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


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.


  1. What happened to the Vicodin?

  2. I go through waves with Vicodin. They give me a "30 day supply" which I tend to use up in ten days. When refill time comes around again, I see how long I can go without taking any.

    It's an exciting game of temptation I'm thinking of selling to VH1 as a reality show.