I didn't get a blog post in yesterday so that breaks my running record of seven posts in a row. But, that doesn't matter the point is to just keep up the blog as much as I can and to be sure to post updates about the transplant process.
I really love how this blog is working out and now I'm up to 16 (known) followers. There's probably over 50 people who actually read this blog (if not more) and that makes me feel very popular and special. :-)
Today at dialysis went fairly well and my blood pressure was staying down a bit so I have not been having such a nasty headache today like I have been lately. I did have to get up earlier than normal because on Thursdays I come in early to get my peritoneal dialysis site cleaned and flushed.
For those of you that don't know the differences between hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis, I wish I could give you all of my stuff to look at because it's way to complicated for me to explain in a blog post. I tried the other day and it just looked like a bunch of medical talk that only people familiar with would understand. I can explain it to you in person with no problem but seeing as how that is not an option right now, I'm just going to explain the basic differences.
Hemodialysis is done with a machine in a dialysis center and the way that is done is through a catheter that was placed in my left shoulder area right near my heart. The blood is pulled out through one tube, cycles through the machine, and goes back into me through another tube. I have no idea if that makes any sense or not but that's the best I can explain it over this blog.
Peritoneal dialysis (PD) can be done almost anywhere you have a clean environment. The PD catheter is placed in my stomach and the fluid for dialyzing goes into my peritoneal cavity. Dialysis occurs through a process of osmosis, ultra-filtration and diffusion using the peritoneal membrane.
These two paragraph is from my PD training manual and makes a lot more sense than I am in explaining things.
"In order for dialysis to take place, there must be a membrane with tiny holes (pores) to filter waste products from the blood. This membrane must be semi-permeable, meaning waste products can pass through but the substances that your body needs will not."
"Peritoneal dialysis uses the peritoneal membrane as an "artificial kidney." This membrane --- also called the peritoneum --- is very thin and lines the abdominal cavity covers most of the internal organs. The peritoneum acts as the dialyzing membrane."
Some people don't want to do PD because it requires some extensive training and the storage of quite a few boxes but it also means a lot more freedom and that, to me, makes PD worth any inconvenience it might be. Everything is all set for me to get the training, and I've actually just got my first shipment of dialysis fluid and equipment needed to start. The only thing was I was supposed to get my training on the 9th... and it's the 14th.
PD requires a special nurse that I will be getting my training from and then I'll have to meet with her once a month to make sure I'm doing everything right. The only problem is that some levels are too low and I haven't been tolerating hemodialysis very well that my doctor wants to wait on PD until I'm stronger. Excuse my bluntness for a moment but that ain't happening! I'm in chronic kidney failure and that's NOT going to get better. Hemodialysis is very hard on my body and it's NOT going to get any easier so the sooner I can make the switch to PD (which is a lot gentler on my body) the better.
So... all that to say, I would appreciate your prayers as we try to get the week in of training for PD at home on the 30th. That's a little farther away than I would like but it's how it's got to be unless I can get it pushed up sooner. I'm a quick learner and I'm not the stereo-typical young person that is living in denial and not taking responsibility for their health. I would love to stay at home and dialyze here, and I think PD is gonna help me feel better than hemo is because it's a different type of dialysis.
To end with a little laugh, there was a dialysis patient smoking a cigarette when I was leaving dialysis on Tuesday and I ranted about him to my mom. (I mean, DUH! Seriously, dude, you have a fistula in your arm, you're on dialysis, you're kidneys have failed... and you're SMOKING!? And you wonder why you're sick!?) Apparently, I wasn't the only one talking about him and so, one of the dialysis nurses comes by and hands me a notice from the management. The dialysis center is a smoke-free building and you cannot be smoking in or around the area because second-hand smoke bothers some of the people on dialysis.
For those of us that weren't smokers, we got a little laugh. I pretended to be upset and told the man next to me that they were taking all our fun away. I hope the man that I saw smoking (right outside the front door, I might add) got the memo. Smoking and drinking aren't good for perfectly healthy people but it's especially not good if you're chronically ill, like most people are in that building, but some people refuse to give it up even if it will end up killing them. And they say Christianity is a crutch...
Ok, so now that I just totally messed that up trying to end this on a happy note, have a good day and don't smoke or drink because it's bad for you. :-)