Dialysis, Part Two

I started writing a post about today’s dialysis, and, well, FB decided to eat it again.

Today’s dialysis went okay, but it was mentally and emotionally draining for me. For me to have to see Mo there again when he frightened me by the way he yelled at me on Tuesday—-only today, to see that he was now all smiles and laughs, going all around saying nice warm friendly “Hi’s” to all of the other patients, and even pulling up a stool to talk to them ALL in a very caring, warm, and friendly manner, but, me, he totally ignored me— I think that is what has me upset the most tonight. Because he totally ignored ME. And talked to everyone else.

My nurse Whitney tells me that the facility admin did talk to him and address what happened on Tuesday, and my nurse Whitney also plans to follow up and talk to Mo the next time she sees him, since he will be there helping out for the next four months. So he and I can work together without anymore trainwrecks.

But this is what upsets me, and when I am upset it doesn’t matter what has upset me, it still goes over and over and over in my mind until I am a literal mess wanting to just roll under my house and die: Is that he totally ignored me and did not make any move to come in to make amends for putting me in a sate of emotional hell on Tuesday. But he made it a special point to warmly greet everyone else, and to sit or stand and talk to them warmly.

I was so afraid to go to dialysis today because of Mo. Because I knew he would be there again. So this morning when I awoke I called the ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease) Network 18 line to let them know what happened Tuesday. I had to leave a detailed voice mail and I did. I told them everything, and how shitty it made me feel all over again, just like my father all over again and his rage-filled harsh, punitive disapproval of me as a person.

My ESRD Network 18 caseworker, E, called me back during the second hour of my treatment. She and another dialysis nurse, Jewel, who really impressed me, by the way, **viola!** happens to know a great deal about the issues we autistic adults face with ableism, gaslighting and abuse, who is also against ABA therapy, knew exactly what I was describing, my feelings of feeling isolated from everyone else by Mo, and Othered by how I continue to be treated with insensitivity by the Facility director and some of the other staff members.

She knew just how to make me feel heard and seen, and when she told me how frightening it has to feel for me to have to go there just so I can stay alive, and continually try to educate the staff and still these problems keep happening,, how isolating and yes, terrifying this must feel—-I broke down crying—-because my normal social worker also saw and heard me just like this too.

The feeling I get when people really get why I am the way I am, and can articulate it back to me, makes me feel even more empowered to speak up for myself, and that I am okay after all.

Do people not realize, once and for all, that just treating those of us who are autistic with patience, kindness, and letting us speak and voice what is hurting us, and letting us be who we are in whatever space we are in, is the way to help and be a friend and ally to us, and that it is not helping us when you instead, judge us and make us feel wrong in what we feel, and you yell at us and scold us and treat us like we are merely just “bad behaviors” that are to be fixed and cured? God, it really is that simple, but yet, people just still can’t, or won’t, because to them, just because Autism Speaks and the media says so, we are burdens to be shoved off in the corner, and dismissed as nothings.

The team at ESRD Net 18 are in my corner, and that gives me hope again. They tell me that how the facility director is treating and handling my issues is NOT okay, and are going to help get her, and the staff to finally treat me like the human being I am. So I can start looking forward to going to my dialysis treatments again.

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