Dialysis centers

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I had to start dialysis.  I am lucky there are two dialysis centers in my area.  There is one about 25 minutes away from home and the other which is about five minutes. Of course I had to start dialysis around the Fourth of July holiday and I got assigned to the one that was further away from my home  with the promise that when an opening became available they would move me over to the closer one. If you get sick around the holiday you will find out that everything is not working like it should.  It took longer to get me out of the hospital.  It took longer to get my acceptance into a dialysis center so I could get out.  This is how I got assigned the dialysis center further from home.  They answered the phone while the other center didn’t and I wanted out of the hospital.

Now that I’m on dialysis, my medicine schedule had to be changed. You would think this would be simple but it was very difficult for my wife to find out which medicines would stay in my system and which medicines would be pulled out of my system when I went on dialysis.  At the hospital, they didn’t know so they would hold my medicines until after dialysis.  It all depends on the size of the medicine molecules when it is in your system and whether or not it was too big to go through the dialysis filter.   This became very important because the medicine I take for the arthritis I have to take after dialysis. I also have to take all vitamins after dialysis but my anti-rejection medicine I can take.

I was patient for about a month waiting for them to reassign me. It’s was then I couldn’t wait anymore. It seemed that I just could not explain to them how much pain I was in for the 25 minute ride. So I called the other dialysis center and asked them if they have any openings. They said they had openings but only on third shift. I said great I’ll take it! Then I explained I was already at the other dialysis center. They said they couldn’t transfer me over and  I have to wait for opening. So I brought my grievance up with the social worker and told her what happened. She agreed it wasn’t right and finally had me transferred over to the other center.

Once I was over at the other dialysis center for about a month they did finally opened it up. For everybody. They were just waiting to go to a six-day schedule instead of a three-day schedule. So now they have some people come Monday,Wednesday and Friday and the rest of the people come Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. My schedule is now at 5:30 in the morning on the Tuesday Thursday Saturday.That at least gives me the rest of the day to get other doctor appointments done.I have my wife drop me off in the morning. I’ve been told I have to be there at 5:15 so they can put me on the machine at 5:30. I’m lucky if one day a week the attendant is there before 5:30. My dialysis is for 3 1/2 hours so that I’m supposed to be disconnected at 9 o’clock. They have the next round of patients come in around 9:15. So when they put me on late in the morning and it’s time for me to come off in the very late morning  or we are stacked on top of each other.

When this happens, they pull my needles. While I’m holding them, waiting for the bleeding to stop. They put on the next patient. So if the next patient goes on easy I will only be holding for 10 or 15 minutes. If the patient doesn’t go on easy, I might be holding for 30 to 45 minutes. This might not seem like much but after sitting in a chair for 3 1/2 hours it can seem to take forever.

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