Cadence goes to her chair and gets comfortable by fluffing her pillows, setting up her chair side table, unpacking some of her belongings of a few books, her laptop, and some fabric for knitting. Meanwhile , Ms.Elayne says to Dicyn,” Who’s the newbie Cadence was talking too?”…” Dicyn replies.,” That’s AW. Today is her first day of dialysis. “….Ms.Elayne replies,” Who’s taking care of her?”… Dicyn says ,” It’s Dwelyn!”…. Ms.Elayne says…” Oh boy , I know he’s talking her ear off( as she chuckles). I remember when I first got here and Dwelyn said to me jokingly right before he stuck me…” Hey there young lady. How are you?”…I said,” I’m fine, and you?”…. Dwelyn said,” I’m Dwelyn, and I’m new too. It’s my first day ever, and I’m about to stick you , so hold tight!”… “ I said “ Ohhhh No Newbie, not today!”…… Dwelyn laughed at me so hard because he wasn’t telling the truth. He’s been doing this job for over 20 years. I guess that’s what he calls an icebreaker,LOL. I wasn’t amused at first, but I laughed it off. Ever since then we always laugh and joke . I tease him all the time about how he needs a girlfriend. He says he’s a hottie, and he doesn’t have time for a girlfriend. I told him he knows I’m blind, and I can’t see him, LOL!” Dicyn laughed so hard as he finishes removing the arm clamp from Ms.Elayne’s venous site, and he tapes both sites of her arm up. Dicyn says after still laughing,” Ms.Elayne you ready for me to wheel you out in your wheelchair?”…, Ms.Elayne says,” Sure thing. My daughter is picking me up after I call her to come get me when I’m ready. Dicyn you know I be bleeding sometime , LOL!”…… Dicyn replies ,” Oh yeah, I know !”…” Ms.Elayne are you going to call her now ?”….Ms.Elayne says,” No not yet. Wheel me down there to AW, so I can introduce myself and welcome her to our clinic. As Dicyn wheels Ms.Elayne down towards AW, she has this slight grin on her face. Keep in mind Ms.Elayne is legally blind, and she was born and raised here in the Phoenix, Arizona area. She is a wonderful passionate soul. I remember one time I came to work, and it was on a Tuesday or Thursday. It was a day we were short-staffed, started late and had other things on my mind. It was about 05:15, and we were running kind of late. I tell you when you’re like five minutes late in dialysis it seems like an eternity. I remember opening the door from the treatment floor to the lobby to let a few of the patients in, so they can start their treatment. As always I would grab Ms.Elayne and wheel her in after her daughter would drop her off. Her daughter Tish was cool. She was always in good grace, and you could tell she really loved her mother. That day I just happened to see Tish as she was walking out the door. Like always Tish would speak by saying good morning to everyone in the lobby , kiss her mother Ms.Elayne and leave. As I approached Ms.Elayne and said ,” Good morning Elayne!”…, she replied ,” Dwelyn are you okay ?”,…. I said ,” Yeah!” …….she said,( with her country twang ),” Eh I don’t know, because you sound kind of dry and not your usual self. You’re usually lively and upbeat , but I noticed when you wheeled me in I just felt something odd about you!”…… Now mind you I’m looking at her thinking to myself ,( Ms.Elayne is blind , so how did she see………Then it occurred to me. Just because someone is legally blind doesn’t mean they don’t have vision. Ms.Elayne felt my disturbed energy that consumed me. It’s amazing how we as healthcare professionals forget from time to time how we have so much weighing on our shoulders and how we must remember that it’s our duty to leave our personal issues at the door. It reflects on the care that we give. Even though I didn’t do anything physically or intentionally to Ms.Elayne, she still felt and sympathized with my energy. It was a lesson learned.
Anyway , Dicyn wheels Ms.Elayne to AW and says ,” Hey AW !”…with this look of happy peace. He kinda stared at AW for a few seconds as if he had a premonition or a sense of Déjà vu. AW, kinda caught onto it by staring at him for a few seconds as well. It seemed as though the clinic stood still. As Dicyn continues,” AW this is Ms.Elayne, she wanted to come speak to you by introducing herself and welcoming you to the clinic. Ms.Elayne says,” Hey there, I’m Elayne. I grew up in Tempe during my childhood. I used to have so much fun here growing up. I remember when it was nothing but farmland and dirt ? LOL!” …. AW replies,” Nice to meet you, I’m AW and pleased to meet you. I’m originally from New Jersey by way of Toronto by way of Spanish Town, Jamaica.“…. Ms.Elayne says with her country twang,” Good Lord girl you all over the place, LOL!”…… They both chuckled. AW says,” Girl if you only knew!”….Ms.Elayne says,” I can imagine. I myself have stories. Speaking of stories, let me tell you one about my two buddies. Cowboy and Yogurt.”…… As AW laughs ever so loud ,” Girl Who?”…… I chuckled too. Ms.Elayne says sarcastically laughing,” Shut up Dwelyn!” Ms.Elayne says to AW,” …….” My daughter Tish has a passion for animals. Since I’ve been living with her, my granddaughter, and her husband she seems like a collector of lost animals. I like to call her the Animal Whisperer. It’s just something about her soul and spirit that feels the desire or as I should say the gift to help period. Anyway, we reside on a little farm, and we have these two pigs named Cowboy and Yogurt. Cowboy is a pig we had for quite some time. We call him that because when we see him from behind he looks like a cowboy walking. With his ruffled feet that look like he’s wearing cowboy boots, his saggy legs as if he was wearing a pair of jeans, and from the description of what Tish told me , when she put a little cowboy hat on him and judging from his broad shoulders that she dressed him in a plaid shirt, she said she knew right then they would name him Cowboy.
AW, laughed so hard at Ms.Elayne, to be sure she had pouring tears coming down her cheeks. AW replies,” Ms.Elayne that has had to have been the funniest story I’ve heard in a while.“…. “ So tell me about this Yogurt!”…… Ms.Elayne says,” Well Yogurt has a different story. Yogurt was a victim of cruelty. The last owner who had him pretty much gave up on him. He was attacked by a dog and was severely traumatized. The owner said for weeks Yogurt wouldn’t eat and pretty much just moped around their barnyard. The other pigs sort of treated him like an outcast , and he became depressed. I mean depressed to the point of him not being active and not eating. After a while the owner decided to give him to a shelter and just didn’t think he would survive. Tish got a call from her friend and was told the story of Yogurt one morning while I was here being dialyzed that Yogurt was transported to a Rescue Mission for Pigs. She rushed there so quickly that she was actually a little late picking me up that day from dialysis. When she picked me up, Yogurt was in the very back of her jeep in a huge kennel, back there just moping and oinking……barely. So, after taking him home with us, Yogurt still was moping a bit until Cowboy approached him and kinda pepper him up. He later started being a little more active. You see AW we found out that Yogurt needed to be around other pigs in a different environment. The attack of that dog frightened him so much he went into a deep depression that possibly could have led to his death. “
AW, says to Ms.Elayne,” That is an amazing story of Cowboy and Yogurt. Very touching story. Your daughter Tish seems like a very good person with a great big heart. But, one question I have. How did Yogurt get his name?”……Ms.Elayne says,” AW , when Tish brought him home she was kinda sad at first because of Yogurt’s lack of interaction with any of the other animals, and he wouldn’t eat as much. She even became sad and worried about him. Until one day my granddaughter was in the house playing, and she was just staring at Yogurt laying around on the living room floor. She took it upon herself while getting herself a snack she snuck some vanilla yogurt to him. He ate that stuff like it was no tomorrow, and it somehow gave him a new look on life. It’s amazing the things that spark our interest and gives us the spunk to move on.“….” Well, Dicyn wheel me on our….Tish just texted me because I feel my cell phone vibrating.“…” AW honey ,it was nice talking to you, but I have to go. Tish is making chicken and dumplings with sweet peas, and I’m hungry. Enjoy your time here, and I’ll be seeing you around.”……AW replies with laughter……” Ms.Elayne, it was very pleasant meeting you and take care.
To Be Continued………
Editor’s Note: When you think about someone being on dialysis the thought may cross your mind. Well they go in, get their treatment and go home. Many times there is a lot of conversation going back and forth from the staff member and other individuals there for treatment. Think of it if you have to sit in the chair for 4 hours I am sure you would want to have another conversation other than your treatment and all the different medical jargon that is being thrown around. This blog shows that a normal conversation can and should happen between all that are in the clinic. It is a way to pass the time and learn more about people and their lives. Dialysis is really a family where you get to know everyone pretty well, especially those that are facing the same thing that you may be facing. This blog post shows how a few minutes of normal conversation between a few individuals can have a positive impact.
The Kidney Trails Editing Team