A Day in the Life of a Dialysis Treatment
I hope you all have had a great weekend. I had a decent weekend, too.
I know that I haven't been up to par on my blogging, but hey, I am only human. And today's entry is going to bring you into my lovely little world of a day at dialysis. This will also include something that came to me yesterday.
They called me on Friday afternoon asking me if I would like to come in early on Saturday morning for dialysis, Naturally, I said yes. For me, an ideal day of dialysis means that I get to go in early and still be able to do things with my kids in the afternoon.This meant that I got to go in at 6:30 am Saturday morning. And when I get there and they are ready for me, I head in to get weighed and my temperature's taken. They don't measure the patients in pounds, though. We get measured in kilograms.
Once the weighing and the temperature taking is done, they let me know which chair I am in for the day. I head that way to put my stuff down and get the items out that I will use for the morning (or afternoon): my reading book, my earphones, a snack (or lunch), a drink (water or approved drink), and a little bit of hard candy. You are probably wondering, "Why the candy?" The hard candy is for if I am getting iron for the day. When they give us iron through the line, we get an almond taste in our mouths. The candy takes this taste and overpowers it. After I set everything down, I go and either sanitize my hands and my fistula spot or wash them with soap and water. Either one is good. And this is also something that should be done every time any one of us wash our hands. Finally, they get our standing blood pressure and then get the standing blood pressure before they are even able to attach us to the dialysis machine with two needles that have tubes for the blood to flow through. We are on these for various times: three, three and a half, four, or four and a half hours. Afterwards, before we can get off, they have to make sure the same applies as before: blood pressure.
The nurses have to know when we start cramping. Otherwise, it can get worse. This brings up what happened Saturday to me. They were trying to pull what extra fluid I had on. But sometimes they try and it ends up making us have cramps. I have to tell you that my day had to end about fifteen minutes early due to my getting really bad cramps. And when I say really bad cramps, I mean it. For me, my cramps started in my toes. They then head to my feet, and eventually up to my lower calves. When this happens, they end up having to come over and be a pressing board for our feet and legs. We have to press against their legs. They also have to start us on a saline flush to help get rid of the cramps. Our cramps can get really, really bad until the pain goes away. My cramps always seems to stay around for a couple of days in my back calves, though.
But, all in all, I am one of the few that really enjoy the time that I spend with the dialysis center workers. I have made friends with fellow patients and the workers. If I had to, I would spend all day with them. That is how much these people mean to me. I also feel that these people are not appreciated enough due to many factors, These people grow attached to us and then when some die, it gets emotional for them.
As I always say, I hope every one of you realize what your family and friends have to go through just to be able to live one day at a time on dialysis. and if you know someone that is on dialysis, please make sure to let them know that you are thinking about them and offer to volunteer to help them in any way possible. You really don't know when they could go. And I will also say that if they miss several treatments, they could drown. If you would like to know how that is possible, come back for my next blog. I will let you know then.
Ciao for now.