- Treatment Type
- Peritoneal Dialysis
- Marital Status
- Not at Home
- Work Status
- Poor Vision
9:30 pm. CLICK - Turn on the dialysis machine. Wash hands with antibacterial soap. RIP RIP - Tear open the two outer bag covers and check integrity of the inner six-liter dialysis bags. RIP - Open the cassette and tube bag. SNAP SNAP SNAP SNAP SNAP SNAP - Close six tube clamps. Press GO, BEEP - To Start. Load the cassette and place the drain line. BEEP - Press GO for self test.
9:40 pm. Face mask on. Connect the bags, SNAP SNAP SNAP - Open three clamps. Press GO, BEEP - for priming. Take a shower, clean the catheter exit site and get ready for bed.
10:00 pm. Face mask on. Uncap catheter and connect to the machine. Press GO and go to bed. Read for an hour and a half or watch TV. Sleep for 8 hours while the machine does its job: draining the peritoneal cavity, refilling it with fresh fluid, and holding for an hour and one half, and then repeating the process three times. Wake up about 7:30 am when the machine is at END OF THERAPY.
7:30 am. Face mask on, antibacterial hand wipe, close clamps, SNAP SNAP SNAP. Disconnect catheter from the machine line and cap it off. Record data: blood pressure, temperature and fluid amounts. Remove cassette, tubing, the empty bags, and place it all in the waste basket. CLICK - Turn off the machine. Put two new bags on the machine to be ready for the next night session.
7:40 am. Get dressed eat breakfast and I am ready for the new day.
Sound complicated? It was, for a few days when I started PD. Now after having done this well over one thousand times it is all automatic and I don't even have to think about it. The antiseptic steps are built into my brain and I do not make mistakes. But, I always remember I must do this each day, 7 days a week, until I die or get a kidney transplant. I do this all on my own and the total extra time each day is about 25 minutes—not bad for good quality, life-saving treatment. I feel fine. No pain and lots of gain!
I have always been a "loner" and like to do everything myself. Thus PD is the best dialysis option for me. Also the diet and fluid limits are much less onerous than with hemodialysis. To help with the diet for kidney patients, my wife and I developed a computer program 5 years ago that we offer for no cost, and it is widely used.
Besides the 25 minutes a day set-up time, I go to the clinic for blood tests and an exam once a month. Being retired, I don't have to work. But shortly after starting PD, I did do some substitute teaching to fill in for a faculty member, and had no problems with work.
Travel is also pretty simple. I have flown across the country four times and driven across once carrying enough boxes of fluids for the trip in our Jeep. Long trips just require having the PD fluid shipped to my destination, which is easy to arrange.
When the need for dialysis is drawing near it is a very stressful time for a patient. Good advice, information, and help are needed. With strong support from my nephrologist and nursing staff, it was easy for me to choose and start PD. A few years into dialysis, we moved to a new city and dialysis center. I still do my own PD, which is the way I like it. But, it is great to be supported by the high quality, friendly, and caring staff at the new clinic. I appreciate how well off I am when on my clinic visits I see many patients in wheelchairs unloading from the health transportation system for their HD sessions.
It is time for me to go outside and do some trimming and weed whacking to get ready for flower planting. Then, I'll do some reading and prepare and eat my supper, and watch TV.
CLICK - Turn on the machine and start all over again!