A month after I started dialysis, I switched to Peritoneal Dialysis. It's a new adjustment because I did it myself everyday, multiple times a day. Hiccups happen and half way through May, my catheter decided to stop working. I had outpatient surgery on May 11th to replace the clogged peritoneal catheter. So, I was doing hemo-dialysis 3 times a week until my belly healed AGAIN.
This type of dialysis took up a lot of my time. I feel like all I did was dialyze and cook. I missed working. I missed being normal. Every week something new that popped up that I had to deal with. But I got it done and tried to stay positive. I also finally moved my dogs out of my condo in May. They really like their new home. I'm still in Westerville, OH. Just living with my mom now. Lot's of transitions in 2017.
I got a machine called a "Cycler" in June that allowed me to dialyze at night while sleeping. It does 4 exchanges of fluid over an 8 hour period. That made things easier. But until then, I was a slave to doing it manually EVERYDAY.
This is how the Cycler is set up while I sleep. The drain line goes to the toilet.
I was discharged from the hospital April 8th, 2017. I was in for 9 long days. I had surgery on April 6th to put a second dialysis port into my peritoneal cavity (my belly). Thanks to the drugs, the pain wasn’t too bad. Dialysis is something I had to do until I can get a kidney transplant. Its a long process to get a transplant, so it didn't happen over night. I had to take multiple tests with multiple doctors to make sure I’m relatively healthy enough to withstand a transplant. But if anyone could do this... I can. I did Hemo Dialysis 3 days a week lasting 4 hours at a time until my belly catheter healed. Then I planned on switching to Peritoneal Dialysis which will be better for my lifestyle in film. The only thing is I had to dialyze EVERY day. This type of dialysis gave me the freedom of being independent. I could do it off the grid incase I have no electricity. And it was less strain on my body.
20 days after I found out about my Kidney Failure, I was sitting in my 10th Dialysis session. One week later I was scheduled to switch from doing Hemo Dialysis to Peritoneal Dialysis. I started training to become my own nurse that week. It involves training with my nurse about how to stay sterile and to become a pro at my own dialysis treatments.
I still woke up some mornings asking myself if it's all a nightmare, but I began feeling more and more confident that I could do this too. Once the routine set in with my new dialysis treatment, I planned to start to go down transplant lane. I also hoped to be ready to start working again. This is my new journey and I was determined to make the best of it. Everyone around me was really supportive during this difficult time in my life. I couldn’t be more thankful for the people in my life.
2 Types of Dialysis
Conventional HEMO DIALYSIS is usually done three times per week, for about three to four hours for each treatment during which the patient's blood is drawn out through a tube at a rate of 200–400 mL/min. The blood is then pumped through the dialyzer, and then the processed blood is pumped back into the patient's bloodstream through another tube. During the treatment, the patient's entire blood volume (about 5000 cc) circulates through the machine every 15 minutes. (Top port)
PERITONEAL DIALYSIS is a type of dialysis that uses the peritoneum in a person's abdomen as the membrane through which fluid is pumped into and filters the blood while inside the body. With the Cycler machine dialysis lasts 8 hours every night. (Bottom port)
The transplant picture lies. The failing kidney stays in the body. Therefore I would have 3 totally kidneys. The reason is because taking the affected kidneys out could create an infection. Which recipients of a donor kidney have to take immune suppressants so the new kidney doesn't reject.