Dialysis Troubles

Interesting dialysis day today, first my car’s electrical system failed, but I at least made it to the hospital, secondly, the fire in the hospital’s boiler room took place around 1030am, the dialysis patients were evacuated safely. I got my car towed to the Toyota dealer. And my sister helped out and we got safely home.

The fire department were not very fast in showing on the scene…22 minutes…Penetang Hospital has dialysis and geriatric ward and some rehab, lots of patients to move in a more serious fire.

The afternoon dialysis patients could not be treated, instead the nurses will somehow do three “runs” rather than the normal two tomorrow. I am back for treatment Wednesday. I am fine. We could definitely smell smoke. Seems a power outage, more of a brownout, part of the town of Penetang, affected some electric motors.

In the end they just got the eight dialysis patients out: one in wheelchair, one with her walker, and me relying on my cane to help me with the snow and ice. It was nice to get home for a furry welcome from Grace and Team Purr. 

Dialysis today

smooth run, no bumps, one interesting development coming towards us at the clinic…..at one of the other satellite clinics they now charge a $5 daily fee for television viewing…..can’t wait for the hospital to gift us with that……what they have been doing is slowly whittling down the number of channels we receive…..used to get 44 Turner Classic Movies but that vanished a few months back……this past week 45 History Channel slipped away…..too bad.   I read books now for the most part at dialysis.

2 classic film single lens reflex cameras

Nikon FM with MD-11 motor drive and Pentax Spotmatic both with f1.4 50mm lenses


Nikon FM
Nikon FM

This camera was purchased new by my late father who ramped up his interest in photography when he retired.  It is a shame that he got this just a few years before autofocus hit consumer level 35mm film slr cameras.  He struggled mightily with his bifocals and the FM viewfinder, also with getting a decent exposure for his photos.  For some reason he liked to shoot color slides and slides are unforgiving when it comes to exposure.

Pentax Spotmatic
Pentax Spotmatic

The Spotmatic was introduced by Asahi Pentax in 1964. Fully mechanical SLR film camera using 35mm film.  A small switch on the (photographer’s) left side of the lens housing was pushed up to stop down the lens and activate the meter; the exposure controls would then be adjusted to center a needle on the right edge of the viewfinder. The body took lenses with an M42 screw thread.

a little ketchup

dialysisMy hemodialysis today : smoothish, which is better, mainly due to me practicing medicine part-time, stickhandling the timing of taking blood pressure meds.  I had experienced too low a blood pressure duing dialysis and that made it difficult to have a fully effective treatment.  The change was simply to move the night-time meds earlier in the evening.  This meant almost exactly 12 hours passed before dialysis began at 745 AM or so.   Treatment is four hours long, four times per week.  I had dropped below 100/nn and leaving at 104/nn to 110/nn.  Today I was around 140/nn and left at 124/nn.

Yesterday I reviewed this with my family physician, who concurred.  There is no on site nephrologist at the dialysis unit in Penetanguishene, Ontario.

J.D Salinger documentary released last year.  Watched it and learned a lot of details.  His life long obsession with loving young, innocent women, seems to be a never-ending attempt to recover from the abandonment by Oona O’Neill who had been his girlfriend and married an older Charlie Chaplin (she was 18, CC was 54).  JDS was in US Army Basic Training and found about the marriage by the newspapers.  The creepiest detail for me was the writing bunker he used for decades, but particularly chilling how he ignored his young family and lived in his “world” in that cement block house with his characters and they were his “true” family.  Perhaps their charm came in part because they could not abandon him.

One thing which caught my attention in the film was his WWII service as a combat counter intelligence sergeant. It seems to me that combat is bad enough, but the added stress is the responsibility you have as a CCIC non-com to get the local area intelligence correct to save lives, if you screw up you can get a lot of guys killed not just you and a couple of guys in your squad.

Also, I was reminded how Americans never seem to know or remember the Hurtgen Forest, a vicious, terribly costly battle. One common detail of it was the evergreen forest thick and boggy, mediaeval in atmosphere, and the terrible effect of wood splinters raining down as the German artillery burst up in the trees, worse than shrapnel in a strange way. The way to survive was to stand up and hug a tree trunk, the splinters did not have as easy a chance to get you.

The writer who lived that battle and wrote some outstanding books, a shelf of them, was Paul Fussell. If you haven’t, check him out.

These days I wonder what Holden Caulfield would say on his twitter account?

Even with reservations, a great documentary film.

Facebook – new project:

Grace the pup page, offering advice on being a dog and being a human being, laced with photos of my golden retriever has gained over 60 followers in two days, Thanks to Facebook user Sebastian Cabot, the beagle.

see it at https://www.facebook.com/Gracethegoldenretriever

anti-winter humour photo project on FB

Today in honour of how bleak the grinding, bitter, ferocious winter has made me feel, I fought back with an anti-winter humour photo project on Facebook.  I set up a Facebook page for Grace the golden retriever who lets me stay in her house.

See https://www.facebook.com/Gracethegoldenretriever

Grace will offer photos and advice on being a dog and being a human.


poem – The Storms This Winter

The Storms This Winter


DSC_9109The storms this winter make me afraid

Like I have never feared before.

It seems to be too much for me.

I have grown suddenly old.

Trudging across the tundra

that was my summer grass and my warm sunshine,

destroyed and determined to freeze me to death.

Control of car and control of feet and balance.

These are the questions that poke at me.

My fingers aching inside my gloves from the cold.

My nose hurting after a minute outside.

Wondering seriously if my circulation decline

Is going to net me actual frostbite, something

I thought was just for a Jack London short story.

I only see cars out, frosted exhaust plumes rising,

no people walking.

And one mad woman jogger at 6:25am on a morning

With -30 degrees Celsius to convince her lungs that fire

Was a relative state of sensation,

that black clothing with no reflector tape

Was the perfect chance to end it all

and get run over by an old man

Blinking through his mostly defrosted

attempt at a windshield.

Very late in life to become a killer, so he manages to slide past without

Felony consequence.

Then I see the night nurses walking fast to their cars.

At the hospital parking lot

When I arrive for dialysis

Having outpaced the snow ploughs

a couple of mornings per week.

Winter rolls slowly forward

like the trunk of a snowman

Accumulating weight and momentum,

thickening like slush turning

To frozen worry. The smallest attempts

become a full day’s load of effort.

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