J is not a young person but not too old either. His wife is a local caterer and they have many family members that help with his care.He has had his ups and downs with his health lately too. The family all come in and deliver him and pick him up.J is frail , but has a twinkle in his eye that is unmistakeable. He uses a walker with a seat and often has to sit before he gets inside the treatment room. His shock of solid white hair hides the fact that he is only in his 60′s. The wire-frame glasses, perched on his round face, cover his blue eyes that show the illness he has been through.J’s voice is quiet and slurred from a previous stroke, but he gets his thoughts across just fine. Five people come in every day in a local delivery bus and all come from out of town. Those five are all black and mostly men.More on them later. There are more men than women who go there. Many people could go to another town but prefer to go to this center. I have heard that other centers are larger and DO NOT have the quality care that this place gives. Guess we picked the right one. Mom likes all the nurses there and trusts some over others. Some are much better with STICKING or STICKS than others. This means they can start an IV or take samples and do it faster and more proficient.Those few are a welcome sight to all those sitting in those chairs. Life at the center is like another world.
White cotton sheets cover almost every single person during treatments. Taking the blood through the machines it has to be thinned with something called Heparin. That makes the person feel cold to the bone. Those white, heavy cotton blanket sheets are heated in a warmer so that the patient feels warmth from the outside of their body. I have seen mom use up to 3 of those blankets during her stay and the machine is stocked constantly during the day. The center goes through probably 100 a day. The center is brightly lit and hums with machines with alarms that go off every fifteen minutes or when a patients blood pressure goes too high or too low. The machines are now set with the governments new guidelines for blood pressure 110/70. Most patients do not have low blood pressure and the new numbers are NOT too popular with patients or the nurses. Rest comes easy for some at the center..Mom is not one of them. More on that later…..
Lately I have spent so much time with Mom at the Treatment center I have decided to mention how things are there with the many people that go there. People are surprised at how old Mom is because she doesn’t really LOOK her age. All I have heard is that she is one of the OLDEST ones going there right now. One guy is nearly her age. He used to be a neighbor of ours. I will call him F. F had problems with emphysema as well as other things. He is skinny and frail looking. Most of the people are. There are a few exceptions though. S has been going there more than 5 years now. She goes early in the mornings and she is very friendly and seems to be a happy person.
The longer you go the more you learn. The person who walks in as a “NEWBIE” knows nothing how about things work there, What are the rules and who is BOSS and what person does their job better than anyone else. If someone doesn’t show up in their time slot.. EVERYONE notices and EVERYONE wants to know what happened to them. One person named J has had such a hard time of it. She has battled cancer and lung problems and is in and out of the hospital all the time. She is very frail and everyone thinks the world of her. D is funny. His humor comes with him whenever he walks in. Some people I haven’t learned their whole name or story yet, but I will in the future. You can’t spend time in a place and NOT get to know the people who are going through the same thing you or your loved ones are. It is just impossible. The picture above is Mom getting her two needles put in by one of the nurses. I hate needles and always have. I cannot imagine having two large ones stuck in my arm every other day. It is amazing what the patients go through. Thank GOD for the very experienced technicians and Nurses at the center they are the BEST!!