STFU

I could tolerate dialysis a lot better if everyone would just STFU. Staff–go find a break room if you want to socialize. Or socialize with sign language.

Turn off the TVs that no one is watching. How hard would that be? No more patient in that chair? Turn the effing television off. I can hear the ones that are 25 feet away. It’s maddening.

These are issues of basic decency in patient care. They were issues when I started off on dialysis 18 months ago. Management was cold to such concerns then. I’m sure they’d seem laughable if I raised them now.

I need to get work done while I’m here. I must get work done while I’m here. Even if I didn’t, I’d want to relax. I’d want to sleep. I’d want to read. Frankly, it doesn’t matter what I want to do here. I just want it quiet. How hard is that?

That’s one thing Duke Hospital does right. You wind up in the hospital and have to have dialysis in their dialysis unit on the seventh floor, and you’re going to get a quiet, professional environment.

Not here. NEVER here. I hesitate to mention the name DaVita, because, from what I’ve gathered, a Fresinius unit is not a pleasant place to have dialysis, either.

Dialysis units are places where diseases slabs of tissue are hooked up to machines. Insurance and Medicare pay lots of money so these slabs of tissues can be kept alive. But it would eat into DaVita’s profits if comfort and mental well-being were taken into account.

I am trying to make this work. For the most part, I show up three times a week and stay for my whole treatment.

But it never gets any better. It always sucks. And it infests my entire life. Not a day goes by that I’m not thinking about it. It’s either a dialysis day, or the next day is a dialysis day, or it’s Saturday, and I put enormous pressure on myself to not vegetate all day while I have a break.

Physically, I feel ok at the moment. I should be trying to get work done. But concentrating here is nearly impossible.

And, I swear, I’m gonna pop the next person, tech or nurse or doctor or anyone, who asks, “Have you considered home dialysis?”

I won’t be doing any form of home dialysis. I am stuck right here indefinitely.

What’s worse than the experience of being here right now is that I know I am failing badly in attempts to figuring out anything else that defines who I am at this point in time. I’m not doing anything else of note. I have absolutely nothing interesting to say about my job. And I don’t do anything else. I don’t make anything, build anything, play anything, or help anyone else do anything. I make myself get out of bed each day so that I can go to work, go to dialysis, tend to my pets’ basic needs, and tend to my own basic needs. When I’m not doing one of those things, I’m exhausted. Even if I had anything else to do, I’d be too tired to do it.

I went off on a tangent there. I’m done.

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