So my treatment last night (Sunday) took an extra half hour and I got to put an extra needle in my arm – lucky me! Putting these needles in my arm is a daily torture. I have to put in two needles (16 gauge, 1 inch blunt buttonhole needles); one to take the blood out and the other to return it. Think of putting the ink cartridge of a bic pen into your arm. It must go in at the same angle and direction each time to get to reach the vein. My venus hole (return blood) goes in fairly easily and with only a minimum of discomfort. My Arterial hole (withdrawal of blood) is a very different story. I start about an hour before the needles go in with putting some Emla Cream (lidocaine) on both button holes. This helps to eat away the scab and the skin film that forms over each hole. It also seeps into the skin and helps to numb the hole so it hurts less (supposedly). Then it usually takes anywhere from 6-15 minutes to get the needle the 1 inch into my button-hole and pops into my vein. Most days this is the end of it but when I started my treatment last night the machine kept stopping due to a blockage in the base of the Arterial needle. So I had to take out the arterial needle and start again. After putting in the third needle in (only took another 9 minutes of pain) I did have an uneventful run but it is a pain to have to re-needle my access. But my arm still feels like a pin cushion and I have this habit of poking and bumping my access right where my needles go in – ouch!
So the rest of my weekend was great. Long day on Saturday driving to Ithaca to see Carolyn. The swim meet was great – both the Ithaca Men’s and Women’s team won vs. Alfred. Carolyn swam the 100 Free, the 500 Free and in the 200 Free Relay. She wasn’t happy with her times but the unbiased dad in me thought she did very well. After the meet we got to visit with her. We went out to dinner and then took her shopping at Wegman’s (I miss shopping at Wegmans) to stock up with snacks for her dorm (all fruits and veggies). Then we returned her to her dorm and started the long drive back. We had to drive thru snow both ways thru the Catskills it was fairly light snow and wasn’t accumulating on the highway. We got home around midnight very tired but happy to have spent some time with Carolyn. Sunday was the church annual meeting and, as expected, I was voted out of office as Junior Warden. While I feel guilty about cutting my involvement I realize that I must cut back for my own health reasons.