Saturday, January 10, 2009

Life: The Sufferers Version

When suffering from a major illness like kidney disease (or as I like to call it, Life Crusher 3000) you inadvertently become an observer of the human race.

Most people I don't know illicit two reactions: annoyance (a majority of the time) and amusement (yeah, no one's noticing as you dig into your butt for ten minutes)

But those of us bathed in the Art of Suffering have observed something about all or you Normal Healthy People (or "Norms" as I like to call them) that you'll never comprehend.

Your life is slightly out of focus.

As you rush off to work ten minutes late, you fail to take in the plethora of leaves coating your driveway in hues of bright winter colors.

You swallow a huge meal and guzzle down a quart of diet soda at lunch giving no thought to the fact that you're blessed to have an appetite.

Weekends are not complete unless you wander aimlessly through the strip mall to collect items simply because your neighbor acquired them first.

Those of us in the Suffering Club do no such thing.

More times than we wish to admit, we're biding our time in a hospital bed or clinic chair waiting for treatment to cease for the day.

The Clan of Suffering may not move as fast as you like, or act as quickly as you suggest, but we have one advantage you will never understand.

We're entirely focused.

Moments of life that we used to take for granted, we enjoy even more now.

Holding down a BLT makes its flavor that much more intense.

Feeling the cool breeze on our skin as we're upright for more than an hour is heavenly.

Traveling more than an hour away whenever we like, a treasure.

Watching you race through life without even taking a breath, that makes us sad.

Because you'll never truly live until you become one of us.

We're few. We're proud. And we suffer every single day.

We hold the True Meaning of Life close to our soul and cherish it every day.

Mock us. Curse us. Call us names.

Until you're truly one of us, none of the above will ever make sense.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Late Score Coming In: Stacy 7, Dialysis 0

Occasionally there are tiny little moments in life that wash my way and momentarily restore my faith in humanity.

They don't last long, so they become increasingly memorable the longer I sail through life.

And 2009 started off with a doozy.

I can't begin to tell you how upset I would get upon arriving at treatment to find that I'm seated next to Pompous Lawyer Douche. Or the Redneck Twins. Or Clinically Obese Fat Dude.

Or is he Clinically Fat Obese Dude? It's so hard to tell, fat people all look alike to me.

What they all share, besides colorful adjectives, is their ability to ruin my favorite shows and films simply because THEY BELIEVE I SHOULD ENDURE EVERY MOMENT OF THE USELESS ENTERTAINMENT THEY'RE SHOVING DOWN THEIR OVER-SIZED GULLET.

I know. I was sorry minutes before it happened. I despise yelling, but I think now you're coated in my point.

This blog post would be three miles long if I listed how many awesome TV shows and engrossing films have been utterly ruined by these tyrants.

But not tonight. Not anymore. Never happening again.

After receiving the brand spankin' new 2009 "Patient Rights & Responsibilities" I composed this wonderful entry: A Dialysis Christmas Miracle and quoted my own letter to our now-wonderful-labeled-Clinic-Manager.

I know, how narcissistic. But I hope for the sake of this post, you'll let that pass like bad gas.

As you'll see, I hypothesized that disconnecting all the TV speakers would make for a brighter, friendlier and MUCH SAFER clinic.

This seemed to make sense to the High Priestess of Dialysis. I was told that Sunday, January 4th (a Sunday when said clinic be closed yo) would be Disconnect Speaker Day.

I must admit, I had my misgivings.

I figured that I would receive a message or note telling me "blabbedy blab blab...not possible...blubbedy blub blub...technical difficulties..."

You get the idea. Or you at least receive an inkling of the idea of what I'm trying to portray henceforth.

Yeah, I don't know where the hell that sentence is going either.

Lo and behold, when I arrive at First Stacy Dialysis Treatment of the Week (rated PG for Pretty Gnarly) it's Serenity Now.

Every single annoying, self centered, pompous, egotistical patient that I had railed against for the past four and a half years was wearing headphones.

I never, ever have anything remotely approaching a smile on my face when I enter this God-forsaken place (and in case you're wondering, every single person in here, sans staff, were forgotten by God long ago)

Today, a hint of an idea of an inkling of the possibility of a smile was nearly possible.

Tonight before I left I realized something I hadn't experienced in ages.

I was swept away. By "Veronica Mars". And forgot. That I was present. At clinic.

And that's the entire reason for all the hoops I had to destroy to get to this point at clinic.

Every single time a numb-skull patient would blast their television they were basically saying, "I don't give a fuck what you're watching cuz my needs are more important than yours. I need everyone to know that I'm enjoying a novella, or rasslin', or the same fucking episode of 'Friends' we've all seen a ridiculous amount of times and you HAVE to watch it with me. Score one for the assholes of the world."

Not anymore schlub-a-dub-dub.

Tonight was peaceful and serene. My blood pressure was down a good 10%. Rainbows and unicorns poured down from the ceiling. Beautiful naked women played Twister all night long. Cheez-Itz as big as your head were plentiful. Winona Ryder stopped by and made out with me for a good ten minutes.

Have I detailed my euphoria enough yet, or would you like me to continue?

I didn't think so.

You might want to save this post for the historical record, because it might be my last positive post about Dialysis for the remainder of the millennium.

I must now depart from the Blogosphere dear friends.

I feel a letter to the Clinic Manager about short-haired, neckish dancing girls coming on.