The Family I didn’t think existed

I take care of a of of patients with dialysis.  Certainly not all of them, and not even a big percentage of the ones in my county a year, but I do see one to several per shift.  I see dialysis patients, I mean.

I see their families, too.  They’re people, in that they run the gamut from normal to abby, from pleasant to un, from selfless to ish.

The other day I had diagnosed a patient with xxx, and offered an MRI of the same problem, mostly to facilitate the patients’ and consultants’ interaction.

“Oh, we have to get to our evening dialysis appointment” says family member, quickly echoed by the patient.

What?  You’d rather o to dialysis than get the MRI (which is amazingly insightful and probably borne of experience, but I’m not certain.  At any rate I’m not going to argue against it).

“Okay!” says a stunned me.

People who want to get to dialysis.  Sometimes in the ED we wonder if they exist.  They do.


  1. This is extremely refreshing to read. I cut my teeth on a renal floor when I entered my odyssey into the medical field and am currently in clinical training at an LTAC hospital. The renal patients that I see and saw on a continual basis were of the apothetic, angry and noncompliant type. I hope that the educational efforts and continued gracious medical attention hope to surprise and inspire those of who take care of this very sick and unfortunately very large part of our population.

  2. Awesome! Sadly, according to the Law of Murphy, their prognosis is possibly poor.

  3. …they run the gamut from normal to abby

    Nice Young Frankenstein reference there…

  4. It is very refreshing! In our community we have several patients from Europe who have moved here to be with extended family so that they can get dialysis!