Monthly Archives: September 2021

Full Documentation Of My Past 10 Months At Dialysis

#MedicalAbleism #MedicalAbuse #Gaslighting

Folks, medical ableism is very real, and this is what I have been having to endure at dialysis for over a year now…..and my clinic still won’t actually address this nurse who is still continuing to make my life a literal living waking hell.

I know this is a long read. But please read this and share this widely. People need to know what it is like to continually to be treated like I am a bad behavior when my autism is a disability, and how utterly isolating this is—to need dialysis to stay alive in a clinic that is not at all built for accessibility for autistic people.

#MedicalAbleism#UnseenUnheard

When, even after I have bent over backwards to educate my dialysis nurse about my autism and neurodivergence, my dialysis nurse still:

*One Saturday in December of 2020, repeatedly slammed shut the ISO room door on me when I kept melting down because she kept yelling at me and scolding me, and saying I needed tough love and ABA for my “disruptive behaviors”, then months later when this is again brought up, tells me: “Oh, but I didn’t slam your door! I wasn’t the one who slammed your door! It was the tech who did! You’re remembering things wrong!”

That is what gaslighting is, folks. And gaslighting is abuse.

*On that same Saturday, what started my Saturday afternoon long meltdowns, was when she was prepping me to get me put on the machine, I asked her if she had read my list of autistic resources, she said to me: “Oh, well, okay, I did read ‘some’ of it, but I’m not going to follow much of it, because I also saw these ‘other’ videos that tell me I am to treat you with tough love, and not give in to your ‘behavior’.”

When I tried to tell her why ABA is not the way to treat ANY autistic person, she replied with: “I am a professionally, medically- trained nurse, so I am going to go with what is ‘evidence-based’.”

THAT, exactly, was why I was having so many meltdowns that Saturday! The Saturday that started all of my problems with Nurse W! It threw me into a panic because she wanted to treat me with literal ABA therapy! Because she went right to the pro-ABA videos. That I had asked her not to watch. And believed those over actually autistic people who have BEEN through ABA therapy HELL.

This was how my family treated me when I was growing up, and none of them knew I was autistic, just that I had childhood schizophrenia, and a “perceptual handicap”….the terminology of the ’60’s.

I was treated this way all through school. By most police officers. Because yes, I have had to deal with alot of police. I was also treated this way by most people who tried to befriend me. And by a long string of abusive caregivers when my physical health began going downhill.

And it traumatized me, over and over again, and gave me lifelong deep-seated trust and abandonment issues, lifelong self esteem issues and lifelong Complex PTSD—on top of my autism.

*On that same Saturday in December of 2020, also yells at me because a kind tech turned the horrible bright lights off for me because they were literally hurting my eyes, and she, the nurse comes in and angrily snaps them right back on, yelling at me for having them turned off.

(I get that it is state law to have a VERY well-lit dialysis clinic,, but why keep yelling at me and scolding me like I’m a little child being punished, because the damn bright LED lights are literally HURTING MY EYES????)

*Calls me paranoid and says it is all in my head when I tell her
my heparin is not running in the machine
or I am having weird heart palpitations,
or my machine has been set to take off much more fluid than I KNOW my body can handle at one time.

*Every single fear, question and concern I have as a patient is dismissed as me just imagining things, it’s all in my head, I’m being paranoid, or “I’m the nurse, I know what I’m doing, so be quiet”—and my questions and concerns go unanswered.

*Turns the machine monitor away from me suddenly, when she knows that is also a trigger, to not be able to see my machine’s monitor, then yells at me like I’m an unwanted dog to “get out of here, go to the bathroom now!” in a scary mean yell voice, when I protest about my machine monitor being moved so I can no longer see what is going on.

*Won’t let me write what I want to write on my Against Medical Advice form and gets angry about it telling me:

“Okay, you need to stop! Oh…that’s it! I no longer trust you. Our whole friendship is going to be much different now. You’re not going to get any of the perks and goodies I’ve been giving you anymore, things are going to be much different now, you have lost all of my trust in you!”

That is a literal threat, folks.

When Nurse W presented me with the AMA to sign she had written “refusal to let closing nurse do her take-off” on it, so I crossed that out, and went to write a less accusatory and judgmental version.

That pissed Nurse W off, and she began saying the horrible things she said to me above.

*Still orders me in a loud strict yelling voice that she knows upsets me: “Put your mask on!” when I genuinely forget to put it on.

*Keeps labeling me as a refusal this, a refusal that, and then throws in non-compliant and high maintenance when I have asked her NUMEROUS TIMES to stop labeling me those things!

I am autistic,
I am wired differently

and this whole dialysis clinic is a daily sensory NIGHTMARE for me to have to sit in for four hours a day 3 times a week.

*Tells me, with glee, like she is threatening me with punishment, that she is a mandated reporter and has to report what I have just told her, to the authorities, when I tell her I feel like I want to die, instead of talking TO me COMPASSIONALTELY to find out why I am feeling like I want to die—or getting the social worker so I can talk to them about why I reach the point of such overwhelm that I want to die—and I am left feeling totally unheard and invalidated yet again by my nurse.

*When one day I say out of my desperation I wish I would just crash on the machine today, and she uses this to threaten me that she cannot dialyze me when I tell her things like that—-instead of talking TO me and finding out why I feel this way.

*Repeatedly calls me paranoid, repeatedly tells me I am imagining things, repeatedly orders me around in a stern voice like I am still in grade school—and does this—over and over and over again till I just want to scream.

*On yet another Saturday, Saturday 9/11, she threatens to call the police when I am having a meltdown for being punished yet again by her, when I am just trying to show her how to wrap the ends of my catheter because she is doing it literally all crooked like she knows how I hate it done.

*On that same Saturday, tells the nice tech to not ask my permission anymore to take my temp, when it has been written in my plan that all of them are to ask before they just do things to my body. Using my boundaries, my right to my bodily autonomy, and my very sensory needs as weapons to punish me when I am “acting out”—her words.

That, also is emotional blackmail, and is all levels of abuse.

On Saturday 9/11, she and I were both on edge. I came in already upset. Because my house had a million nats in it that morning.

What made her take me off of my machine a whole hour early that day? It was not that I was scaring one of her new patients with my meltdown——it was actually because I made the statement out of sheer frustration at being barked at by her to “Put your mask up!”—instead of her asking me gently——when she came into see why I was melting down in the first place. Which was because I could not get my backpack off of its tray table. My backpack was stuck. I could not get it off the tray table.

I made the statement: “I am done.” That was her MAIN cause to yank me off of my machine and totally disregard my sensory boundaries and face.

She keeps on treating me like I am a bad behavior instead of an autistic 61 year old struggling to cope with a clinic that is NOT AT ALL set UP for autistic folks.

It is literally as if she looks for reasons to yell at me, scold me, and shorten my treatments.

For four whole months—from December 2020 to April 2021—she would put me on late, and then I would have to leave early, often 1 to 2 hours early, because she would sit at her computer and wait until 1:30 to put me on.

She as well as two other techs all huddle together, and it is like they look for ways to antagonize me into a meltdown, just so that they can then punish me. And then laugh and gloat about it.

This happens mostly on Saturdays when management and social workers are not there, but has also happened on Tuesdays and Thursdays as well.

So. After reading all of this….please try to put yourself in my shoes.

Would these things not make you feel like you can no longer trust this woman, this nurse, to take care of your dialysis treatments?

Would these things not make you terrified to have this nurse take care of you anymore? Especially since you are away from everyone else in the isolation room so you can still do your vocal stims that help keep you calm enough to get through 4 hours of being literally tied to a dialysis machine, and, because you are in the ISO room, you don’t have to have your mask on when people aren’t in the room with you?

I would have put my mask up, but please, for the love of God, ask me nicely.

She can be nice…very, very nice and sweet, but then these trainwrecks happen and actually ruins all of the nice times with her.

But, tell me, please…..Would this not make you feel like you do not matter as a human being to this nurse???
Would this not make you terrified to ever be alone in the room ever again with this nurse???
Would this not make you feel vulnerable???
Would this not make you cringe when you now have to even hear this nurse’s voice????

Does all of this not go against the patients’ rights, of which your clinic gave me a copy of when I first signed up for dialysis treatments at this clinic?

I am Autistic.
I was born Autistic.
It IS a whole different way of being,
processing,
and experiencing life
for those of us who are Autistic.
And we will be Autistic till the day we die. You cannot yell, scold, fix, problem solve and cure our autism.

When you yell, it literally is like we are DYING. Your yelling tells us we are wrong and broken. Shameful. And Less Than.

Autism is a disability. A disability that is protected under the ADA.

Ask yourself again, would YOU want this nurse to continue to work on you if YOU were autistic, and she kept treating you like you were a fucking criminal instead of the Autistic adult human being you are????

She may be a new nurse.
She may be human.
She may have a problem with anxiety when under stress.

But guess what? So am I….
Still a new patient
I am human.
I have a problem with anxiety when I am under stress.

I don’t like having meltdowns. I know it frightens the other patients. I try my best to handle having to be strapped to a machine in those uncomfortable chairs for 4 hours.

I try my best to always be considerate and kind to everyone there.

I bend over backwards to meet you all halfway there at this clinic.

Because I DO care.
I DO have compassion.
And great empathy for others besides just me.

I GET it that that one Saturday was 9/11. The 20th anniversary of a horrific event that I also saw happen before my eyes on live TV. Many of you lost loved ones and friends on that awful day.

God, I GET that so hard!!!!!!!!!!

But that was still no reason for Nurse W to yell at me, and scold me, and then yank me away from my lifesaving dialysis—-just for me saying “I am done.”???? Her words, again.

Tell me why, please, should there be any valid reason to repeatedly keep punishing me for what I cannot help as an autistic who has to undergo this dialysis just to live. In a building that is not set up for autistic people?

Why does this give nurses like W the right to continue to treat me like I’m a bad criminal, instead of an autistic adult who is more often than not, in a consistent state of sensory overwhelm when I have to go there to do my lifesaving dialysis.

Especially after I have educated this nurse over and over and over and over and OVER again???

Tell me. Please. I am waiting and I am listening.

A post script: They have, temporarily given me the head nurses as my nurses, and Nurse W was gone last week, but yesterday she was back on, even though she didn’t take care of me, one of the head nurses did—-even so, I still had to se and hear Nurse w’s voice, and it killed me to be in that room still having to see and hear her.

I am still waiting in suspense as to how this is going to be handled.

And another post script:

I am done with my piece of crap dialysis center.

They are moving me to Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays in the mornings beginning the week of Oct. 6th. Exact time to still be worked out, but hopefully a 9:30 AM arrival time, and a 9:45 AM put on time…this way I still have my afternoons to get all of my appointments, errands, grocery shopping, banking, showers, etc., done.

I will still be in the ISO room. But with a different nurse, and different techs. Meaning I have to be up earlier, there earlier, nd no more of me having to be there on Saturdays in the ISO room with Nurse Whitney…at Nurse W’s mercy.

It appears nothing is being done to address Nurse W’s abusive treatment of me.

I have warned them that if Nurse W can treat me the way she did, she will do this to the person who goes in the ISO room in my place.

Nurse W seems to love being the boss of me, well, now she got her damn way.

My Autistic Dialysis Hell, Part Two, And A Monday Afternoon Update

Saturday morning started with me battling multiple nats in my living room and kitchen. And my bathroom too. The nats have been all over for days now.I was already on sensory edge about the nats flying all over my house yesterday.

I went to dialysis on edge.

I had meltdowns at dialysis because I had yet another different tech in my pod. And my nurse Whitney was also on edge. When Nurse Whitney is in a bad mood or stressed out, I always pay. Because I have multiple vocal stims, I do my dialysis in the isolation room, and Nurse Whitney feels she can get away with mistreating me because she feels no one will hear. Because I am in the ISO room.

When I am already high anxiety, it has a rippling effect.

At dialysis my lines were unruly, and had to be adjusted alot. I finally had them lay them across my lower abdomen, because to keep them clamped to my left shoulder, made the white line cap for lab draws cut into my shoulder, and it was painful.

Nurse Whitney was impatient with me about having to readjust my lines so I could be comfortable in my dialysis chair.

Dialysis was me having alot more meltdowns.

I have begged them to assign another nurse to my side of Side B, one who would have patience and understanding and who would work with me and really listen to, see, and hear me.

Instead, I am stuck having to work with a nurse who lets me know consistently that she has problems with me because of all of my ISMS. I have been having problems with Nurse Whitney since December 2020.Towards the end of my treatment, with one hour and five minutes to go of treatment, I went to get my backpack from the tray table on the left side of my chair so I could call my caregiver to discuss my dinner meal plans, and the strap stuck on the side of the tray table. Before I had a chance to think to just press my call button for help, I began yelling in my frustration, plus profanity along with my yelling.

When having meltdowns, I cannot control what comes out of my mouth.

Please. Read that again.

What ensued, instead of Nurse Whitney coming to help me with my bag, was Nurse Whitney becoming impatient and yanking me off of my dialysis machine ONE FULL HOUR before my finish time. As a result, I got 2 hours and 59 minutes exactly of my prescribed four hour treatment, and when I fought to be kept on the machine, and she kept touching me without my permission, HER response was to threaten to call the police on me. Just like I was a criminal.

She kept putting her hands and arms close to my face as well, which she is WELL AWARE is a huge sensory trigger. Yesterday, she didn’t care. She even told the kind tech who came and asked me if she could take my temperature, to not bother to ask my permission for that, that she didn’t have to ask my permission, to just go ahead and do it…take my temp.

For the love of God, neurrotypicals, I need you to understand and GET that we as autistics are wired totally different than you. Our sensory needs are important for you to accommodate, because if you don’t, we are triggered into literal painful agony. Our sensory systems are wired much differently than yours are.

I have bent over backwards to try and educate you all, both through Facebook, and at my dialysis clinic for the past 3 years I have been going there to get dialysis, and still some do not get it that autism is a disability because of sensory needs not being taken seriously.

I need to get my story out there, friends. This is already ruining my weekend, because, and listen, really listen to when I say this, one does not just get over being manhandled and then threatened with the police who can escalate things even more to the point where we run the risk of being injured or even killed by the officers who come to supposedly diffuse my meltdown.

Calling police on us when we are IN DISTRESS, is the last thing one should ever do. There are ways to de-escalate meltdowns that do not and should never involve restraint, scolding, seclusion, any kind of threat or punishment.

I feel so utterly alone today. Like this is only going to get worse, until someone takes seriously that my nurse is abusive, and she needs to actually be fired.

In addition, she forgot to give me my hepogen and hectoral, and my heparin lock for both the veinous and arterial sides of my catheter at the end, and when I went to the bathroom during my treatment, failed to put the machine in bypass mode.

This is not the first time I have caught Nurse Whitney making mistakes with my care. I once caught her setting my machine to pull a full two kilos of fluid, knowing full well this would land me half dead in the hospital. One reason why I request to always have my machine facing me is, so I can watch everything, to make sure it is all correct.

My story of yesterday is all up and down my Timeline. It is all set to public and is very shareable.

I am asking all of you to please share this and put my story in your blogs if you have a blog. #MedicalAbleism is real, and it is happening to me, just trying to stay alive because some do happen to love and care about me…..my mom, my two sisters, Connie, Natalie, and my Facebook autistic disabled community friends.

Below is a post I made to an advocacy org that apparently is no longer in service…..so here it is, here:

” I am a 61 year old autistic adult who has been on in center hemo dialysis since June 2018, and a DaVita patient since July 5, 2018.

Although I have spent the past 3 years breaking my back to educate all staff and nurses there, plus the facility admins, I have been having serious issues for the past two years of my 3 years there, mainly due to impatient insensitive nurses, including the one that has been assigned to my pod for the past year.

For the past year, they have had me assigned to a nurse who for 11 of these months beginning in December 2020, she will sometimes be very curt with me, forget my sensory needs, and cause me to have meltdowns.

She has threatened to withhold nice treatment, her “friendship”, and in Dec., she made it her mission to keep shutting my door on me so that no one could hear my machine if it alarmed. If I have concerns or questions, it is met with “I am your nurse, I know what I’m doing!” and “You just don’t concern yourself” and gaslighting “I did put the machine in bypass mode” or “I did do that, didn’t you see?”

My story is on my Facebook. My local ESRD has been of precious little help.

You can contact me via my email. I would give you my contact phone number, but do not know if that is allowed via email.

Thank you, and I fervently hope you will help me. “


I probably won’t be alive by Halloween of this year, if my kidney center has its way in shoving me out the door. I may be dead within weeks. I don’t trust corporate healthcare. Or my kidney center.

I Have A Right To Exist
And Be Seen And Heard
As My Full On Autistic Self
And I Have A Right
To
My Lifesaving
Kidney Dialysis
All Four Hours of It.
Stop Taking That Away From Me
For Meltdowns
That Are Being Caused
By
Your
DELIBERATE
Inability And Refusal
To See, Hear, Embrace,
And Respect Me
As I Am.~~~Melissa Fields

And an update from today, Monday, September 13, 2021:

Update on my dialysis center / nurse issues:

I have a 12 PM noon meeting between me, my caregiver Connie, my kidney center social worker, the kidney center facility admin, and my nephrologist, tomorrow before dialysis.

I pinned my social worker down when I talked to her just now as to if they are planning to involuntarily discharge me?

Thankfully the answer on that score, is NO.

Social worker says they are doing this meeting so we can all as a team, come up with a plan so that both staff and I can feel safe during my time there getting treatment., moving forward.

I was also adamant that I can no longer work with Nurse Whitney. I’ve worked with Nurse W for a year now, and still my issues with her keep happening because she basically does not care.

Whitney and a few others seem to believe fully in the adage that “When the cat’s away, the mice will play.”

Stay tuned, everyone.

My Dialysis Hell Continues

I had several meltdowns today at dialysis.

My lines that transport my blood to and from the machine were unruly, and kept bothering me. I had to have them routed differently.

Nurse Whitney, the nurse who is still assigned to me, lost her cool, saying that this was putting her behind to accommodate me on where to have my lines placed.

With one hour and 5 minutes left to go on my treatment, I tried to get my backpack off the chair’s tray table so I could message my caregiver to see what we were going to do for dinner tonight.

The long strap caught on the tray table, and so meltdown #2 happened. A lady, a patient on my side began to yell at me repeatedly to shut up.

It only escalated my meltdown to where I was yelling, cussing, and saying “I am done!” over and over.

Nurse Whitney marched in and proceeded to terminate my treatment against my will, stating that I was a safety risk.

I was unable to calm down. Next thing I know, Whitney warned me that she would have to call the cops if I did not stop, that my “temperament” was causing the entire staff and patients to feel unsafe.

I had no choice but to leave, and have my caregiver pick me up earlier than normal. I only got 2 hours and 59 minutes of my prescribed 4 hour treatment today as a result of what I know In my heart of hearts could have been handled much differently, by Nurse WHITNEY.

I keep having these kinds of problems with Whitney….yet they keep assigning her as my nurse….even though she keeps dressing my catheter all crooked, and with crinkles and creases, and gaps in the dressing, and she, along with Tech named BELEN, are always the ones that causes my meltdowns there. It IS intentional.

I have been having problem after problem like this since August 2019 with impatient ableistic nurses and techs who keep moving my machine, touching me too near my face, and ordering me like I’m an unwanted animal.

I am unable to adapt to that hellhole anymore than I am able to. I literally cannot take having to go there another day.

This is where I am at tonight.

I need a miracle or I am going to BREAK INTO A MILLION LITERAL PIECES.

I need my community’s help, friends.

In addition, I wrote a review of my kidney center on Yelp. Here it is below, copied and pasted.

—-

I wish I could give this place a zero, but the option was 1, so here it is.

I’m an autistic adult, yes, hello, there are hundreds of thousands (Actually, more than a million) of us autistic neurodivergent folks out there, and the past two of my three years of me having to get a vital lifesaving treatment that I am entitled to so I can stay alive for those who love me, at this center, have been sheer sensory hell….with only a small bit of accommodation for my sensory needs because they keep forcing me to deal with techs and a nurse who all have very little tolerance and patience for the challenges I experience as an autistic person.

I love my social worker, as well as many of the staff there. However, even though I have spent my 3 years educating them, some of the staff and the current nurse who is assigned to me, keep treating me as if the meltdowns—that some of them cause—is a behavior that I can control.

They do not get it—and don’t want to get it—that they continue to keep doing what I have told them thousands of times triggers me and then when I meltdown, I am yelled at, scolded, then thrown off of my machine early before the end of my 4 hour prescribed time, sent home, and today, my nurse even threatened to call the police on me, when I fought to finish my treatment.

After yet another meltdown that she and another staff member caused.

Today, I was upset, first about my lines being too uncomfortable for me, and then again because when I went to get my backpack to get my phone out to make a phone call, the large strap on it caught on the side table of my chair, and in frustration, I yelled. Because I yelled, I got sent home one full hour early. By threat and force.

Certain protocols have already been put in place at this center to mitigate my sensory hell, even so, my nurse still seems to enjoy causing me to get upset, so she can “make an example” out of me.

I hope Fresenius is reading this, because Santa Maria needs more kidney center choice, and I also hope Davita headquarters is also reading this, because this is cruel treatment of a person who has bent over backwards to educate them on my triggers, meltdowns, and how to handle me when I am in distress. So this kind of incident does not happen.

As per the Americans With Disabilities Act.

In closing, Autism is not a disease or behavior. It is a neurotype, and a disability. Me and the hundreds of thousand other autistic need for the medical community to finally GET this and stop treating us like we are animals and like the human beings we are.

#MedicalAbleism is real. Google it.