Post 1563: Dougy wants to know…

Insatiable curiosity, of course, is what kitties are all about. 

I took the bandages off the  **dialysis fistula buttonholes, and they were unusually bloody this time. Dougy indicated he wanted to see them. (Top photo) So, being servant to this master, I pushed them toward Dougy.

“Mmmm! Bloooood!” Dougy is thrilled!


WARNING!! What follows are graphic descriptions and videos related to dialysis for end term kidney failure!

** “dialysis fistula buttonholes” – You have to source the blood for the dialysis machine somewhere, and these two little openings in the skin to the dialysis fistula are it.

After dialysis, the needles are removed, and I sit there for 20 minutes applying pressure so I don’t bleed out through one or the other buttonhole: a scab forms and you don’t bleed to death!

Sometimes, however, the scabs are insufficient to do the job, and continuing pressure is applied with tape and bandages with a pad that coagulates any fluid blood. That is the blood in these particular bandage pads. Usually, there’s barely a hint of blood.

“Buttonholes” are created by using the same holes in the skin and to the fistula till they become permanent. A dull needle, then, can be used to access the fistula. Otherwise, a sharp one has to be used.

I know this is more than you ever wanted to know about dialysis, but wait till you open this video! It shows the surgery where the artery and vein are fused together to create the dialysis fistula: 


Eek! Urp! Blap! Well, I know you are as curious as a kitty, so there you go! If you are ready for more, here’s how they hook you up to the dialysis machine:


Never mind! I don’t look either! LOL!




38 thoughts on “Post 1563: Dougy wants to know…

    • You are very right about that! I won’t share that much explicit detail in future, but it seemed like a good time to do a little educating about the issues people face when they have end term kidney disease.

  1. I am sure the Adorables supervise everything, making sure you are treated properly. As I am gathering that you are not diabetic, the treatment should be pretty effective, albeit horrendously bothersome.
    I admire your fortitude!

  2. I have a lot of respect for you, Doug. I watched the procedures and this is something no one would want but it makes life a bit easier should one require dialysis, I would imagine in time new fistulas must be found. This makes mt IV treatment seem like a walk in the park.


    • You are right, Jean. Though a fistula might work for a long time, sometimes they fail and have to be replaced. Mine is working fine now, with adequate blood flow. I hope it lasts forever!

      Though the surgery isn’t difficult to deal with, I presume I’d have to have a catheter inserted till the new fistula matured sufficiently for use, typically six or so weeks after the surgery. The catheter insertion is another surgery, and removal requires yet another visit to the surgeon.

  3. doodz….we iz troo lee sorree dad hasta go thur thiz N we iz troo lee sorree ta say; we had ta hurree N get two de bottom oh de post sew we could say R werdz….sew we like sorta speed reeded… with out reedin !! YIKEZ …and OW !!!!! 🙂 ♥♥

    • Pretty grim stuff. I tried to do some educating, showing the reality of how fistulas come into being and the process of being hooked onto the dialysis machine for anyone who could handle it!

  4. Are you sure you want to encourage Dougy to *like* human blood? :O

    On a more serious note, while I knew a little bit about dialysis, I had no idea one had to have a fistula surgically implanted. I hope you’re okay. Bleeding is never a good thing.

    • The fistula replaces the catheter, which is more prone to induce infections. It actually is much simpler to maintain than the catheter, which is a pain in the butt. You can’t get it wet, which means shower lovers like me have to resort to tub baths or sponge baths. The happiest day was the day my fistula wound was healed enough I could take showers again!

    • Not so bad when you consider people with diabetes (which I don’t have) have a much grimmer prognosis than I. Wegener’s granulomatosis can kill in weeks in untreated cases, but mine is treatable and can be brought into remission. (Some people with the disease have an active case perpetually. They can be made comfortable with infusions of a particular drug, but are never symptom free.) All that said, I have a positive attitude because others have it worse!

    • Thanks, GP! In the first instance, I am knocked out and unaware of anything happening. In my instance, though I was given a prescription for Oxycodone, I had zero post-surgery pain from the creation of the fistula, so never filled it. I didn’t even need Tylenol! I’m still amazed. While there is a little discomfort during the insertion of the cannulas (I called them needles above because that’s what the pointy ends are! LOL!) , it is more like pressure than pain. The main complication is managing the rest of my life around the thrice-weekly treatments, but it is do-able.

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