My preface for tonight is that I don’t particularly enjoy writing about dialysis. But I’m here now, so I’d rather get my thoughts out now, rather than when I’m back home tomorrow night.

I was told that quiet hours were between 10pm and 6am. But I am likely to hear Mr. X yakking on the phone well past 11. I’m not naming the dialysis company anymore. If they’re still reading this, fine. But there’s no use complaining to them anymore. I am just $ to them. Others represent more $$$. And the center gets good ratings from corporate. There’s no incentive for them to address my issues in a meaningful manner. And they know I’m pretty much stuck here unless I want to make a decision that adversely impacts my health.

I’ve been considering peritoneal dialysis over the past few weeks. You basically get a straw stuck in your stomach like you’re a Tropicana orange. (It’s a permanent catheter.) You get a pouch surgically inserted into your peritoneal cavity. The dialysis occurs via the transfer of waste into the fluid-filled pouch. You hook your straw up to a cycler machine every night while you sleep to suck out the junk and suck into fresh solution. Or you do the fluid replacements four times a day, if you’re “on the go” as I clearly am. (If I did it, I’d probably opt for the overnight.)

Pro: no dialysis center; home at night; home at 6am

Con: super-sized Capri Sun embedded in my stomach, with a permanent straw sticking out

Con: fluid put into the Capri Sun pack has a bunch of glucose; this can easily cause weight gain; don’t need anymore of that

Con: Capri Sun might not even fit, since I have two kidneys the size of very chubby newborns. I might need to have one of the kidneys removed first. Then whatever kidney function I have drops by 50%. (Pro: 20 years of pain goes away.)

Con: can’t lift heavy items without risking bad stuff

Con: super good hygiene needed; or else catheter site gets infected; or peritoneal cavity gets infected; me keep something sterile?

Con: one room in the house devoted to a month’s worth of big boxes of fluids

I am oversimplifying a lot, and, in general, probably not providing the most accurate description of peritoneal dialysis out there. But that’s not my intention.

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4 thoughts on “

  1. Hi Toastie,

    While there are some cons to PD, I successfully did PD for 6 years and if I could I would return to it in a second but now medically cannot. I worked full time when on PD and even did a manual exchange daily at my job in my office on my lunch hour. I was able to travel pretty easily; it just required arranging shipment of the fluid in advance to the hotel. I really liked having the kind of control over my treatment that PD gave me. I also found that I did not gain weight from it but I did limit somewhat my carbohydrate intake to accommodate the glucose intake from the fluid.

    Best wishes always,
    Miriam

  2. One other thing you might check out is the blog below. It is the travelogue of a French Canadian who is on PD and traveling on a boat by himself up the Pacific Coast.

    Here’s the blog link:

    Jean Louis Clemendot (Newest posts are in French at the bottom of the page, copy and paste into Google Translate)

    If the link doesn’t work, then go to http://www.billpeckham.com and you can find it on the Tracked Blog list.

    Miriam

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