The long, forboding shadow of loneliness drapes itself over each and every Dialysis patient.
Before you know it, "I'm turning in early tonight" morphs into "I can't go out with you guys this weekend." Friends tire of asking. Family members either don't wish to acknowledge the circumstances, or they believe you're making it sound worse to gain more attention.
There are over 350,000 of us currently being treated by some form of Dialysis in this country.
A few of them were kind enough to write.
"This is by far the most entertaining blog I've ever had the delight/displeasure (due to the immense physical pain some of your hospital-related adventures/descriptions incurred within me) of reading. I will certainly be looking forward to future posts." - Braleigh
"Hooray for Stacy and inner strength! In your battle to rid the world of the hell Dialysis attempts to envelope you, I long to grab a sword and kill...kill...kill it!" - Ted
"It is amazing how much I cringe, giggle, cry, cheer, scream, and laugh while reading your blogs. Your ability to tap into all of these actions for me, the bloggee is refreshing." - Alan
"Stacy Without An E, I feel a little strange saying so, but I love your writing. It's heartbreaking...and raw...and beautiful...you have a gift. You really do. I believe sincerity like yours is rare, and I appreciate it greatly." - Mark
"Stopped by to see who you are and would up laughing so hard I had a coughing fit. Awesome. I'll be back :)" - Tracy
I've found over the years that for every positive comment I receive, there are those who don't appreciate my postings for whatever reason. If they have a point to make (and make it in a civil manner) I'll leave them up and try to respond in a cordial manner.
The following comment pretty much sums them all up:
"I'm on the same shift as you, the same time as you, and I don't see any of the things you're writing about. You seem to be a miserable person who most of the staff believes is mentally unstable and probably will go postal. Quit your bitching. At least you had a kidney." - Very Anonymous
I receive similar comments from time to time, but this is my personal favorite because the individual has no idea what they're talking about. Lets break it down.
First, just because a posting has a certain date on it doesn't mean that the events happened on that particular day. I have a lifetime total of nine years to cull my experiences from, so just because you didn't witness what I'm posting, doesn't mean that it didn't occur. I still write about patients that have passed on, moved on, or been booted from the clinic.
Yes, I'm miserable at Dialysis. The needles burn incessantly. The place smells of bodily excretions. And 20% of the employees don't have any business in the medical field.
But only 10% of my weekly hours are spent enduring The Chair.
The other 90% (that you don't see) I'm bursting with joy at my radio job, flirting with beautiful women, and devouring the nearest BLT.
As far as going postal, the only weapon I own is my own frail heart.
Thanks to each and every one of you for posting. Feel free to comment, e-mail, or twit me (once I figure out what the hell that means) below: