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.


  1. Wow, I am shocked, you were actually acknowledged? Is this the bizarro world? Wow, I am impressed.

    Hope this works out!

  2. Congratulations!

    All of the TV's at our clinic had to be used with headphones. It was one of the niceties.

  3. Stacy, just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!