snap day at dialysis

things have not been going well and much of the trouble revolves around low blood pressures on my part….

for example, today when I came in it was quite low….this makes it impossible to remove fluid without lowering my bp significantly below 100, normal and perfect is 120. I have quite  few moments of low bp during dialysis and felt light headed at home and out in public after dialysis.

it seems to the nurses and I that my bp medication needs to be reduced….

when I asked them to call the on-call nepjrologist at Orillia Hospital, they said no.  There is no doctor on site at the Penetang Hospital since it is principally a geriatric facility and also seems to handle physio for new amputees, altho I havent seen many amputees in a few months so that may have been moved over to the hopsital in Midland.  If a patient gets into trouble, an ambulance is called and they are transported over to Midland Hospital.  We see a nephrologist once  month on site here at our clinic.  Next clinic is pushed late in February for some reason probably winter holidays, it will take place on Feb. 13th.

I have been feeling light headed and beginning to black out, to grey out my vision, a few times over this month.

The snap by me came when they decided not to call the on call nephrologist.   Instead they suggested I get a bp machine and start measuring my bp at home.  It is my conviction that we have enough data over a long enough time to ask a doctor.  In my sixth year of dialysis, I have lost my temper just twice.  This was the second time.   For some reason at the last monthly clinic the nurse preparing my chart failed to note this issue. I blew it as well by not recalling it.  My talk with the doctor had to do with elevated phosphorus and with figuring out a new heavier target weight, tricky to do immediately after the holiday feasting season.

The other moment when this bp problem might get addressed is on next Wednesday when the nephrology do a clinic rounds by telephone to the “satellite” clinics (Orillia is the main unit and there are some 6 smaller satellites including Penetang Hospital).

Sitting their seething was beneficial today, it raised my blood pressure.

end of January dialysis notes

It is has not been the easiest of months, January 2014

Primarily the winter weather has been fierce, super cold temperatures as low as -32 degrees Celsius, lots of snow and blowing snow making the drive first thing in the dark of early morning difficult and stressful….

On the nuts and bolts of dialysis a few issues:

  • low blood pressures 120/nn dropping to 103/nn or even lower during the run, which means the nurse has to back off going for fluid, which means I do not get down to my target weight
  • weight increase which would normally mean higher blood pressure that I come in with but that has not been the case
  • leg cramps while sitting in the treatment chair, painful as heck
  • cramps in my legs after I have returned home, interrupting sleep
  • generally feeling worn down by all of this

on the plus side one more month done, so one month into the 12 months predicted at the period in which I will rise to the top of the transplant list.

Poem – Old Arrow

like an old arrow through my eye

I think of you



and turn it into a kid’s arrow

with a rubber suction cup tip


place it on my forehead

spit coated to stick and hold

as if I could hold you now


you’re in motion somewhere else

colliding and laughing

Poem – In Your Garden

In Your Garden


I never dreamed that laying sod

would be a memory to keep.

You gave me that.


I stood and watched you

marking the edge of flowerbeds,


ringing trees, the future

blooming in your head.

Your eyes painting colours


on the damp brown earth.

I lifted the rolled sod


onto the wheel barrow

and brought them to you.

Lifted them out, put them


where I thought

you would need them, judging

by the lines of union two rows back.


You told me not to roll them out.

That was your job.


I watched you tugging the heavy green

matching the seams – tightening

the pieces of your new, green,


outdoor floor.  The hard rain held off,

the light drizzle misting the ground, the sod, and us.


I watched you working

on your hands and knees.

You were wearing a brown


and green rain shell of mine,

the sleeves rolled up inside.


The colour of it

matching the uncovered soil and the sod.

Your hands were earth brown.

getting out of ’13

yesterday was a dialysis morning, not my regular day, but a special switch for the two holiday weeks this year, and driving out of Penetang and into Midland on my way home I was afraid of an accident.  the snow was heavy and visibility got down to something crazy like 20 feet. So I pulled into a mall on Hwy 93 and had lunch and eyeballed the snowfall.

I managed to creep home safely along Hwy 12 to Victoria Harbour

perhaps the absolutely worst winter driving I have ever experienced for poor visibility….there was a black ice day in Toronto a long time ago, when I rented in the beaches and could not get up the hill and north to work, cars were sliding backwards helplessly into parked cars and other motorists…..that day I retreated and worked from home.

New Year's Day snow load 2