The first time ever I saw your face is a soulful ballad by the songstress Roberta Flack. The first time ever I had dialysis, was far far from soulful. Or ballady. (Ballady?)
I was in the hospital at Henrico Doctor’s Hosptial, awaiting my inaugural dialysis treatment. Having no prior knowledge of what to expect, I was feeling pretty good. The birds were singing, the sky was just a bit bluer, all was calm, all was bright.
Until the needle the nurse used infiltrated my fistula and it turned into a scene out of “Saw”. Or “Saw II”, but not the rest of the series, which took an unfortunate turn into “Why are they still making these” territory.
What The What Is A Fistula?
To clarify, a fistula is a when a vein and an artery in your arm or leg is merged together in surgical matrimony. Over time, it grows larger due to the increase in blood and raises through your skin. The two dialysis needles go into your fistula, one to pump your blood out into the machine, the other to pump the now clean blood back into your body. When a needle infiltrates, it means the dialysis needle goes into the fistula and out the other side, as opposed to only going in.
So the needle infiltrated, blood spurted out of my arm like a spankin’ geyser, and the nurse ran out of the room to get more gauze and whatnots. When you are lying on a hospital bed, bleeding your own blood, your mind can tend to wander. Mine drifted to music and comic books and “Wow, that is a lot of blood. Maybe when I tell the story, I’ll say I had to fight ninjas in my hospital room because I had the files, and I was cut with a throwing star. What, you never daydream fighting something and being the hero?
The nurse came back in, patched me up and apologized profusely. Bless her heart, it was no big deal, and it made for a good story. (Ninjas!)
You Are Not Your Situation
Sometimes when the unexpected happens, it may seem dark and negative for a time. Bad things happen in businesses, churches, your home, etc. Sure, my attitude could have turned sour and rightfully so. Yelling at the nurse and complaining about my arm wouldn’t have changed anything. Actually, the nurse and I bonded and she even brought me movies to watch while I was in the hospital.
You have your dark days, your “I can’t believe this is happening to me days,” your painful days. Making the difficult choice to see the positive changes not only you, but those around you. A deep breath, a moment to think on something you enjoy, a little grace toward what is happening to you can make such a difference. Your situation may not change, but you change.
What stories do you have when your life was infiltrated by something sharp and painful? Share in the comments below and please be careful when in the hospital, your nurse is probably a ninja!