Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Greetings from the Northwest Kidney Center in West Seattle. We are celebrating Thanksgiving with a round of dialysis for Rick. We're feeling good because the urologist found no new cancer yesterday (yay).
I would have to say that this is the strangest or at least more out-of-character Thanksgiving I've ever experienced. Instead of working all day Wednesday and Thursday to put up a meal with all the trimmings, we spent Wednesday going to the urologist, trying to go to Costco but giving up because the parking lot was crammed full and it didn't seem worth the effort, a stop at Daniel Smith's artist supplies to get Rick some non-photo blue pencils and some pencil water colors. He told me that the last time he got some of those was in Germany, almost 50 years ago.
Then we stopped by Staples to get him some pencil-top erasers, because the non-photo blue pencils are eraser-less, and Target so I could get some naproxen sodium, and then we headed to the ferry after our full day in town.
And this morning we got up and caught a ferry back to town so Rick could do dialysis. I have been waiting to talk to someone about scheduling. Yesterday while we were gone we got a call from the scheduler here at the Kidney Center informing us that Rick would change to a Tues-Thurs-Sat schedule next week. Unfortunately, he is already scheduled for surgery next Thursday, so that's a conflict.
His surgery is to have an arterial-venous fistula put in. This is a procedure that ties an artery into a vain in the arm so the vein is made larger by the increased volume of blood, and then the vein is used for plugging in dialysis needles. Aren't you glad you asked?
Sooo...we need to work this out. Rick said yesterday that the hardest part of renal failure may turn out to be scheduling conflicts.
Yeah. That and the fear of DEATH.
It's almost one o'clock and Rick is about halfway through his dialysis. Roy & Becky invited me over to Roy's Aunt Margaret's, so I need to get moving here. I have not been able to get the attention of the charge nurse to talk about the scheduling problem. I need to do that, as well.
More later, as always.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


I have been blessed with the friendship of another writer, Susan Bardwell, who lives down in Angleton, Texas, which is south of Houston. We were introduced by David and Jane Shepherd, who thought we might hit it off. We did.
Once in an email to Susan, I remarked that I always wanted to be thin, tall, and elegant, and instead I turned out to be fat, average, and sarcastic. She replied that we fat, average, sarcastic women are much more prevalent than thin, tall, elegant, women, and we should embrace ourselves as we are, and have a fat, average, sarcastic women club. After that we occasionally joked about being fat, average, sarcastic women.
Then one day Susan remarked that we are “tough old broads.” Yup, we're that, too, and after that we would talk about being tough old broads occasionally, and would buck each other up as we go through our rather complex lives by reminding each other of our tough old broadness.
Until one day I decided to combine the two and make them into an acronym. Fat average sarcastic tough old broads: FASTOB, for short.
So that's what a FASTOB is. Many of my best friends are FASTOBs. I'm a FASTOB. Are you a FASTOB? Welcome to the world of the FASTOB.

You can read Susan Bardwell's weekly column in the Angleton Journal, an online "paperless" that she and her husband produce. Check it out: