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.