Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sign us up for the Next Cruise!

Steve and I just reviewed Bill Peckham's pictures from the beach at Cozumel -- part of the NxStage "Freedom Cruise" to the Caribbean. As I commented to Bill's blog, I can feel my own blood pressure ooze down ever-so-gently, perusing the sun and sand. Who would think these opportunities would be available to folks on dialysis -- and their families?

Steve and I took a trip a couple of years ago to attend a fitness conference in San Diego. It was the annual IHRSA Convention: "International Health and Raquet Sports Association;" Steve has a long background in the fitness industry. Anyway, we "had" to be there for five days, and dialyzing in a San Diego center would have meant that Steve would have missed out on a large portion of the convention. And not dialyzing was, of course, not an option.

So we borrowed the aluminum travel case for the NxStage machine from the Northwest Kidney Centers and packed up the machine. That weighed about one-hundred pounds. Then we loaded up the rest of our gear in a duffle bag -- another eighty pounds, and arranged for the dialysate bags to be sent directly to the Marriott Hotel. Not bad.

We overpacked, of course, with equipment for a couple of extra runs. The only wrinkle we ran into was that we had brought only one waste line, and it wasn't long enough to reach the bathroom (nice, big room!). So we called Housekeeping for an extra trash can, I duct-taped the waste line to it, and made a "bucket brigade" process of emptying the effluent throughout the runs.

Steve wanted to sling the waste line over the Marriott balcony, whereupon our friend Don Gronachan commented that it wouldn't have been the first time Steve Williams peed off the balcony of a Marriott Hotel. Ahh, love...

Anyway, after reading Bill's posts, we're up for an Alaska cruise. If you do one, sign us up!

Take care. Linda Gromko, MD

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