Jacqsworld's Blog

Dialysis, Kidney Disease, Living life with Chronic illness

You’re Not The Boss Of Me

Today at dialysis, I shocked my tech. No, I didn’t put my own needles in or anything like that but when she was about to take my needles out, I put my hand on her wrist and said, “____ slow down.” She looked surprised and said, “what?” I repeated, “slow down.” On this day, like many others, the unit was short on employees. I think I heard that 3 techs had called in sick. When that happens, the techs and nurses run around like chickens with their heads cut off.

They’re trying so hard to take care of the patients they have and some are coming off the machines at the same time others are being put on AND  machines are beeping due to blood pressures being high or other problems with the dialysis machines.  I can see and sense the stress that the staff is under when they’re short employees. But I’ve also had needles that have dragged when being taken out of my arm because techs are rushing  and that is a very painful experience. My tech looked at me with frustration but she did slow down. I explained to her that she was ‘hustling’ so fast that she could make a mistake.

This tech is very good, skilled at what she does but she’s still in her probationary period and wants to make a good impression on the boss.  I understand that. But what the “boss” needs to understand is that my graft is my lifeline,  it’s what they use to perform the dialysis treatment.  Something else needs to be done in terms of staffing when they are short  so that the techs aren’t multi-tasking to the point where errors can and do happen.

We as patients are told that we have to be our own advocate. I’m a big believer in that in all areas of my life. But sometimes when dealing with medical professionals,  people tend to feel intimidated and they don’t always ask the questions that are on their  mind,  or they worry about taking up the doctor’s time. But it’s important to shake off  the intimidation  and speak up for yourself because we know our bodies better than anyone else.

Last week I had some problems with my blood pressure. My doctor put me on some new medicine and within two days I began experiencing some side effects.   I had read about certain side effects associated with the medication before I started taking it (the internet is so great:-). There were mild side effects that I could handle but there were also some that made me feel so sick that I couldn’t walk without pain. I knew I couldn’t continue taking the medicine. So I called my doctor’s office and told her that I had to stop taking it and I  asked her if she could prescribe something else and she did.

There were a couple of other things going on medically during that week that I had to handle  and I jokingly told my son, ” all that work and I didn’t even get a co-pay:-)”  Seriously though, we are responsible for our own bodies and we have to stand up and speak up for ourselves.  I do it all the time.

*There are times when patients can’t speak up for themselves – for whatever  reasons – so there are  peer mentors at many of the  dialysis units…I’m one of them at my unit.


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6 thoughts on “You’re Not The Boss Of Me

  1. chuck on said:

    Jackie. You have always been the bravest, the strongest. I know that I followed your example once I realized that it felt good to speak up for myself. I started learning from you at the age of 12 (so young!) And the wonderful Anne? Anne taught me it was okay to laugh, preferable even. I did not laugh much till Anne. Then we laughed together. I wonder if her ballet days are as far gone as mine are. I can still do the initial positions but I get stuck.

    • Chuck, and all that time I thought you loved me for my body:-) Thank you so much for the things you said about me, I don’t always feel brave and strong but I’m blessed enough to have a lot of people in my life that help remind me of those things. You’ve taught me many, many things too, the least ( but most important one) is just being myself.
      There’s nothing I can tell you about Anne…because you already know it all. And I think she can still do the initial positions too, I don’t know if she gets stuck tho, LOL.

      • Anne on said:

        Ballet is not pretty at age 49–eek! Chuck, when Jackie and I are done with our surgeries we are coming to Chicago so you can wine and dine us! Love you kids!

  2. Pingback: Blood Test Round 2 « Adventures of a Kidney Donor

    • Anne, I just look at it like just as there are good, caring, compassionate people in the world, there are also unhappy, awful ones. In my life, I’m blessed to have the good ones outweigh the other ones!
      I think it’s so great that you met someone that you were able to help by telling them about the paired donations. Maybe you were placed in her in life at that time, to educate her with that information.

  3. Pingback: 2010 in review « Jacqsworld's Blog

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