Yeah, there are needles involved. Two of them, one for arterial blood and the other for venous.
There’s the machine that takes the blood, cleanses it, then returns it back to the patient. The process is painless unless you get cramps.
Mostly, you can hit the heat button on the recliner, enjoy the warmth of that and the blanket they put over you. Sleep if you wish or…
…turn on the television that is available at each station. I usually watch the television.
There is that time, though…
…when your four hours are almost up! That’s when the clock stands still! Some people have longer times than others, and some have shorter times than others. Four hours seems to be pretty much typical.
When I turn the key and open the door at home, Andy comes running to greet me.
My kalanchoe plant is blooming right on schedule! It gives me a winter show every year even though all I do for it is water it when I notice leaves are falling off some of the stems. It is my kind of greenery!
I worked for years for a dialysis provider and know what you’re going through. It’s definitely not for sissies and we send healing thoughts of comfort.
I’ve had a fairly eventless experience with it. Of course, there was the time I had a major bleed out when my fistula ruptured!
Sadly, that happens. Here’s hoping it doesn’t happen again. 🤞🏻
It’s on my right arm this time, so summoning help by phone would be easier since I’d be able to type the numbers with my right hand while pressing on the fistula with my left.
This, I came to know from you.
Get well soon, Sir.
One doesn’t get well from this disease process but thank you for your thoughtfulness!
I am sure it goes by slow. I am glad you have the tv and a heated chair to be more comfortable.
The worst part is he last few minutes because there are no television programs other than news that help pass the time. I usually end up turning off the tv for the last few minutes.
I hope you had an easy treatment!
My small disappearing veins would make that process a nightmare. I can’t move a muscle during platelet donation and have to stay awake to ensure I don’t move.
Actually, it went exceptionally well. Thanks! I have that issue with veins, too, but when they prepare for creating the fistula, they identify potential veins and arteries that will work using ultrasound. Amazingly enough, they are in there, deep and available!
How lovely Andy waiting for you and greeting you. Your winter flowers are beautiful dear Doug, But be sure we are greeting you too, especially me, from a far distance… Thank you, have a nice sleep and have a nice new day, Love, nia
Thanks! All went well and Andy and I are well-rested.
I wondered exactly how that works. If my Kidneys fail again, I will probably need that,as I will be on the Transplant Waiting List.
Can you and the other Patients talk to each other or play games while hooked up?
I missed this way back on the first of February…. Anyway, there is some talking before everything starts, but patients generally are watching the television or dozing during the session. We talk with each other during sessions when there is a need and a nurse practitioner, nutritionist, and nephrologist make regular visits to review issues with each of us. There is some distance between the recliners plus a dialysis machine, so there is no game playing. It isn’t all as grim as it sounds. We patients and the nurses become friends soon enough, sharing updates on our children, grandchildren and pets. Another thing we do is share lunch plans and restaurant “reviews” for after we are through for the day.
Thanks. I am hoping not to have to wait that long or even get to that point, before meeting people.
Being greeting at the door by a kitty is a most wonderful thing!
That it is, Lavinia!
It would be so fun to see Andy running for the door to greet you! Have a great day Doug and Andy! ☺️
It’s good that there are ways to stay preoccupied during the dialysis sessions, Doug. And it’s good to come home to a kitty! And that’s a beautiful plant you have there! Beautiful cat too, of course!
Thanks, Leah! It would be very tedious not to have some way to occupy one’s time for four hours. Ugh!
You handle it the process very well. Hopefully, your description will ease some nerves for the people about to start it.
That, actually, was my hope, GP. When the subject comes up, I often get these “Oh poor Doug” looks and comments that suggest I must suffer terrible discomfort. Not so! The worst of it is the time spent tied to the machine. It does limit your movement. On the other hand I have seen a brochure for cruise ship tours for people on dialysis! I can’t imagine what that would be like but there you go. Attitude, a good attitude helps.
It certainly does!!
I guess it is like giving blood only far longer.
Yeah, only the blood is returned in a closed circuit arrangement created by surgically grafting an artery to a vein. If you aren’t squeamish, here’s some further detail: https://www.yalemedicine.org/conditions/preparing-dialysis-av-fistula
I’ve been fortunate in that none of the surgical procedures caused me discomfort or pain afterwards, with one exception: the anesthesia during the first fistula surgery was too light. When the surgeon cut, the effect was like a bad cat scratch. I was unable to speak or communicate my discomfort. In future, when a new fistula had to be created, I mentioned that to the anesthesiologist my earlier pain experience. He took that into account, and I had no discomfort. In addition to this surgery, you have to have a catheter inserted: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialysis_catheter
That is no fun but better than the alternative.
Absolutely! I’d be dead in a week or so without the treatment.
Wow. Thanks for sharing Doug. Grateful for modern medicine!
There is curiosity about the process. I want people to know the worst part of it, most times, is having to spend four hours on a machine three times a week. It isn’t a “oh poor Doug!” thing.
So beautiful to see how Andy is waiting to greet you! 4 hours… and needles involved… I hope that you could watch something interesting on tv!
Yes, it’s a nice homecoming that way! The television service used offers a wide variety of quality programming. At least, there are a variety that get me through the process.
we hope you two boys can get a relaxing time for today after all…
That we did!
That he runs to meet you is a comforting thought
I agree! It’s nice to know you are missed, if only because you know how to open the kitty food can!
Four hours! Doug, I hope they provide some premium channels for your entertainment. I would go loopy if I had to watch, say, four hours of the Food Channel or whatever else my dentist has playing on her waiting room TV. (And I actually like cooking shows, except for the ones where they feature awful replications of fast food dishes. Which seem to be on the increase, for the ironic hipster foodie types.) I am glad dialysis is mostly painless for you. But I’m sure it’s a lot more fun to come home and play with Andy.
They are premium channels and quite a few I like. Yeah, I’d rather be at home, but the staff and fellow patients are all in it together, so to speak, and we are a little family.