Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ok, I'm REALLY not cut out for Davita

Greetings! I am properly festooned in my new house-- which happens to be about 50 minutes away from the Davita clinic where I've been doing nocturnal dialysis. This is a much shorter trip than the 2 hours I used to do in California in order to do nocturnal dialysis at the Satellite Healthcare ( it was definitely worth the 2 hour drive each way!).

Oh, Davita, Davita, I have tried not to hate you-- to not be swayed by all the terrible things patients and employees (both current and former) have said about you. Sure, most of the people working at the Davita clinic I've been going to are nice. But nice does not equal competent...and sometimes the nicest people can be the most annoying.

I've had a little bit of dialysis drama the past few days. I had asked to be switched to an earlier time temporarily, so I could attend my father's 84th birthday celebration. I asked about two weeks in advance, and wanted to do a 3-hour treatment earlier that day so I could I hit the road after dialysis and drive the 3 hours to my parentals' place. I know it can be a bitch to have to switch around patients, but I thought I had asked in enough time to make it happen. I understood that the transfer was contingent on some patient being stuck in the hospital (or worse, dying, ugh!)

It appeared that all systems were "go" a few days ahead of the change. I made my plans to drive up to Fort Worth...but then two days before, I was told that the open spot was no longer open. So I rearranged my visit to Fort Worth and planned to leave the birthday party early and drive back that night and get as much dialysis as possible before the end of the shift.

So, I drove up to Fort Worth, celebrated with Daddy (yay, Daddy!), and drove back like a demon last night. I called the dialysis center from the road, and said I'd try to make it in within a couple of hours. Unfortunately, I had to drop off hubby and doggle at home before heading to the dialysis center...so I was about 45 minutes later than I had expected.

Well, I found out when I had arrived that the Davita Center had already pulled my dialyzer and refused to start the machine up again unless I was willing to have an one-hour treatment. That wasn't going to work, so I yelled at the nurse and left. (I know, I know, bad form).

I know I was late, in spite of good intentions. But they knew I was on my way there, that I was driving in from Fort Worth because they couldn't give me the slot they originally had arranged. Furthermore, they should have called me and said, hey, we're going to yank your machine now-- don't bother driving an hour out of your way to come in at 2am. That was, obviously, too much to expect from Davita.

And I don't feel like it's an absolutely unreasonable expectation-- because Satellite Healthcare always found a way to make things happen for me. And not just for me, but other patients, as well. It seems it was a usual practice of theirs to keep a seat open for scheduling contingencies, visitors, etc. I guess they don't do that at Davita. I tell ya, trying to get the time changed with Davita was very aggravating. I kept having to repeatedly explain to the nurse when I needed to be in Fort Worth and when I would be back in town. She kept coming to me with impossible scenarios-- I just don't get it. Said nurse is a very nice person-- but it's like she really doesn't pay attention to what you say (another example: I shouldn't have to tell her every treatment that I can't take clonidine for my BP because it makes me comatose).

So after the latest drama, I began to consider whether or not I should stay at Davita. The fact that 4 patients have had to be transported to the hospital in a six week period-- not a point in Davita's favor. That the patients still have their tv blaring all night-- that's a second strike. That the techs like to sit in the dialysis chairs and watch tv during the night shift-- not good, not good. That there was negligence one night when I received air with the return of my blood-- and the nurse tried to play it off-- that's the biggest no-no. That's enough for me.

I contacted Satellite Dialysis in Round Rock today to arrange a transfer. I hope it comes through quickly and I can be on my merry away-- away from Davita. I will have to return to daytime 3-hour treatments-- and that's not the very best for me. But I'd take the shorter, life-shortening treatment over all night with Davita-- and that's saying a lot.

I'm going to keep this blog up, because I hope that Satellite Healthcare will get a nocturnal program up and running in the Austin area soon or that I get approved for a transplant. In any case, Nitey Nite will go on!


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