I don’t find too many words by themselves that imbue a sense of disgust, but this is one of them: fistula. It sounds like a spidery parasite that blossoms through an interdimensional microportal within your body, and suddenly appearing on your arm, settles into your blood vessels with a hearty set of fangs and barbed legs that grasp onto you like some poor animal caught in a steel spring trap.
I’m a little too beat to continue in this vein right now (cough), but we’ll talk more. The fistula serves as my “access” during dialysis treatment. In actuality, it is a large blood vessel that was surgically manufactured by conjoining a vein and an artery in my arm, allowing me to be pierced 3x per week with 16 gauge needles so the dialyzer machine can process 1/2 litre of my blood per minute, removing waste and providing some medicines in the best artificial approximation of natural kidney function that is known to Medicare patients.
This connection between me, Mr. Natural Products, and World’s Most Conscientious Citizen, and a five foot tall medical robot is why I’m here to tell a tale today. Or tomorrow.