Family Letter Summer 2018

We have a family letter we send into my Mom’s large family.  Her Dad had ten brothers and two sisters so we have cousins galore.  Here is our summer letter.

Family Newsletter July 2018.

Hi Family:

We went crazy and began house renovations in March. We are almost done with pretty much renovating a 1958 ranch style house and upgrading everything to 2018 standards of code.  We must have gone nuts somewhere in the signing of paperwork!  We had several things done:

Water pipes replaced and upgraded to copper

All electrical upgraded with new box outside.

New roof

New windows

New paint outside

Popcorn asbestos ceilings removed

New laminate floors inside

New paint throughout house

Kitchen counters redone

Kitchen cupboards painted

Vinyl on kitchen floors and bathroom floors

One bathroom redone- new tub. new vanity, new tile

The back porch was taken out and redone

New set up for washer and dryer

New sink vanity in back porch hooked up

We had to pack the entire house and move out for ten days to get the asbestos popcorn ceilings out of the house by haz-mat teams.  We stayed in the Days Inn here in Rialto.  It is a cheap little motel and sits along the freeway  and near the train yards.  We could hear the train brakes in our room at night.

All I can say is the motel needs a little help.  It was an adventure.

The dog barked at every construction worker who came into the house.  We have discovered that if she does not like someone, then she does NOT like them.  I had had to call her off a few of the workers and lock her up.  She especially does not like the City Inspector who comes into the house to inspect.  He nicknamed her Dogzilla.  The cat went into our bedroom closet and did not come out until the workers were gone.  Both animals went to a dogsitter for the ten days we were out of the house.  When I picked up the dog she howled at me for a half an hour.

We have been unpacking everything and finding things.  We have moved furniture and still need to set art up on the walls.  Victor is slowly putting his stuff together.

Thank God for my sisters and all of their help when we had to unpack two and a half storage units of stuff in two days into the house.  Of course we had help from our contractor company. However, Anita organized my library by author and Christy did Victor’s library by subject. It has been a project to get the house back in order with construction guys roaming in and finishing things up.  We spent money like we had money to spend on the house projects.

I ended up in the hospital for five days the last week of March.  Some where along the line I caught the flu which turned into sepsis and pneumonia and caused my blood pressure to drop.  I do not recommend passing out in front of the emergency room intake team. It tends to really upset them.  I went from a wheel chair to a gurney where they were putting all kinds of sensors on me.  They said my BP dropped in the 40s as a top number.  I had driven myself into the ER so I had to call family and let them know I was being admitted.  I was yelled at for taking myself and told not to do that again.  I was admitted into ICU and pumped full of antibiotics and drugs to bring the BP up to normal pressures. Anita had already had the flu so she came to visit me every day.  She had to wear a mask and do protocols to visit. I am now on blood pressure uppers and it is doing all right so far.  Then to top all of this up my left hip has sciatica and bursitis acting up in it.  However the combo of meds I am on now has taken away a lot of the all over body pain was experiencing for months on end.  I am feeling better and am able to do things now during the day.

Victor is doing well.  He is frustrated by his stuff being all moved and rearranged.  He is still doing research and keeps himself occupied online with his computer.

So life goes on here in Rialto, on second, one minute, one part of anhour at a time.

Have a great summer!

Katherine and Victor

Writing a Complaint Letter about your Dialysis Center

So, your are seeing something you do not like in your dialysis center and it has bothered you for awhile. You discussed it with techs and nurses and nothing has changed.  Or else something happened directly to you and you feel it needs to be reported.  I have found putting it into writing gets things taken care of  promptly.  There is a rule for dialysis centers from Medicare that says they must respond to written complaints with a certain time frame.  Letters of complaint reflect badly on centers when state or federal officials come to visit.

In order to write a good letter of complaint follow these steps:

Your name and address

The center’s name and address


RE: what this letter is regarding

Statement of who you are.

State the problem in a clear concise way.  Give examples and dates (if you have them).

States how it affects you as a patient. Be clear and polite.  No curse words or swearing.

Give a solution to the problem.  Give choices.  (Make a list.)

Tell what you need as the patient to make things right.

End it: Sincerely.

Your name and signature

I usually type up the letter and either leave it with the head nurse or with the FA directly.  Usually I am contacted within 24 hours with a solution or the FA explains what the problem has been and why things are the way they are.  Some things just cannot be changed, so be patient.

My example letter:

From: Katherine S- Patient

To: Fresenius Dialysis Unit

To Whom It Concerns:

I have been a dialysis patient at this center for a few years now.

I try to be a model patient and follow the rules and do what I am supposed to as a patient.

I am writing this letter to report an incident that happened in the clinic on

Friday. June ??, 2018, at 1pm.

I arrived at my appointed time and was placed into a chair. ??? was my technician this afternoon.

He proceeded to stick me with 15-gauge needles, when my prescription calls

for 16-gauge needles.  I use 16-gauge needles to protect the life of my fistula

under orders from my vascular surgeon. I did not catch his mistake until he

already had two needles in me.  I asked him “Are you using 15s on me, I use 16s

always 16s.”  His answer was “It won’t matter, we run you slow anyway.” This

tech has put me on before and should have known I use 16-gauge needles,

considering it is in my prescription and should be easily accessible to the

technicians putting me onto the machine.

Why do I have to feel like I need to follow up on what technicians are doing to

me in the clinic?  I thought they were trained to pay attention to differing

prescriptions for all patients on dialysis in the clinic.  Technicians should not be

automatically treating every patient the same way. We should all be

treated according to our individual prescription.

I am not being a demanding patient, but asking the  clinic technicians to be

sure to follow my orders and prescriptions while on dialysis is not too much to

ask.  As a patient I need to feel safe with who is taking care of me when I am at

the dialysis clinic.


Katherine S.

I received almost immediate responses the this letter from the FA and the rounding nephrologist after I turned it in.  I think the tech was reprimanded and told to be extra careful in working with his patients.