The Carnival Valor
Ten dialyzors today begin a Western Caribbean cruise called 'The 2010 Freedom Cruise'. They sail from Miami today and return on the 10th. The most interesting part of this cruise is that they will be dialyzing on board! They will be using the NxStage System One portable home dialysis machine. This machine has really given many dialyzors the freedom to travel.
Home dialysis is possible even without portable machines; you could the big machines like the Fresenius 4008S, which I use and other similar machines. However, travel remains an issue as you simply cannot lug these machines around. So, I can only travel to places that have dialysis units. Also, even in these places, I cannot undergo dialysis daily at night like I do at home on a regular basis. Most dialysis units do not have facilities for nocturnal dialysis. They have not heard of dialysis for more than 5 hours!
With a portable machine like the one from NxStage, this is no longer a problem since you can dialyze pretty much anywhere. In your hotel room. In a friend or relative's house. On a ship as these people are going to be doing for the next week. And even in a boat as Bill Peckham did a few months back.
This cruise is a great inspiration for me. It shows that you can lead a normal life even on dialysis. For the last few weeks I have been a little down wondering about things like life expectancy. I do realize that these thoughts pull me down and make me depressed. This cruise tells me that I can do a lot more than I thought I could. Its only a question of planning properly.
Here's wishing all the dialyzors aboard the Carnival Valor a great cruise! Have a blast folks!