buried in steroids so your immune system won't reject the kidney and nosedive your health into oblivion. Since you're vulnerable to viruses and infections, they add antibiotics and antivirals to the equation.

You try thinking straight taking fifteen medications a day. It's life numbing.

But that's not why I'm blogging today.

I have been looking forward to the fancy new Dialysis clinic. Sparkling new TV's with a workable sound system. A front door that doesn't slam down on my fingers before I can enter. Reclining chairs that actually recline.

Sigh. I should have known better.

I shuffled into Dialysis last night to behold my new clinic. Although it's situated in an office park, the interior resembles any newly constructed hospital you'd find in any ordinary American city.

Antiseptic walls attempting to bleed out the pain felt behind their struts. Minimalistic paintings hiding the horror of the impending future nearby.

Because of my health, I've resided in different hospitals around the nation. Because of my career, I've done the same in apartments.

So feeling comfortable in a new location comes quite naturally to me.

Except when it comes to Dialysis.

When I feel good, I like to rib the staff. It's fun, and they know I'm joking. I was sarcastically bitter when I plopped down my backpack.

"I thought there were going to be belly dancers and showgirls here."

Farnkay has a good sense of humor, although sometimes I think he ignores me just to get his work done so he can go home.

"Well, I can belly dance if you'd like," Farnkay responded as he jotted down a fellow patient's blood pressure.

"I've already vomited once today Farnkay."

And so it begins.

The trouble started with the chair. Once I was hooked up and running for my three hour tour of duty, I discovered, much to my chagrin, that the chair wasn't very mobile.

"What kind of cheap carney ride are you guys running here? I can't move my frickin' chair."

A tech approached and grabbed some sort of handle on the back.

Great. My head is lying back but my feet are way up in the air now.

"I don't want a Pap Smear, I just want to watch TV."

One of the other tech's nearby thought that was funny.

Another didn't.

Tough room.

Political correctness was never my forte.

The TV's are all affixed to the ceiling with one of those hospital speakers on a cord for access to the volume. I tried my headphones and I couldn't lower the volume without turning it off. I tried the clinic's free pair of airline headphones and I couldn't get any sound either.

Since we could only access the four local networks, quite possibly this was a blessing.

Two hours into my treatment my Stacy Sense began to tingle.

Something horrible was about to happen.

Occasionally I feel a twitch in my calf, a precursor to impending cramps.

But Dialysis is a tricky creature.

Instead, I was treated to a quick rise in temperature through the entire length of my body. I started to sweat profusely and thought I was going to vomit up all the water I had injested.

After speaking to a number of the other patients, Farnkay determined it was probably the scale. The boiling and the sweating are symptoms of too much fluid being removed. The new scales weren't calibrated correctly.

Sigh...the poor, follow up sequel to the original "sigh".

At this point I was begging for clarity, because I should have been paying attention.

8:00pm. 8:17pm. Didn't I start at 4:45pm??

I called another tech over and asked what the hell was going on.

Apparently Farnkay had written down the wrong start time and pushed it an hour forward.

Whether this was a fault of Daylight Savings Time or Frankay's inability to tell time, I can't be certain.

But it sure did piss me off.

The needle burn was worse than usual and even the broadcast of my favorite show "Deal or No Deal" couldn't ease the pain.

Or steal myself away from the fact that I had been there WAY TOO LONG.

I didn't yell. I didn't curse.

I sat patiently and stewed in my anger as I was finally removed.

The capper for this fantastically annoying evening was out in the parking lot. Since the office park is brand new and we have had overcast skies infiltrating our area lately, it was pitch black ll across the newly painted concrete slab.

I couldn't even create a visual of my hand carrying my lifeless backpack.

I wandered slowly along the white stripe on the ground next to the concrete sidewalk and eventually discovered that I hadn't been carjacked.

My truck, Blue Devil, was sitting, staring into the giant glass windows of my personal hell.

As I opened the truck door, I could almost feel his wheels give way slightly, as if he were preparing for the weight I was transferring from my shoulders to the driver seat.

Blue Devil has been stalling and sputtering lately, much like my Dialysis treatments.

But he's never broken down, never given up on me when I needed him.

Which is all I can really ask of myself.


  1. Stacy, I don't like the thought of you forcibly drowning Hope in a Sea of Disappointment right after I withdrew all my Hope from every savings fund I'd set up and invested it all in Melanie the Intuitive's words. I feel like you're purposely tampering with the Hope market...

  2. Okay, so first allow me to say that I, too, would vomit seeing Farnkay dance. Belly or otherwise. Second, I'll bet you $80,000,001 that the tech who didn't think the pap smear joke was funny was Farnkay's girlfriend Thomasina. Third, and although I am at present almost as miserable as you, I really do think the chairs will loosen up once they've been used a bit. I'm thinking that the vinyl needs to be worn in a bit and it'll move a bit easier... I know...it's weird....

  3. there's only one that I'd like to see belly dance, and I'll give you one guess. He's just so darned cute.
    You've described the setting so eloquently, congrats.