by Jurgen Hesse
hours elapse between the need for oxygen, pneumonia is diagnosed, and a dialysis code blue.
dropsy, to the Life and Death Committees, a history of ESRD and present day Medicare.
I: From the Stones to Dialysis
From The Stones . . .
Kidney stones are unbearable, as renowned Massachusetts General Hospital
becomes the stage for a twenty-one day visit.
journey begins in earnest.
doctor, a phantom Retrograde Pyelogram and politics generates contemporary friends, a new urologist and nephrologist.
Mountains (to climb) and Mountain Lions
squash and a mountain lion-Lois succumbs to anemia.
If it Ain’t one Thing . . .
The doctor’s wrath, a house fire and a man’s intuition pilots Lois to the hospital.
The Double Bind
paradox of a dialysis patient.
A Dialysis Reality
“. . . the cycle, dying-yanked back, in a repetitive circulus
Compassionate Acceptance (Who’s Playing God?)
MatchingDonors.com, stem cells, cloning, Cleopatra’s handmaidens, and the bioethics of transplants.
Fill ‘er Up!
Dialysis propels a chronically restricted lifestyle towards independence and self-care.
A Perilous Turning Point
One painful phone call turns into one and a half years . . .
“Oh Gody”-The Buttock Butcher
“That was the turning point. A major flaw. I think most everybody
agreed with me.”
Be Off With It!
“John, they wanna’ cut . . .!”
The Reiki Master, the Ryder Cup and by-passes rolls into the “whittling
of the limbs” and a return to an old haunt.
III: Coming Home
caregiving precludes work and money. What have I gotten myself into?
Medical misrepresentation and a common understanding with the “authorities.” A caregiver cannot
be thankful enough for his supporting cast.
Oh, Please Can We? (Do home hemo)
To our amazement, the world’s largest dialysis provider takes us on.
pessimism to baked potatoes, homeostatic dreams, to a dubious US
Congress, Dracula comes home.
Six Days and Not Counting (This is it)
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t put Lois back together
aftermath and internet condolences lead to a chance meeting. The future of dialysis concludes this story.
Remembering a “. . . loving, dynamic, mouthy, interesting, honest,
smart (maybe even brilliant), kind, thoughtful, demanding, persevering, inquisitive, humorous, and many other adjectives-in
all a most unforgettable woman."