Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Changing of the Guard

I am a dichotomy of strangers fused at the hip.

Stacy West doesn't care for change. He fights it, abhors it and must entirely deny its existence.

Ten years toiling in the same flightless job. Eight years in cahoots with my short bed truck.

BLT's, burritos and bagels every single week, from the very same places repeat and repeat.

Yet Stacy East finds pleasure in variety and change dressed in a flowing dress of unpredictability.

I present these Stacy Facts to you to illustrate how wonderfully capable Stacy As a Whole is able to handle the latest physical traumas thrown my way.

As my doctors will detail in full frustration, I put off procedures as long as possible then cancel three days ahead and reschedule a month later in hopes that the need for said undertaking will cease and desist.

That, obviously, is never the case.

My Latest Dialysis Access began life as simple tubing, inserted by an egotistical doctor with a bad attitude.

Who knew boy had skills?

Thirteen years and seven months later, after telling numerous nurses not to cuff or needle my access arm, it was all over.

The Stacy Dialysis Access died a quiet death at the hands of a vascular surgeon at 1:15pm on Thursday, March 12th.

His tomb is my upper arm, a reminder of just how much life he brought for the last five years.

When our relationship began, we fought all the time. The needle pain he allowed pushed me from hating his presence to hating the entire me.

But as time went by, and we learned to work concurrently, I forgave him.

And now he is no more. He sacrificed himself for a Brand New Stacy Access with strength and vitality, yet no knowledge of what's to come.

Stacy Dialysis Access was such a presence in my life, it takes two to replace him.

Joining Brand New Stacy Access in a bold new attempt to save my life is Catheter Succubus.

She has claimed the entire upper right quadrant of my chest as her own, creating pain that varies in volume from hour to hour.

My New Access Scar is only four inches long and rarely makes a sound. But Catheter Succubus desires my attention loudly and without remorse.

Moments before I'm to swallow another 1000mg. of Norco, she cackles at my weakness.

"You're trying to forget me aren't you? AREN'T YOU???"

"You got it Cath. Now shut the fuck up while I take these pills and lie my skinny ass down."

Yeah, its that type of relationship.

Brand New Dialysis Access begs for us to keep it down, to allow him to rest in peace, but the chance of that is slim.

And not only is Cath temperamental, she has strict rule to follow.

"Hey, what're you doin' there pal? Got yourself a Ziploc bag and some plastic tape, hmmm. No, no, no, no, NO, NO, NO YOU DON'T. DON'T TAPEMCOQPUDACIEMC.ZOEUQ"

Her protestations are hard to decipher through impenatrable plastic.

I take the most careful shower of my existence. Make sure not to have the water streams poke directly at my chest. Turn my body a certain way to keep the water at a minimal rate. Cut shower short to lessen impact of water.

Once back in my bedroom I removed my plastic shield and Cath was shaking. Her voice was trembling and she spoke softly and gently.

"Please. Don't, um, well, please don't, um, please don't do that again, ok?"

With a little smile on my face, I responded. "Whatsamatter?"

"Well, um..." There were tears nearly streaming down her tubing. "...if I get wet I could catch an infection. And that would be bad for both of us."

I paused momentarily as I adjusted my boxers from my ankles to my waist.

"You know, you're right Cath, that could be disastorous. But I'm big on hygiene."

We both stood in the middle of my bedroom, moist and musing upon our future together.

I slowly rested myself vertically on the bed and glanced up toward the ceiling. This was my position of choice when I needed to think.

"How about I shower only every other day? That would better our odds by 50% and wouldn't traumatize you so much. How does that sound?"

Cath was quiet for a moment, but then spoke gently, barely above a whisper.

"Sounds good. Thank you, you're very kind."

We both continued to rest, enjoying the soft hum of my oscillating fan. But then Brand New Stacy Access spoke up.

"OhmyGod...that was awesome! Little droplets of water dancing upon my edges, it felt so good, so very good Lets do it again!"

Cath and I turned to each other and said in unison, "Shut the hell up."

For a few moments longer, all was quiet in the world of Stacy's Body.


  1. Stacy: Please check out the product at the following site. It's a special dressing meant for use for showering with catheters. With an MDs scrip I'm pretty sure you ca get insurance to cover up to 3 a week. You can get them via mail order and mmaybe from surgical supply stores.

  2. BTW, I think you are an incredible writer and tell it like it is for many of us. I hope that Brand New Access and Succubus will keep you going for a long, long time.

    Maybe the Catheter Shower Cap will help you with showering so that you'll feel confident going after those neckish women.

    Be well. Best wishes always,