Fitting the Jugular catheter

The peritoneal catheter wouldn’t heal in time, it kept leaking. So with a creatinine level over 500 there weren’t many options. I had to either die, or have another catheter fitted to have blood dialysis. The doctors discussed it in the room, organised it all, handed me the A4 size catheter in its sterile box, and off we go. My wife organises the cases, and checks the train times; I won’t be able to drive after, so taking the car is a no-no. Tom and I catch the train, its the school holidays. He’s excited, looking out the window. He loves trains. He knows I have to go to hospital, but he’s happy, untouched, I hope, by this. We go past windmills, smock mills, castles , the Loire, and into Angers.
The train pulls in, and my wife arrives to pick us up from her work. She drops me off in the clinic, we sit, hold hands, and hope. I go off to see the anesthetist, she hold my hand, then kisses me goodbye. She goes back home with Tom. I get ready in my room. A nurse comes, Betadine scrub and shave. All the carers are super. Sleep.
Thursday morning comes, 09:45, we go to theatre. They give me an awful tasting drug , bitter and salty. It’s a calming thing. Then, they wheel me into the waiting part, insert a drip. Then into the theatre, big, cold, with a big lamp. I don’t know why, but I cant remember anything until 11.00, when I slowly wake up.
There’s a nurse, she’s young, hair tied up, under her paper hat. Her glasses are strange, one side is a different colour to the other, made from clip-on sides, so popular in France. I’m indiscreet and try to make conversation, asking her how long she’s been a nurse, and if she has a family. She gives me a black look! Oh dear! My usual tact! Later, she comes back, and I apologise for my indiscretions and explain I was just trying to make conversation and that its none of my business. She hears me out, she asks about my family, and I tell her about Tom, and Caroline. It seems better. When I asked her about her family, there was a sadness and pain in her eyes. Sometimes we forget the human act, reaching too far.
Later, she helps the ambulance guys wheel me out. They get stuck in the sliding glass doors, and she laughs.
I go off to dialysis. In the ambulance, I’m looking out the back door, so the road seems unknown and strange, however I know the road off by heart, but I’ve never seen it backwards.
I get to the dialysis centre. They wheel me in and eventually, they connect me to the machine. The nurse is really experienced, takes everything in hand. It’s pretty weird seeing your own blood disappear into a machine, so I try not to look. The doctor comes.The room is full of patients on dialysis, all much older than me.
I’m cold, and ask for a blanket. I’m doing OK. Then, a big wave of nausea hits me. I try to find the alarm button, and then just shout . They come, and I’m sick into a paper kidney dish. I explain I couldn’t find the alarm button. The nurse points, its under my hand; I cry a bit, failing even the simplest of tasks. Is it the drugs wearing off? I vomit, and they stop the treatment. Back home. Sore, and tired, dazed. My wife picks me up and we go off. She’s been worried all day. We go back. My sister and brother in law come with their children, they’ve kindly looked after Tom for the night.
I go to lie down.its been a long day.
Try again on Saturday.

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