Friday, April 11, 2008

How Did I Sleep Last Night?

Perfectly well. Not an alarm in sight, not a concentrate error to be heard! I couldn't be more pleased. What's funny is that my machine began alarming at one point. I started cursing in my head, thinking it was time to yet again silence another concentrate error. Much to my shock (and delight), it was an "End UF" alarm. I looked over at my VCR on my TV and noticed it was 8:59am. Oh....it's time to come off! :) I smiled to myself as I sat up and swung my legs over the edge of my bed closest to my machine. No alarms....ahhh..... :)

I started dialysis the night before at around 12:15am, so I thought it was odd that I didn't finish until 8:59am on an 8 hour dialysis run. Then I had to take into account the "self tests" that the machine runs...I believe it's every hour. Dialysis time stops when those tests are happening, so I suppose it makes sense.

I got up and took myself off quickly. The night before I did my first bloodwork at home. After taking the 1 tube, I placed it in my blood spinner. I already have a tube full of water in the other side of the spinner, as there is some sort of message on the spinner that says something about making sure the weight is even on both ends of the spinner. I turned the spinner on for about 20-25 minutes, finished taking my blood pressure, then cocooned myself in my blankets like I like to do.

I began to doze off a bit when the loud *BING* of my spinner let me know that 25 minutes had passed. I nearly had a heart attack! But I got over that quickly. It was probably a good idea that my spinner binged, as I hadn't set my TV to turn off. I like the sound of a TV in the background when I'm trying to sleep, so I always set my TV to turn off in 70 minutes. That's so if I just begin watching a show that'll last an hour, I can watch the whole show (or listen to the whole show as I begin to fall asleep). Then there's a 10 minute buffer...which I've yet to be awake for.

Anyhow, back to taking myself off in a hurry. I didn't know that I'd be finished at 9am, as I had somewhere that I was supposed to be at 10am, and that doesn't include going to the blood lab for the first time to drop off my bloods. I took my post dialysis blood, transfused, then put my machine in disinfect. I took my needles out one at a time. Before taking out my second needle, I used my cell phone to call the house so I could speak to my mother. I asked her if she could drive me to the blood lab and also to my next meeting. I didn't know what to expect at the blood lab. I wasn't sure if I'd have problems because Rose told me that sometimes the lab will give newbies a hard time.

I managed to brush my teeth, wash my face, change, etc while my machine was disinfecting. At around 9:40am, my machine shut itself off. Right on time. I turned my water and my RO off, and out the door I went.

The lab is only about 5-7 minutes away. When I got there, there was one lady standing there and another at the computer. The lady that was standing asked if she could help me. I produced my two blood tubes that were in separate plastic zippys. I told her that I was a home dialysis patient and I had some blood work to drop off. She looked at me like I was nuts!

"What? Who drew this blood??" she asked. I calmly told her that I drew it myself because I'm a home hemodialysis patient. The lady at the computer piped in and said "Yes, that's ok!" as she took the blood. I also had a letter from my home dialysis unit explaining who I am and why I was there. The standing lady read the letter carefully. She seemed to understand a bit more, but still seemed confused. The lady that was sitting down instructed the standing lady to photocopy the letter, give me back the original, and to give me blood tubes to replace the ones I brought in. "Ok, you're all set!" said the lady that was sitting down.

THANK GOODNESS. That whole thing took less than 2 minutes, which was great, because the next place I had to be was a good 20 minutes away.

I'm glad that the blood lab thing went well and I hope it's always that smooth. I think Rose kinda psyched me up for a battle or something! But luckily, as Rose told me, I'm not the first/only home hemo patient that goes there, so I suppose the first patient fought the battle for me and anyone else.

That's all for now. Cake decor class tomorrow, off to the movies with my friend Mark on Sunday, and off to see Dr. Fortin on Monday!

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