Kidney Failure - Dialysis

By susanh1771 Latest Reply 2009-03-12 22:50:49 -0500
Started 2009-03-08 10:41:02 -0500

I am a caregiver for my father who began diabetes with just having to watch what he eat and exercise. Well, due to his lack of motivation to change his lifestyle and watch his food intake, he became insulin dependent. He is 60 years old, still working full time, and loves food! He thought, forsome reason, that it would be easier for him if he just had to take insulin and "not have to worry about counting carbs and exchanges," etc. Well his disease has progressed so far and now he is in stage 5 renal failure. His doctors are saying that we need to start dialysis within 2 weeks. We have been going over his options about dialysis and what would work best for him, since he still travels with his job. He has decided on home hemo, and since his first fistula did not take, it looks like he'll have to have a port put in near his neck area until the second fistula is ready. I apologize for the long windedness of this question, but I felt I should explain the situation. So, my question is: what advice or help could anyone give me about being his partner in home dialysis and is there anywhere to get free or cheap supplies for this?

14 replies

jsd2005 2009-03-12 16:06:31 -0500 Report

Depends, how old is this individual? Medicare will pay almost 100%. They have an end Stage Renal disease program which covers the cost of renal care. check out the medicare site and you will be provided the information you need. Otherwise, it is covered by insurance, but the rest is out of pocket,

It is difficult to arrange it all, but generally it will be done at least three times a week at a dialysis unit. The only other option is home dialysis with a shunt in the belly and bags that require draining into the belly by gravity. Then you have to lay the bag on the floor so it drains back. This is a lengthy process, but doable.Especially if he has a cargiver who can perform it.

I dpn't lnpw if this is an option for you, but it is certainly more convenient as you don't have to get out three times a week. It takes about four hours each visit..
hope this helps

Debe Pendice
Debe Pendice 2009-03-12 06:45:54 -0500 Report

I was on dialysis for over 3 years. If you think the diabetic diet is bad, wait the renal diet is worse. The limitations to so many foods are unbelieveable. I would first suggest you got to the dietitian with him. If he needs to, he should ask his MD to send him and you go with it. Its a whole new way of eating. You should encourage him to foolow the diet and get on the transplant list. I could help you anyway I can on any questions you have. So as you have questions I will be here to answer you but only on the way I di with them Other friends here on dialysis, can also help you with the way they tackled their problems. Everyone is different so be patient with him and learn as much as you can. I will xerox sheets of info I have and be here for both of youns…Debe

Pauline B
Pauline B 2009-03-12 12:24:24 -0500 Report

I've had to calculate and write renal diets for my staff to follow several times in different work settings, and a renal diet is the worst diet, especially combined with diabetes. You have to control potassium, protein, phosphorus, and carbohydrates. So, what is there to eat? FATS. And what do we know about fats? In my case, I always had good luck having my staff following the diets I wrote if I told them WHY to follow the diets, so I then had to do extra research so I knew why these nutrients were not allowed. The rewards came back, though, when the nurses came down to the kitchen to say the patients' lab resports had improved remarkedly since being admitted to the hospital.

Knowing what I know is one reason I am most frightened about developing kidney disease though I do need the protein from the red meats for my assorted anemias. Life is a balancing game.

pennastud 2009-03-12 12:51:59 -0500 Report

i to have kidney problems but i have stabilised them to work decent with little meat and changing diabetic meds i was taking the renal diet i knew was 5 oz of protein, 4 servings of fruit and veggies and 6 cups or 12 servings of pasta by it self and 2 liters of liquid

rbergman 2009-03-11 21:39:45 -0500 Report

I've no help for you on this matter, but I would however, like to commend you for standing by your father through this and I commend him for taking these steps and not just giving up. I can't find where I had read it, but I could swear I had read something about early option medicare but for the life of me I can't remember where, but if I remember right certain medical conditions make qualifying earlier an option. Sorry I'm not more help, racking my brain but only getting a headache not the answer of where I read this.

Pauline B
Pauline B 2009-03-10 12:38:27 -0500 Report

I have to admire him for remaining employed and being active. One of my friends who became diabetic when he was 16, but becasue of his family situation could not tell anyone he was diabetic, and tried to control it himself by diet alone, was on perintoneal home dialysis. It required a very sterile situation, but was convenient. I think he had to undergos it more often than having dialysis at a regional center which for most people is about 3x a week. For more information try this web site:

MeiMei 2009-03-09 13:25:47 -0500 Report

I should think that now he must have dialysis he would be eligible for permanent disability (social security disability that is). Has he applied for that yet. If not look into it. A lot of these supplies can be obtained on SSD for low or no cost. Be aware that he may be declined at first, I was 3 three times then I got a good social security disability lawyer and got it. He paid for it all of his life so he should be able to get it. I don't consider myself a freeloader on it as I paid for it all of my life. And also be aware, he can still work, just not as much. I think you can only make $500/month gross while on SSD without paying taxes on income.

Mom and boys
Mom and boys 2009-03-10 11:24:54 -0500 Report

We went through this some years back with my father. At the time he was about 10 years older and already receiving SS. He was receiving some medical care through the VA. Once he was stablized and started dialysis the medical care for this was switched to medicare. Most of this was taken care of through a patient care corridnator.

lipsie 2009-03-09 00:26:51 -0500 Report

I truly am sorry to hear this news, my heart goes out to you and your family. I don't have any information to give for I don't know much about this but wanted to give you my best wishes. Good luck! Sheila

Next Discussion: food portions »