Friday, March 10, 2006

Kidney dialysis - instant weight loss!

It's been a long day. Arrived at Guys hospital at 9am this morning, for a CT scan. The dye that they use for these risked destroying what was left of my kidney function, so there was a fair bit of toing and froing between departments and doctors to make sure it was the best course of action. On the grounds that if a transplant becomes possible, they would need to put me on dialysis anyway, and they were keen to get this started as soon as possible - I went ahead.

As hospitals go, Guys & St Thomas's here by London Bridge is pretty good - comfortable and well designed, with one big exception, NAMES! Whoever came up with the names for the various bits of the building should be admitted to the psychiatric unit. There are three main bits of the building: Thomas Guy House, New Guy's House and Guy's Tower. Each one has many floors, and there are two huge atriums with 'bridges' going through each. Remembering which floor on which building you're supposed to be on is a nightmare, especially as the people who work here tend to abbreviate them inconsistently. Then I end up being put in 'Patience' ward.

Had a long plastic tube inserted into a hole in my neck (specially made for the purpose by a young doctor) this afternoon. This is going to be a permanent fixture it seems, for the next few weeks anyway. Into this go two tubes - one for blood to go in, the other out. This was demonstrated this evening, with two hours attached to a dialysis machine. A little bizarre at first, for one's body to become extended by this pile of tin, lights, dials and a mess of clear tubes. I didn't really feel anything though, apart from a gradually increasing ache in the shoulder.

Went for a wander this evening and found a grand piano in each atrium - one of which is a bit battered and out of tune, but which would probably tune up nicely (I'll do a pledge on offering to do a free gig if a tuner will come and give it the once over). The other is a beautiful Yamaha, that sounded lovely. I thought there was nobody around, until this old bloke appeared out of the shadows and started talking at me - non stop, in a rambling stream-of-concsiousness then offering to sing for me. His first offering was 'My Way' in the style of Shirley Bassey, and by that I mean he was trying to impersonate her. Bizarre - but musical. Then we moved on to Lennon-McCartney (Penny Lane, Long and Winding Road, Yesterday), Neil Diamond (Love on the Rocks) and Gilbert O'Sullivan (Clair). I tried to keep up, and it was a strangely moving beautiful experience. He then whistled a tune to me that he 'wrote'. He asked if I could write it down for him - and as I had some paper there, and it was pretty simple, I made
something out of it. It starts out sounding a bit like 'Almost like being in love' but disappears into a slightly Spanish sounding phrase, that he seemed to like.

Time to take some drugs and get some sleep.

Oh yes, the weight loss bit! Yesterday (and for almost as long as I can remember) 94Kg. Today 88kg. Result!


At 5:12 pm, Blogger jazzshark said...

bit of an extreme diet though right.......?! hope you're feeling ok today and hopefully see you sometime in the next few days.
shark x

At 11:04 pm, Blogger Jack Nowicki said...

I've been writing a blog about being on dialysis since April. I too have PKD and have had to adjust to a new life on dialysis. Luck to us all. JN

my blog is


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