Dialysis Update for the Week, My Life in Words, and Another Dream I Had

GAMBO DIALYSIS MACHINE: The Dialysis Clinic has this machine at their clinic. I did not realize it until a technician said it was the same dialysis machine used. Mercy Health Dialysis Clinic in Janesville, Wisconsin.

June 21 

Today was a good day with no major issues with the catheter. Treatment went smoothly for most of morning. For some reason it has been a little challenging getting 3.0 to 3.2 kilograms of fluid out while cleaning my blood of toxins my kidney can no longer filter on its own. My BP (blood pressure) goes below 100/50, and the machine needs to be put in minimum to clean the blood only and no longer pull any more fluid that accumulated in a day and a half during the week and then from Saturday afternoon to Tuesday. My dialysis begins Saturday afternoon after I leave the clinic parking lot, and we have Sunday and Monday with dialysis starting on Tuesday with a new week of three treatments. I know I am a little ahead here. 

For today, I saw Dr. A while he was making his rounds after I got hooked up on the machine. We talked about how well I have been doing on dialysis, and hinted about a kidney transplant, but told him I was not ready. He told me that there was a patient on dialysis for seventeen years. I believe it can relate to attitude and conviction and doing what’s right. I care, listen, and have a good attitude when I go to and from dialysis even though there are days of nervousness, frustration, and emotion. The only time I may have difficulty is when it is ridiculously hot and cold during the year. After Dr. A dismissed himself, I did my best to relax to allow treatment to work.  

June 23 

When it comes to catheters for dialysis, I am not the only patient. That does not matter. I have accesses issues. My fistula clotted off 10 months after it was placed and it never was used, and the two grafts placed in right and left arms gave a little trouble. The graft in the left arm worked for nine months before it clotted off and IR (Internal Radiology) doctors and nurses, and technicians did not get my graft to work for dialysis again. Because I was having the procedure done late, and because the graft was gone, I had a catheter placed. It was my fourth catheter placement, so I was not worried, but tired because it was a long day having two procedures done in one day. 😴😴. I do not remember if it was a Tuesday or a Thursday, I had left the clinic to go to the hospital, but because my procedures did not end until after 5 PM, I was admitted into the hospital that evening and had dialysis because not having dialysis until – I just remembered that it was a Tuesday – Thursday would be too long of a wait. Dr. A discussed it and agreed that it was a wise idea because by the time I got back to the clinic before it closed for the day. My former caregiver DKF was there for me that day and made sure I got me home the following day with no major issues. With the catheter back, I was back to sponge baths.😣.  

June 25 

What a rainy day this morning and early afternoon has proven to be. I do not mind the rain but having to go out in it gets my body aching and sore. Despite how rainy and wet it got today, getting dialysis today was not bad. With a company called Veyo issuing medical rides to companies in Milwaukee, Janesville, and Madison, Wisconsin, I find getting rides set up every Saturday makes me feel nervous when I do not know the company. Yes, I did not know the company, but getting to and from dialysis today was a pleasant experience. I do not like Veyo nor the company MTM very much, but I make it work. Anyway, today’s dialysis went smoothly until the last forty-five minutes of treatment. My blood pressure went below 100/50 and I got dizzy a little bit. I did my best to ride it out, but my dizziness got bad enough that I needed to be put on minimum for a few minutes. The machine was turned back on after ten minutes when my dizzy spell passed, but when I was thirty minutes away from being done, I asked to be put on minimum because my left arm started shaking uncontrollably. I have an appointment with Dr. H Monday afternoon over the airwaves – Google Doc – and will be discussing this shaking that has happened twice now this month. I left with only 1.8 kilograms of fluid taken out of my body today. As soon as I was unhooked and wheeled out to the scale and weighed, I was 107.3 kilograms, but we have to take off 17.9 and .5 kilograms before recording the outgoing weight. As far as I am concerned, I have mixed feelings about my outgoing weight today, but will check it out with Dr. A on Tuesday when we talk if he comes. 

DIARIES

Please forgive me for not writing to share my life the past couple of days. I feel I have not been writing in my diary or journal lately. I cannot say I have been swamped outside of going to and from dialysis three times a week or visiting my friend DC here at Garden Court. I have been staying close to home right inside my place, dealing with aches and pains and redness under my sagging boobs, and breasts for the past few days of hot summer in Wisconsin. I seem to get red in the folds of my body and breasts when it gets hot, which can sometimes be a little painful. I am glad it is healing now since Gold Bond Powder has been helping it. My air conditioner has been running off for several days, keeping it cooler. Since I was home from dialysis yesterday afternoon to today, I have been watching 3ABN or Forensic Files on the Roku channel. I have made Forensic Files my marathon show for the weekend since HMM has Christmas movies. From what I understand, these Christmas movies will run for a week. I do not watch too many Christmas movies when it is not Christmas these days.

Magic Kitty

Magic has been a good boy these days. He has moments in time where he is a wild, feisty cat, but it is him, and he is two years old. The other day, my caregiver JP went through the folder I had gotten with his adoption; she recognized his given name Kirk and said he was one of the few feisty kittens in humane society. She also said that Magic was deemed feral, which explains his demeanor sometimes and his not knowing the litter box the first several days of his new life in a loving home. Over the past several days, I have noticed that my temper with him has softened as he gets into the closets or kitchen cupboard above the refrigerator. The name Kirk sparked memories JP had when she once worked and volunteered at the local humane society. I have been putting up with Magic more these days because raising my voice does no good to him or me. My voice rises, and he does not listen anyway, LOL. When he gets into the closets, I aim a water bottle his way and squirt, listening to his protest as he runs away. He voices his opinion on discipline, yet I love the little stinker very much. He is my fur baby today and always. Thank God for helping me with my patience and temper with Magic today and in the future. Thank you for helping me, Jesus.

Some Emotion Lately

I must admit that I have been a little emotional these days, but it comes from the redness under my breast and body folds. I have been quieter at dialysis this past week because I have known the known and thoughts about July coming and what happens on July 3, 2022. That is a week from today, and I will be fifty-two years old. I feel older than that sometimes – like today – muscles ache and moving about can sound like a creak and crunch along the way.  I feel older than my actual age and using a walker sometimes can be frustrating. Having to put a brace and shoe on) to walk any distance is not a problem, but I wish it were not happening. Do not take what you once did so long ago for granted. I am grateful that I can still walk, be independent and do things for myself even though I want to be safe in following through with my routines using and sitting on a walker. I have fallen so many times because of balance issues.

Ideas

As I continue to write my Life in Words blog and share what matters to me with others, ideas come and go. I add what comes to mind, or I do not. I know I have lacked my idea of writing in my blog like a newsletter, but that does not stop me from creating innovative ideas to add to my blog, right? It is my blog. Even though ideas still come through, I have yet to make some of them known to my readers. I have not been super busy, but I have been affected by the heat of the summer that has put my blog aside, and I get to it when I can. Sunday is the day I can get caught before relaxing and getting it done. I have been taking the time to read and play games on the phone or iPad these days as well to relax.

Time to Go

Even though it is only 6 PM here this evening in Wisconsin, I am going to say it is time for me to go to do other things. It is still early enough for me to begin a project that I plan to follow through.  I am going to good night early and come back tomorrow or during the week sometime. This weekend has been great! Good night.

DREAM

Okay, I had another dream that I remember, and had last night. I will be honest that I had watched two seasons out of three about people being haunted. The show is called Haunted. It was a big mistake watching the episodes that was before me on Netflix. Want to talk about strange or whatever, it was some dream.e 

 I was visiting a country because there was a convention. The country was London, England. I was not the only American who was at this convention, but I was having an enjoyable time, and meeting other people without the feeling nervous or small. I met people my age and a little younger, and I became a part of a small group of people who I spent time with when the convention was done for the day. We went to see the sights of famous places in London, and we found a wonderful and beautiful place that was open to the public day and night, and yet the place closed at 3 AM like a pub or bar. As we explored the place, I was beginning to see things that were there my group of friends did not see. It was not that they did not believe me, the group thought that I was hallucinating or something. I pointed at the floor and one of the girls in the group said that she could see a plate of food that had cheese and crackers, and venison on it. She went to pick it up and hand it to one of boys who could not believe what was happening as he began to see what I was seeing. He turned around with the plate, and suddenly we see a bunch of garbage bags in the room we were in, and they were ready to go outside. The boy ended w witalking toward the garbage bags and suddenly jumped into the pile and disappeared. The rest of the group and I ran out of the room and went into another room that had a long table with chairs. We sat down to catch our breaths and discuss what we just did and saw. We did not know of any hauntings nor cared to know, but one of the men in our group decided to investigate hauntings in London, England, and he did find that the place was not on the list. We found that very strange indeed. We got out of the room and began to leave when I had started to talk like a little girl, and the group looked at me with strange faces as if they thought that I was being possessed. The plate of food that disappeared with the boy in a different room was on the floor, and I needed help picking it up. One of the girls did pick up the plate and scattered food, and handed it to me, and then I left the room from another door, and exited out the building with no problem. The group of people I was with never came out, and I was alone on the street. I got back to the convention as if I knew London, and people there were asking questions and one of them asked where I have been for the past four hours of my day. I looked at the people and thought I had gone crazy, and I told them I went for a walk with some friends I had met there at the convention, and they looked at me with awe, and one of my roommates said that she saw me leaving alone and talking to myself. I looked at my roommate and I said that I could see the people I was talking to. My roommate asked me to give more detail of my new friends and did just that with precise and perfect descriptions, and the next thing I know, I was being shown some pictures, and my friends were in several. My roommate showed me the back of the pictures that said 1945 on them, and this group were killed in a fire. My roommate asked me where I went, and I told her only three blocks away to a building that was beautiful on the outside, and it had one room with garbage bags ready to go out to a dumpster, and another room had a long table with chairs where we sat and discussed the strangeness in the building, and how one of the boys jumped into the pile of garbage bags, and disappeared with a plate of cheese, crackers, and venison, then the plate reappeared before I left the room on the floor of the last room I was in with the group. My roommate said that the place I went to the very place where the fire was, and what I saw were the people who died in that fire in 1945. My roommate had explained that the building I went to was has been remodeled on the outside only, but the inside of the building has been the same since 1945. I told her there was a sign that read from 8 AM to 3 AM. My roommate said that there is no sign, but she believed I saw the sign. The building used to be a rest home for the mentally challenged young folk from 1905 to 1945 when the fire killed the group of people I was hanging with. I told her that I wondered why the group never came out with me. My roommate said that I must have taken them home where they lived for a reason, and I looked at her and told her that I even talked like a little girl before one of the girls picked up the spilled plate of food that had materialized in the room. My roommate said that was a sign to let them know that I was going to be okay and that is why the room had two exits, and I took the one that was the opposite from my group of friendughs. I was allowed to exit the building without any hesitation from my ghostly friends who were solid in my eyes. Looking at my roommate, I had this strange look and feeling to tell her that this was a bunch of baloney, but I did see that there was information about this haunted place. I mentioned that there was a man who was looking for information about that very building, and my roommate said he was just going through the motions to make it look like he was. I said that he said it was not haunted. My roommate mother said after listening for the past forty-five minutes that the man who said that was a relative of hers, and that he was killed in that fire in 1945 along with his two sisters. My roommate looked at her mother and said something that scared me a little, because her words were muffled and short, and her mother stopped talking and continued to listen. The others at the convention were there listening and quiet until they realized that my experience had ended with the idea that I was prone to outside forces of strange things. I looked at all those people and saw faces I no longer knew and walked out of the convention for good, and as I did so, I walked into my apartment in the United States and shutting the door to the life I left, living a life that became my very own without limitation. I had a cat who became a part of my world, and we had bonded without any problems. I never went back to London nor saw my new group of ghostly friends again. 

Why 1945 London, England? My group of ghostly friends were dressed in an earlier period, but I did not mind. The ghostly friends were not transparent or had any aura about them that made them go through walls. Hmm?

June 18, 2022 – My Diary & Blog: My Newsletter

Diary on Google search
Diaries (not mine)

7:30 AM 

It is Saturday morning, thirty minutes before 8 AM, and I have been up since 5:45 AM ready to begin my free period before JP gets here. I have to say that sometimes waking up in the morning can be challenging when I do not get sleep past 10 PM but by 12 AM. I did not get my eight hours of sleep last night, but I am awake enough to stay awake for the day with no nap later. 

9:30 AM 

At dialysis having treatment, so more details later. 

A Deja Vu moment 

About ten minutes ago, I had a moment, I thought I had dreamt the scene was seeing before, but it just happened at that moment. It mystifies my thinking process to think I have seen and heard and yet it just happened, but I have not seen or heard before. I know we dream when we sleep, but I know I did not dream what a technician was saying and doing as if I saw and heard it before today. 

Stranger Things on Netflix 

When it comes to science fiction and fantasy movies or TV shows, I want to say that Stranger Things on Netflix is a favorite. I watched the first three seasons last year before I even thought of moving out of Burbank Plaza. Yesterday I noticed that the fourth season had come out or at least the first seven episodes of the program. I made my afternoon a Stranger Things marathon. I was so engrossed in a part of the show, hearing my friend JM unlock my door to come made me look at the door and watch her come in and her say hello. I FORGOT she was coming. OOPS. LOL. Did the show have something to do with me looking at the door when JM unlocked the door? Let me say that I was a little spooked because the sound seemed louder, and she put the key in the lock. Because I forgot that JM was coming Friday after work, and I felt embarrassed for a few minutes, then laughed at the idea that Stranger Things was the cause of my spooked moment in time. Anyway, I watched all seven episodes and I loved it. It was the dream that I do remember having after getting to sleep after midnight. I rarely stay up late past 9 PM on the night before dialysis day the following morning. To tell the truth, I am always asleep between 8 and 10 PM each night because I fall asleep while watching TV. I sleep in the living room in my chair. My bedroom is warm all year round. 

Jurassic World Dominion Thoughts 

Even though I have already talked about the fact I saw the movie earlier in the week, I want to admit that seeing dinosaurs in commercials reminds me that I saw the latest movie in the Jurassic Park and World franchise. Computer graphic imaging intrigues my senses and mind how a computer program can do such graphics these days. I use a computer daily or my iPad, Kindle Fire. I am into electronics. I was introduced to Mac when I was in 8th grade and got a Commodore C64 when I was a junior in high school. My mom’s husband who I call ‘Dad’ or ‘daddy’ had taken my passion for computers seriously and helped me make my knowledge of computers grow through the past forty years. Now, as well, I have been getting Perdue chicken nuggets shaped into dinosaurs, LOL. My friend JM said, ‘so what’ the other day when I told her the nuggets were chicken meat with vegetables. Chicken is a clean meat in the Bible. Please understand that I am not shoving my beliefs and Bible knowledge down anyone’s throat. I am here doing what I want and need to do as a diarist and a blogger. 

My Saturday (Most of the time) 

After getting home from dialysis, I had a little bit of time to relax and get some lunch before my company came. My friend JM, my boyfriend KB, and his mother come over to worship the Lord with me since dialysis takes me away from going to church Saturday mornings and has been for the past four years. If KB and TB do not make it over on a Saturday afternoon, it is because she is on call at work during the weekend, but JM comes over after church or work. JM works at the hospital as the morning cook every other weekend. Also, depending on Magic’s mood and need to cuddle, Magic and I share a few moments of cuddle time and kisses. 

Today 

JM arrived first then a few minutes later because the security doors are made to let tenants in if their key fob does not work, TB and KB came in. We sat and talked for a few minutes, then we did Saturday’s daily Sabbath school lesson, and then chatted some until a little after 3:30 PM when JM announced that it was time for her to get ready for supper with her husband MM. TB and KB left at the same time leaving me alone to do what I wanted and needed for the rest of the afternoon and evening. 

After everyone left, Magic and I shared the same space in the living room for a couple of hours, watching TV and resting. I was watching movies on HMM.

Garden Court sign in front of building

Here we are, in the second to third week, the apartment building is at risk of strange people and the homeless getting into the building. With 132 apartments and tenants coming and going from the front and back doors, the unseen can see that the security locked doors are not working properly. There is a part that the security locked doors need and right now the part is on back order, and many of those strong minds know that when something is on back order, it takes time. I am glad I live on the third floor here at Garden Court, but because of the safety measures right now are questionable, and I am not saying that management does not care about the tenants’ safety. I keep my door locked when home. 

Also, as of Friday, June 17, I had an appointment with the management at 1 PM. It was time for my recertification for the year 2022. Every year, HUD subsidized housing apartment buildings and complexes have recertifications of all the tenants four months prior to the day they moved in no matter when they moved in. As of October 1, 2022, I will see what my rent will be raised up to, stay the same, or it goes up a little bit because the cost of living goes up every year in January. I have moved to Burbank Plaza in March of 1998 and moved out October 1, 2022, after twenty-three years. I am happy to be away from a place that took my happiness away and found my happiness at Garden Court. Even though right now the building has security lock problems that need to be fixed, Garden Court is my home now, and I love it here even though one room which is the bedroom is used seldom because it gets warm in there all year round, and it is hot in the winter because of the heat, and since I live on the third floor, heat rises like a fast volcano about to erupt. I have been sleeping in my chair in the living room at night. 

Being a tenant here for nine months since June 1, I want to admit that there are tenants in my age group here whereas at Burbank Plaza, before the rule changed to 62 and over, but those who are younger than 62 can continue to live at Burbank Plaza until they move. I have moved out from a place that has turned into a place that the management would not stick to enforcing the rules of living in a community, and there has been rule breakers and troublemakers that should have been evicted. Yes, a tenant and her boyfriend were legally evicted, but after that court case, nothing was done with other tenants who caused trouble. It even took a while after my former caregiver DFK and I had some difficulty with a tenant and his ex-wife, nothing was done except for a write up and a warning to both troublemakers at the time. The male tenant called DKF a bitch and tried to tell her that she was parked in a handicapped stall, and that it was reserved to a couple in the building. The management told us that there is no assigned parking for anyone. Okay, I get it, management at Burbank Plaza had her hands tied and had difficulty with the eviction of the tenant three years ago, but honestly, not being able to enforce the rules made for all the tenants made me feel uncomfortable living there for three years until I moved out October 1, 2022, to Garden Court. More thoughts later about Burbank Plaza. I am glad to be home where I am happy. Remembering also that I was afraid that I was not sure if my AR parents would be upset that I moved, so one day I texted them and told them that I was moving to Garden Court downtown two weeks before I moved. I got a response from my parents that they were happy for me, and I was moving to a new place and moving to a new home is always exciting. I am not sure because packing and unpacking for and from a movie is tedious and troublesome.

Gsmbro dialysis machine for hemodialysis
Dialysis Machine

June 14 

Treatment today went fine. The catheter behaved through treatment with little hitches that were easily managed. My blood pressure ran below 100/50 and the machine had to be put in minimum thirty minutes before I was taken off for the day. For some reason, my blood pressure runs low or cannot be read when the cuff inflates and deflates. Today, the cuff could not read my blood pressure. This happens with kidney disease. I asked Dr. A about it in my one of our appointments at the clinic when he was making his rounds to all the patients. Today, being a clinic visit with the doctor, I have to admit that Dr. A is not worried about my labs and wants to keep things as things are at this time. My labs from last week are excellent, and I got to see all my labs but one and that was my phosphorous level. When I got to the clinic, I asked the dietitian what it was because the result was not showable on Mercy MyChart this time. We get labs drawn once a month and hemoglobin and hematocrit twice a month. We will get, what the clinic calls it, H&H done again next Thursday. Labs are drawn on the second Thursday and two weeks later H&H is done a second time. 

June 16 

Before I go on to how dialysis went today, I would like to explain a little bit about myself beginning dialysis in 2019. Yes, I have been dialyzing for four years now since my transplanted kidney contracted kidney disease. My transplanted kidney is seventy-eight years old, and my mother was my living donor in 1988. I have had twenty-six years with the kidney when glomerulonephritis attacked the kidney. Also, my kidney was seventy-four years old. Today the kidney is seventy-eight years old has a GFR function of 5. That tells the nephrologists in my care and on my case that dialysis is necessary, and I am dialyzing three times a week. It is something I must do to survive from the toxins and fluid buildup because the kidney cannot do it anymore. Hemodialysis is where the blood is cleaned of the toxins and fluid buildup in the body. A person needs a fistula, graft, or catheter to do hemodialysis. When I found out that I was sick with total kidney failure in 1987, I had to do peritoneal dialysis because my kidneys were too far gone to wait for a fistula to mature. I was seventeen and did not know nor I was given any explanation between the two forms of dialysis. From 1988 to 2022, there has been some great strides in the medical field as far as nephrology is concerned, but I still have mixed feelings about thirty-four years ago when my kidney journey began as a patient. 

Today, choosing to have hemodialysis this time instead of peritoneal dialysis, I have made the decision because of my experience with peritoneal catheter, getting peritonitis twice, cellulitis once, and now I have a belly button hernia, and having cerebral palsy that limits my ability to hook myself up every night at home. My right side is weaker than my left, and my right side of my body, and so many changes have happened since 2011—eight years before losing my kidney enough to have dialysis a second time in my life. 

When it comes to kidney transplantation to mind, I have some mixed feelings about having another transplant right now. When Covid came about in the United States, affecting the entire nation, we had several months of businesses closing and reopening, and so many people have gotten sick and died from Covid itself. The world had to make some changes and ever since Covid, I have been wearing a mask while in public to my dialysis treatments three times a week, other doctor appointments, errands, and when necessary, at home. I have been careful and mindful of who comes into my home. I have no plans right now when it comes to a second transplant. I understand that the medical professionals want all their kidney patients vaccinated because kidney disease is a pre-existing condition and transplants are working with immune systems that are low, but my feeling about having to be vaccinated should be a choice and not be forced by medical officials. I see the understanding on the medical side, but some patients have other medical issues that may interact with the vaccine, and the vaccine may harm the patient. Because of the fact the transplant team want all patients to be vaccinated and have the boosters to the updated time to get on the transplant list. Also, how the government officials have scared everyone all around the world is beyond me when the Covid tests are updated flu tests annoys me. A former caregiver of mine had come over one day with her usual mask over her nose and mouth, and she said she want feeling well. It was the weekend, and the following Monday, she told me that she had tested positive for Covid, and her symptoms were a real bad headache and having no energy. I never got Covid although my chances were great because we were a mere few inches the Saturday, she was giving me a sponge bath, and I was not wearing a mask, but she was. 

Now, as far as dialysis is concerned for today, I have to say that I was able to have treatment and go home feeling safe, but tired and wiped out. My catheter worked through the three hours I was dialyzing, but it had a couple of quirks to get kinked out during the three hours I sat or reclined there. It was a little nerving, yet the catheter worked. Catheters are temporary forms of dialysis; catheters need to be replaced when they do not work well or as well as they have done from the beginning of placement can be nerve-racking. I want to praise and thank God for my medical needs and catheter working well enough to get through treatment each week despite the quirks and occasional issues that clear up with flushing, pushing and pulling of saline solution, and having medication call Cathflo (that is how it is spelled) put in the catheter after every treatment for catheter maintenance because my blood clots faster and easier for some reason. I may not be a complicated patient, but my case is. The technician was having some difficulty with my catheter today, so one of the nurses got involved to get the catheter working again. The catheter behaved after a tweak or two and when my blood pressure went below 100/50, the machine had to be put in minimum, and I was given a medication to elevate my blood pressure a little to get it above 100/50 before turning the machine back on to taking toxins and fluids. The nurse who was taking care of the patients in Pod 1 decided to lower my goal from 3.0 kilograms to 2.7 kilograms since had a few about an hour left of treatment. 

It always gets busy at dialysis. Technicians and nurses on the floor at times managing their assigned pods (there are four pods of four chairs a piece). When technicians go to lunch at 11 AM, there is always two other technicians and a nurse on the floor. I have my favorite technicians who seem to keep the anxiety at bay, and a couple of the nurses as well. Today, I did my best at allowing them to do their jobs by not worrying about what was going on with my catheter. I do not think I did too bad because I was able to get through three hours of treatment without significant issues. When I am upset or anxious, my catheter will not work properly. When I get in early, I can get out early and go home so I can relax and be with my Magic Kitty who hates it when I leave for a little over three hours on dialysis days. I do not like leaving him, either. I have separate anxiety from time to time, but it has gotten better since I moved in at Garden Court Apartments on October 1, 2021 

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about my dialysis and how dialysis works in my behalf. I know this was a long entry today, but I wanted to give more details of dialysis as an update. More on Saturday. 

June 18 

Dialysis went smoothly for most of the treatment. My BP does not always register on the machine these days, so the technician or nurse will have to readjust the cuff and retake my BP. During the week my BP did not register three times at one of my treatments. That does not bother me too much, but it is annoying. The reason why blood pressures do not always register on the machine is because the access points or area of the veins can be harder to detect with kidney disease. That scares me a little bit. 

While at dialysis today, I learned something about fluid in the cardiovascular area of the body. When there is fluid in there, the fluid is pulled from around the heart, the machine indicates by your blood pressure reading when it registers, and if blood pressure reads below 100/50, the machine needs to be put on minimum until BP gets back up above a little above 100/50. The clinic does not let a patient leave if BP is low. Low blood pressure causes dizziness and cramping, I have experienced both at the same time as well as separate occasions. Today out of 3.2 kilograms, I was able to dialyze to 2.73 kilograms leaving at 91.0 kilograms (½ kilograms to my dry weight). 

Dialysis Update and A Relaxing Day

On May 28, 2022, I remember my catheter not wanting to work properly, causing dialysis to not happen that day. Then last week, technicians were doing their best to get extra fluid out of me. By Saturday, May 4, 2022, I was a little bit below my dry weight 90.5 kilograms. I will not argue or deny how hard the technicians worked me. This week has proven to start out aa little rocky. I was able to dialyze, but when my blood pressure ran low, the machine had to be put in minimum, and I was hoping that was not necessary today. Dialysis went smoothly from the start when I was hooked up. The catheter did not want the arterial line to pull at first, but the technician taking care of me had flushed the line and the line finally pulled. I was able to sit and relax and read for a while. Waiting to talk to Dr. A about last week was hard as I saw him go from patient to another before getting to me, so when he finally came to me, I was ready to talk to him. 

I told Dr. A what happened last week, and he told me that he understood that I could not dialyze that Saturday, and that happens at times. I told him that I was 6.1 kilograms coming into the clinic last Tuesday. I was disgusted with myself, and the emotion of the day ran into the weekend—as if I did not care. I did care, I was frustrated about it all and the weather did not help me. He understood and told me that he was not worried about me in the circumstances I had last week. He said that I left Saturday with my weight being below my dry weight, and he was not worried. He also said that I am doing fine and will keep my dry weight at 90.5 kilograms. He then left me and went on his way. He sees all his other patients before seeing me. Am I the best for last? Hmmm? Not always, no. 

Dialysis went smoothly for the three hours, except for the last ten to twenty minutes. I began cramping in my left leg and foot. The technician put the machine in minimum leaving me at 2.62 kilograms out of 3.0 kilograms. When I was taken off and the last blood pressure reading was 104/??, so I did not need to have fluid added in my lines to put it up a bit. I was able to walk out to the scale and get a weight. I left at 91.4 kilograms. 

Dialysis went smoothly from beginning to end—three hours of getting toxins and fluid out. Within the last ten minutes of dialysis, I started to have some eye trouble which usually means that dizziness is coming. I asked to be put the machine on minimum. I got close to 3.0 kilograms, and when weighed, using a wheelchair today, I was below my dry weight a little bit. I will not argue with how dialysis went for the day. 

Treatment on Saturdays is the end of the week for me, and I have two days once I leave the clinic after dialysis. Sitting for three hours was not too bad today, even when my blood pressure went below 100/50 in the last twenty minutes of treatment. The machine was put on minimum at 2.6 kilograms out of 3.2 kilograms.I went into the clinic at 93.9 kilograms and left at 91.4 kilograms. For the first time in a while, I was able to walk out of the clinic to the scale and before I hit the lobby, I sat down on my walker to wheel myself to a chair and call my ride to take me home. I walked out to the vehicle with someone watching me and got in the vehicle with help and no problem. I have difficulty getting into high vehicles, but with help and patience from my driver, I got in without too much worry and anxiety. It pays to have a caregiver at my side from time to time and a company I do not know yet. 

Today I talked to a nurse at the clinic openly about one of the patients. Trying to not throw him under the bus, I am very observant, so seeing this patient not listening or caring that he is at the clinic, I wonder what his walk of life was before he started dialysis. I have been dialyzing for four years and two months now, that I have been coming and going to the clinic because I want to live with not being ready for a second transplant currently. I have my reasons and they are personal and medically related to the latest pandemic—Covid-19. I am not impressed that everyone who has kidney disease must be vaccinated, and that is a choice the patients should make, not medical advisors. Then again, I see the side of medical advisors as well. To be put on the list, you need to be vaccinated to be protected from Covid, and this is where I disagree and feel it is a patient’s right or not to be vaccinated. Anyway, I went off the subject and need to get back to the subject at hand – the patient. Every now and then, when sitting in chair 1 or 2, seeing how the patient in chair 5 does not care if he crosses his leg and his blood pressure reads low, he does not want his feet being put up. He allows the nurse and technician to put his feet up, but he wants them down within minutes. He complains by moaning and groaning noticeably loud to get the attention of the nurse and technician. He always asks, ‘can I put my legs down?’ This patient is 80-something years old, and his actions are child-like. Okay, I get it that we dialysis patients are from different walks of life and do not know this patient’s life and history, but being obvious and noticeable, I find that hard to swallow. The alternative of not being dialyzed is death, and this patient comes because he must stay alive. The nurse I spoke openly about this patient through what I see, and she understood where I was coming from when I said the patient acts, he does not want to be here but needs to be here to stay alive. I feel I should not have spoken so openly. 

With it being Sunday, June 12, 2022, I am chilling, relaxing, reading, watching Murder, She Wrote on the Roku channel, and enjoying my day that is my day with no company. I am still reading Evidence of Love. I am more than halfway through the book. Because I love mystery and stories that are based on true stories are my favorite books to read, the story is good. It is an enjoyable read. From watching the miniseries and movie a couple of weeks ago, I cannot believe that Candy Montgomery got acquitted for killing Betty Gore. From the movie I saw that Betty Gore brought out the axe. Did she start it? That is properly why Candy was acquitted. I have also played Monopoly Solitaire as well for a couple of hours. 

April 18, 2022 – Newsletter 11

Garden Court

What’s Happening

Today, while I was waiting for my ride downstairs, I talked with a couple of neighbors. A neighbor, DC, M, my friend JS, and I spoke for a few minutes. I have known DC since we were younger and went camping at Camp Waubeek. We were not in the same group, but we stayed in the same cabin. Also, when I was younger and attended church with my grandparents, I would see DC while we were taking communion. Anyway, DC and I exchanged numbers and have spoken a couple of times. She wanted to know if I wanted to go down to her place to watch TV with her, but I just sat down to watch more Law & Order: SVU, get online to work on my newsletter and relax. I promised her I would get together with her tomorrow night. 

Even though the lobby is open again, I rarely see tenants sitting down there when I am waiting for my rides to and from dialysis. When I sit and wait for my ride, I see tenants have a cigarette or take trash/recyclables out to the dumpsters or take their dogs out to do their duties.

My Talks with Jesus

Dear Jesus, 

I would like to thank you for your hand in guiding my podiatrist on what to do regarding my right foot. I am glad that it is not a cyst as well; happy that the x-rays showed the doctor that whatever it is, it is not serious. I will keep an eye on it and get back to the doctor to get my toenails on my left foot trimmed in a few weeks. My toenails were long and grotesque; now, they are shorter and do not need to be hidden. 

My Diary

My Life in Words

My Foot Diagnosis 

I am not a doctor, and I cannot make a diagnosis about the bump on my right foot, so I went to my podiatrist at SSM Health/Dean Clinic today to have an official diagnosis. I will not deny that I have been a little scared and have had thoughts of losing my foot, and on Saturday, I saw a dialysis patient’s left foot that looked normal with only two toes, and that made me think of my foot and what will my podiatrist’s diagnosis be.  

The doctor did look at my foot and said it was not a cyst. He told me what he was planning on doing while he looked at my toenails on the left foot and trimmed and filed them. The doctor ordered x-rays of the right foot, and when they were viewed, I was told that there was nothing serious, but he wanted to keep an eye on things. I will make an appointment to have him look again and trim and file my toenails in a few weeks. 

Update

Dialysis

Weekly Update for April 12, 14, & 16, 2022

April 12 – After having three days of treatment last week, there seems to be a block in my catheter that needs medicine to take out the clot, then it runs fine the rest of the week. The medication is called Cathflo. I had a little over two hours of dialyzing time when I was hooked up. I have been told that the clotting in the catheter is not my fault and that clotting just happens. Okay, I get it, but it has been every Tuesday lately, which can be frustrating. 

Every Tuesday, except when a fifth Tuesday falls in a month, nephrologist doctors make their rounds to all twelve patients. Dr. A (my doctor) and Dr. S are those doctors. I always look forward to seeing Dr. A because I want to know how I am doing and want to make changes where necessary. 

Dr. A and I had discussed reducing my dialyzing time by fifteen minutes, which means I will be dialyzing for three hours until further notice. I will begin treatment at three hours on Thursday. 

April 14 – Dialysis went smoothly today. I got on early, and the machine worked through treatment. Starting today, I started dialyzing at three hours instead of three hours and fifteen minutes because Dr. A took fifteen minutes off my time Tuesday, as I hinted last week, and we discussed it, etching it in stone until further notice.

April 16 – Wow! What a wat to end my week of dialysis treatment by getting in early. I was picked by 8 AM and at the clinic waiting by 8:10 AM, and hooked before 9 AM. My time, for being hooked up is by 9:15 AM. I was in Chair #1 today, and on for three hours and out the door shortly after 12:30 PM because I had to wait for my ride. Anyway, dialysis treatment went well. The machine alarm went off from time to time because I moved wrong, lol. I left with my dry weight at 89.7 kilograms. My dry weight is set at 90.5 kilograms now.

Now I have a break and my dialysis weekend has begun. I will return Tuesday morning for another week of treatment. Until next week. 

Dialysis Update: March 24 – 26, 2022

March 22, 2022 

Dialysis went reasonably well.  It took a few minutes to get hooked up because my tech had to pull another tiny clot from my catheter, but it was smooth sailing as soon as it was out.  The doctor was visiting the clinic today and talked about how things were going and what to think about for the future.  Dr. A had another doctor shadowing him this morning. 

March 24, 2022 

Treatment went smoothly. 

March 26, 2022 

Due to an emergency at the other end of my care, I missed treatment and will resume treatment on Tuesday unless I am not feeling the greatest and see if there is a chair available. 

Dialysis Update: March 15, 17, and 19, 2022

March 15. 2022 

I will not argue how dialysis went today because it went well. The machine had alarmed a couple of times for different reasons. While dialyzing, I read and closed my eyes for a while. For a little bit, my body felt drained, and I wanted to sleep but didn’t because there was a lot of activity to see and watch. I was okay with resting my eyes for a little bit and getting back to reading again. Going to and from dialysis is my escape from home for a bit and welcome home by Magic Kitty at the door when I walk in. I love how he greets me and wants kisses. Going to and from dialysis will also give Magic Kitty a break from me. 

Last Thursday was lab day. The technicians in my care had to wait until today to get my labs drawn because while hooking me up, they got ahead of themselves and forgot what they needed to do. Dr. A and I talked about things, and I told him that I have an appointment at SSM Health with my podiatrist to have him look at a possible cyst on my right foot between the ankle and callous on my right foot April 18. Dr. A assured me that I would find many people who get benign growths. I told him that I had cysts in my breasts and transplanted kidney. I have them today, and they do not bother me. After Dr. A left, I got to do what I wanted to do for three hours and fifteen minutes. 

When dialysis was done, I was unhooked and sent on my way. I weighed and was 90.6 kilograms. They tos=ok 3.5 kilograms of fluid out of my body because I came in at 94.8 kilograms. I found my coming in weight a surprise. After all, I thought I was more than 95 kilograms. After all, I drank more water and soda over the weekend because I was having tummy trouble worrying about my right foot and having to wait until April 18. When I left the clinic, I could walk out and get on the scale to weigh myself, then wait for my ride home. 

March 17, 2022

I do not mind going to dialysis because it gives me a break from the walls of my apartment, which I see day in a day out. After all, I rarely leave my apartment due to the covid pandemic. Also, Magic deserves a break from me now that he is older and enjoying his space. I have no idea what Magic does when I am not home. When I get home from dialysis, Magic is right at the door to greet me and welcome me home, wanting to jump on my walker to give me and want his I missed you mommy kisses. 

Dialysis went well today. I got in early and hooked up before 9:15 AM, and there was no issue with the machine or my catheter. The machine did alarm a couple of times because I moved a certain way, or my arm kinked the lines because of the position of the lines. I read for a little while and noticed that I was getting tired. I decided to rest my eyes for a few minutes, and 30 minutes later, I had realized that I had fallen asleep. Rarely nap at dialysis because of the activity and the machines alarms going off from time to time, but today was the second time I have fallen asleep because I am tired. After my nap, I read for another few minutes. After my rest, dialysis seemed to go faster, and before I knew it, I was being unhooked. After getting unhooked, I weighed out, walked to the lobby, and waited for my ride home. 

March 19, 2022 

I always look forward to my weekends when dialysis is on Saturdays. With it being the day of treatment for the week, I do my best at getting to church on Zoom, but today was a no-go. I decided to sit and be quiet, watching the techs and nurses at work. Because it is the Sabbath, I am limited to what I should be doing on my phone and tablet. The Sabbath is the day for the Lord, and my Sabbaths have yet to be perfected. Anyway, my ride to dialysis came before 8:30 AM and got me there early. After getting there, my tech came and got me and walked with me to the clinic’s room and helped me get settled. I waited for a few minutes, and then the tech got me hooked up to my machine. I then got more comfortable and napped a bit.   Sleep at the clinic does not come easy for me because of the noises and activity of the techs working with twelve patients at once, or it seems that way. The nap I did take this morning is the third nap since I started going to the clinic as of May 7, 2019. ep, three years I have been getting dialyzed. 

Dialysis does go well. It was not as smooth as the previous treatments the past couple of weeks, but dialysis did get better as treatment progressed. The tech taking care of me had a little difficulty getting the arterial line to pull because there was a clot. It took a moment or two to get the blood clot out, administer the saline solution, and get my lines hooked up to the machine. The machine’s alarms a few times during treatment, but I have dialyzed the entire session without any more issues. When treatment was done, I was unhooked, weighed out, and went to the lobby to call my ride. I was done and ready to be picked up. My ride was heading my way, and it was only three minutes to wait, and home I went. 

Dialysis Update

I can say that the treatment went well. I was hooked up to the machine and sailed through three hours and fifteen minutes without disruptions. The machine’s alarm went off only once when I made a very awkward move before settling down to go to church online—on Zoom. Yes, while dialyzing today, I went to church for the first time in quite a while. My BP was in good condition, and after treatment was over, I was able to w.alk to the lobby where I could exit the building for the weekend 

Dialysis Update: February 22, 24, & 26, 2022

Feb 22 –

Dialysis went smoothly after hooking me up.  It was a rough start because my catheter was being positional.  Dr. A visited his patients today, and when he got to me, he explained what I could do to have more water by sucking on ice.  The weather has been a bit unpleasant today—a lot of ice, slush, and cold.  Treatment went smoothly, and I got out and home by 1 PM.

Feb 24 –

Dialysis went smoothly today from the beginning to the end.  The machine alarmed once when I had moved and kinked the lines.  My BP stayed above 100/50.  Every month, on the second and fourth Thursday, patients get labs and blood tests done unless ordered by the doctor.  Today we had our hemoglobin and hematocrit checked.  My labs are OK.

Feb 26 –

When it comes to dialysis days, I have a routine.  I get to the clinic and wait until a technician comes to get me or call my name.  I am hooked up by 9:15 AM and dialyze for three hours and fifteen minutes.  Today I was hooked up about fifteen minutes early at 9 AM.  I dialyze with a catheter because my fistula never matured three years ago, and the two grafts I had put in either didn’t work or lasted nine months.  During the nine months, I had a break from the catheter—anyway, enough of this.  Dialysis today went smoothly after getting hooked up.  My catheter has positional issues from time to time, and this week has been positional issue week—no big deal.  The machine’s alarm went off twice and stopped was because I moved wrong and when the device needed more sodium carbonate.  I got on and off, waited for my ride, and got home to a kitty named Magic who misses his human.  When I get home and open the door, I have a greeter who jumps up on my walker to give and get kisses.  Ever since we have lived at GC (Oct 1, 2022),Magic has greeted me at the door when I come home from dialysis or running an errand.  When I run errands, it’s usually only to get my nails done.  With Covid, I want to limit myself from going out.  Also, my caregiver MH has been gone all week because she had Covid.

         Other than a patient, who became a friend, passing away unexpectedly on Feb 8, I have to admit not seeing and hearing her come in has been difficult.  Her spot, chair #2, was empty during treatment today.  When it is being used, I feel better about it.  I have been sitting in chair #4, where I can see the other side of the room and see techs, nurses, and patients come and go.

         It was a quiet morning.  I rested and talked with my neighbor, who sits in chair #3.  I have been more subdued since JA’s unexpected death.

         The weekend has arrived, and I do not have to be back at the clinic until Tuesday morning.  I went in at 91.5 kg and left at 89.7 kg.  I have learned how to handle my fluid intake with ice cubes and a glass of water or juice.  I have no plans this weekend—minor or major.  

Dialysis Update: February 8, 10, & 12, 2022

Feb 8 –

I think we have found the niche for dialyzing me now.  We have found a sweet spot to take my BP on the leg so that my blood pressure reads better than it had been.  It ran low a couple of times today, and the tech and nurse had to administer Cathflo into my catheter during treatment, but I still got fluid taken out.  2.3 kilograms worth in the time I was hooked up to the machine for two and a half hours.  The Cathflo worked its magic so I could have treatment.

Feb 10 –

Dialysis went perfectly even though my lines were in reverse on the machine.  My machine did not beep or cause any delay in cleaning my blood or taking any fluid that happened to be in my body.  I was able to walk out of the clinic and outside to my ride.  When I got to my apartment building, I was able to walk to the elevator from the first floor to the third floor, and walking from the elevator to my apartment before I had to sit down, I sat right in front of my door on the third floor.  I made it home with happiness and excitement in my whole being.

The only thing that had been hard to explain was the empty chair JA used to sit in. Her chair was empty.  I kept seeing the chair open.  One of the techs helped for a moment by sitting in chair number chair – JA’s spot for over a year.  It was odd not seeing her come in.

Feb 12 –

Treatment went well AFTER Cathflo was administered.  Yep, Cathflo had to be used before treatment because the machine was not liking the catheter at the beginning of treatment.  It went smoother half an hour later with a couple of issues with movement and talking.  I was able to leave dialysis, with my goal weight at 91.9 kilograms.  My blood pressure went below 100/60 a couple of times, but I could walk out of the building to my ride when JM arrived around 1 PM.  When I got home, I was able to walk to my apartment without any problems.  When Julie was parking her vehicle, I had to sit and wait for her.  It feels good to walk.

Another patient came in today and sat in the empty chair today.  That was wonderful in my way of thinking.