It’s not just a birthday. It’s a MIRACLE John has overcome so many health issues and continues to celebrate birthdays, enjoy family gatherings and watch grandchildren grow. The “birthday hat” is a family tradition – you have to wear it. Christian will be 18 in a few weeks and then we will put it away and start all over next year.
Aside from family and birthday celebrations, we had a lot of chaos in the clinic the last 2 weeks. This was very rare, and it’s stuff you hope never happens! A needle magically came out of the graft during dialysis – think about a murder scene you’ve seen on TV. The force behind the graft is a bit like a fire hose – it’s a vein that has been connected to an artery with gortex tubing so it’s very large and while the machine is on, it has a very high velocity. Even when the dialysis machine is turned off, the blood pumps rapidly out of the exit site because the needles are so big. I got it contained quickly and spent the next 2 hours cleaning up blood. The good news – he did not lose a significantly amount of blood to need a transfusion which I surely thought he would.
Our next excitement was a flood from the 60 liter bag of therapy fluid that fills a cabinet under the dialysis machine. The fluid started coming out from underneath my chair before I realized what was happening. A cap had loosened somehow and there was a lot of fluid throughout the machine. And of course with all of the water, the computers shorted out. We had to have a new control panel flown in and do the installation – I’ve done it before so it easy. The clean up was no fun, but not nearly as bad as cleaning up blood! I told John after the incidents that I will be applying for combat pay. We’ve learned not to say “what next?” because there is always something around the corner. The “ins and outs of dialysis” and most certainly the “ups and downs”.