Sunday, March 11, 2012

Helping Hands

It has been a busy, rather challenging week! In summary I have:

  • Spent 5 days training to learn the kidney dialysis machine
  • Got lost either on the way to the dumpster, returning from the dumpster, or both .... twice I tried to take the rubbish out and failed. It's frustrating how apparently simple things can be hard and take so much time :(
  • Booked a bus to take me to the supermarket today ... I will actually post this when I return so should be able to relate how I get on!
  • Met Cindy from Bird Brains And Dog Tales, a local quilter and blogger and we enjoyed good food and conversation at Cheesecake Factory!
  • .... and went to the pet store afterwards, which helped me get Maggie cat stocked up for a couple more weeks! :)

Dialysis was as fun as learning a new medical procedure is ever going to be! I like learning new things, machines especially, so that was good, challengingg, and I picked it up pretty fast, with the aid of some improvised guides (made by janice the extremely helpful nurse, out of a chopping board from Wegmans spermarket!) ....

The staff and doctors were very doubtful that a blind person could manage a machine with touch screen keys and on-screen alert messages ... but they've not met this Lert before, and I quickly demonstrated that with the help of my magnifying glass I could read what I needed to read, and with the cutting board additions I could connect up all the tubes in a safe manner!

So on Monday I am expecting delivery of a house-full of dialysis supplies, mainly bags of sugar solution which I will ratttle through 3 per day of the 3 litre size (no I'm not going to be drinking them!) Numerous other paraphernalia such as masks, gloves, yards upon yard of disposable tubes and bits and bobs for the machine, soaps and bleaches and gels to kill all known germs beyond an inch of their little lives ....

Then I get to meet my doctor, whose bedside manner I am already less-than-impressed with, and finally my machine will get delivered Monday afternoon.

.... then on Tuesday it's a final morning of trainin at my apartment, during which time my machine will get set up and my apartment inspected .... I expect a list of recommendations on how to improve my safety and clean conditions while doing dialysis! I've finally made a start shuffling things around so the machine will fit in nicely and not be too accessible to the cat!

.... it is mostly just a case of washing hands and keeping things clean, but the times where I have to connect to, or disconnect from the machine are times where the tube going into my stomach is open and all those nasty bugs and microbes have an expressway into me ... those obviously have to be done in sterile conditions, hence the multitude of antibacterial soaps and gels and bleaches! ... the cat will also be bannished from the room at those times! (she doesn't know this yet, but i softened her up with a sachet of smelly mackeral food which she devoured with gusto, so hopefully she'll accept the new rules!)

Right now I'm just trying to mentally prepare for the challenge of my first solo grocery shop .... the store say somebody will be able to guide me around so I can find what I want ... I just have to get there and back and know what foods I want! Sounds simple ... but then you'd have thought taking the trash out would be too!

But to round off last week, after a successful week of training it was lovely to meet up with Cindy and talk about all things quilty and cat related. Aparently questions had been asked of other quilters who she knows that go to my quilt group, and the consensus was that I am very shy and quiet! LOL, as far as I know that was the worst that was said about me! Quilters can be terrible gossips! ;) .... depending on any plans for going back to the UK, I may go to one of Cindy's quilt group meetinggs in Fairport just for a change!

I did also find out about some local services that may actually be able to help with things like shopping .... I will find out more about their services and costs when I speak to them, but it was encouraging to know there might be some ways to make life more manageable!

So that's it ... not much quilting unless you count talking about it! but it has been a hectic week with lots of new things to grapple with .... I can only hope the grappling gets easier and the challenges less mountainous in the coming weeks! .... at some point I have to get the cat to a vet for her rabies shot so she can travel .... that is going to be a barrel of laughs ..... oh yes, she's going to love that and no amount of smelly mackeral food will placate her for that one!

And now finally, as if this post wasn't long enough already, I got to and from Wegman's supermarket safe and sound! i can't praise the store highly enough for making it a painless trip! it was easy to speak to somebody to make the arrangements, the girl who guided me round was really nice and I got everythin I had on my mental list, and then after waiting for my bus inside I headed out to be there as the bus arrived ... as I was battling with my mountain of shopping bags another employee arrived out of nowhere to give me a hand onto the bus with my bags! So i have enough food and milk to last me another week or two, and the cat should be catered for too, so now I've just got to remember to go back to work on Wednesday!


  1. Yay for helpful strangers, lovely quilters and excellent customer service!

    Poor Maggie cat! ;)

  2. Blimey, that's a hell of a lot you've gotten done there. Well done! Good luck with the war on germs and stuff, very important. Glad you've met with another quilter, its fun even just to talk about ;-) Chin up Maggiecat it will be over before you know anything about it..... lol Hopefully same will be said of your treatment too Giles!

  3. As I said in my email to you. You've been a busy boy this week. You are such an inspiration to us sighted people with kidneys that work and think we have problems and you know what I'm talking about - my winging to you. I forget who I'm winging to!
    Love you
    Patti xxx

  4. holy crap giles! you have been busy! i hope the dialysis goes well. my step dad was on dialysis for a long time. it was hard to see him have to do that! i will be thinking of you and sending clean germ free vibes your way! ;)

  5. Aww, rubbish on the lost dumpster - I think you need to train the cat to take the rubbish out while you're hooking up to the dialysis machine, you know, earn her keep and all that ;o) Good luck with the machine, and try not to thump the doctor if he's an arse...

  6. You really are an inspiration Giles. I hope it all goes well with the dialysis machine set up, sounds like you have planned ahead got some of the bugs worked out already.

    I agree with Katy, get the cat to take out the trash, I am sure she knows where the dumpster is by smell. lol

    Have a great week!

  7. What wonderful service at the supermarket - they deserve recognition for it! Good luck with the dialysis and rabies jab! (And I'm with Katy - train Maggiecat and don't thump the doc! Unless he's really awful that is!)

  8. I am a new follower, and I follow directions well. You already follow me so I came to visit and read about rulers. I hope you get everything germ free it is very important a nurse told me, sister-in-law. There are a lot of very nice bloggers in the UK and hopefully you have family there to sew quilts for and entertain you.