Dialysis: Treatment of End Stage Renal Diease, of one of the potential complications from Diabetes.

By jayabee52 Latest Reply 2015-07-15 15:48:32 -0500
Started 2013-02-17 16:03:02 -0600

  On 02/08/2013 I returned to dialysis treatments after an absence of about 6 years.   
 I had been on Dialysis treatments previously for 10 months beginning 11/07/2006, and then was told by my Kidney Dr that I could discontinue treatments. 

 To put this all into perspective I will tell what happened to me as I started my journey into the rabbit hole of End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). 

 I had been out on the weekend surrounding the holloween celebration.  I had been out on Friday night dancing, without incident.  On Saturday evening, I was dancing as well.  The first thing I noticed different about myself that night, is I had trouble picking up my feet, and had a little bit of confusion.  I sometimes barely stumbled between partners (was Contra dancing - much like Square Dancing — very vigorous.) 
 When we finished that set, I sat to rest, thinking it would pass,  Soon the dance broke for snacks.  I started eating snacks, when all of a sudden  I felt nauseated and wanted to vomit.  I went outside and did vomit.  I came back in and tried the snacks again.  More nausea and vomiting, and then I was so dired!.  So I decided to go to my car and reline the seat and perhaps sleep a bit.  Eventually I woke and was able to drive home and go to bed.  

 The next day was "All saints day" at my church.  It was a festival day and there were a lot of activities between the 2 worship services.  I then, as was my custom  at that time, go to the library to get online.  Then the rest of the night was when I went to a regular dance class teaching the "East Coast Swing"   During that class I started feeling nauseous.  And decided to cut my class short and  go home.  

 Unbeknownst to me at that time, I had many of the signs of ESRD.  (See the whole list in the article here ~  http://www.aurorahealthcare.org/yourhealth/he... )

 I woke up the "next day" but it really wasn't the next day.  It was my son's birthday and he came to go out for lunch together.  I went to bed on the night of Nov 1, and woke up the morning of Nov 7. 
 My son Jonathan knew there was something wrong with me and wanted me to go to the ER. I thought there was nothing wrong with me, but I finally gave in and decided to humor him. 

 In the Triage they did the blood tests and the urine tests.   When I was escorted to an exam room in the ER, the Drs told me that my kidneys had shut down due to an infection.  I was going to need dialysis.  So I was taken to the OR and put under ansesthesia.  They had to put a tube into my chest and my heart.  (you can see a pic of  the tube placed in my heart  as a "central veinous catheter" here ~ http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&sa=X&a...

  I don't know how long in surgery, nor do I know how long I was in ICU.  But I was dialized at least a couple of times in ICU. 

 When discharged from the Hosiital, I was assigned to a dialysis clinic. 


 This is the procedure I currently follow for dialysis treatments today:  When I get there I go to buzz in at the desk.  When I am called in, I am told which recliner will be mine for treatment.  I put my bag and coat near the recliner, and then go over to the scale for my weight.  I get my weight in Kg and write it on a paper and give it to my tech.  That tells them how much water they will need to take off of me during the 4 hr treatment. 

 I then walk over to my recliner and the tech places my right arm into the BP cuff.  They take my BP standing and then sitting up.  Another reading is taken after I am placed on treatment and reclining. (Orthostatic BP)

 The RN checks my lungs with fhe stethoscope and listens to my heart.  And checks my legs for signs of Edema, usually once my feet are elevated. 

 Then it gets down to the business of getting me hooked onto the dialysis machine, which has already been prepared for my treatment.  (see the machine prep for treatment here ~  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nw-_kmD7Nns  )

 My Tech for the night unrolls the paper pad with the needles and other incidentals needed for their insertion. 

 After having my skin prepared on my fistula site, I must hold my arm very still.  My dialysis tech for the night gets the 2 needles out.  These needles may be seen in a brief video here ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XsENW8yHdg  (no it is not my voice on the video) I believe I heard him say the gague was 15, and the wings were blue as in the video.  You may view an illustration of them here ~  http://russia.fmc-ag.com/files/FistulaNeedles... 

 Anyone who tells you there is no pain on inserting the needle is either lying or has no feeling there.  I usually wince and draw breath in through my teeth each time one goes in. 
 If I really wanted it, I could ask for some kind of numbing gel, but as of yet, have not taken it 

 However once the needle stick is over it should be relatively pain free if the setup is right.  If I have pain, I immediately let my tech know that something is not right somewhere and he attempts to correct it. 

 Folded gauze pieces (2" x 2") are taped over each needle to keep me from leaking.  and then covered by several strips of medical tape. 

 They will ask me if I want my feet elevated (I do) and then I settle back into my chair for the treatment for 4 hrs, trying to remove the "toxic sludge" from my bloodstream. 

 I usually watch my individual TV with ear buds attached for about  4 hrs.   Of course the Tech and the RN come by occasionally and ask me how I am doing.   They are also occasionally doing something to the machine, checking functions, ect.  There is a small illustration of a machine much like I am hooked to here ~ http://www.fresenius.com/581.htm  together with a bit of information about the manufacturer.  It looks like the machine on which I receive treatments.

 Should you be intersted, there are 3 ways to access the blood of the bloodstream for dialysis: the Fistula, the arteriovenous (AV) "graft" and the catheter ("central veinous catheter" mentioned earlier)  For more on this read this from the American Association of Kidney Patients here ~ 

 CRAMPS: Occasionally, I will get a cramp.  My body, at that time has decided that it is getting too dry. Usually mine starts in my right calf muscle and if I don't get the Tech's attention soon enough, will also cramp in my left calf. I have also had cramps in my toes which crossed my eyes they were so painful. 


 My 4 hrs are up, and it is time to stop the treatment for this session.  The Tech gets the tape ready to place over the punctures in my fistula.   Then he asks me if I am able to hold pressure on my punctures and since I am he helps me into a exam glove.  (otherwise they have two spring clamps which may be used for pressure)

 One of the puncture sites is un-taped.  The needle is withdrawn and another folded gauze pad is placed over the site from where the needle was withdrawn.   A band-aid, and 2 or 2 stip of tape is applied.  Then another folded gauze and then my  finger is used to keep it all in place and free from leaks.  The 2nd site follows in the same fashion. 

 I am given a BP reading again and if my BP is ok I can stand and another BP is taken.  If I am OK and not dizzy or light headed, I can then head to the scale.  I tell my tech my weight.  (74.7Kg  last night)  That is to help them tell how effective the machine has been in removing the fluid from my body.

 My activities of daily living are affected by my ESRD and Dialysis Treatments. 

  WATER and FOOD.  I am allowed to drink about 1 litre of fluid. That means fluids of all types.  For more information, see this PDF regarding contolling fluids here ~ http://www.ultracare-dialysis.com/HealthyLife... 

 For my health I now need to avoid any food  containing high levels of potassium, phosphorus (phosphate), salt.  That includes a lot of foods which are common in our daily menus, foods like spinach, fall/winter squash, tomatoes and tomato products, mushrooms, ect.

 So while one can have dialysis treatments, and not be further involved with the process, to get the best results, one must be involved in your own care.   

I am expecting that I will be returning to the clinic 3 days per week for the remainder of my life.  One does what one has to to maintain life.  The only way I can possibly stop this is to receive a transplanted kidney. (but tat is not a guarantee I will remain off of dialysis)

I am currently not on a waiting list, but I will be discussing it with my dialysis Dr, and my insurance company. 

I am thankful that a treatment such as this is available to me, but wish that I did not have to be subjected to this.

I pray you have improved health and are able to stay far away from this serious complication of Diabetes Mellitus.

James Baker

85 replies

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2013-02-26 18:08:44 -0600 Report

Thank you for sharing your story, James. Ihaveonly experienced Dialysis as a caregiver for several people undergoing it, and their was a treatment center atthe hospital I spent several weeks at as an acute patient while fighting and healing from MRSA.
I am so glad you have energy back, praying and wishing iit will increase as time passes.
While I have no plans on traveling to Las Vegas, I am confident we will met since we have alll of eternity through God's grace.
Perhaps unwise choices contributed to your kidney problems, but it could have happened even if you had been a perfect Diabetic. We cannot control what our bodies do or do not do, no matter how hard we try. My dear friend Pam would talk about how she wished she had done better when she was first diagnosed with Diabetes during the quite early morning hours while she was waiting to go to Dialysis. I would remind her we can only do our best at the time. She would stay up late some nights so she could share her good numbers news with me at 10 pm when I got to work.
Whle fighting MRSA, God continuely reminded me a Father does not give us stones for bread. I do not fully understand what plans for good He has for us, but my faith holds firm that He does. He is the One who holds us in His hands.

jayabee52 2013-02-26 21:32:02 -0600 Report

Thankf for your very kind words of encouragement and faith GB! Much the same as I had come to believe over the years. I am constatantly reminding myself that this is a new adventure and I am in this situation for a positive reason. I do trust the one who holds us in His hands that this is for GOOD not for ill.


dreamer2005 2013-02-26 00:28:49 -0600 Report

Hi! My name is Linda and I had a kidney transplant 8 years ago. I have never had any problems with diabetes until 4 years after the transplant. The medications I take for the transplant to live are reeking havoc with my body. I am now a type 2 diabetic, osteoporosis, COPD and now have tingling in my fingers. I was on dialysis for 18 months and while on that suffered a blood clot in my carotid artery but that's another story entirely. I encourage you to make sure you thoroughly investigate transplantation so that you are totally aware of what to expect. Best of luck and yes, I would probably transplant again even knowing what I know now

jayabee52 2013-02-26 10:07:08 -0600 Report

Thanks so much Linda! Do you have any pointers for me having been through transplantation?

dreamer2005 2013-02-26 10:28:22 -0600 Report

Jayabee, so nice to meet you! If I were to give any pointers the first and what I consider the most important would be to research transplant thoroughly and ask as many questions as you can. My transplant has been extremely successful but as I stated not without a few problems. I was so fortunate to only wait 18 months for mine due to my blood type A+. I'm in the St Louis area and that is a very lucky type to have. My donor was a deceased young man. The kidney was considered a "high risk" kidney but has functioned magnificently for me. God has truly blessed me. I have been able to see my two grandchildren born and God willing celebrate 42 years of marriage. Ask question upon question as they arise and always remember that you are unique and that all tyrants are different and that my problems and successes will not necessarily be yours. As with dialysis a good attitude and and desire to overcome any problems is soooo important. If I can be of any help please let me know. To your success!!

CaliKo 2013-02-25 16:32:42 -0600 Report

Hello, James, I just saw this and I am so very sorry to hear that you've gone back on dialysis, but thankful there is that treatment option. Blessings to you for sharing and describing the experience, it is quite sobering, and will surely help the resolve of many who read your post. I hope you can continue to dance on your inbetween days. Hugs.

jayabee52 2013-02-26 10:04:49 -0600 Report

Thanks "C" Unfortunately I haven't had the energy to dance for about 3 or 4 years. My prayer is to be able to get enough energy to dance again eventually.

Thank you for your prayers and good wishes!

EJMac 2013-02-25 15:34:27 -0600 Report

James, I tried like crazy to be able to send you a private message, but I couldn't figure it out.
You are in my prayers, James. I have read your posts for several years & admire you so much. You commented on my post when I found out that I had stage 3 Kidney failure. My GFR seems to be going down slightly every yr or so. I know that some day I too will be on the machine if I live that long.
I cried when I looked up all the attachments. I am so sorry you have to go through that and honestly afraid I will too. If nothing else, it makes me want to be VERY careful with the control of my diabetes.
You did get off that once-maybe you will again. I fell like you are a friend that I have been keeping tabs on for the past several years. I'm glad you were out dancing and having fun. You seem to always have a positive attitude which is VERY important.
You will definately be in my thoughts and prayers, James. I know God helps us all get through what we need to get through. You seem to have a strong faith that I know will help you. You sharing your journey with me and others has been very inspiring to me. You are one special person. The tears come-you deserve the best my friend. Please keep us informed. God bless you. Elaine

jayabee52 2013-02-26 10:01:20 -0600 Report

Hey EJ Thank you for your prayers and good thoughts

I pray your GFRs will hang up there long enough that you won't have to "enjoy (LoL)" a session on the machine.

I feel much the same about you as well!



pixsidust 2013-02-23 08:41:35 -0600 Report

Have you gotten on the transplant waiting list? Did you say that already?
Much love, Christy

jayabee52 2013-02-23 14:25:48 -0600 Report

No Christy, not yet on the transplant waiting list.

Was supposed to discuss the list with my Kidney Dr at treatment last night. But he didn't show up. I am in no hurry anyway as I am always hopeful that something else will be found which will improve transplant proceedure or be a better source for antirejection meds.


1FLYCHIK 2013-02-22 17:10:32 -0600 Report


You are such an inspiration to someone with Diabetes. You are an amazing mentor as well. We are all blessed to receive your knowledge and information you share. I will pray for you daily and keep you in my thoughts. You have such a positive outlook considering all you are enduring; that for someone who has very severe diabetes like myself, it helps keep things in perspective. Hugs, Blessings & Love for you!

Mair 2013-02-22 16:13:27 -0600 Report


You sound like a wonderful man, thinking of others when you are going through so much there. I will say a prayer for you that things begin to improve at the very least that you are comfortable for now. A good friend of my daughter is 32 and she is waiting on a kidney, i see what she goes through and want to say thank you for sharing your experience so that I can have a wake up call as well and do my best to manage this disease.
God bless

jayabee52 2013-02-23 02:52:02 -0600 Report

You are most welcome Mair. Thank you so much for your kind words and your prayers. Just got home (Fri nite) from another treatment, and everything seems to be going well. My appetite is back — sort of — and some of my energy has returned. I went most of the morning without a nap, and late evening as well, ( with a nap along the way)


MoeGig 2013-02-20 20:16:03 -0600 Report

Hello Jaybee. This is a great service you have done for any diabetic who happens to read about your experience. It's guaranteed to engender fear, the most powerful motivation to stay on the "straight and narrow". We pray for your success.

jayabee52 2013-02-21 03:31:15 -0600 Report

just got back from a treatment Moe, and am feeling better than I have been for a while.

Thank you for your most ikind words, and thank you for your prayers!


manapua72 2013-02-19 11:11:48 -0600 Report

Hi , James these past couple of months of months reading your post , makes me feel like I've got to know you a bit … You're a very thoughtful caring person and really want to help others … You're pretty smart too !!!!!!!! I don't know why a person felt the need to attack you , cause attack you he did … I've never seen any deception on your part in any of your post … Your response was a delight … In that you were controlled and didn't go off the handle you … Though you had the right to … Don't change continue to be you … I enjoy your post & comments and look forward to getting to know you better … Who knows if I ever make it to Vegas , might even meet ya … You have a GREAT day … Keep that positive outlook !!!!!!!!

jayabee52 2013-02-19 11:50:23 -0600 Report

I have learned from much experience here that the way in which I responded was about the best way.

The person who attacked me as he did I understand that it is MORE about him than it is about me.

Thank you for your most kind words, Manuapua, and let me know in advance when you come to LV. We can perhaps set something up!


PS: plus, Iron's attack serves to make this post even more popular in the rankings, so in a way he had done me a favor by attacking! LoL!

Tony5657 2013-02-19 04:47:39 -0600 Report

Thanks James for taking your time to post your experience. AND I am praying for you … and some others here by name and for this group in general. I'm happy that you didn't let that negative "Iron thing" discourage you. Your positive reply to him tells me loads about your personality, wisdom and your intelligence. You are such an asset, a blessing, to this group. I pray for your healing and for you to have a long & productive life! I hope sometime "this side of Heaven" we get to meet eyeball to eyeball! :o)

Tony5657 in New Braunfels, Tx

jayabee52 2013-02-19 11:45:17 -0600 Report

Thank you for your very kind words, Tony. I'd like to meet you "eyeball to eyeball" this side of heaven also! However you'd likely have to come here. I am kinda on a "short leash" now with my treatment schedule.

Tony5657 2013-02-22 04:24:35 -0600 Report

Hey James, I also am on a "short leash" with our mentally & physically disabled 25 year old son. We are pretty much "home bound" - having to stay in New Braunfels to care for him. I love him & have accepted the responsibility but at times I'd like to have a break. I have found outlets to help with that like trying to help others on this site (like you do), doing all types of handyman jobs at our 6 rent houses, working on my 2 classic cars (see my profile pics), attending dances with our local "Goodtime Polka & Waltz Club", etc.

I honestly don't like polka & waltz music at all, but with the large German heritage here, including my wife, that kind of music is popular. This town was settled in 1845 by immigrants from Braunfels, Germany and many of their descendants still live here and speak fluent German, including my wife who didn't know English until she started school.

I remember your talking about doing to dances and hope that you can return to that soon. I am praying for you daily. Oh, and I FINALLY learned the polka & waltz styles of dancing. Honestly, I'm more into into the blues & country styles.

I greatly appreciate your postings here and your positive, conscientious, never rude way of thinking & writing makes you a giant of a person in my mind. Keep on keeping on my friend. You're a true blessing!

Tony5657 in New Braunfels, TX

jayabee52 2013-02-22 10:26:44 -0600 Report

Thank you for your most kind words Tony! Perhaps once I get settled in to dialysis well, (may be a couple of yrs) I could come there and enjoy some of the polka music. New Braunfels sounds like the area in Nw OH in which I grew up,

heavily influenced by the German culture, but fluent German speakers are becoming fewer. I usually get back there once a year for a family reunion in July, but now I have to plan at least 1 mo in advance to set up dialysis appointments at the nearest clinic. Difficult, but doable.


CJ55 2013-02-19 00:24:48 -0600 Report

Hi James.. Thank you for your post. That is a lot to endure 3 times a week my friend. I have been praying for you for quite sometime now and will continue to do so. I wish you well. It looks like the middle of April is our trip out there. Making final arrangements this week. Get some rest James, we will chat soon. Hugz. —-(((@

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2013-02-18 13:05:41 -0600 Report

Wow! What an education and eye opener. I will go back and access each site you posted, maybe it will scare me onto the straight and very narrow path. And people wonder how you can eliminate bread from your diet? My friend and brother, you will remain in my prayers. I suspect you will not be up for posting much once you start. You said you were dancing when this came over you. See, I was right, exercise can kill you! (Just trying to bring a chuckle to your heart!) Best to you, Jim

jayabee52 2013-02-18 13:29:46 -0600 Report

Hey Jim, I have already started treatments a week ago last Friday 02/08 a day after my 61st (what a birthday present! — better health)

Thank you for your prayers! (even from a RC, LoL!) yes I still have a sense of humor about things. And eventually when I get enough stamina again I expect to attempt to try to dance again! (talk about a pig returning to its wallow! LoL!)

Thanks Jim

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2013-02-19 11:38:04 -0600 Report

so, without a transplant, do they give you an expected life expectancy? Or is it that you go in, get yourself filtered, and you are almost as good as new for 2 days?

granniesophie 2013-02-18 09:43:12 -0600 Report

Thank you for posting your experiences for us. I will print this off at work so my mother can read and understand (maybe) a little more about what is involved in the process if and when her doctor decides it is time. She has the graft surgery on Friday and we'll see from there.
G-d bless…

Safari4 2013-02-18 08:36:26 -0600 Report

James, you were one of few people that really seemed to care about others. I will miss you and I hope you can get a transplant. I know you also serve Jesus and I will pray for you. You are a good man and serve God well. I write song and stories for children. I have one CD on iTunes. You can listen for free. But my new stuff is all Christian…one book will b on Nook and a Christian novel on Amazon Kindle…they're ready to go…just have to get well enough to get to it…I'll also be recording the Christian children's songs, I have. The reason I tell you this is because children's stuff is very uplifting…"best is friends". Love you, Fran.

jayabee52 2013-02-18 13:36:59 -0600 Report

Thank you for your most kind words, Fran! I pray you will not be leaving us again! (folks have left their profiles unused for years and have later felt the need to return to posting here.)

Let me know via PM when you are done with your publishing. Perhaps you could provide a link!


GabbyPA 2013-02-18 08:17:11 -0600 Report

James we are all thinking and praying for you. It is great that you have shared in such details so that all of us can be aware. We hear about our kidneys, but this really brings it to light.

nzingha 2013-02-18 07:50:51 -0600 Report

thanks for sharing your story..its worrying the thngs we must sometimes go thru because of this disease

jayabee52 2013-02-18 13:42:12 -0600 Report

I would pray that it not so much worries you as so much as alerts you into taking great care of your diabetes so this does NOT happen to you!

nzingha 2013-02-21 18:40:49 -0600 Report

u r right..it has made me even more determined to keep this sickness under control…its frightening ..it really is…

red flower lady
red flower lady 2013-02-17 23:54:49 -0600 Report

Keeping you in my prayers and thanks for the post so maybe it'll kick those that don't take their diabetes seriously. Hugs!!

jayabee52 2013-02-18 04:23:24 -0600 Report

Thank you for your prayers, Red, I covet them!

I pray that this may wake someone else up who's been not taking Diabetes as seriously as s/he should.

IronOre 2013-02-17 23:20:06 -0600 Report

So how were you able to stop dialysis for so long ?
Did you get a transplant ?

jayabee52 2013-02-18 04:28:05 -0600 Report

During the 10 months of my dialysis previously my kidneys were recovering from their acute infection, and once the infection had been resolved, my kidneys resumed working, sort of. With that infection my kidneys took a hit from which they never completely recovered.

pixsidust 2013-02-17 20:02:11 -0600 Report

Would your son's consider donating a kidney? My prayers are so with you!
I am liking this discussion only in support of you. It is very detailed and helpful but grieves my heart. I am sorry Jay. I hope you also find that person to lay by your side and hold your hand with love to the end

jayabee52 2013-02-18 04:36:03 -0600 Report

I had that discussion with my sons and I told them I do NOT want one of their kidneys. They have a father with Diabetes, and a grand mother (their mother's mother) and I think the chances of diabetes is great in all 3. I want them to have both of their kidneys for a time when they may need it in the future. I'd rather use one which is from someone who has recently passed.

Thank you Pix for your kind thoughts and words. She would have to be an extra special lady to buy into a life with me.

manapua72 2013-02-17 18:56:18 -0600 Report

Wow … My father that raised me ( step dad ) has to go through that process too he has kidney cancer … My doctor told me I had protein in my urine and told me I really needed to get my #'s lower and my diabetes under control or I would one day also need to undergo the same treatments … I'm trying hard to take of myself now for too many years I didn't care … Thanks for sharing this James …

jayabee52 2013-02-17 19:17:19 -0600 Report

I am glad you took note, Maunapua. It is folks like you for which I was reaching when I decided to tell my account of what happens in my Dialysis. I want to help ppl avoid situations where they must be treated for CKD, or ESRD.

2013-02-27 14:09:49 -0600 Report

Hello again and thanks for the link.
First the nepro it is common here. Little 8 oz bottles.
Order direct from Abbott nutrition. One bottle has 250 mg na
250 mg k,.170mg p. 19.1 g protein. Think of it as a kidney
Friendly boost or ensure.
Pro-stat.com or you can find at Amazon or Google shop.
Nexstage is the home dialysis unit.
You do 5 to 6 tx a week. Each TX. Runs about 3 hours.
The good thing is that you are not so drained, you
Can drink and eat more, not as restricted.
Also not as hard on heart.
The key is TX is more often and doesn't pull as
I know a fellow in his 50's he's a machanic. He
Started TX…he could not go…he had to quit.
he started nxstage…in a month he was back
To work…8 hr. Day, 5 days a week, coach's
grandson ball team after work.
He dializes from 9 pm till midnight, 5 to 6 days
A. Week…very few diet restrictions.
He says he's a new man…he said the other
He felt like he was dying.
You can also look at the nxstage users group.
Also its portable…you want to travel…you can!
Lastly, around here it is common when transplanted
We do pancreatic and kidney at same time.

Keep going. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2013-02-27 14:32:27 -0600 Report

Look at the "I hate dialysis" message board…there
Are alot of users on there and are usually friendly.

Just keep going!

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