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.
MYTYPICAL VISIT TO THE DIALYSIS CLINIC TODAY.
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.
ACCESS TO THE BLOODSTREAM FOR DIALYSIS.
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.
COMING OFF OF THE MACHINE:
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.
Next Discussion: Im new »