I got myself in aright old state this morning. I woke up with an utter fear or dread hanging over me. I really really didn’t want to go dialysis. The thought of using my arm, or an attempt too was stressing me out. I felt physically sick. By the time my transport got here I was in melt down.
I’m half way into my journey and my guardian angels names flashing on my phone. The right voice of reason at the right moment. I met Michelle when she was my boss at Barking and Dagenham. She was in charge of setting up a new call centre for them and I’d seen the advert with about an hour til it closed at midnight on a Friday after the pub shut. I’d just been made redundant and people in the pub had told me about it so I dashed home, logged on. filled my application form in and sent it off. Michelle didn’t interview me, she was off getting married, but when I got the job and we finally met she said that everywhere she went my application form would pop up so she had to get me interviewed as it was like it was stalking her lol.
We’ve stayed in touch over the years and I’m seeing more of her in the last year than I have done, but she has a nack of popping up when she’s needed. This morning there she was. Straight away she calmed a blubbering mess on the other end of her phone down. I can be myself with Michelle, she can see right through me anyway so there’s no point pretending. And I felt calmer and together and focused by the time she finished with me .
Weirdly over the years neither of our kids had met. Her son Keir, and Abbie met at school last year and have become friends in their own rights. Keir came to Abbies 18th, and he was brilliant. There are a few moments that will stay with you forever, and the sight of walking out into the garden seeing Keil totally rocking the party and getting everyone involved is one of them.
On Wednesday, my arm blew. As you all know a fistula is an artery and a vein sewn together to make a port in my arm which is safer, cleaner, easier and healthier for me to dialysis from. The bottom one is perfect. My Button hole- which is where they use the same entry hole is forming nicely. The top one is weak and feeble and works when it wants. We try it every time and if it doesn’t work I use the bottom hole and one of my lines which is a bit of a pain.
Wednesday they tried both. And the top one decided it wanted to work. This is good news as the stronger it gets the better it works. 22 minutes into treatment I felt this pain round my arm. At first I thought either someone was squeezing me or I’d left the torquinet on. And I was genuinely puzzled when I checked that there was neither a hand squeezing me or the torquinet. It took me a couple of seconds to register this. Then I saw the top of my arm moving.
I refocused and could see it swelling at an alarming rate and the squeezing getting more and more intense. I shouted out for Ken, my nurse, then tried to reach the machine to switch it off but it was just out of reach. The lady in the bay next to me saw what was happening and litterally pole bolted my bed to turn the machine off whilst Ken came running from the other direction.
The pressure in my arm was unreal. And then the pain hit me. I have never experienced pure pain like this before. And never want to ever again. Ken gave me an ice pack which I kept on for three hours. My arm has three hard lumps in it over an area of about 4 inches. The bruising thanks to the ice pack is at a minimum, but between weds and fri it was going round and round in my head and I got myself worked up.
Talking to Michelle, she calmed me down, we went through options, and made a plan. For once I felt in control.
Sarah my nurse was on. On Monday she had written do not use top hole as weak. She was furious. If I had known this I would never have let them attempt it. She totally understood why I got myself in a state and we agreed that using my line was a best option for me until my arm heels totally. She has also emailed my doctor and a surgeon to review my arm and see what can be done about the top one.
When I got home I text Michelle ” I survived thank you” the reply read ” course you did you are a survivor “.
A survivor always needs her friends to kick her up the butt when the going gets tough.
Lots of love as always