Tuesday, October 14, 2008

DIE-alysis!

Ok, now maybe the title is overly dramatic. It was either DIE-alysis or Dialy-PISSED. But either way, I was annoyed.

It all began on Saturday night. I went through my normal procedure for setting my machine up:

**Open the valve for my water and turn it on, therefore allowing my machine to rinse.
**Grab my saline bags, syringes, needles, iv 3000, etc.
**turn my machine on, then put the lines on
**Draw 3 syringes of saline, 1 syringe of heparin. Attach the heparin to the machine and infuse until the saline just reaches the tubing.
**Prepare my gauze that I'll use to stop the bleeding after I'm done dialysis in the morning, then place them back into the paper wrapper I took them out of
**open the 2 bandages that I plan to put on both of my buttonhole sites after I have finished clotting. Place those in with the gauze
**Use 2 of the 3 syringes to prime my needles.
**cut my iv 3000 down to size so that it's just the right size for my arm.

At this point my machine is ready to do the dialysate preparation. I connect the acid and the bicarb and away it goes. I take this time to brush my teeth, wash my face, etc.

This is the step I was at when it all went down. I had finished brushing my teeth and there was still water in the sink. We had been having problems with the sink so this wasn't new. My mom saw it too and decided to take a plunger to the sink. It all went downhill from there.

It was at this point that water started backing up out into the sink. If left for about 10 minutes...the sink would overflow. My mom proceeded to use a bucket to remove the water from the sink.

Dad came home and looked at it. He was equally baffled. I felt nervous. At this point, even though I said that I would turn the machine off, my dad insisted that I connect to my machine as I normally would. I wondered why and how that would work, unless someone planned on sitting at the sink all night long and removing the water from the sink and dumping it into the toilet or bathtub (neither of which were backed up). Even if Mom and/or Dad did want to do that I wouldn't feel right about that for two reasons. The idea that the sink was backing up in the first place bothered me a lot...a lot to the point where I was getting heart palpatations and felt the need to take my blood pressure. My heart rate and bp where slightly elevated. Secondly...No! No way am I going to sleep peacefully knowing that my parents are dying of tiredness. Just not worth it.

Finally I convinced my Dad to agree with me that it was a good idea to let me disconnect myself so I did. I disconnected, turned my machine off (without disinfecting), pulled my needles out, clotted my arm off, bandaged my arm off, then went to sleep.

The next day I was woken up by the sound of my Dad working away at the drain. God bless my Dad, who spent the remainder of that day trying to fix the problem. He tried different things and he plugged away and plugged away to no avail. He even by-passed going to church just to work on that drain. My Dad is the best Dad anyone could ever hope for.

Finally, end of the day, my Dad couldn't solve the problem completely. We decided that it'd just be a good idea to simply call the same plumbers who did the dialysis set up for me in the first place. We had called another plumber that the guy at Rona referred us to. He refused our request for help as soon as he heard the words "medical equipment". I wasn't asking him to repair my machine, just fix the fricken blocked drain! But alas, I commend someone for admitting that they aren't sure about something and would therefore rather stay away.

The next day was Monday, which is a holiday here in Canada (thanksgiving). I woke up at the crack of dawn to go to dialysis at the hospital. Ahh...how did I wake up at this crazy hour 3 times a week for like 4 years? Eww.

Dialysis went well. I didn't get deathly ill, but at the same time Rose drugged me up at the very beginning of dialysis with gravol. I sat for the 4 hours and was content with playing games on my sister's Nintendo DS and watching the food channel on two different tvs.

After dialysis, I wasn't as exhausted as I usually am after a 4 hour run. That's only because my body is still confused. I knew that if I did it again in 2 days my body would be wise to my 4 hour dialyzing ways and would punish me big time. Definitely not what I want the day of the Flare for Fashion show.

Anyhow, it being a holiday weekend, I couldn't get a hold of the same plumbers who did my dialysis hook up the first time. I'd have to wait until tomorrow.

After a miscommunication with the dialysis tech at the hospital, today I came home and paged my dad and asked him what was going on with the plumber. He told me that the tech had told him that he was going to call the plumber for me. Sounded right, as that is the same thing the tech told me. So I decided to call the tech.

I called the tech and he seemed quite shocked when I asked him if he called the plumber. He told me that he gave me the plumber's number, which is true, but he also told both me and my dad that he was going to call on my behalf. Perhaps both my dad and I have hearing problems.

Anyhow, I called the plumber. The line was busy. Damnit! I waited 5 minutes and called back. I got a delightful lady who told me what the price was per hour. $90. Then $30 every additional half an hour. Nuts. Well... I needed my machine. I asked her when they could come and she said she wasn't sure if they could come today. I told her that this was for my dialysis machine and I need dialysis, so if they COULD come today I'd be greatful. She understood and sympathized. She told me that she'd send someone later today and that she'd call me when they were on their way.

About 20 minutes later, my doorbell rang. Shortly after, I heard a knock at the door. "Already??" I thought.

I looked through the peephole and I saw the two plumbers. They both walked in. Martin and Tosha were their names. Yep, Tosha is a girl's name. Perhaps it's sexist or perhaps it's not politically correct for me to even mention that Tosha was a girl plumber. All I know is that she's wicked cool.

I led the way to the room. "Work away" I said. I was going back downstairs to finish eating my pizza slice.

Some time passed when I heard Martin's voice "Excuse me," he said, "can you come and turn your machine on?"

I came upstairs and turned the R.O. on. No backing up. I asked him to turn the water in the sink on. No backing up. Ohh...I'm a happy girl right about now.

I thanked Martin and Tosha for their services. Martin asked me if he was to bill the hospital, or if I was going to pay, etc. I told him that I'd be paying. He went back to the truck and got the invoice. He called the office and they told him what to charge. $90. $90 plus tax actually, so it was $94.50. I gave him $105. He gave me back $10.50. He has $94.50, I have a working drain so I can dialyze at home. Everyone's happy.

Now I have to run my water for at least an hour, then I have to disinfect my machine. Then I have to figure out how I'm going to cannulate with two sharps as I have to develop two new button hole sites...

...but that, my friend, is a whole new blog entry altogether!

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