Two dialyses ago (I’ve started measuring time according to dialyses in this past year: Dialysis 1, Dialysis 2, Dialysis 3, the weekend, repeat), I’ve received a pamphlet. On this pamphlet was a drawing of a smiling little kidney, with a vein and artery sticking out of it, telling us that the only prerequisites for a home dialysis are stability during dialysis and resolution. A machine from Fresenius, expendable material through a government service, and hormones supplied by a hospital, everything on a platter, at the drop of a hat. The pamphlet had a lot of text (and, delightfully, drawings of kidneys), but when it came to information of use, it only contained an email address as well as the name of the association. When it comes to associations, there’s too many to enumerate, and that’s before they’re divided up regionally.

None the matter, I’m a stabile patient, eager to undergo dialysis at home where I have the adequate conditions for it. I had hurried up and written an email to the given address. Nothing. The next day goes by, and another one after that, but still nothing. On the third day I wrote another email, followed by another on the fourth. I realise I’m being annoying, but I really want this home dialysis. No reply.  Seeing as you can google anyone and everyone these days, I found the vice-president of the association named on the pamphlet, who very politely told me that he had no idea pamphlets were being distributed in Novi Sad, and that there’s a “Rade,” who was “doing his own thing,” and that I was welcome to look for him, if I please.

Luckily, after this useful piece of information, I received a very nice email from the president of the association, with the number of the coordinator of the famous Fresenius Company, which supplies my dialysis. I realise I’m entering an enchanted circle. Never a lazy individual, I immediately call the number, and am hung up on after being told that she will contact me later, as she was busy at the moment. Nothing happens, no calls, or messages the rest of the day. I send a message in the evening, to no avail. After four days, I sent an official email to the headquarters of Fresenius Company in Belgrade, who promptly inform me that the aforementioned coordinator is in charge of home dialysis.

Another enchanted circle. Anyone with half a brain would’ve given up by now, but not everyone is as resilient as me. Tough as nails, and as annoying as the buzz of a mosquito on a quiet evening, а second-rate citizen used to being forced to knock down doors to get basic information. Just as I’ve started writing an email to Fresenius Company central headquarters in Germany, around five o clock in the afternoon, my phone rings. To keep it short, the coordinator told me that: they don’t supply machines; she needs to consult her superior; there is no list, but that there is a waiting list; there is no official protocol (what is this protocol?); if, when, if not, ever never… 

Three day later: A call, nothing in writing. I am not to receive a machine this year, or perhaps ever. A waiting list exists, but it’s not official. Thank you for your time.  

Conclusion: Don’t do this to people! Don’t give out pamphlets and leaflets with half-baked information, giving us hope and wasting our time, which we don’t have a lot of as is. I see that the intention was good, but it causes more harm than good. Aren’t we troubled enough? Is it not to be expected that we hold on to every glimmer of hope?

The lesson: The road to hell is paved with good intentions. 

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