I understand…

When I tell them I understand, when they confess how bad they feel, how thirsty they are and how completely and utterly mad, sad, distraught they are.  It is not a way to appease them, it is because I do understand.

They look at me, through half closed eyes, pain streaked across their face as their leg, stomach, finger muscles clinch up and spasm.  I’ve been told it feels like a charlie horse on steroids.  When the muscles react to the reverse osmosis, the pulling of fluid from areas that are just not ready to give it up.

They think I am appeasing them, but I am not.  I haven’t always been a dialysis tech, student nurse, I used to be a family member of a dialysis patient.

I’ve watched my grandfather suffer, I would sit on his hospital bed on the days after dialysis while he grimmaced in pain, his one leg tight has a rock.  A nurse would come in and slowly message the cramp from his calf.

I’ve seen the pain.  I understand, I don’t claim to know the pain, I simply understand.

I don’t know if I could do what a dialysis patient does, day to day.  I don’t think I could take the pain, the swelling, the diet, the fluid restrictions.  I would be the worst dialysis patient ever, believe me.

I don’t know if I want to be a dialysis nurse, but I will always understand a part of what they go through and I guess that is a reason why I have stayed in this business for so long.

We shall see where my nursing career takes me.



~ by Kim on June 11, 2008.

3 Responses to “I understand…”

  1. In the short 9 months I was on dialysis, I only had 3 times with severe cramps. I will NEVER forget the pain; you try to reposition yourself to “work out the cramp”, and another major muscle in your body develops a cramp. I’ve seen the “tough guy” in the chair next to me cry from the pain.

  2. Yes, it looks completely terrible…I really don’t know how you guys do it, frankly, I am surprised I don’t hear more screaming.

  3. I’m extremely lucky now; I no longer have to do dialysis!

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