I am really disheartened by my Dialysis clinic lately.
And, as usual, it comes down to the Almighty Dollar.
I imagine the Clinic Manger and the Board of Directors sitting around a giant conference room table, laughing and chortling, sipping champagne and cheering loudly. All the while, a nine foot tall, silver and fuzzy Dollar Sign sits at the head of the table smoking a stogy with a giant smile on his face.
As every minute passes, another cutback ensues, and the Dollar Sign grows in size and volume.
Keep in mind, my center continues to extol their virtue as a non-profit Clinic.
To me, that means every dollar earned goes back into the Center.
Or so I assumed.
After the first of the year, instead of using anti-bacterial sheets to clean the chairs of feces, vomit, mucous, blood, urine, lice, dandruff, skin flakes, ass flakes, alcoholic beverages and Cheetos, the staff has been informed to use paper towels and bleach.
I'm going to glance into the future with my Dialysis Crystal Ball and see this move to its final conclusion. By the end of the year, a spray bottle filled with lukewarm water will be sprayed over the chair and wiped off with one swipe.
Infections will run rampant. Patients will corpse up routinely.
But God willing, we'll save some money on treatment.
As any veteran Dialysis patient will tell you, Plastic Tape was created to hold needles firmly in place.
What they may not mention is, Plastic Tape is pure Evil.
Tubes and tubes of Neosporin has been slathered on inches and inches of forearms to cover the painful areas where human skin has been removed.
Last month, I started to ask Stilted Accent Tech, Jolly Happy Tech, and Very Merry Tech to start using Awesome Paper Tape on my needles. They were hesitant, because honestly, those aren't the rules. But after six years of soul stealing Dialysis treatments, I do get my way sometimes.
Unfortunately, not long after this became routine, Evil Paper Tape debuted.
Although appearing the same as Awesome Paper Tape, Evil Paper Tape happily, merrily steals skin from your poor, unwilling body.
Apparently there are two tons of this cheap, abusive product in the back offices of the clinic. You can hear it giggling to itself when you use the Far Side Bathroom.
I believe its use to be twofold.
1) It saves hundreds upon thousands on top of hundreds of dollars to use. 2) It is part of a clinic wide venture to steal each patients DNA and use it for military purposes.
Somewhere in the middle of the New Mexico desert, there is a hidden complex where each and every patient's DNA is collected, treated, and then repaired to remove the kidney failure.
In place of that malady, they place military knowledge and combat experience. Those individuals are deposited in a nearby country whose mineral resources we desperately need.
But I digress.
If you are a patient at our clinic on Saturday, God help you.
In the worst example of Dialysis Economics in 2010, there is not enough staff to cover all the patients that need to be treated.
The last three Saturdays it has taken forty-five minutes to get hooked up.
Remember the first years of cinema, where everyone's actions were sped up because the technology of film hadn't been fully created?
That's what the staff looks like every single Saturday.
The math tells the story. Less staff = More mistakes = Mortality rises.
The Dialysis Crystal Ball is now brightly luminous. Dark clouds and sharp lightning fill the interior. The thunder is deafening as the storm of Dialysis Future begins...
Before the end of 2010, Dialysis chairs will no longer be provided. They're too expensive to clean and repair, so patients will be forced to bring their own chair.
For those in wheelchairs, that's the chair you will be assigned. If your blood pressure bottoms out and you need to lie back, quite frankly, you're on your own.
The Center recommends bringing one of those fold out pool chairs. You can pretend you're at the beach. Or enjoying a pool party. It will be fun for the patient, yet terrible on the staff's backs spinal cords.
Before the close of this financial quarter, patients must bring their own garden hose as tubing. Make sure to bring two of those triangular spouts that shoots out tiny, yet strong streams of fluid. That's what we're shoving in your arm from now on.
They will also be eliminated. Too much electricity is being wasted on these monstrosities. From now on energy saving, Kenmore washers will clean your blood. It will cost you twenty-five cents for each fifteen minutes of treatment you need. There will be no change machine and you will not be reimbursed by insurance. But the Clinic will be.
Doctors, Nurses, Social Workers, Nutritionists & Techs
In their place will be one television monitor that will be pushed by the custodial crew from chair to chair once a month. You will have sixty seconds to ask each one of these individuals questions about your health care as they appear on the monitor. If your answer cannot be given within the allotted time, you will be forced to wait until next month.
All the above mentioned treatment will take place in a barn outside of the city limit. The Clinic is not responsible for cows, pigs, chickens, hens or horny farmers interfering with your treatment.
Please note: said Clinic will still charge Medicare and other insurance companies the same as before. But the above treatment parameters will still be mandated.
The Dialysis Crystal Ball can take no more of these futuristic images. It stars to bounce, slowly at first, and then more violently, on the table. The final bounce is tremendous and causes the crystal to shatter into thousands of pieces.
Each one is sticking into a fellow Dialysis patient right now as a reminder of the Future of Dialysis Yet to Come.