It's A Whole Sucking Thing...
"Blood starts it, and until the blood stops flowing it'll never stop..." - Dawn
" 'Cause it's always gotta be blood" - Spike
- Joss Whedon's Buffy The Vampire Slayer
First thing in the morning, I'm wheeled up to the dialysis clinic on the 10th floor of the hospital. I'm really nervous because I came so close and was turned away yesterday, but my Nephro is here and that reassures me.
Emily hooks me up to the dialysis machine and my blood slowly spills down the clear plastic tubing. I watch as it travels over to the pump. The pump pushes it over to the dialyzer, the filter pinks up and then turns bright crimson. Finally, the blood completes it's world tour and returns to my chest. The whole thing is surreal. Blood was never meant to leave the body. I think I might be feeling desperation. Face it, all your life, blood leaving the body was bad, it meant a cut or injury. Here I am willingly letting someone spill my blood. There's something medieval feeling about the process when compared to a transplant.
I feel a bit lightheaded, maybe it's the beginning of a headache? I can't tell, but I do know the feeling is weird. Maybe I'm just freaked out by all the blood that's not in my body. Maybe the dialysis is doing it's job and I'm feeling the effects of cleaner blood...
With the transplant, my blood went from toxic to normal overnight. The change was really noticeable. This first dose of dialysis is by design very mild. They want to make sure I don't have an allergic reaction to the filter used in the process. The mild treatment makes it really hard to notice any difference.
I watch Be Kind, Rewind on my laptop during the procedure. Jack Black is hilarious and he keeps my mind occupied for the 2 hour treatment. I can feel the eyes of the staff on me as I laugh uncontrollably. Just like yesterday, I seem to be the only dialysis patient with any life left in me.
Mos Def, Danny Glover, and Jack Black wrap things up on my laptop as Emily flushes saline into my tubing. The saline flushes my blood through the pump, then over to the filter and gradually the tubing leading in to my chest clears up. She unhooks me and gets me ready to go back to my room. I sit up slowly, thinking I'll be light headed, but I feel fine. I don't feel wiped out.
Breakfast is waiting for me in my room, it's super cold and what I thought was grits turned out to be oatmeal. The French Toast is actually one slice. Luckily, lunch will be in an hour. The nurses keep giving me blood pressure meds all day long. My blood pressure has been high, is high, and will be high for the forseeable future. Dinner is similarly unfulfilling, so I nicely ask the nurse if I can go to the cafeteria for food. She lets me go and I walk down in my pajama bottoms and hospital gown.
"Blood is life, lack-brain. Why do you think we eat it? It's what keeps you going. Makes you warm. Makes you hard. Makes you other than dead..." - Spike from Joss Whedon's Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Labels: Be Kind Rewind, blood, Buffy, dialysis, Jack Black, Spike