Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dialysis - are you prepared?

Ady wrote:I do not want to scare you, but even the path to dialysis is not easy. He needs a fistula (connecting a vein with an artery; it starts low near the hand of the left arm, to be moved up higher if this one is dead, and upper again, and then the right arm and then the leg and...). I had no idea that I will have to see this Dr (specialist in blood vessel surgery) many times. It's an outpatient surgery, but it's a surgery with full anesthesia. The problem is that it takes 3 to 4 months for the fistula to "mature" for them to be able to use it. Which means, they may have to put a caterer in the hart artery, (another surgery), if his kidney is bad. If the kidney is bad, the potassium gets very high and puts the heart at risk. The hart caterer is very prone to infections, no shower allowed, so you will have to wash his hair in the kitchen sink, as I did, or send him to the barber shop. No fun at all. The way he sleeps is the toxins buildup. He should do less insulin too. I know it's nothing you can do or control, I am just talking aloud, because I know you like to know what to expect. I am there with you and hope he will go to see a kidney specialist soon. A GP is not enough.

Ady, thanks for starting this conversation. I have researched as much as I can so that I am prepared for what he will have to go through. But it's sort of like everything else. Each person is going to have an individual reaction......and besides, can you ever really prepare for anything in life?

You are so right - I can't control it. I can't prevent it. Maybe at best I can brace myself for it! That - and surround myself with good friends, strong family, and be ready to ask for help if I need it.

As for a kidney specialist - he has NEVER been to an endo to this day. That is beyond me. But again, I can't control that either. It's between him and his health insurance. They send him to a GP, who will send him to a rhuematologist (sp?) and a couple others, but never to an endocronoligist yet.

And he will be going to the barber.....I don't think he could possibly lean over the sink to have me wash his hair. Yesterday, his back was so bad, he got down of the floor and had his feet up on the sofa and packed himself with pillows. I don't know if it helped....or if it was just a different position. I do think that if the pain gets bad enough, he will go to the doctor again.

In the meantime, I have art projects to do! Thank goodness!


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