Sunday, January 3, 2010

The 2010 Freedom Cruise begins today

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!

5 comments:

Naveen said...

Being an avid cruiser myself and knowing the kind of things you typically enjoy while on vacation, I am sure this will remain as one of your most memorable vacations.. Ofcourse you will have to drag yourself across the ocean(s) to take the cruise, but if you can work out the modalities, you will be in for some pleasant surprises ... :)

We will be taking our 3rd cruise (not Valor though) along with my 3yr old in a couple of weeks and am eagerly looking forward ..

Naveen

Thrinath J Chakravarthy said...

"WOW"...is wat i felt while reading the post half thru it.

With this portable machine - NxStage, you can pretty much do all those listed in your http://www.kamaldshah.com/2009/12/had-i-been-given-some-more-time-to-live.html

And yes, u need a proper planning to make this happen and i guess this new machine wud cost u lot of bucks.

And btw kamal, dont forget to invite me to ur trip to Switzerland to visit the Alps :)

Happy New Year!!

Sidharth Sethi said...

Sure, this is a great work by Nxstage. We need to organise similar programs in India for the kids with renal diseases.

Recently posted on Freedom Cruise here.
http://pediatric-nephrology.com/daily-updates/2009/12/30/33-freedomcruise.html

Nice to read Bill's Blog and his cruising!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let your readers know that I was one of those cruisers and it was truly a turning point in my dialysis venture. Anything is possible…. We all had a wonderful time and everything went perfect for all of us. We made new friends, seen wonderful sights and for a moment, got away from this thing called dialysis. I think for anyone wanting to travel, going on a cruise may be the best way to start out. Having your machine set up and ready for you to come back to your room, do dialysis and wake up in a new place to explore really take away that tied down feeling you get when you think –Travel + Dialysis. I recommend this to everyone. Don’t wait for us to organize another one, if you can find someone else to go with (dialysis patient) Just Do It.

Dan Larrabee

Kamal D Shah said...

Thanks Dan for your comment! It is really great to know that you enjoyed the cruise. The NxStage truly offers complete freedom to dialyzors. I wonder when it will become available in India!

Thanks
Kamal