“The technician connected me to the dialysis machine, and my husband covered me with a blanket. That was the last thing I remember.”

I woke up two days later in Intensive Care with excruciating pain. The doctors had already warned my husband to prepare for the worst. They had found an infection in my bloodstream and an accumulation of liquids around my heart, likely caused by an infection in my dialysis access point.

I spent the next eight days in the hospital dealing with terrible pain from my neck to my left arm as they removed the excess liquids from my body. I didn’t feel like myself for months after that. The experience traumatized me.

I’ve been on dialysis for eleven years — enough time to see that patients are not given the proper time to recover from our treatment. They rush to get us out of the chair so they can get the next patient in. It’s all too common that I start bleeding from my access point while I’m in the lobby after my treatment.

My doctor has always warned me that being on dialysis makes us more susceptible to infections and illnesses, so I needed to be careful with my surroundings. I am cautious about the places I visit, but I never thought I would have to worry about going to the dialysis clinic that’s supposed to keep me healthy.

I survived the infection that landed me in the hospital, but if it happened one time, it could easily happen again. My family worries about me.

My family is my pride and joy, and I’ve survived on dialysis for this long because they all keep me strong. I can’t imagine no longer being here to spend Sundays and holidays with my children and my grandchild.

I support the fight for safe dialysis because the clinic staff should have more time with us to ensure the proper care and make sure we can always be there for our families.

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