Saturday, April 22, 2006

Cramptastically Craptacular

I didn't think it could any worse, I didn't think it could go more wrong.

And it's all because of a tech named YanRay.

(His name has been changed to keep me from having to sit in the Clinic Manager's office explaining why I'm talking about Dialysis outside said walls.)

When I came into Dialysis today, I was told that YanRay would be my tech.

I was firm and concise.

"I refuse."

Two simple words that have incredibly simple power at Dialysis.

"You want me to hook you up?"

"Yes, please."

Traditionally, I get along with most of the staff at Dialysis. Although they possess different levels of competency, overall they're good people and they do their best with the skills they've been given.

Except for YanRay.

He used to be a "cleaner", an individual who deals with all the hoses and filters when one is done with after treatment.

Somehow he was promoted to Full Blown Tech.

They must be desperate for people, I'm not quite sure.

But many, many months ago when I was a Dialysis Newbie, he distracted La Julie when she was trying to dispel with my needles.

She was angry. I wasn't happy.

And I haven't forgotten.

Boy was I fuming.

Unfortunately, there was no one in the lobby because they don't have enough patients on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday's.

Everything was going fine until I had about ten minutes left. I was starting to cramp.

And not your ordinary, run of the mill all-American "I just ran six miles" cramps. The type of cramps where Death would be inviting. The kind of cramps you wouldn't wish on Hitler.

The type of cramps that make me very, very noisy.

"Grrraaaarrrrgggghhhhh."

That's me trying to keep the pain from scaring all the other poor patients. Kinda like Bruce Willis in "Die Hard" when he's jumping from the explosion.

The new clinic is the size of a Wal-Mart without the happy smiley faces on the walls, so getting someone's attention is nearly impossible.

The original tech that had hooked me up in the first place was busy with his own patients, so I took a gamble and let YanRay take me off.

Big, huge, blockbuster mistake of epic proportions.

He stood there with a blank look on his face, wondering why I was cramping.

Eventually, after much prodding, he adminstered fluid.

Then, and this part you're not going to believe...he walked away.

Let me repeat that for those of you in the back of the blogosphere...HE WALKED AWAY.

At this point, I'm crouched on the floor nearly in the fetal position.

Meanwhile, YanRay is over fiddling with something halfway across the clinic, in no hurry to pick me up from the floor.

It was embarrassing. It was humiliating.

And no one really seemed to care.

I finally righted myself back into the chair and I was pissed.

You don't want to get me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

Firmly, but holding my temper, I uttered, "Get these needles out NOW."

I made my way out of the clinic and found no one in the lobby. They had all gone home.

You may believe this to be the end of this frightfully true story, but it's not.

It get more embarrassing.

I went back to work (although I had no energy to complete my duties) and went into the studio to add the new music for the week.

I felt something under my sweatshirt arm, cool and wet.

It was blood. It was mine. And it was EVERYWHERE.

I ran to the bathroom in the hallway to grab as many paper towels as I could to stop the bleeding, but it was too intense.

I must've used half a roll as I scampered down the hallway. I knew C and K, two of our lovely sales exec's, were still in-house, so I asked for their help.

Before I could finish my first sentence, the First Aid kit from the lobby was open and my arm was getting wrapped.

I love those two. They're the best.

And yes, they both have short hair.

But I'm getting distracted.

My arm looks like it has a tourniquet around it, but I don't care.

I'm still alive. I'm still here.

And yes, I'm still pissed.

Before I'm hooked up on Thursday, I will make it vividly clear that YanRay is not allowed to even touch my machine.

The funniest part of this whole experience is, I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO HAS REFUSED TO BE HOOKED UP BY HIM.

Sorry. But I wanted to make my point perfectly clear.

Dialysis is traumatizing enough. I don't need some two bit tech adding to my pain.

I do that to myself enough on my own.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Picture Day

My gawd I despise to the core of my being taking pictures.

Self-consciously, maybe that's why I entered radio in the first place. It's all imagination.

Whenever I'm out at live broadcasts, I ALWAYS hear the same frickin' thing.

"I thought you were taller."

Sigh.

I probably should be grateful for the height I do possess.

Five foot seven baby.

Before my first kidney transplant, they knew that the immunosuppressives to keep the kidney functioning would totally destroy I had at developing normally.

So they waited until the very last moment to undergo the kidney transplant and I ended up looking like I do.

Even though my baby sister towers over me (and most likely, so will my little nephew) I've adjusted to my height. Most tall people I meet usually have egos to match, so being tall isn't the cat's meow.

But back to Picture Day.

If you were to take a moment and browse pictures dating back to grade school, through middle, high school and college, you would discover one overwhelming fact.

I can't take a picture to save my life.

The photo you see attached to this blog took quite some time to take. It was achieved with a desk lamp, webcam and a lot of editing in post-production.

Thank goodness for the software bundle that came with the camera.

I adjusted and tweaked, cropped and dusted my photo until I thought it looked bearable.

Which is why I love black and white photography. It just looks more real to me, as though you get the true essence of an individual without all the distracting colors.

My boss phoned me on Sunday afternoon, which is never a good sign.

"Hey, you know tomorrow's picture day, right?"

With the enthusiasm of someone being castrated with cooking oil.

"Yeah, I know."

Sigh.

Since I wanted my hair to look it's best, I recorded the first hour of my show the night before so I could get up early Monday and get a haircut.

With all the hair I've been having go AWOL from my head, I looked ridiculous. Nearly a comb over on top and all shaggy on the back and sides.

And now, everytime I get a haircut, more and more grey seems to be infiltrating my head. Little grey hairs gaining energy and strength with every passing day. My dark brown follicles at the mercy of their shared wisdom.

The woman cutting my hair probably thought she was funny when she called me the "Silver Fox."

At least she styled my hair so I wouldn't look like a total dweeb.

I entered the small conference room and the photographer was already set up. He had the background, lighting and camera all ready to capture my soul for all to witness.

"You should know, I'm terrible at taking photographs."

In a very thick accent, he didn't seem bothered by my exclamation.

"Iz okay. I'm PRO-feshunull. I cap-chure troo ezzence."

Uh. Okay.

He had me stand in twenty different positions, moving my head and shoulders in twelve different orientations.

I was an Action Figure for someone besides God for a change.

He must have taken over thirty photos. It was unbearable.

The camera finally came from in front of his face. My ordeal was over.

"Wull, vun uv dos fotoze shud wurk."

Speaking of which, I had to get back to wurk.

My shoulders and neck relaxed as I went from being the star of one to the star of thousands in the studio.

It was much easier to deal with.

The picture they finally choose is supposed to go into a sales brochure for the company and then on to the station website.

I'll make sure to post a copy here when it arrives.

I've always been willing to put myself in harm's way for the sake of laughter.

Especially when it's at my expense.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

I Hate Dialysis.com

I love the three or four people who take their valuable time and spend it on my dopey little blog.

Because along with the nuggets of wisdom and the slices of advice, come little unique surprises.

Like IHateDialysis.com.

If I were to start a Dialysis exclusive website, this is EXACTLY what I would title it.

I spent a good two hours browsing this site and posting my thoughts to different topics.

It's basically a site started by a Dialysis patient, for Dialysis patients to vent about their frustrations over everything Dialysis related.

My posts are scattered all over this site like bad gas.

And I'll keep visiting, because I found some answers today.

For example, I have incredibly dry skin because of my condition and the trials of Dialysis. When I scratch my face, little flakes of skin fall down on whatever dark shirt I'm wearing and make it look like I have a huge case of chronic dandruff.

I'm a huge fan of wearing black. It suits my mood most days.

So now I have a few suggestions for face creams that work great for my condition.

Also, my hair has been falling out.

In clumps. In the shower drain. On my pillow. On the weight machine at the gym.

It's embarrassing and chews on my self esteem.

I discovered that the heparin that they administer EVERY FREAKIN' DAY is probably to blame.

You may be wondering: "Stacy, why couldn't you get answers to these questions from the staff at Dialysis?"

Because when it comes to most Dialysis clinics, as long as you're not dying, they could really give a squat.

Not their concern. Not their problem.

Because of my venting there and here, my head is on a little straighter today.

And some days, that's all I can really ask for.

That, and a short-haired brunette who doesn't run screaming when she sees my Dialysis arm.

Well, I can dream, can't I?

Yes I can.