Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A question of dependence

I started nocturnal home hemo about three years back. I hired a dialysis tech who came home every night, started my treatment and then closed it in the morning. He did everything.

About a year and a half into home hemo, I started learning the ropes. I first learnt how to cannulate myself (putting in the needles), then started preparing the bicarbonate solution, then learnt how to prime the dialyser and the tubings and then eventually connecting the needles to the tubes and starting the treatment.

I was doing everything on my own for about 6 months. Then, I changed my job. The new office was very far from my house and I would be exhausted by the time I came back home in the evening. I was too tired to start my treatment. Around the same time, I had two incidents (this one and this one) while starting dialysis that scared me.

My family and other friends (including some people who left comments on this blog) really felt I shouldn't take chances. They felt I should let the tech come and start the treatment instead of me doing it myself.

On the one hand, I saw people in the US taking complete responsibility for their treatments. On the other hand, I realized that they have undergone a formal training program and they are also using a simpler machine meant for home use.

So, I relented. For the past six months, I have not been doing anything except cannulation and that too in the tech's presence.

Recently, however, the tech has been having some professional problems - politics at work - due to which he has been coming late. The last two days I was on the machine well after midnight. This is causing me to undergo shorter sessions. This is not likely to end too soon either.

I have two choices - start treatments myself again or wait for him to come and get shorter treatments.

I really like the independence that I get when I start treatments myself. I can start whenever I feel like. There are risks however. There is an hour of work involved. But I do not have to wait frustratingly for the tech to come. I must decide on this quickly.

3 comments:

Nicky said...

Hi, I found your blog from Samiir's blog and I see that you have an issue with home hemodialysis. I am not a medical professional - I know nothing about it, nor do I know the intricacies of dialysis.

But, just an idea, why don't you ask the tech person where he received his training from - it might not be a very long course - maybe a vocational one at that, so maybe you could try taking a short course in being a hemodialysis technician.

It might be a worthless suggestion, but my two cents to be of help.

Kamal Shah said...

Thanks Nicky for your suggestion! My tech learnt 'on the job'. He did not undergo any professional training.

But yes, there is a formal training program. But it is a two year full time diploma program which is not practical for me.

But I just learnt that Fresenius is coming up with a full fledged home hemo training program. So that will be ideal for people like me.

Thanks
Kamal

Nicky said...

Two year diploma?!!!! WTH?

It is offered as a 11 week diploma abroad.

India needs to change!