Merry Christmas (ok, a day late) from Flagstaff, AZ! We got here just fine on Christmas Eve and, surprisingly, there were no travel delays for us. Nor were there very many people at the airport or in the line for security. Being a seasoned holiday traveler who is used to massive crowds, grumpy TSA workers and long lines for the bathroom, I was pleasantly surprised.
Of course, much to my dismay, the weather here has been beautiful (I've been hoping for bucketfuls of snow, but no dice) and cold. I haven't seen snow in over 4 years. That's 4 years too long, if you ask me.
I had my first vacation dialysis today at the only Flagstaff Dialysis unit in town. It turned into a nightmare (for the three years I've been dialyzing at this unit I have never had such an issue as I did today) I showed up at 6 AM (the time my social worker at my home unit instructed me to be there) only to find out that no one knew who I was or why I was there at that time, and then I wasn't even on the schedule until the afternoon. I waited in the lobby for 2.5 hours before I got taken in the back. Of course no one could find my paperwork, either. Then I discovered that all the staff that I've known from previous years was gone. Not a single person remembered me, not a single nurse I recognized. The only person I knew was my friend/patient Ed. I saw him coming in for his treatment when I was on my way out. We chatted for a few minutes and he updated me on the goings-on over the year. He said all the staff had left, a lot of patients had died and everyone in the unit is new. He wasn't any more happy about it than me... he said they kept changing his treatment times and that it never was the same. I really hate to write a "bad review" of a unit, but compared to the last two years, things are just... different. Slower, some of the staff seems less experienced (some, not all) and in general the unit seems to be in the throes of confusion. Not too comforting for a traveling patient. It also annoyed me to no end that I had to "adhere to policy" (being their policies) and I couldn't set up my own machine, weigh myself, take my own temperature or even say how much saline I wanted at the in during my rinse-back. I understand that each unit is different and that they are just following their "rules"... but come on. Some things I am very particular about and I'd be happy to sign an "AMA" (aginst medical advice) to have it the way I want it. But I wasn't allowed.
As for the rest of my trip, it is wonderful! I am crossing my fingers that somehow we will have snow...
Soooooooooooo.... Merry Christmas to you all! I'll be around off and on when I can, but in the meantime I'm enjoying my vacation :)