A brief history of nocturnal dialysis

Well, my brief history on nocturnal dialysis, which I’m so relieved has concluded. I am cautiously optimistic that the new afternoon shift I start on tomorrow will be an improvement.

My dialysis schedule wrecks havoc with my schedule…To be blunt, I’m not liking the overnight schedule at all. In a nutshell, six out of seven days a week are directly impacted by dialysis. Either my day ends prematurely by having to head over at 9AM, or my day begins anew in a jarring, undignified way between 5 and 6AM…I don’t want to “get used to this”

I woke up at 3AM this morning in the usual cold sweat that I’ve had every time I’ve been dialyzed. When your clothes cling to your body and you feel clammy like this, it’s doubtful you’re going to be able to fall back asleep. Around 4:30, I figured I’d try to get back to sleep for the final hour. And then the ridiculously bright overhead fluorescents came on a 4:45. So much for my intentions.

You do not tell me I have a spot on the overnight shift, and, after I arrive on time and start dialyzing late due to your staff’s inefficiencies, tell me at 6AM after a typically unpleasant morning, that I need to hurry up and get moving because there’s a woman in the lobby who wants to get started. Do not *#*$(#$*#( do that again, please.

It’s been very tough to get used to. I have not slept well. It’s generally been stressful. But I’m trying to fight through it, because the eight-hour treatment is supposedly better for my body. The good news is that they did make a change to better accommodate me. Last night, I got a bed in a different spot, without so many bright lights and the pressure of needing to make room for a new patient in the morning. For perhaps the first time, I actually slept pretty well. But that still means a harsh wake-up around 5:30. It will continue to take getting used to.

The nocturnal dialysis shift, in particular, should be quiet and peaceful, but it is often anything but. The volume of conversation is completely inappropriate…Staff moves about, practically stomping on the floor to the point that my bed vibrates. Staff acts like this is happy hour at a bar rather than a sensitive patient environment..And I cannot imagine that I can tolerate it much longer, let alone potentially YEARS…I do not think I am unreasonable to expect a PROFESSIONAL environment, where SINCERE efforts are made to limit noise and disruption and disregard for patients’ well-being…When I have to begin my day with the chaos in that room, IT RUINS MY DAY…I need ******* to shape up…or I need to get out of there.

Maybe I ought to go back to the 6am shift. That was loud, too, but I’d manage to fall asleep…I’ve been very worn-out on Tuesdays and Thursdays at work, so the overnight shift of dialysis isn’t necessarily the best thing for my job.

I can still hear Mr. X’s bellowing and frequent laughter, puncturing any peace I hope to have here at dialysis, which is a hopelessly unpleasant experience…I desperately want quiet here at dialysis, but I know I’m never going to get it.

It’s 11:21. Mr. X is either on the phone or chatting up another patient. Through my earplugs, headphones, and audiobook that’s at full-volume, I still hear his booming voice. I cannot fall asleep, even with a sleep mask on, while the horrid lights, are on above me, by the dozen. The lousiest part of this is that I KNOW my Thursday is already screwed.

Mr X is as loud as he’s ever been tonight. I want to leave duct tape on his bed… I hate this. Lack of peace. Lack of privacy. Feeling lousy after I come off, so I either go back to sleep and miss part of the workday, or I make it into work and feel horrible.

I could argue that I might not have bronchitis right now if the temperature at dialysis didn’t dip to 58 degrees last Wednesday night…It doesn’t say a lot for my dialysis treatments when I choose to stay home for the good of my health.

I came into dialysis tonight and immediately heard The Tech’s gospel blaring from the radio from 75 feet away…Sub Nurse dared to complete turn off the radio…The Tech was not amused.

3am… No one has popped open a can of Coors Light, so why have blasts of Rocky Mountain air been enveloping my dialysis bed?

There’s no incentive for them to address my issues in a meaningful manner.

There’s no reason why the radio should still be on at 11:54. This is ridiculous.

I can feel myself catching pneumonia. I’m not exaggerating. Waking up covered in cold sweat. Frigid air blowing on me. Hooked up to dialysis machine so no way to get any relief. I’ve gotten bronchitis and sore throats from this. This unbearable sweaty freeze. I’ll feel the consequences later. They don’t take this seriously. Fixing the AC cuts into their bottom-line. I’m too exhausted to fight anymore.

Dialysis still a pain in the ass. No one left to blame. Garrulous patients, waking up to sweats, waking up to frigid air, being paralyzed in deep sleep after coming home, feelin feverish the entire time i am at work…no desire to do anything productive after work on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

It really is THAT bad. Spend an hour in a sauna. Then stick your head in a freezer for a half hour. This was dialysis for me this morning. I must record that THIS is not acceptable. I must figure out something else.

I’ve figured out something else.


2 thoughts on “A brief history of nocturnal dialysis

  1. Pingback: Divorcing Davita | Toastiest

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