.“ Well AW , those jumping mountains as you would call on his arm is what we call an Aneurysm!”…. AW replies ,” Anna who?””…. “ Sheesh Der Boy there you go with those words Mon!”,… “ Me can’t take it anymore!”… “ Where did they come from?”, “ Do they be hurting him in any kind of way Mon?”,” As laughed heavily,” No AW they don’t hurt his arm.”…. “ Dwelyn they are huge!”… “ How did he get those?”…… I replied,” AW I really can’t discuss another patients care, and……… “…… “ Lol , hey there how are you ma’am ?”, “ You must be new here?”… “ My name is Arnold, but they call me Mr. Wilson. Nice to meet you!”…. As he still has his hand over his site taped up standing in front of AW. “ I heard you talking about my arm and how they look like mountains.” ,” You’re too funny.”…… AW replies,” I apologize sir my name is AW , but today is my first day, and it’s been very interesting here in this place. I’ve talked to so many people and have learned a lot. None of it really stuck to my brain, but I’ll manage.”…. So, Mr. Wilson where you get those big muscles man? “ As she chuckled …. “Well AW I am on the first shift and I got here at 0430…… I’ve been a Hemodialysis Patient for about seven years. I used to do my dialysis at home for a short while, and it seemed to have gotten a bit too much for me. When I first got here the Techs and the Nurses told me every treatment that I should always rotate my sites. Meaning that when they stick those needles in me, they have to move around all over my arm. And let me tell you I wasn’t a great big fan of them sticking me all over my arm. I wouldn’t let hardly nobody touch me , so I guess you could say I had my favorites. Hey I wouldn’t even let Dwelyn touch me for a while either.”…… AW replies,” Well why you had your favorites and Dwelyn seems fine to me. What’s the big deal? “ … “ Oh trust me AW it’s a very BIG DEAL when it comes to your arm access and your life. “… “ AW let me tell you that it’s very important that when the staff sticks or cannulates your arm , that they rotate the sites to avoid your arm looking like mines. When I first started dialysis years ago I was in a different place. I was mad at the world , my family, the staff, and even myself. I was full of anger and regret. I didn’t realize, or should I say , I failed to realize that when it came to my health and my will to live was my main priority… The dialysis staff has always had my best interest at heart. Just one of the ways the techs here tried to explain to me is that with my fistula , I have to take care of it like it’s my baby. Meaning that I had to guard it and care for it as if it is the most important thing to me. I must admit getting stuck here, getting stuck there, getting stuck waaaay up here, waaaay down there all over my arm was crucial. I showed resentment when one of the techs blew up my arm.”…… AW replies,” Blew up your arm?”…,” Man they be shooting in here , LOL?” …. As she laughed. “ Mr. Wilson laughed and replied ,” I mean they infiltrated my arm, and it was horrific. The pain was quite unbearable. And that’s just me being nice. My arm blew up like Popeye, LOL. Only thing spinach couldn’t help me. You see what I’ve learned is when you get infiltrated, your arm swells up, and it’s excruciating pain. What happens is when they stick you , and miss…. That blood exits outside your access vein and enters into your tissue and causes swelling. They said that I was a hard or difficult stick. Due to my arm access wasn’t ready enough or mature. I had to apply ice on my upper arm to reduce the swelling. It traumatized me. So, after that horrible experience I became resentful. My attitude got worse, and my confidence in the staff had diminished. Nobody knows how it feels to sit in these cold hard chairs day after day not knowing if it’s going to be your last. Meaning if you’re going to have a good day or if they make a mistake, and you end up in the hospital. Many things go through our heads as dialysis patients when we sit here. As time went on I would only let a few people stick me, but I only told them to go in certain spots on my arm. I did that because One it’s my choice and my body. Two it hurt less and it worked for me. Three I was scared. For it gave me a fighting chance to feel like I have control over my life like once before. This dialysis is hard but I get through it. Many members of the staff have told me time and time again the importance of rotating my sites for cannulation. In other words I should allow them to stick me in different places each time I have dialysis. The compromise was it may hurt in a new spot, but it keeps me from possibly going to the access center, I get a better cleaning of my blood, I can possibly feel better, and it could possibly reduce the prolonged bleeding. And…. All I could think about was the pain of that needle…… Woooo…, LOL! So AW I’ll leave you with this because my ride is waiting, and I think I’m done …… Done bleeding. Dwelyn brother, you take care , and AW remembers this. If you don’t want these big mountains on your arm, listen to the staff when they say they should rotate your sites when sticking you, but you also have a say so as well, and it’s never wrong to be educated about your arm access and your health. I’ve learned that we as Dialysis Patients are an important part of this team too. Take care AW and I’ll see you Wednesday.
To Be Continued…….