Friday, September 2, 2011

Reality Bites

Well, my mom, boyfriend and I went to the dialysis center for our tour today.  The first thing they told me was that they'd been trying to get in touch with me, because the doctor wanted to see me today instead of on the 9th as originally scheduled.  My cell phone died a horrid death the other day, and I'm just now getting it replaced.  So, I didn't get any of the messages they left.  Anyway, they told me that I needed to go to the hospital (70 miles away) to be admitted for testing, etc.  This was quite a shock to all of us.  We just thought we were getting a tour, and no one ever mentioned anything about going to the hospital.

After meeting a few more people and trying to listen to more information, we got word that it was okay to wait until the 6th to go to the hospital.  I'm being admitted to the hospital to "have tests run" and to have my first dialysis treatment.  They like to do the first one in the hospital to monitor how I respond to the treatment, etc.  I understand.  I just wish someone had told me prior to today.  Now, I'm a little paranoid and wondering what else I haven't been told.

After the initial shock of all of that wore off, I signed a bunch of paperwork and toured the facility.  It's very new and clean.  I'll have my own personal TV with headphones.  There's wi-fi, so I can take my laptop and/or phone and/or Kindle.  :)  As far as that goes, it seems pretty cool.  What I don't like about it is that, besides the TV headphones, there is no privacy at all.  Everyone is in one big room.  No curtains or dividers.

The staff people I met were really nice, and I even knew one of the technicians in high school.  Most of the patients seemed a lot older than I am.  I felt weird standing there gawking at them, thinking about sitting there myself.

Today did not take away first-time anxiety, as I hoped it would.  I think it added to it, especially since it will now take place in a hospital to which I've never been, under the supervision of a doctor I've never met.  And I didn't make it out of there without crying.  My mom did, and I was very proud of her.  My boyfriend cracked jokes to help ease the tension.  He's pretty good at that.  We were all nervous.

I'm not looking forward to the freedom I'm about to lose.  There is a lot of publicity about how you can travel while on dialysis, because of all of the DaVita dialysis centers around the country, etc.  Well, my boyfriend asked about that today.  It's not as easy as they make it out to be.  We were told that they like to have 30 days notice of any travel in order to arrange things with the specific clinic I'd need to visit.  I'm used to being able to go somewhere with about 30 minutes notice and to change course midstream if the mood hits.

I'm not ready for all of this.  I don't want to do it, but I don't have much choice.  The inevitable has arrived, and it is not welcome.  I realize I'm not giving off my usual positive vibe tonight.  It's just not happening for me.    Dialysis became real today -- not just some abstract concept -- and I don't like it.

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