Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cannulation Humiliation!

Bright and early was the name of the game. We had to get to the clinic by 7:00am to take care of any admin stuff that needed to be done, so we left the house and took a cab to the clinic @ 6:30am.

I must say, I don't have a driver's licence in my own country, but I am baffled, astounded, and utterly impressed by anyone who knows how to navigate these streets. Our driver did take a few wrong turns but he quickly recovered. And no, it wasn't a fancy cab...like those old school ones you expect to see in London. If I wasn't told that it was a taxi cab...i'd have thought it was a regular car.


The clinic looked pretty unassuming from outside.




I'd have thought it was just a corner store selling toilets. the clinic has a main floor, a 2nd floor which is the waiting room, and the 3rd floor which is where the machines were.




Boy...these machines are very old. In fact, I think they were the same machines used at London Bridge hospital when I dialyzed there.

The nurses and staff were extremely helpful and accomodating. The clinic was pretty clean and efficient.

Now, as expected, doesn't it figure that I had problems cannulating? My arterial simply wasn't going in. I think it was stage fright as there were people watching me. In the end, had to use a blunt only in the venous, and cannulatean untouched sight with a sharp needle.

Dialysis went ok. These machines, however, seem to beep consistently after a certain amount of time. I later found out it's because the nurses themselves do not know me, so they set the machines to beep every so often to make sure that too much fluid isn't being removed, how much fluid is still in my blood, etc. I noticed a lot of machines beeping, so until I asked, I assumed it was simply a reminder to the staff to check on the patients as many of the people in there, minus 3-4 out of maybe 15, were elderly or ill.

Each station had its own mini tv hanging from the ceiling. Since I decided to sleep for the entire time, I haven't figured out where to plud my earphones in so I can hear the tv. Perhaps next time.

As usual, I was freezing! Luckily I brought my own blanket but I was still quite cold. I wish the clinic had blankets too.

What they did have was a lovely assistant named Gloria who came around asking everyone if they wanted tea, biscuits, etc. Definitely doesn't happen at home!

My nurse, Makyla, was very plesant. She had the most lovely english/romanian accent. She seemed to be the one running the show in that unit.

Overall, it was a good experience. When I come back to London, if I'm still on dialysis, I'll come here.

When my ride came, we went off to a huge mall called Bluewater. I was most impressed with the food/grocery section in the Marks & Spencer that we went to. I got the most delightful cinnamon bun.









As expected, my Mother spent WAY too much time staring at shoes. We went through the entire gigantic mall. People didn't bother looking out for me and my broken foot though. My only purchase within that mall, keeping in mind the currency exchange rate, was a small cup of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce. Delicious!

After that, it was a quick stop to the grocery store (another one) to buy some snacks for our train ride to paris (yes, train, not plane. My aunt kept accidentally saying "plane ride" to Pariis when she and I spoke on the phone, so I may have mentioned "plane ride to paris" in other posts). It is now 11pm London time (6pm Toronto time) and I must get some shut eye because we gotta be out of here by 5:30am! (...or 12:30am toronto time...!)

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