Thursday, December 13, 2012

Home dialyzors - don't let time bring complacence

It was about four years since I had started PD. My life was bliss. I was working full time, travelling with ease, gulping fluid like crazy, eating what I chose to. PD was working so well for me. I hadn't a care in the world.

I remember attending the Indian Society for Peritoneal Dialysis Conference that was being held in Hyderabad. Harish Natarajan, who headed Baxter India's Renal Division was a good friend. He managed to get me a pass to attend the conference. In the courtyard of the venue, Harish and I stood along with a few other executives of Baxter. Harish said to me in now what seems so ominous, "As you get more and more comfortable with PD, you tend to get a little complacent. Try not to do that. Be meticulous about sterile procedures and don't take any chances!"

He was so right. I had become complacent. I was taking chances. I would do two of my four exchanges at work. I did not even - hold your breath - wash my hands before those exchanges! It was a sure recipe for disaster.

Yes, the tsunami struck. Yes, I possibly got some infection. But I cannot deny that my taking chances with the sterile procedures most likely did contribute to my eventual loss of ability to do PD.

It happens with all. As you get more and more comfortable with the therapy, you start taking chances. This can prove to be disastrous. The therapy that gave me my life back, the therapy I loved so much, the therapy that gave me so much freedom was lost to me forever.

I regret it so much. Life would have been so much better with PD.

Those on home therapies always run this risk. Of complacence. On home hemo too, you run the risk of taking things for granted. My fistula got infected recently. I have tightened the screws after that episode. No chances at all.

Home dialysis gives us dialysis patients a shot at a normal life. The freedom is too precious to lose. We must never let anything under our control take it away from us.

2 comments:

Amit Singh said...

Hi Kamal,
I am a regular reader of your blog. My father is a CKD patient and has been advised for dialysis. his nephrologist said he can't have av fistula made on his arm as his vein is small and may "steal" and suggested to be on PD. But I am not sure whether PD is considered day care dialysis procedure and so, covered under group health insurance plan. though , In-Center hemodialysis is covered. As you had been on PD for long time, could you tell us whether the PD dialysis is covered or not.

Thanks,
Amit

Kamal D Shah said...

As far as I know PD is not covered by many insurance companies.