My Autistic Dialysis Hell

For years ever since my March 2012 final falling out with my then next door neighbor who was supposed to be a friend and ally to me, G, I have avoided having to go places—anywhere—by myself—ever again. Talking on the phone has gotten even harder for me to do.

The falling out I had with G threw a traumatic switch in my entire body making it so I could no longer handle getting behind the wheel of a car and driving it. To this day, I have not driven again. I still don’t feel comfortable driving.

Losing the friendship of G devastated me to my very core because I wanted with my entire being to believe he was the older brother figure I never had growing up.. He would be so supportive and compassionate, but then every other month, he would get in these pissy ableistic mean moods with me where he didn’t want to bother with me. My mother would have to call him sometimes several phone calls, to get him to be nice to me again.

After that final ugly falling out, I sold my tiny white two door Toyota Tercel, because I was too frightened to drive or go places by myself anymore.

This was the year my lymphedema leg lump grew even bigger, and I began having to have personal caregivers come into my home to take care of me. First, I got caregivers from two agencies my mom paid for, then it was IHSS caregivers.

My health—my body was shutting down even further. Because of G, and the then problems I was having with bullies who used to work in an auto shop across the street who tormented me, and just because I still was not free to be able to pursue any of the lifelong goals I have had for my life since I was a child. I still haven’t gotten to achieve my lifelong goals.

Because that falling out, coupled with the then problems I was having with the nearby auto shop bullies, literally was like losing the love all over again that I thought I had with my father when I was a small child and I stopped being cute in his eyes, and started being a major annoyance to him because I was so damned fucking different than all of my other brothers and sisters.

Losing G’s love and support, and by the way, he has never told me why, he just turned on me and began doing the very things he knew would trigger me, such as the loud man banshee yells he knew I hated from the bullies across the street in the auto shop. G too turned into one of those bullies. Losing his support, crushed me.

Having caregivers come into my home also added to my trauma because well, most NT’s cannot or don’t want to get autistic people and the different way we think, process, and experience and handle life. I went through literal holy hell with one abusive caregiver after another until I finally found Connie in March 2014.

My C-PTSD Trauma Me almost ran Connie off too. But Connie kept coming back to me. She has, so far, refused to give up on me. Like most people have.

In 2018, again in March, she left me once again, this time, not because we were having problems, but to take a job that had really super great pay and benefits, so she could take advantage of the health benefits that that job offered.

I went through several more abusive caregivers while she was gone, this time, abuse that got so bad that I tried to run away from my own home. Abuse that got so bad that my caregiver left me without breakfast, and a way for me to get to dialysis, so Connie had to quit that job and come back as my caregiver.

2018 was also the year my kidneys failed. And I began needing dialysis to stay alive.

At first, my dialysis clinic was on top of any and every problem that arose with non-understanding techs and nurses who didn’t get how to approach and deal with my sensory issues. The then facility director, along with my awesome dialysis clinic social worker, took real care to make sure these issues all got resolved for both the techs and me to be able to work better together. Everyone there had my back.

In August of 2019, that nice facility director got married and left, and her replacement was a woman who from the get-go was totally different. She was harsh and unbending….and soon, my problems escalated because she has never dealt with any of my issues that have come up, well.

With each problem that has arisen since her takeover, instead of her understanding and GETTING it that my meltdown responses are an actual medical response, which is a real something I cannot help when I am triggered, she has made it her mission to become my personal ABA therapist at dialysis. She focuses squarely on the yelling, screaming and cussing that results from my meltdowns—-instead of the very real state of mental PAIN and ANGUISH that I have just been thrown into. And keeps forcing me to work with techs and nurses who provoke these meltdowns.

Yesterday, a traveling tech from LA named Mo, a very handsome young male presenting person, was there helping them out, and he was on my side of the building floor. He wasn’t my tech, but was in the pod East of my pod, working.

I kept watching him with fear because he reminded me of a young 20-ish version of my father. I had the strong feeling that if he were to have to come into my room, he would not be friendly. Still, I hoped that I was wrong, that he would be nice to me if I did meet him.

In fact, when I made my vocal stim noises, singing to the tones of the acoustics in my room, he kept looking right at my room and shaking his head, rolling his eyes.

I honestly hoped he would not have to come into my room at all. I didn’t like the vibe I was getting from him at all. I knew he was going to be unfriendly.

And I was spot-on.

Approximately 1 hour and 54 minutes into my treatment, I pulled the call button because of an issue I was having with another tech, and because my tech was on her break, it was Mo who came striding from his pod, into my room.

RUH-ROH!!

There was NO friendly hello at ALL, and he had a stern, angry annoyed and disapproving look on his face as he looked right at me and then RIGHT down at the large basketball-sized lymphedema lump that is on the inner thigh of my left leg.

One of the somethings that really trigger me into a meltdown–is to not be acknowledged and greeted–one other trigger is to have someone look at me with disgust because of my lymphedema and body size, yes I am very fat, oh well, get over it—-and I have lymphedema too, so get over that too, buttercup—he just walked straight past me to the call button to turn it off—without saying hi to me.

Already, my head was spinning.

He didn’t ay hi.
He didn’t say hi.
He didn’t say hi.
HE DIDN’T SAY HI TO ME!!!!!!!!!
HE-DIDN’T-SAY-HI-TO-ME!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had said hello to him as he walked into my room, then past me to get the call button turned off..
He said nothing back.
I said hello to him again.
Still nothing.

I n fact, Mr. Mo seemed indeed very angry to have to be near me. Because I make strange noises, and sing to the room acoustics.

I’m a godsdammed human being with feelings.

{{{{{{I said hello to this man twice.}}}}}
{{{{{{He refused to respond.}}}}}}

The dam broke.

My response was to finally yell at him in frustration:

“Aren’t you going to say HI to me???”

Because hey, I am here, talk to me. It really hurts to be
Deliberately. Deliberately. Ignored. Hello!

Especially by a young Hollywood type man like Mo who in every way reminded me of a young 20-somehing version of my father.

I do well to go there and try my best to meet everyone, both patients and staff, all halfway. Because I do have compassion and I care about others.

But this arrogant rude AF young man was intent, hell-bent on coming into my room and being deliberately rude to me, just because he didn’t like how I looked, sitting in my chair with my leg lump on full display, the bulge right there for him to see underneath my pant leg.

He was not there to help me like I needed. He was there to just be a rude toxic masculine asshole. Who hated me because I made strange singing noises, and he hated me because of how my body looks. I have learned to see the signs of a medical professional’s disapproval whenever I have to go to any medical appointment. They focus on how I look, and my yelling and distress at having to be there, and call it a behavior and non-compliance. Instead of the real raw fear I am feeling of wanting to just run the fuck OUT of there back to the safety of my home.

Body shaming and disability shaming are what goes on in all medical establishments because medical professionals are taught in their medical schools that being fat and disabled are wrong and bad, so they don’t think twice about treating us like literal garbage.

Until now they had my back at my dialysis clinic, but now they do not, and these problems keep happening. And the problems are getting worse. As usual, their now facility director came in focused—not on my pain—but the full on loud meltdown I was having. Yes, I used profanity again, but during a meltdown, it is next to impossible to not yell, to not scream, and to not use cuss words.

This young man from LA, instead of saying “I’m sorry, hello, I’m Mo, what is your name?” Lost his fucking temper and went off on me. Complete with his finger wagging in my face.

“How DARE you talk to ME like that, YOUNG LADY! WHO do YOU think you ARE that YOU can speak to ME like that?” as he pointed right to my disfigured legs.

I exploded and told him to get out, I didn’t need help, and to fuck off. Then could not stop screaming.

In came Ms. Facility Director. Again focused on my yelling, saying she could hear me clear from where her office is. Focused on how loud I was being, not the state of sheer mental AGONY that her newest young arrogant precious asshole Mo had just put me in.

And they were going to even take me off of the machine early, but I told them adamantly NO! I was going to get whatever dialysis treatment I could get, and they relented and let me stay till my 5:30 get off time. I ended up only getting 3 hours and 18 minutes of my prescribed 4 hours and fifteen minutes of treatment I was supposed to get.

Because I still had to use the bathroom. And they never get me put on at my on time start time, which is at 1:15 PM, Tuesdays, Thursdays, nd Saturdays. I got put on yesterday at 1:40 PM.

My nice social worker who does have my back, has once again been gone on medical leave since the second week of January. She is now not expected back until the middle of April. So I have no social worker to go to and to talk to again.

When people are rude like Mo was, it sends me into a state of utter anguish and personal hell where I flash back to all of the times I was belittled and yelled down and punished and rejected by my father and brothers for just being ME.

I have never done well in environments where the people expect me to act and be the Apple Pie Normal I am naturally hardwired NOT to be. They expect me to rush at THEIR pace. To march to THEIR beat. To just shut up and let them go right ahead and get right up in my face and touch me when I did not ask to be touched. And talk to me however the fuck they see fit, even if it crushes my soul to the ground yet again.

Because oh, it’s just Melissa, she can handle it, because well, Melissa doesn’t matter. Melissa doesn’t have feelings. Melissa doesn’t cry.

Well, guess what? Melissa does cry. She breaks everytime someone comes along and treats her like she is yesterday’s dirty trash.

Because Apple Pie Normal was what was expected of me, and drilled into me growing up in my family. Every fucking single painful day of my life. By my loud yelling screaming domineering father, and my brothers, and sisters. I was expected to never make waves. To never speak up for myself. It was ingrained into me at a young age that what I felt and thought never mattered. I was to just go with the flow or get spanked and beaten and screamed at, then go off in my bedroom away from all of them, a sobbing crushed heartbroken mess.

Be seen, not heard.

Seen, not heard.

Over and over again.

Seen, not heard.

Yesterday’s encounter with Mr. Mo was the last straw. I will be following up with the End Stage Renal advocacy team later on today when I am up for my day.

I will never have another man get up in my face and yell at me like Mo did yesterday, ever again. If they do, it’s war. Because I took it all of my life growing up. I refuse to let them rob from me what little self esteem and self love I have grown to have for myself at the age of almost 61 years.

It’s called toxic masculinity. And I am not here for it anymore.

In the meantime, I spend another night wondering why I even have to continue to go to a place that is just upsetting me even more to be there, than it is helping me being able to just fucking stay alive because my kidneys have both shut down now?

Autism is a disability. Disabled people are human beings. It is time medical professionals be held accountable for how we are treated. Including you, Mr. Mo from LA! Stop judging us. Stop the body shaming. Start listening to us, believing us, and seeing us as the human beings we are.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s