Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Getting my hands dirty - again!

There was a time, many months back, when I was doing the entire starting of my dialysis sessions myself. I would prepare the bicarb, prime the dialyzer and the lines and then start the session too. My tech would only do the closing in the morning.

I did this for a few months, I think. Then, I had a couple of incidents which unnerved me totally. My parents forbade me from starting the dialysis until the tech arrived. I was also quite shaken with these two incidents and I stopped doing this.

Its been like that for a long time now.

However, I realize that to be truly independent, I will need to start and close the sessions myself and handle any issues that may arise in between too. I was waiting for someone to hold a home hemo training program here but that has only remained a pipe dream. I don't blame anyone for that not happening. There are too few people interested in home hemo at this point in India.

I have started to slowly get back into the driver's seat as far as my dialysis is concerned. I started priming the lines and preparing the bicarb solution myself. I also started the session yesterday myself. These are the easy parts. The most tricky part is to handle any issues that might arise. For example, what do you do, if the Air Bubble Detector alarm goes on during dialysis, how do you handle falling conductivity, what do you do if you keep getting a Low Venous Pressure alarm? All these alarms have some reason and there are things you can do about it.

Closing is going to be another ball game altogether. I still haven't figured how to remove the needles with one hand. With my huge fistula, it is going to be one difficult thing to learn.

I really have no choice in the matter, however. I am confident that I will never be able to find a tech as good as Jayaram and once he's married, he will not be able to come to help with the dialysis. So, I will be pretty much on my own. A transplant, if it happens, will not be until at least a year and a half.

I am not complaining though. The independence is nice. I can start when I want. I can close when I want. I can take any day off. I can dialyze on Sundays if I choose to.

What would really help is some manuals on dialyzing on the Fresenius 4008S. I understand that there are similar manuals for the NxStage System One. It would be great if there were some documentation on dialyzing at home with a Fresenius 4008S too.

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