Mary Ann

Mary Ann

About Mary Ann

Treatment Type
Peritoneal Dialysis
Marital Status
Not at Home
Work Status
Poor Vision

Mary Ann had to make a choice. Her kidneys were failing as a result of glomerulonephritis, and she needed to start dialysis. She looked at her options—and chose continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis (CCPD).

Good for working

"Mostly, I chose PD because I worked," says Mary Ann. CCPD allowed Mary Ann to do her treatment at night, so her days were free to work full-time. "I thought about doing hemodialysis (HD) at the center," she says, "but the people looked so wiped out after their treatments. Plus, I didn't have the time to go in there three times a week. I've got work to do!" The HD needles were a factor, too. "I didn't want to deal with those," she says. For Mary Ann, CCPD made sense.

Easy to arrange

Mary Ann worked for the Post Office for 7 years on CCPD. "I hooked up to my Baxter HomeChoice™ cycler for 8 hours each night," she says, "and did one manual exchange at work." A human resources specialist, she got the okay to use a small office for her mid-day exchange. "There really wasn't much to it," says Mary Ann. "I just made sure things weren't dusty in there, and I always washed my hands and masked. Everyone at work got used to it." Even after she retired from the Post Office, Mary Ann still works. "I started a new career in financial services!" she says. "It gets me out of the house and talking to people." Since she does CCPD at night, Mary Ann is free to set up daytime meetings.

Period of adjustment

Both Mary Ann and her husband were trained to do PD. "I do it all on my own now," she says. "It's really simple once you learn how." Mary Ann remembers the training as thorough, and notes that her training nurse helped her get used to the cycler and her dietitian helped her make good food choices.

"There were a few rough spots at first," she admits, "and I had to get used to the feeling of having the fluid inside." Now, though, PD has become routine. "It's like a part of you," says Mary Ann. "I can tell when I need an extra exchange, and I know how to use the different solutions to take off more water." Mary Ann and her husband hardly even notice the night-time hum of the cycler any more.

Still a good choice

Mary Ann is still happy with her choice of CCPD. "I don't know why anyone wouldn't choose PD," she says. She thinks it is a choice that is easy to live with. Mary Ann feels good and finds that her diet and fluid limits are easy to manage. The only medicines she needs are vitamins and phosphate binders. And, best of all, she has the freedom to travel. "If you go on PD, you can do anything," she says. She's been on cruises, and done lots of U.S. travel. In September of 2004, she's planning a trip to Mexico.

Mary Ann likes her CCPD so well that she has decided NOT to put her name on the transplant list. Why? "What would be different?" she asks. "I'd still have to take medicines. The only thing I wouldn't have is the boxes of dialysate crowding my living room," she laughs.