Friday, March 12, 2010

Glomerulonephritis: The Musical

As the final guests envelope their seats, they have no idea they are about to bare witness to something extraordinary, finite and beautiful.

Whether you believe the theater to be nostalgic or classic, it doesn't matter. It dates back to an earlier time, when stage performances were fully appreciated.

But for now, the lights have dimmed and an eerie silence blankets the audience into submission.

Before anyone can catch their breath, a single, solitary spotlight fills the middle of the stage.

It is white and bright and gives life to our setting.

The curtain opens to find the stage empty, soulless. Except for a single, generic hospital bed.

To the left of this metaphoric coffin, an IV pole with a fluid bag dangling helplessly from the top.

Cradling the right, an EKG monitor with a screen large enough for the entire audience to see the large chromatic BLIP dotting the video's landscape.

The figure lying perilously in the bed, his upper torso angled up thirty degrees, is STACY WITHOUT AN E.

A low hum can be heard emanating from the orchestra for what seems like an eternity.

No movement. The mood is uneasy.

Slowly, and effortlessly, STACY'S torso rises from the bed, resting in a position perpendicular to the bed.

The spotlight moves upward from where it had been placed the entire time, the bottom portion of the bed, to reveal the face of our protagonist.

His eyes, closed. The face, unremarkable.

In perfect falsetto, he begins.

STACY
(slow and deliberate)

Glom...er...u...lo...neph-right-is.
Its...so...wonderful...to...say.

The bed slowly wheels itself, along with the accompanying equipment, to the front of the stage.

The orchestra begins to follow the syllables, using as few instruments as possible.

(slightly faster now, still in falsetto)

Glomerulonephritis.
It will stake your day.

STACY flings off his hospital assigned blankets and slidSe off the audience's right side of the bed.

The BLIP of the EKG begins to increase in speed, if only slightly.

STACY

Glomerulonephritis.
Its a curse, not a blessing.

STACY moves in front of the bed and we observe that he's only wearing a hospital gown. His upper left arm is wrapped tightly with gauze and its soaked with blood. He motions toward the reddened part of his arm.

STACY

Glomerulonephritis.
Just take a glance at this rude dressing.

The orchestra begins to slide all their instruments together, building toward an inevitable crescendo.

The full stage lights rise to reveal a giant, six foot tall, fully formed DIALYSIS FILTER to the left of STACY, beginning to dance to the full musical power of the band.

STACY

Glomerulonephritis!
My body's filled with hurt!

From the right side of the stage dances an equally giant, six foot tall, fully formed HYPODERMIC NEEDLE. All we can see of each character is the lower portion of their legs, jutting out from their bodies, dancing in sync with the music.

STACY

Glomerulonephritis!
How long before I'm dirt!?

As STACY danced in unison with the characters on stage, he spins around to reveal the back of his hospital gown.

And the fact the he's not wearing anything underneath.

The continual BLIP of the EKG is keeping in pace with the music as joy and despair fuse into one incredible, unified dance.

STACY

Glomerulonephritis!
You'll wish for cool, clean Death!

Suddenly, two six foot tall, fully formed KIDNEY'S enter from each side of the stage.

STACY

Glomerulonephritis!
You'll beg for your last breath!

STACY instantly stops dancing.

The TWO KIDNEYS, once dancing with the DIALYSIS FILTER and HYPODERMIC NEEDLE, have pushed them forward into the orchestra. The instruments create a voluminous crashing sound, bringing the entire show to a halt.

As STACY begins to crawl back into bed, the TWO KIDNEYS dance slowly, arm in arm. The EKG BLIP returns in sound to a body fully at rest.

Its beautiful and shocking simultaneously.

STACY
(his voice returning to falsetto)

Glomerulonephritis.
It has stolen my life.

The TWO KIDNEYS cease dancing arm and arm, both falling by the wayside, taking the stage floor as the bed moves to the rear of the stage. STACY is now back to his earlier position, blankets covering his now frail form. The spotlight turns from bright white, to deep red.

STACY

Glomerulonephritis.
I'll never meet my kids and wife.

STACY leans back into bed as the EKG BLIPS for the final time.

Curtain falls.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The Stacy Dialysis Patient Awards 2010

I often have people of the internet persuasion ask me why I'm so angry at the patients at my clinic all the time.

For those of you not on Dialysis, let me answer hypothetically:

Imagine you're wandering around the downtown of your city. Gather forty-seven of the nearest people you can and plop each of them into a giant, oversized chair. They must each stay in the seat they're assigned for the next three hours.

They can't move. They can't change chairs.

And neither can you.

Some will mutter endlessly about nothing in particular. Others will go to the bathroom right in their chair.

A few haven't bathed since the Bicentennial. One seems to have a wonderful stale anchovie, burnt Spam musk to him.

The entire time your senses are on overload. Wasted flourescent light from above will bathe down upon you mercilessly.

Being placed among forty-seven other strangers isn't fun, is it?

And that ladies and gents, is why we're here tonight. And why these awards are necessary.

Each winner on tonights show will win a FAPA.

"Fucking Annoying Patient Award."

Once awarded, each winner will be handed a doll-like Dialysis chair. In said chair will be a figurine with its head up its ass.

The entire award is wrapped in gauze and stained with my personal blood, sweat, and tears. All wonderfully excreted by me because of your intolerable actions.

Good luck to all of our winners.


WTF Are You Thinking Award

And the winner is: Chippette Voiced Goon.

I have a regimen I follow every single, stinking (and I mean that literally) time I enter the clinic. Once I forcefully place my items in the ridiculously oversized clown chair, I proceed to the bathroom. I can still urinate once or twice a day, so I like to empty it before I weigh in and get started.

What has happenned the last six times? Miss Chippette doesn't lock the door.

Imagine having that image burned into your memory for the remainder of all existence. Tiny, shriveled frame seated on the toilet counting God knows what on her fingers.

The best part is when she walks past my chair. Her nose is slightly elevated and her spine is straight, straddling by like I should be proud of what I've witnessed.

Nose Thumb of the Year Award

And the winner is: Bushy Moustached Dude


Once the needles are inserted and my blood is being ripped from my soul, I like to settle in to a great movie or well crafted TV show to take me away from this torcherous cave.

I'll admit. My first mistake was glancing upward.

Bushy Moustache always sits perpindicular to me, about four chairs away.

Every single time I make the eternal mistake to glance up in his direction, that thumb is jutting in and out of the right nostril.

Its worse when he finds something.

He likes to place said nasal Gold on the side of his chair.

Does he bury them in his garden at home? Does he create a Lego hut for them in his living room?

I don't really know and I couldn't care less.

And people wonder why I don't bring food to the clinic anymore.

Dirty Look of the Year Award

And the winner is: Raven Haired Temptress.

RHT is a petite little thing with jaw length raven hair, full pouting lips, and a sour look on her face every time I have smiled in her direction.

You may remember Angelic Blonde Babe used to do the same thing. She received a kidney from her sister, so I don't receive dirty looks from her any longer.

One day they seated us directly across from each other. It seemed like every time I looked up, she was staring at me.

I imagine she was thinking, "Who is this skinny fucker across from me? Fuck off with your appreciative, yet harmless glances."

Yeah, that's exactly what she was thinking.

Once she was finished and was sauntering out of the clinic, she shot me the Dirtiest Look Ever. She took extra effort to crumple up her face completely, her eyes dripping with anger.

As her punishment, or due reward, I haven't glanced her way since.

Biggest PITA (Pain In The Ass)

And the winner is: Complain-O-Matic-2000

From the moment her withered frame met the chair:

"I'm thirsty, I need a drink of water."

"I feel weak, get me some Ensure."

"Its too hot in here, take my blanket."

"Get over here, I'm freezing."

And my personal favorite of the night:

"I have to crap my pants!"

She yelled, pouted, squirmed, and protested.

"You have twenty minutes left. Can you wait?" asked the sheepish looking Tech.

And then, the moment we've all been waiting for:

"I crapped my pants!"

Rotten swiss cheese melting in the hot sun crossed with three day old infected gout simmering in skunk ravaged BBQ sauce.

I had to wear a hospital mask for the entire treatment and choke down vomit. Imagine sitting next to that for forty-five minutes.

We've reached our final award, and its well deserved:

Worst Patient of the Year

Every year I select one patient who causes me the most emotional, physical, mental, harrowing pain of all and they receive the ultimate prize.

Not only do they receive the coveted FAPA, but I get to punch them squarely in the jaw.

And the winner is: Fucking Redneck Douchetard

After just two treatments of being seated next to this waste of human DNA, I had to instruct the front desk not to seat me next to him.

What's funny is, when I said Fucking Redneck Douchetard, they knew exactly who I was talking about.

Have you ever met people who, when you looked them straight in the eye, you knew immediately that there was nothing going on behind the scenes. The show was on stage, but the backstage crew had left years ago.

That's him.

For three excruciatingly annoying hours he talks and talks and talks...

About nothing. Absolutely nothing. Excruciatingly nothing.

This man has never said anything in his entire existence that amounted to anything except, "Ugh, yeah, (snort) why don't you go ahead and Super Size that for me? Heh, heh."

The treatment before Thanksgiving, he told every single staff member about the $20 Wal-Mart Thanksgiving Meal.

Over and over and over and over and over and over.

I looked for his string to yank it out of his gelatinous form, but it was nowhere to be found.

Here's some more nuggets of wisdom I garnered from his blubbering lips:

"I need me some bacon. Just plop it on my belly and I'll eat it like my dog."

"Jack in the Box makes a damn fine tater."

"I love 'According to Jim' Makes my belly wiggle."

"Ugh, heh, heh...heh...heh...heh,heh...heh...heh" (I have no fucking clue what he was laughing about...no one was around and his TV wasn't on)

Imagine. No, I'm serious. Close your eyes and imagine you're stuck in a chair for three hours straight. IQ points dripping from your scalp while you grab the nearest sharp object in hopes of engorging your heart and ending your life quickly and deliberately so you don't have to take in one more sentence from his Medicare draining schlub.

Fuck these people are tiring.

P.S...If you missed the awards from 2008, make sure to click HERE.