Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the Night Before Christmas @ Dialysis

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the clinic,
Everyone was cleansing, even the cynics.

The filters were hung by the machines with such care,
That woman in Chair Thirteen should really use Nair.

When from the Isolation Room, there arose such a clatter,
Was Clinically Obese Woman suddenly getting fatter?

Santa barreled in drunk and confused, smelling of pee,
I stopped him and asked, "Where's my new kidney?"

"You're here, being treated, boy, that really sucks.
According to my calculations, you're totally fucked."

He tried to fondle Raven Haired Tech, he was such a wreck,
She plastered her fist and he hit the deck.

"There's blood, and gauze, and it smells of bean farts!
That chick in Chair Three is quite the little tart!"

The patients had enough, so did the staff.
Our patience for Santa had been cut in half.

He stumbled to his feet, coughed up & screamed, "Hey fuckers!"
"All of you people are totally suckers!"

"No kidneys! No salty food! No soda or fruit!"
I suddenly realized the holiday had turned Santa into a coot.

He righted himself and placed his finger inside of his nose.
Moments later, his forehead furrowed.

"I'm thirsty! I'm nauseous! Give me a beer!"
As the nurse approached, I could see his fear.

His demeanor changed, he was cuddly as a bear.
The nurse led him to his very own, Dialysis chair.

He needed treatment, he was sick, he was out of his mind.
Instead of eight reindeer, he was one of our kind.

The needles were hard to insert because Santa is so fat.
Years of cookies and milk can tend to do that.

"Cholestoral, 330. BUN, 45."
It was any wonder, that Santa was still alive.

Halfway through treatment, he screamed, "Keep up the fight!"
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

He then vomited blood all over the tech's shiny white coat.
He passed out later, and that's all she wrote.

To my fellow brethren at Dialysis, thank you for your care.
It means so much, that you're actually there.

It's quiet and lonely, my family I miss.
Deservedly so, I'm all alone this Christmas.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Dialysis Christmas Miracle

The following is a letter I wrote to our Clinical Manager on December 8, 2008:

I am writing in regards to the recently updated Patient Rights & Responsibilities printout that was handed to me earlier today at treatment.

More specifically, I would like to address the heading Behavior (#4) which I will quote:

“Treating the staff and other patients with consideration, respect and recognition of individual differences, both in language and behavior.”

There are many patients who, on a regular basis, take the words "consideration and respect" and wipe them on their shoes (when they’re wearing them.)

I am referring of course to the intolerable use of the televisions in the clinic setting.

Before I began as a patient of Satellite Dialysis four years, six months and 25 days ago, I never really had an issue with sound. It didn’t bother me in the slightest.

Unfortunately, after putting up with patient after patient who refused to turn down their television after numerous requests, I became highly anxious and, on occasion, have panic attacks due to the lack of "consideration and respect."

Lets put aside the fact that I have been told to “f*** off” or “go f*** yourself” or (my personal favorite) “f*** you honky.”

I adore that last one because it takes me back to a simpler time when people had "consideration and respect" for one another. It also violates #5 under Behavior which states, “Never under any circumstances, threaten, intimidate, physically or verbally abuse…”

I’ll let that slide because I find it more entertaining than offensive.

Your incredibly accommodating staff has done everything possible not only to seat me two or three chairs away from these Emmy award winners, but also to try and mediate the situation.

Mostly, to no avail.

But my biggest issue comes down to patient safety. On two separate occasions, I have been unable to notify the staff when I was bleeding because the cretin next to me had THEIR TV ON TOO LOUD.

Sorry to yell, but you get my point.

The solution is rather simple and, I believe, technically viable.

Disconnect all the speakers on the TV remotes so if a patient wishes to watch TV, they have no choice but to wear headphones.

More manageable clinic. Safer patient environment. Everybody wins.

I thank you for your time and Merry Christmas.

To the Clinic Manager's credit, I received a call back the very next day, informing me that this issue would be looked into.

I know. I've heard that one before too.

But today, a minor miracle happened.

I was informed by a member of the administration staff that my suggestion is viable, and can be achieved with relative ease after the holidays are over.

With 48 chairs (is the isolation booth 49?) it will take some time.

But do you realize what this means??

I may live to see a fifth year of Dialysis.

No more days where I'm unable to alert the staff that I'm bleeding all over their snowflake floors.

No more will I be unable to alert staff when I'm being inundated with cramps.

And best of all.

I'll never have to talk to any of these wretched patients ever, ever again.

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Inner Virtue, Outer Hell

I often wonder if I don't deserve my fate.

Believe it or not, I wasn't always this caustic.

Five years ago before this ordeal began, I was hopeful and virile, yet ankle deep in my own naivety. Friends were plentiful and women responded to my company on a regular basis.

But layers deep, fettering and gaining strength, were the shadows. Recesses of darkness buried under mirth and merriment. I was aware of their existence, but they were under control.

When they would manifest, I would immediately quash their actions and attempt to bury them even deeper.

I was embarrassed, ashamed of their very existence. The pride I held in my personal strength was probably the beginning of my fall.

It took sheer force of will to maintain my composure, but they wanted acknowledgment, something I could never offer.

In the end, that was probably my Achilles heel, the beginning of the end.

Sometimes swallowing what we wish to hide from the world can devour us from within.

And that's exactly what happened.

Dialysis saw this coming and giggled in glee at my impending journey.

Weeks upon weeks upon weeks of endless treatment have left me a shell of the man I remember. When this reality focuses in my mind, sadness seeps outward from the recesses of who I used to be.

And it can't be stopped.

Joyous exuberance for daily adventures has been replaced with a vitriol against everything and anything within my scope.

My name has been replaced with terms I never thought would reference who I truly am.

Contemptible. Incorrigible. Curmudgeon.

I'm all of the above, and still, just a little less.

I can't be called "Stacy" again until Dialysis releases its grasp on my life.

Unfortunately, it seems like that day will never arrive.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Free Floating Hostility: Holiday Edition

If Dialysis has allowed me any luxuries, its the ability to get in touch with my anger freely and without restraint.

Now certain people will read that and think, "Well, that Stacy is a powder keg. We better sit him down so he can talk about his feelings."

I'll be honest. That's a waste of both of our times.

That's one of the many annoying reasons why I created this wonderfully literary opus of a blog.

Yeah, that was meant to be sarcastic. Maybe I should have italicized it for full emphasis.

But it's post treatment and I'm too damn drained.

Time now for my occasional, yet totally necessary, Holiday Edition of Free Floating Hostility.

Soon to be a low rated TV movie on the CW starring Paul Reubens in the title role.

"6 Reasons I Despise the Human Race (This Week)"

1. High Beam Whores

When did it become acceptable that everyone (and I mean every-God-damn-one-of-you) has to have their high beams on?

This hearkens back to my earlier rants on entitlement in this country.

I turn MY high beams on because I need to blind every other driver to prove MY superiority.

Or ignorance. It's hard to tell because my corneas are bleeding.

2. Fat People @ the Trader Joe's

I have a new rule where I only shop at Trader Joe's an hour before it closes. On numerous occasions (moreso now that the holidays are here) I have been PUSHED (that's right, pushed) out of the way to get the last item on the shelf.

And every single time it happens, the individual is gargantuan. The kind of person adorned with fat upon fat squeezed into fat layered on fat swimming in fat.

You know the kind. Always loud and boorish too.

I'd push back, but its always women, and I don't need to be accused of anything remotely associated with sexual harassment with these extremely beneficial members of our society.

By the way pushy, we'll met again because you'll be in Dialysis soon enough.

And you and me and everyone else will be paying for it. Medicare doesn't fund itself.

You want Americans to tidy up and take care of their bodies? Simple. Let them know that when it comes to obesity, we're not paying for it.

Never. Nada. No, no, no.

Any medical calamity you create by not controlling your urges, you're on your own.

3. Drunk People in Downtown Santa Rosa

It's 9:05pm moments after treatment. I just called in an order of spaghetti and meatballs.

Because I deserve it damnit.

Only problem is, if you know anything about downtown, you have to park a bazillion miles away and trek to the restaurant.

Not a problem. Until I encounter you.

You're loud and annoying and seem to know everyone who's smoking outside. You have what I can only classify as a whore on each arm.

Yeah, lucky you.

In your mad dash to the next overpriced nightclub, you and your posse bump into me, knock me into some outdoor seating and I fall to the ground.

All members of your party pause a moment and then burst into laughter. You then continue on your merry way leaving said Dialysis patient sitting in remnants of beer and vomit.

Normally, I would retaliate. But I've lost fifteen pounds recently and there is little padding to my posterior. I try to get up to run after you and make you pay for your insolence, but I have to rest a few moments until the pain dissipates.

It's okay, I'll have my revenge. You too will be at my clinic due to your lecherous ways.

I'd pick alcohol abuse first, but most likely those two creatures on your arm will likely reward you this evening with little critters that render your kidneys lifeless.

4. Cell Phone Users @ the Pharmacy

Most of these institutions now post signs detailing that if you don't get off the phone, you don't get service.

But not at mine. And I'm always right behind one.

This one middle aged woman was next in line. She stepped up the counter and the pharmacist asked for her name.

She put her hand up as though to say, "You have to wait, because I'm so important I have to finish this conversation about the latest Sugar Daddy I'm stringing along. Oh yeah, oh yeah. Sure. Ugh, huh. Yeah, his bank account is bigger than his package. Thank God (cackle)"

The clerk waves me ahead and I approach the counter.

"What do you think you're doing? I'm next."

"But you're on the phone."

"But I'm next."

The pharmacy informs her she can't be helped unless she gets off the phone.

"Oh God, whatever. I'll have to call you back, I'm surrounded by assholes."

I would give anything if the pharmacist would swap out her special cream for something a little more irritating.

All cell phones have done is allowed the pompous to shower themselves in their own overinflated ego.

For situations like this (which I seem to be endlessly thrown into) I have my own cell phone blocker now.

Brings a little equilibrium to the universe, don't you think?

5. Ignorant Parental Units

You know the type. The little spawns are running around destroying everything and the mother is too busy yakking on the cell phone to notice, or too hopped up on Valium to care.

I'm at Safeway trying to place some ripe oranges in a bag and one of these mutations rushes up and starts punching me in the arm.

That's right. You guessed it. My treatment arm.

The Mom is just ignoring these antics to talk to a friend of hers she just bumped into.

"Excuse me, could you control your son? He just came up and punched me in the arm."

The woman (she doesn't deserve the title of mother) rolls her eyes and says, "Well, he's just a kid."

"He punched me in this arm."

I remove my jacket sleeve and show her my bandaged arm. All the color left her face and her friend looked embarrassed.

Apologies sprayed down like all that moisture that keeps the vegetables fresh.

Sometimes you have to call them on their less than stellar parenting skills.

Maybe if they didn't troll the kid around like a trophy and spent some time with the little prick, these events wouldn't occur.

I feel a little guilty though. The kids probably drowning in Ritalin and growing a third arm by now. Because that's what passes for parenting in the new millennium.

6. The Entitlement Sponge

I have a friend at work whose husband just up and left her. Left her with a daughter to provide for too. She went to the county to see if she could get help in this very difficult time.

The first question they asked was, "Are you Hispanic?"

"Well, no. No I'm not."

"Too bad. I could have gotten you a monthly stipend and a free place to live."

Her sister-in-law has been soaking up benefits because she can't seem to keep herself off alcohol and drugs.

For that, you get a free apartment AND needles so you don't catch anything.

Where is the incentive for these people to clean up their act and stand on their own accord?

And more importantly, once the users of society discover this, what stops them from joining these Emmy award winners?

A friend of mine at the News/Talk outlet is a member of the Red Cross and allows her life to be interrupted routinely to help out people during emergencies.

She came back from Katrina disheartened and ready to quit.

A number of people were showing up continuously demanding their FEMA check.

And they didn't ask nicely.

"I'm not leaving this M!@#$% F!@#$%^ place until I get my F!@#$% F!@#$% FEMA check."

Over and over and over again.

My point is there is now a huge sement of the American population that believes everything should be given to them without question.

They basically want to take the American Dream and wipe their plump asses on it.

And people like you and me fit the bill.

Apparently you're "supposed" to pay the welfare money back at some point.

When have you ever, in the history of this nation, heard of anyone PAYING THE MONEY BACK??

If Obama wants to help the nation with his proposed public works projects, the preceding people I've just described should be the first ones to be put to work.

This last group has exhausted all my remaining hate.

Thank you and good night.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas @ Dialysis

Santa Claus has never visited a Dialysis clinic. Nor has Jesus. Or God.

But wacky Social Workers have.

I dread Christmas every stinking year at treatment, mostly because of one unique, yet no longer employed, social worker.

Let's call her Marilyn.

That's right, because she was shaped just like Miss Monroe.

Hold on. I'm enjoying her image in my mind.

Ssshhh. You're ruining the moment.

Ok, I'm done.

One year it was decided that bingo would be a fantastic way to enjoy our time at clinic.

On paper, seems like a nice enough plan. In execution, terribly annoying.

I'm trying to watch "The Shawshank Redemption" to slip a little hope into my subconscious (because Dialysis steals it at every turn) and all I can hear is, "B4! Does anyone have B4?"

BEFORE we started this whole endeavor, one of my favorite films of all time swept me away into the early part of the twentieth century. Now you're yelling characters at characters who would rather be sleeping or watching TV.

But that wasn't the best part.

At least half of our clinic doesn't speak English. I glanced around to find our Mexican brethren wondering why this shapely woman was yelling at them.

Another wonderfully woeful Christmas, a Karaoke machine was lugged onto the clinic floor.

You know, as a terminal Dialysis patient, I love nothing better than listening to PCT's belt out a Kenny Loggins tune while my arm is burning at 10.2 on the Stacy scale.

Worst Dialysis Christmas ever? Not by a long shot.

Three years ago it was decided that Christmas carolers should be unleashed upon us unwilling souls in an effort to save us from eternal damnation.

Nothing better than celebrating Jesus' birthday while a group of devout Christian's bellow songs about an invisible, imaginary being damning me to hell for my sins.

Before they left, one of the elderly women believed it was her job to save me.

"I understand you've been here a while."

"Ugh, well, yes maam, I have."

She reminded me instantly of Angela Lansbury from the "Murder, She Wrote" days. Unfortunately, her mystery of the week was me.

"So what did you do?

My headphones fell to my lap like they were trying to escape.

"I'm sorry, ugh, huh? What?"

"What did you do to end up here?"

I was astonished by her bravado. Apparently devout Christian faith allows you to meddle in others personal affairs.

"What sin did you commit my son?"

I was taken aback for a moment.

"Not that its any of your business, but I was born with Glomerulonephritis. I was born this way."

This is why that whole "created in his own image" malarkey doesn't fly with me.

Her eyes glanced upward as she stroked her chin.

"Then what sin did your father commit?"

Fortunately, Tall Lanky Tech came by to take down my numbers.

I gave her a conciliatory "Merry Christmas" as I returned my headphones to their regular leave-me-alone position.

She wandered off, shaking her head.

If they decide to shuffle their holier than thou masses into clinic again this year, I'm ready for them.

In my DVD case, inside a sandwich bag, is a fully loaded water pistol.

If the Judge and Jury of my condition returns, she will get a face full.

Since the water wasn't blessed by a man of the cloth, I wonder if her face will melt.

I can't wait to find out.

Merry Dialysis Christmas.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Balance Daniel Son

After thirty-seven years of mediocre existence on this fabulously entertaining yet totally ridiculous rock, I have come to one very valuable conclusion.

The Universe eventually balances itself out.

It may take massive amounts of minutes or yammering yards of years, but it does happen.

And I can prove it.

That's right, this numb skull desert rat who survived kidney disease and plaid pants will provide you with a simple phrase that will make my personal belief a bonafide fact.

Are you prepared for this momentous occasion? Are you sure?

Okay, here goes.

The One Phrase That Will Prove the Universe Always Balances Itself Out:

O.J. Simpson.

Thank you and good night.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Remember That Day When God Tapped Me on the Shoulder?

My all-American, non-threatening, apple pie and Mom face allows me to get away with plenty sometimes.

Like when I want to climb to the top of a tall building.

I didn't intend to jump when I arrived at the top, but it crossed my mind plenty of times.

The tallest building in Santa Rosa is this retirement edifice east of downtown. It towers over everyone and everything.

And when I would pass by on my late night walks, I felt safe. It was as though an entire generation of wise men and women were peering down, protecting my every step.

Along with the trusting face, I also work in a profession that opens doors that otherwise would be slammed shut.

Like those to the roof access.

The fog had finally broken when I approached the security desk. I explained that I worked for a local radio station and I wanted to get some photos of the city for our new website.

Seemed plausible enough.

I showed my business card and ID and explained exactly how long I needed to photograph.

It turned out to be surprisingly easy. I mean, really, all I was asking for was some time on their roof.

"Ten minutes," he croaked with his arms crossed.

"Fine by me," I thought.

The roof was rectangular with four smaller rectangles dotted equidistant from one another. A friendly railing enticed me to head to the north side.

My intense fear of heights was flattened immediately by the breathtaking view.

I didn't end up taking a single photo.

As I peered over the railing, it was though I could suddenly peer into the future.

A future where I didn't exist.

All I had to do was fling my body over the railing.

My parents and sister would be crushed. I've never even met my two year old niece.

No one at work would mind though.

They with their cool cliques and entertaining parties they never invite me to. They'd ravage my office before my corpse was dry.

"Oh really? Stacy died? Oh, ok. Where do you want to go to lunch?"

Another fool would be in place within two weeks.

Dialysis? I'd free up a chair and lower the dependence on Medicare funding. They'd welcome my exit because I'm a big pain-in-the-ass.

Girlfriend? Ex-lover? The Chinese couple at the hole in the wall deli?

Nope. Nah. Uh-uh.

With the clock ticking, I began to empty my pockets to prepare for the inevitable.

But then God intervened.

This is the same God that gave me Glomerulonephritis.

The same God that sealed my fate at the moment of conception.

A God that thrills to mocking me on a weekly basis.

I blacked out.

I awoke to find myself in the stairwell with a number of medical personnel around me.

The preceding events, a distant memory.

They had no idea what my intentions were, which is just fine with me.

But I'm still not talking to God.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Stacy Bizarro World

Guess how I celebrated the impending angioplasty on my Dialysis fistula I was going to have to endure?

That's right. I threw up.


If you chose "Stacy throws up every morning", hey, you're a winner!

I was dreading this procedure for these wonderfully annoying reasons:

--- It burns like fire.
--- Staff is always rude.
--- Doctor never refers to me by name.

--- Did I mention it BURNS LIKE FRICKIN' FLAMING FIRE!

Sorry. I hate it when I yell too.


Somehow once I stepped inside the blissfully colorless walls of Memorial Hospital (yeah, I'll mention them by name, what the hell) I entered a parallel universe where everything was opposite of how it was before.

The young woman at Administration was very cordial and quickly had me admitted. The two pleasant elderly women at the front desk (one of whom sounded like she stepped out of "Dr. No") gave me fantastic directions to the other side of the hospital.

Every nurse I met as I managed to get lost with a map in my hand (its part of the male genome) was extremely helpful and couldn't be happier taking care of all the patients scattered throughout this marvelous edifice.

Once planted in the tiny gurney bed, they were happy to fulfill my request to have lidocaine before the IV needle was inserted (a pet peeve of mine) As an added bonus, I was transported by a lovely short-haired brunette (who I wished I could take home with me, just like Stratham in "Transporter 1, 2 & 3")

As I was wheeled into the surgery room, a few tinkles on the piano in my mind starting to play a requiem of doom.


That turned out not to be the case. Stacy Bizarro World continues to surprise.


I almost fell out of the bed when the doctor came in, introduced himself and then proceeded to explain what the hell was going to happen in the next half hour. My body was a little clammy and I became very aware of my surroundings as they started to tape my arm down for the procedure.

Apparently I'm not into being tied down.
Like a nozzle to a gas tank, they hooked me up to the pain medication and within thirty seconds, I felt extremely relaxed. The pain was still present, but nowhere near the magnitude it could have been.

In the recovery room, again to my surprise, the nurses were very accomodating. I had to arrive NPO so they offered me graham crackers and orange juice. After gently placing the remains on the adjustable table, I proceeded to fall asleep. I woke to my own snoring a number of times (which they seemed to find entertaining)

It's good to know I can provide mirth even when I'm doing half past nothing.


There was only one huge mistake on my part and that was actually going to treatment tonight. My days tend to balance out. If I wake up feeling great, I'll screw up something at work. If I've had a great on-air shift, I'll suffer later at Dialysis.

And today was no different.


First stick didn't quite take. The equation of the situation added up to six needle sticks instead of four.

Dialysis doesn't play by the rules, even within the walls of Bizarro World.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I've Seen This One Before

You know those nights when your body is aching from the indignation that is your career and you decide to treat yourself?

Bowl of steaming buttered popcorn. Small glass of aged wine. TV clicker in hand, thumb at the ready.

You muse to yourself, "Hey, Seinfeld's on. I love that show."

You flick it on and prepare to sit back and indulge yourself for a few minutes, but then...

"Sonofabithmother." Kernels shoot from your lips and ricochet off that horrible lamp your Aunt that you rarely see gave you. Another one takes out the arm of that cheap trophy you won for badminton when you were seven.

"I just saw this one, like, three frickin' days ago."

That's exactly how I feel each and ever night at Dialysis.

Except there is no delicious popcorn and we only have six channels.

And you're forced to sit with absolute strangers you would give the stink eye to in regular everyday life.

Plus, no one's ever as funny as Kramer or as lovely as Elaine.

In today's recently canceled episode, Freaky Bearded Guy is picking his nose and eating it.

The Cholesterol Maven is shoving handful after handful of potato chips down his gullet and the collateral damage is raining down on my innocent blanket. No wonder he's a patient here.

Meanwhile, Angelic Blond Babe is prepped and primed as though this were a dinner banquet and she looks fantastic as always.

Nearby Pale Albino Guy has covered his entire body in thick comforters cocooning away until treatment is over.

But treatment never ends. It happens again and again and again.

I've seen all the episodes. Experienced all the drama. Felt all the misery.

But I return again and again and again.

I have no choice in the matter.

My life has become a poorly planned sitcom that only aired three episodes before the network yanked it and decided to burn off the remaining episodes on Saturday night when everyone's out living their lives and enjoying themselves.

You know what I say to that?

Click.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Stacy's Favorite Dialysis Media Clips Ever

Dialysis has somehow slowly filtered its way into popular culture and does so on a regular basis.

Here are a few of my favorite clips:



Fortunately my clinic isn't near a school. (Thanks to Kim over @ AsThePumpTurns.com for the heads up.)



The Dialysis portion occurs at 2:49 in and it's my favorite quote about Dialysis ever in the history of recorded media.



This is exactly what I will do if I've achieved my Bucket List by then.

If you have any, please feel free to pass them along in the Comments.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The 1st Annual Stacy Dialysis Patient Awards

Ladies and gentleman of the Blogosphere, I have endured Dialysis now for 4 years, 6 months and 14 days.

Thus, I deem myself complete authority over creating, writing and producing my own Dialysis awards show.

A quick disclaimer first.

All of these people who will be winning awards actually exist, and, in most cases, annoy the living fuck out of me. But their names have been changed to protect their stupidity.

Now you know exactly where the remainder of this post is coming from.

MOST ANNOYING COUPLE AWARD

"The Redneck Twins"

It's as though these two stepped out of a Rasslin' Match.

(I pro-nownce it dat way cuz dat's how he be sayin' it. Rasslin'. Rhymes with hasslin')

The wife (or his sister, it's really hard to tell) has stringy, greasy hair that hasn't been washed since the Nixon Administration. And the feller? He loves to wear wife beater shirts and...

Let me interrupt myself for a second. Who was the clothing designer who thought the public should be well informed of the stench of the person next to them? Every time I watch "Cops" the guy in question doesn't have any sleeves. Ever. Never. And the wife's bleeding from the jaw. Never fails.

But back to my horrendous redneck neighbor.

His wife beater shirt exposes massive amounts of armpit hair. The kind Bigfoot we be embarrassed by. If his wife had any sense in that licey noggin of hers, she'd tell hubby before he left the house, "Tuck in your armpit hair."

Long enough to braid. Greasy enough to leave clothing stains.

And the final reason for their win?

Every other patient on the floor on Monday, Wednesday and Friday is wearing headphones and showing consideration for their fellow neighbor.

Not these two Emmy award winners.

The Rasslin' Show! At full volume! For everyone to hear! Well hoo-doggy!

On to our next winner...

RACIST OF THE YEAR AWARD

We have a tie.

"Racist Tailored Guy & Racist Sloppy Mess"

I know. In this country? What a surprise.

Our first winner was a tailored man in his mid-60's who said to an African American tech as he was being taken off the machine, "You know, if the Confederacy had won the Civil War, you'd be my slave right now."

I'm sure she was flattered.

The other waste of medical insurance was an absolutely bugged out woman who isn't regularly on my shift. She was observing the third McCain/Obama debate and offering nuggest of wisdom like:

"That skinny n!@#$% is pretty smart, but he'll probably break into my home and steal my tax money. I hate n!@#$%^."

"That !@#$% McCain is so corrupt. !@#$%& Republicans. Look at that grin. He reminds me of that weasal I shot with the BB Gun."

She also wanted to know if our Filipino nurse was a good !@#$ or a bad !@#$%.

On secong thought, Racist Sloppy Mess wins hands down.

MOST ENTERTAINING PATIENT AWARD

"Snoring Farting Dude"

This dates back to our rickety old clinic we used to attend (yes, there's a post coming about my memories of that sitcom waiting to happen) From time to time they'd sit me in the back room.

Six chairs all arranged in a square with one of those isolation rooms along the back wall.

When I was just three days a week, they would sit me next to this extremely large gentleman who was always asleep when I arrived.

It's about ten minutes into treatment and his snoring is extremly deafening. A couple of his louder ones kept making the nurse at the station jump.

All of a sudden, he lets out a rip-roaring, vomit inducing fart.

Old swiss cheese and feet suddenly fill the room.

He suddenly wakes up. "Huh, whuh?" He glances around to see where the sound was coming from.

He plops his head back on the pillow, his head falls to the side and he goes right back to sleep.

I still get laughs telling that story.

ANGELIC BABE OF THE YEAR AWARD

"Angelic Blonde Babe"

Imagine if Loni Anderson had a daughter, but she had contemporary bobbish hair.

Since her first day I haven't been able to take my eyes off of her.

And this pisses her off to no end.

But I think I've finally figured her out.

My treatment starts after hers, so I would walk past every treatment and try to say hello.

At first, I received a concillatory small wave.

Now she acts like she doesn't hear me.

That's right. I have that affect on women.

But one night, I was getting my stuff together in the lobby to leave and she passes by.

"Have a good night Stacy."

Wow. That's weird.

But again, it makes perfect sense.

Dialysis makes her feel vulnerable. She wants to be seen as Angelic Blonde Babe, not Angelic Dialysis Babe.

No, she hasn't spoken to me since. So I admire her from afar.

And give her dopey awards.

THE POMPOUS JERK OF THE YEAR AWARD

"Egotistical Lawyer Douche"

I sat down next to this mass of rectal matter one night and he decided that everyone in the general vicinity of the clinic should listen to whatever intellectual piece of French crap he was shoving down his gullet that night.

"Excuse me? Yeah, hi. Could you please turn that down? I can't hear what I'm watching."

He paused what he was watching, glanced me up and down and said, "Hmph," then proceeded to turn up his material even louder.

I attempted to have the nurse make the request and once she left the region and attended to other patients he cranked it right back up again.

I glanced over to observe that he was now flipping me off.

I'm sure his clients love him.

This concludes the First Annual Stacy Dialysis Patients Awards.

I wish to thank all of this year's winners for at least providing me some material for my impending book. None of this would have been possible without your annoying, idiotic, egotistical and boorish behavior.

May you all burn in hell.

Thank you and good night.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Double Edged Sword of Dialysis

This topic was brought up by the daughter of one of the patients at IHateDialysis.com about the pros and cons of treatment, so I thought I would address it here.

The most positive aspect is that I'm still around to annoy and bewilder the human race.

It is also good for weight loss. I was up around 145 lbs. and really doughy but now, because I have a very rare appetite, I'm down around 125.

Also, if you have a nurse fetish, it caters to that on a weekly basis.

The negatives are vast and frightening.

I must reserve all my energy just to get up in the morning to go to work. Anything left over (which is rare) is used to deal with treatment.

My dating life has evaporated because women see me as damaged goods. According to them, since they don't fully understand Dialysis, they believe my days are numbered and there's no future with me.

To fight the nightly pain I experience, I've found that over time I don't feel anything. Happiness, joy, and elation are all simply just words spoken by those who take their health for granted.

I'm now a barely conscious zombie schleping though my workday because I have nothing better to do.

I'm in obligatory purgatory and nothing can cease my sentence.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Daytime Patient Goons

I'll be the first to scream into the hills that I'm a pain-in-the-ass patient.

But as I approach five years of hellish treatment, I must admit I ask for very little.

I'm very sensitive to loud sounds and disgusting smells.

And Dialysis patients excel in both.

Most of the staff knows me by now and does their very best to make me happy.

Whenever possible, please put a chair between me and the latest boorish patient you've been forced to treat.

Lately, the Daytime Patient Goons have invaded.

These are people who aren't responsible enough to show up when they're scheduled, then call and demand they get treated later that day.

And then they get seated next to me.

Today Insensitive Spectacled Dude turned up wrestling (or as I like to refer to it "Sports For People Too Stupid to Realize It's Fake") as loud as humanly possible.

People in Glen Ellen were calling asking the loser in Chair 13 to "turn it the fuck down!"

But that wasn't enough indignity to suffer for one treatment.

That's right. He took off his shoes.

Imagine rotten Swiss cheese sprinkled with baby crap grilled to perfection by a lack of general hygiene.

Now imagine being forced to sit down next to it for two hours with no control over the situation.

That's right. Two hours. At least.

I realize I have control issues, I really do.

But after the dangerous drive over, the disgusting bathroom and the burning needles, do I really deserve to put through this? Again and again and again?

I draw the line at three indignities per day.

So here's some Quick Rules for Daytime Patient Goons:

1) Show up for your own damn shift, stop ruining mine.

2) Show some respect to your caregivers and fellow patients and take a shower. Or bathe. Or splash some water on whatever stank your body has created over the last week.

3) Turn down the TV. And stop putting your cell phone on speakerphone. No one wants to hear that your girlfriend has crotch itch and its spreading to her ass.

4) Come up with something a little more creative than "fuck you" or "fuck that." I'll respect you more if you take what minimal intelligence you have and use it to insult me properly. I mean, come on, it's me. There's so much to work with.

5) Tell your family to stop bumping my machine with their incredibly fat asses and then laughing about it. This just gets them kicked out and pisses you off. Keep your relatives in the shallow end of the gene pool where they belong.

Yes, thanks for asking. I do feel better.

Until next treatment.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Dork Knight

The fact of the matter is I'm tenacious.

Anything I've ever desired, I've gone after with a vim and vigor some would find obsessive.

But with Dialysis, some parts of one's life are out of control.

This has manifested itself in ways I don't fully understand.

But about two weeks ago I grew tired of witnessing my doughy self in the mirror. I had ceased going to the gym for weeks because of a fact I had to admit to myself.

Dialysis is taking a toll.

The lab tests don't show it and my body doesn't reveal it, but I feel less like myself every single day.

When I arise from my morning nest, the dizziness gets worse. The blackouts increase. And a general feeling of sliding toward oblivion takes hold.

So on October 12, 2008 I made a simple yet honest vow to myself.

I would become dough-less.

Each morning Dialysis curls up in the corner and mocks me mercilessly.

"HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, whoaez me!"

Total indignation floods the room. Dialysis is a tiny troll with razor sharp yellowed teeth and a curve in his spine reminiscent of the letter "C".

But he knows full well how to get under my skin.

"I can't jog up hills anymore. Oh, oh, I'm too tired to socialize anymore. Dialysis has stolen everythAAAAAAHHHHHHH! My God you're pathetic! Worthless! Dare I say it, irrelevant?"

As he zipped his pint sized frame from one wall to another, I made the decision.

I'll show him.

That night after treatment, I started with thirty simple minutes of walking. I live in the Southeast side of Santa Rosa, which anyone will tell you, has some of the nicest property in the North Bay. Four story houses built into five star mountains.

The point is, I feel pretty damn safe.

Thirty minutes gave way to sixty which elevated to ninety and morphed into a hundred and twenty.

I understand fully it's only been two weeks, but I've already lost four pounds. My belt is happy to be using the third notch again.

Night after night after blissful night I roam the streets of Sonoma County exploring neighborhoods I'll never be able to afford.

As the weight began to drop and the doughy me began to fade, I thought I was just wandering the streets because I loved the exploration.

But as I reach the end of the second week, I feel as though I'm searching for something.

Less a destination, more like an answer.

As my tiny frame wanders the ritzy neighborhoods paid for on the backs of others, the sheer quiet of it all envelopes me.

My mind wanders away from what I have become to what may still be.

Reaching the top of one of the many breathtaking hilltops, I pause a moment to take in a full breath of chilly night air.

For the first time in a ridiculously long time, I enjoy a moment of peace.

Hope and possibility can't be far behind.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Futility

Tonight Stabby McStabalot ignored my pleas for mercy and continued forcing in the needle of shame.

He'd bounce into some calcification on the left and scrape some nerves.

Immensely painful.

He backed off, then tried to shove it to the right.

More excited nerves just waiting to be electrified.

The entire time I'm pleading for him to stop because he's killing me.

Apparently, the C in PCT doesn't apply to him.

Do a quick search for "Stabby McStabalot" in the upper left portion of my blog and you'll find numerous entries about this blessed malcontent who simply wants to get done early so he can go home, prance around in his boxers and watch "Seinfeld" for the billionth time.

But that's not why we're here tonight.

As I slowly made my way to freedom, an incredible sadness overwhelmed me.

And then a wonderfully healing epiphany made itself fully known to me.

What's the point of my life?

The sadness deepened when I realized there wasn't one.

My entire existence is based on the false assumption that everyone deserves a chance, that every life is precious.

From the people I've experienced within the walls of this torcherous place, that is absolutely not true.

Don't get me wrong, I include myself in this deplorable crowd.

Medicare pays thousands upon thousands upon thousands of wasted dollars keeping miserable people like myself and my fellow brethen alive.

So I ask again, what is the point of my life?

After thirty-eight years of wasted opportunity shuffling about on this little blue ball of terror, I have come to the realization that there are only two truths in this life:

True love and true health.

A truth I've known and lost. Another, I've never had.

This time I ask and I'll be more specific:

What is the point of wasting taxpayer money on my miserable existence?

Dialysis has stolen friendships. Made me completely undesirable to the fairer sex. Given me a lack of appeciation and adoration for a career that I used to hold dear.

I exercise everyday. I eat incredibly well 90% of the time. No alcohol or tabacco.

But what is the point of treating the body well and attempting to extend one's life when that life isn't worth living?

True love and true health.

If you have both, I envy your existence.

If you are of the cynical type (and if you are, I'm a fan) I can feel you asking why I don't just give into my urges to end it all.

I'll give you three reasons: Mom, Dad and my sister.

I've taken two kidneys and endless hours of worrying from their lives. It would be offensive to take my life now.

But it sure would save the government a helluva lot of money.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Lowest Common Denominator of Humanity

You want to know what my biggest complaint about my Dialysis clinic is?

It's not the staff (they're awesome) or the debilitating pain (it's awful) or the amount of time it steals from my life (plenty.)

It's the patients.

Don't get me wrong, when I first started, I tried to make friends. Tried to give my fellow members of mankind a chance to know me.

After numerous sneers, snubs and snot nosed grins, I eventually gave up.

I'm a Veteran of Dialysis and I believe after surviving four and a half years of humilating escapades at this place, I believe I've earned the right to ask for just one simple request.

Turn down your motherfucking TV.

Jesus H, God in heaven almighty, there is never a good time to turn "Friends" up to full volume.

"Oh, I'd tap that Chandler. He could take my hand, rip off my LALALALALALALALALA!"

There is never a good time to hear a seventy year old woman say, "I'd tap that."

Never. Uh uh. No way.

As a gentleman was being taken off the machine, he pontificated, "You know, if the Confederacy had won, I could have a slave doing this."

Was that some sort of History Channel joke? Are you trying to get a rise out of your black PCT?

But these past annoyances are distracting me from the extremely unbelievable present one.

From the moment I walked up to my chair I knew there was going to be trouble.

Because the DEBATE WAS AT FULL VOLUME.

Since my life is a no-sum game, I enjoy listening to the debate in the comfort of my office while scheduling music after treatment. That way, when I scream about Obama's economic policy or McCain's immigration reform plans, no one will hear my vile language.

Once again, I digress.

I told Tall Good-Guy Tech that I was not happy. He said he'd do his best to find her headphones, but it's unlikely she would wear them.

"That McCain, that McCain, that McCain is a loser. Such a fuckin' rich loser. Criminal fuck."

Fine. You have an opinion about one of the candidates. None of us want to hear it at the top of your lungs.

"Obama! Ugh, that Obama is a n*****. I'm not voting for no n*****."

I closed my eyes for a moment to dredge up some inner peace as I placed all my items on the adjoining table.

This was unbearable and unacceptable. I could sense two hours of boiling rage inadvertently bubbling to the surface.

As the PCT (Patient Care Technician) hooked up my needles, she began to berate her nurse.

"Where the fuck is she? She probably went on her two hour break. Fuckin' nurses. I hate them. Hatehatehate those fuckers."

Some amusement did present itself when she tried to tell time.

"I, well, um, ugh, Christ fuck. I have thirty minutes left, so I won't, I won't, well...ugh fuck! I'm not going to fuck this place until, um, like, well...ten o'clock. Fuckin-a."

It was presently 6:30pm.

As the nurse approached her to supply her medications, I knew this wouldn't be pretty.

"Uh, oh, here comes the Filipino nurse. Are you one of those dirty Flip's or a good Flip."

I tried to give that nurse a look like I was willing to slam my DVD player closed and fling it at her ugly mug.

Some people wonder why people who work in the Dialysis field get so tired and burnt out.

Ladies and gentleman of the jury, I give you Exhibit A thru ZZZ.

Tall Good-Guy Tech did his best to get her to turn down her volume, but once he walked away to help another patient she responded with...

"Fucker turned down my TV. Nobody turns down my motherfuckin' TV. This is my TV motherfuckers."

Now it was louder than before.

What I could only guess was a family member came in, sat down and said very little. He looked to either be her father or grandfather as she was middle aged. The look in his face screamed, "I'd rather burn off my chest hairs with a blow torch than deal with this creature."

"That fucking guy's a n*****, but he's a smart n*****."

I'd had more than my share of her rantings. I cranked up "Don't Mess with the Zohan" to full volume and did all I could not to go deaf.

Idiocy. Racism. Foul-mouthed and uncouth. This woman had it all for your Garden Variety Redneck.

Maybe I should introduce her to Confederacy Guy.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Haphazard Conversation with a Merciless God

I grabbed my omnipresent comfort items for Dialysis and was about to slam the door to my truck when He appeared out of nowhere.

At first I thought he was a homeless guy just milling about under a tree. It was giving way to the eventuality of Autumn.

I decided to close my door softly so as not to startle him. I was about to turn away and scuffle into treatment, but our eyes managed to catch.

There was an amazing energy to his eyes, so I couldn't turn away. I placed my blanket and DVD case in the bed of the truck and timidly walked closer.

He just continued to lean against the base of the tree, grinning as if He didn't have a care in the world.

"So here we are again."

As the leaves were losing their grasp on the branches, they would somehow land, one by one, into his outstretched hand.

"No, here I am again. I've never seen you here before."

He just smiled a huge grin from underneath a tattered beard and chuckled to himself.

"I'm always here. The problem is, you never look."

The leaves started to pile up, one atop another, defying gravity in his open palm.

"I don't usually hang with middle aged bums." I wanted to head back to my truck and get the entire affair over with, but the leaf trick was interesting. The entire time this fellow is chuckling.

"I always loved that about you Stacy. No politically correct bullshit censor built in."

My mind searched wildly trying to explain how this guy knew my effeminate name.

"Are you a cop? Or a lawyer? Am I going to receive some paperwork telling me I'm being sued? Because whatever it is, I was probably too tired and weak to do it."

The red and gold leaves started from the top of the pile and started swirling like a tornado, faster and faster until the final leaf was swept up in this minor weather anomaly.

"You know who I am. You've just forgotten how to speak with me. It's pretty easy actually."

The hyperactive leaves suddenly left his vicinity and began to spin around me. It was hard to decipher whether I was entertained by this or just hallucinating. I had skipped treatment the previous day.

"This whole 'Dancing With the Leaves' deal is highly impressive, but I don't see the point."

I grabbed one of the leaves and immediately the remaining ones fell to the ground. I glanced down to witness them scamper away like ants. I opened my palm and felt an extreme cluster of burning pain.

"What the hell? Was that really necessary?"

He stopped leaning and stood upright, looking concerned.

"What did you just feel? Just now?"

He started to approach me and I took a few steps back. Even though his flannel shirt was stained and his jeans were torn, a smell of lilac filled the air.

"That's a ridiculously annoying question. It felt just like my needles do most nights."

He stopped moving forward, but His look of concern didn't waver.

"I ask you again Stacy, what did you just feel, once the pain subsided?"

My eyes moved downward as I searched for an answer. The leaves from earlier were dancing slowly with one another.

"Anger."

"And what else?"

"Frustration."

"Anything else?"

"Bitterness. Oh crap. God damnit. I'm going to be late. You made me late. They're going to dock my treatment time now."

The self assured smile from earlier slowly came to His face. He placed both hands on my shoulders and held me with an extremely firm grip.

"I know you're suffering. And I know you're in pain. Once you let go of it all, only then will you begin to heal."

I paused for a moment and allowed my eyes to wander. Eventually, they came back to His.

"You realize you sound like a fortune cookie, right?"

He let go of my shoulders and began to turn around.

"Divine wisdom comes from the strangest of places."

"Like an old guy loitering around at tree?"

As he shuffled back to his original spot, I could hear the leaves shuffle around still. They eventually came to a rest in the shape of an arrow, pointing to the clinic.

"Now you're just showing off."

My head darted around to find that He was gone. I began to grab my stuff as a realization entered my mind.

"That's a really ABC Afternoon Special kinda move, you know that right."

His voice came from above.

"Yeah, I know."

From the top branch of the tree I could see Him, playing with the leaves again.

"One thing I do know." I stopped walking to the clinic doors to turn back to the tree.

"You're not going to follow me inside. Admit it, you've never been in a Dialysis clinic in your life."

This time, He was gone. I turned back to the clinic to face my fate when I heard more scuffling on the ground.

The same dancing leaves from earlier had formed a smiley face, with the right eye appearing to be winking.

I just shook my head and laughed out loud. I stopped short as I realized I hadn't done that in a long, long time.

The Old Man just might have something left for me after all.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Mindless Stacy Trivia

I was forwarded this by a friend and instead of forwarding it on (which I despise doing) I instead felt it was my duty as an e-mailing American to answer the following dopey questions:

1. Where is your cell phone?

In my pocket next to my twigs and berries. Because of the minute amount of radiation it emits, I'm probably sterile.

Most of the female population just breathed a collective sigh of relief.

2. Your significant other?

My scooter Rita. She likes to be ridden.

3. Your hair?

Nappy and dry, listless and rye. Originally dark brown but giving way to shades of gray. Receding in front and on top due to endless Dialysis treatments. I will one day gather numerous squirrels together and create a rather freakish wig that will smell of nutmeg and pine.

4. Your mother?

Lovely and silly, prone to flights of wackiness.

5. Your father?

In much more pain than I would ever wish on my worst enemy. My only salvation is that I can still make him laugh.

6. Your favorite thing?

Being in the presence of beautiful women who don't find me repulsive.

7. Your dream last night?

I was part of this submarine crew and we were exploring the depths of the Baltic Sea. There were two other men who were rather abusive to one another and a neckish blonde. She went on an expedition and came back to a meal of hard boiled eggs. Once the meal was over, she started having extreme abdominal pain. She regurgitated the eggs whole and then two more eggs that were bloody and veined.

Before we could stop it, there was a creature on board and the ship's oxygen and life support was dwindling and we were trapped. I woke up sweaty with a massive heart rate.

This is what four years of Dialysis treatments will do to your psyche.

8. Your favorite drink?

Odwalla Orange Juice when I feel like living large.

9. Your dream?

It's simple yet cliche but very all-American. Neckish raven haired temptress with a wacky sense of humor who can't keep her hands off of me. Two beautiful kids, a boy and a girl, who possess no health ailments whatsover.

Everything else is negotiable.

10. The room you're in?

Toiling away in my office because we have a hugely time consuming consultant meeting tomorrow and I don't want to get behind.

11. Your fear?

To never be deserving of someone's love.

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years?

A published novelist whose health does not prohibit him from visiting family and friends on a regular basis.

13. Where were you last night?

Watching the Steelers fight back from a deficit to take down the Jaguars. I love stories like this that display incredible character and strength.

14. What you're not?

Civil and politically correct.

15. Muffins?

Never. Give me a wonderfully plain donut with nothing added and I'm happy.

16. One of your wish list items?

A cadaver kidney that doesn't turn me into a complete serial killer.

17. Where you grew up?

In the armpit of California, otherwise known as the San Joaquin Valley. It's flooded with gang members and meth labs now.

18. The last thing you did?

Bled all over the floor of the Dialysis clinic and vomited in the hallway bathroom. Par for the course of the thirteenth hole of my life.

19. What are you wearing?

New Skinny Men's Levi's, Converse low-tops, Old Navy boxers and my classic Steeler jacket. I wear it after every win.

20. Your TV?

I haven't turned my TV on in over a year. I watch "Heroes" and "The Office" on my computer now. NetFlix & Hulu.com rule.

21. Your computer?

Is my bestest friend ever sometimes.

23. Your life?

Half past dead.

24. Your mood?

Surly and uncensored.

25. Missing someone?

My parents dog T.J. He passed away about six weeks ago due to cancer. They were going to let him die naturally, but in his final hours he glanced up at them with those big brown eyes and they just knew he was suffering too much.

They had him put down and buried him on their ranch with his favorite blanket, favorite chew toy and his peanut butter ball.

I'm getting tears in my eyes knowing I'll never get to see him again.

26. Your car?

My faithful 2000 Chevy S-10 pickup. It's so much like me: not a lot of power, not a lot of strength, but it will never be stopped.

27. Something you're not wearing?

A hat. Makes my head look ginormous.

28. Favorite Store?

Target. You can get anything and everything there and it's a great place to meet women.

29. Your summer?

Spent mostly in bed. And not the good kind of "in bed." The nauseous kind.

30. Your favorite color?

Midnight blue. It's a really dark blue one shade short of black.

31. When is the last time you laughed?

Earlier today with my co-worker Michelle. Everyone is always wondering what we're laughing about in my office.

32. Last time you cried?

It was at Dialysis, but not for the reasons you think. I was watching a really tender scene in a movie and I couldn't help myself.

33. Three of my favorite foods:

This is an interesting question because I've noticed it's morphed over the last four years of treatment.

A homemade Bacon Cheeseburger smothered in mayonnaise and mustard.

A veggie burrito with extra sour cream.

A BLT on sourdough bread.

That'll do. I'm a pretty simple guy when it comes to food.

34. Four places I'd rather be right now:

a) Any beach where the sunshine is as plentiful as the bikini clad women.
b) In a spaceship heading toward my home planet of Slurb.
c) Under the covers of my bed with a short-haired brunette who's just getting started.
d) Playing with my nephew and niece and making them laugh.

Thank you and good night.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Day in the Life of a Dialysis Patient

I often have people ask me what it's like to be a Dialysis patient. The times I have been truly honest, I have been rebuffed with a horrified look of astonishment and revulsion. In the future, I will simply refer to them the following entry already in progress...

9:00am - Stacy's Dilapidated Bedroom - Bed

Awake to lovely combination of nausea and Death. Attempt to raise body from bed but hit snooze bar instead.

9:09am - Stacy's Dilapidated Bedroom - Bed

Put more effort into arising but feel urge to vomit. Lie back down and take long, slow, deep breaths. Not ready for day to begin so set alarm for 9:30am.

9:30am - Stacy's Dilapidated Bedroom - Bed

Awake to the screaming word, "Infiltration!" Realize treatment is nine hours away and thank God for the layover. Attempt to apply feet to floor and rise. Every joint in lower half of body screams out in pain. Get up anyway because now I'm late.

9:32am - Stacy's Put Upon Toilet

Vomiting.

9:35am - Stacy's Antiquated Shower

Place shampoo on hair and lather. Begin the process of washing and black out momentarily. Apply more shampoo to head because I forgot I had already applied it.

9:42am - Stacy's Antiquated Shower

Finished cleaning and simply standing in shower stream enjoying the serenity. And blacking out momentarily again.

9:50am - Stacy's Antiquated Bedroom - Bed

Lying back on bed with deep breaths trying not to vomit again.

9:55am - Stacy's Put Upon Toilet

See 9:32am.

10:04am - Stacy's Antiquated Bedroom - Edge of Bed

Realize I've placed Blue Converse on left foot and black Converse on right foot. Too dizzy to care.

10:22am - Stacy's Ransacked Garage

Can't start scooter. Take moment to pause and reflect on the irony.

10:29am - Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa, CA.

Wandering down road I forget where I'm going. Slow to 30mph to gain my composure and redneck in raised truck honks and questions my manhood. Drive even slower.

10:32am - Generic Office Building

Finally make my way into work over a half hour late and walk slowly as not to invite more dizziness and blackouts. Make sure I'm fully stocked with air freshener in case vomiting returns.

10:35 am - Generic Office Bathroom

Vomiting returns.

10:38am - Generic Personal Office

Realize walls of bathroom not as thick as hoped as Clinically Obese Blowhard grunts as he tries to pinch out his biggest accomplishment of the day. Salespeople run for the hills. Wonder if I sound worse in there or he does.

11:08am - Generic Personal Office

Finally have enough focus to start workday. Manage to take care of some pending e-mails and tomorrow's music log.

12:12pm - Generic Personal Office Floor

Lying on office floor enjoying what I like to refer to as "Lunch Floor Nap." Usually just lie there allowing everything I still have to do to swirl around my head for twenty minutes.

12:32pm - Generic Personal Office

Past nausea evaporated by present hunger. Grab nutrition bar and attempt to keep it down. Taking bets in my head as to whether this will be successful. Presently 20 to 1.

1:46pm - Dilapidated On-Air Studio

Still have fifteen minutes until airtime. Spend last set of commercials lying on the floor. Floor smells what I can only imagine Clinically Obese Blowhard's underwear has to deal with on a continual basis.

2:12pm - Dilapidated On-Air Studio

Introduce Carrie Underwood as Miranda Lambert and talk over first three seconds of vocals. It's going to be a long day.

2:13pm - Dilapidated On-Air Studio

Gruff redneck calls to tell me to shut the fuck up and stop talking over "his stories."

3:32pm - Dilapidated On-Air Studio

Forget to throw to traffic reporter. Sends me IM telling me I'm a moron. Dialysis giggles in the corner.

4:22pm - Dilapidated On-Air Studio

Feel nauseous again so I record a couple breaks and drop to the floor like a rock. Engineer comes in with a tour and verbally fumbles his way through an explanation. I'm embarrassed and rush from the studio as fast as a five year veteran of Dialysis can.

5:02pm - Dilapidated On-Air Studio

Vision pixillates out again so I forget what I'm introducing. Decide to end with a conjunction just to confuse the audience and keep some semblance of dignity.

5:45pm - Dilapidated On-Air Studio

Receive call from listener wondering why I suck so much. In no mood for belligerence, so I respond that they should try working full time while on Dialysis. Few moments of silence and then click. Shut them up.

6:02pm - Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa, CA.

Racing to treatment and I have to pull over. Pasta from lunch needs to exit immediately. Puke all over sidewalk of used car lot that screwed up my truck. Poetic justice.

6:22pm - Dialysis Treatment Center - Clinic Floor

Make sure to avert my eyes from Angelic Blonde Babe or I'll get a dirty look. When I go to use the bathroom I realize there's still a little vomit on my chin. No wonder I get dirty looks.

6:24pm - Dialysis Treatment Center - Oversized Chair

Lidocaine misses as the sixteen gauge needle is inserted. I try to muffle the sound of my misery to no avail.

6:31pm - Dialysis Treatment Center - Chair to Left

Massively Overweight Schlub lets out a huge belch and the room smells of Cheetos and feet.

6:34pm - Dialysis Treatment Center - Chair to Right

Extremely Ancient Gentleman is snoring louder than a 1973 Corvette. Noise is momentarily interrupted by a juicy, voluminous fart. EAG momentarily awakes, darts his head around and then falls back to sleep. Room smells of aged swiss cheese and rotten eggs.

6:37pm - Dialysis Treatment Center - My Arm

Arm feels like it's on fire as the needles demand my attention. Request Tylenol in hopes of distracting my mind from the next hour and fifty minutes.

7:02pm - Dialysis Treatment Center - My Arm

Beg God to kill me now. Smiley Roundey Tech asks why it hurts so much. I give here a look indicating that is the most idiotic question in the history of Dialysis. Feel guilty later, but in too much pain now to care.

7:52pm - Dialysis Treatment Center - My Arm

Seriously consider quitting Dialysis at the end of today. At least I'd save the government some money.

8:25pm - Dialysis Treatment Center - Machine Alarm

Treatment ends and needles are extracted. The arterial bleeds and ruins my favorite "Late Show" t-shirt. Massively Overweight Schlub stares and lets out a chuckle. Fuck you MOS, fuck you in your ridiculously disgusting piehole.

8:34pm - Dialysis Treatment Center - Random Chair

Have to stop walking to the bathroom because I'm leaving a trail of blood behind. Angelic Blonde Babe witnesses the whole thing and scowls. For the second time today, I'm incredibly embarrassed. But her ass looks great so it eases the pain.

8:49pm - Stacy's Dilapidated Bedroom - Bed

Repeat preceding day until all hope is lost or Death bids one mercy.

Thank you and good night.