I loved Candice as I love all good-looking women. She told me she was leaving to head a new clinic on Forty. I told her I wanted to go there. I couldn’t take it that she was leaving, and, it was much closer to my house. The Grand Opening party was interesting–Candice, who had shown no real interest in me before, gave me a tremendous hug in front of some local dignitaries. She knew she was not going to see me again. The new clinic doesn’t take my insurance.
She put a latex glove on my hand. Her name is Suebee. She is from Nepal. When she pulls the one inch needle from my bicep she covers the hole with gauze. She tapes it, then I put my finger on it so it can clot. She walks away.
The blood streams out from under my finger. Suebee I’m bleeding, I yell. By the time she comes back a puddle is forming under my arm. More gauze, more pressing. She smells like Lilies of the Valley. When I stand up I tell her, if it looks like I’m going to fall please wrap your arms around me tightly. She says, shut up Stephen.
I follow a very restrictive kidney diet–for about two days. That’s about how long I have ever lasted on a diet. When I get really hungry you might find me in line at Subway ordering double meat, double cheese on a foot long roll. All the vegetables, mayo and red pepper relish.
I eat this heavy meal very quickly. I enjoy this short time period. Call me a pig–I don’t care. Do not take the joy out of my life. I will fight back.
Tales from Dialysis, part 3
I noticed his color was bad. White as a ghost. They lifted him out of his wheelchair. They placed him in the chair next to me. I stopped looking. I could hear him talking. They had trouble getting his needles in. Ten minutes later his machine alarmed. The technician yelled for the nurse. Looking at him, then looking at his machine numbers, she yelled for the head nurse. That’s when I looked again. He looked dead. They tried to revive him for fifteen minutes. Then the rescue crew tried for another fifteen minutes. You can die that fast. Enjoy life.
The needles are turning my once perfect arm into a freakish, deformed, bumpy scar. The constant increased blood flow to that part of my body is hurting blood flow to my brain and other important organs. After a treatment my thinking is fuzzy. Then a puff of the medicinal and I don’t care anymore until morning.
She is Irish, a beauty with red hair. I say, “You are the prettiest flower in this garden,” as I look around the clinic with 20 more women milling about.
“Thank you, that was nice.”
Last week she told me that she was going through a nasty separation. I think she might be rich. I have a girlfriend, but I always keep my options open. I am not the man I once was, but I am as good once as I ever was.
Doctor, sometimes I just want to go ahead and kick the bucket. I have no purpose. I don’t even feel like making whoopee anymore, not with my girlfriend anyway.
Stephen, you are too much. You are eating too much. And not exercising too much. Your purpose in life for at least the next two years is to get in shape for your kidney transplant. Sure, the last two years have been tough, and you have to be tougher. Get in shape. Take your meds. Fight for your life.
Thank you, Doctor, how much do I owe you? Somebody call 911– I’m having a heart attack.