So this past Wednesday was the big day. After years of declining kidney function, and months of feeling generally worse all the time, and since he is not a candidate for transplant, Henning made the decision to start dialysis. It was a big day, emotionally charged, as you might imagine.
The experience was not great, to put it mildly. We arrived, and were left standing by an unattended desk for several minutes. That was probably the best part of the evening. Henning was scheduled to start at 4:30 pm (16:30 for those of you not in the states) for three hours, first time around. It will likely be 4 hours, 3 times a week, once it gets going.
We had a crowded, dirty room, harried, indifferent nurses, and a severe lack of communication happening between staff and us. The other patients were catcalling and heckling both staff and each other, it was madness. Ok, it probably wasn’t quite that bad, but it certainly felt like it. I have a friend who says I described it to her like something from a SAW movie… so I have toned it down a bit from that.
The nurse WAS busy, though. And if not indifferent, certainly more concerned with whether or not to wear gloves than communicating effectively with Henning. As for me, well, anyone here in Denmark who has tried to communicate with me knows I am good at the ‘smile and nod’, but that’s about it.
The nurse was finally able to get one line in, but not both. So she opted to try with just the one. It worked… for 34 minutes.
Then the machine started sounding the alarm, the other patients began offering comments, and the doctor came in, only to tease the nurse about her failure (NOT exaggerating that one, sorry to say). In the wake of a general flurry of activity that was not productive in any measurable way, we were sent home.
Henning was still feeling crappy physically, but the emotional kick was harder to deal with. But he did not come home empty handed. He ended up with a fantastically spectacular bruise.
Try, try again…