When life knocks you down, calmly get back up, smile, and say. "You hit like a bitch."


The downfalls of dialysis.

Apart from the obvious, my ball and chain, there are some really awful drawbacks to the whole renal failure/dialysis deal. For one, I have terribly red eyes. I’m sure people look at me an think I’m a serious pothead. It used to phase me, now, not so much. My eyes are also ver dry and scratchy. So now I use Optive drops on a daily basis to alleviate the scratchiness.

Joint pain is another drawback. Now I know joint pain is directly related to too much phosphates and calcium in the blood. And those chemicals are directly related to diet. Which is in turn another drawback. My diet is so restricted, can’t eat a boatload of different foods. Really irritating actually. Like chocolate, although I’m not a huge chocolate fan, I do want it sometimes. And I must admit, I do cheat. Probably more than I should, but there you go. So I have painful joints sometimes, not always though, the pain is never worth it. But even though there these major drawbacks, I look back at where I came from. Anorexic, bruised, nausea, listless and just plain ill. And I look at myself now and I am amazed. I actually survived. Not everyone does. I am blessed.

My first week on dialysis. Cheesy smile is optional!

I was yellow! I can’t believe it when I look at this photo. This was my first week on heamodialysis. I was still battling with nausea here, but it got better every week.  I did heamo 3x a week. Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Some people go Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. The first shift is 6:00 in the morning. I did the first shif, I just wanted to get dialysis over with so that I could finish at 10:00 get home and crash. The next shift is 11:00 and the last shift started at 16:00. I cannot imagine having to work all day then dialyse in the afternoon. That must be tough.

I used to take a bag into hospital with me. It contained something to drink, a snack, earplugs, a blanket and a book. It was a very long 4 hours every other day. And I got through my days by reading books. I got through quite a few books doing heamodialysis. I loved reading. Most people slept. I find it hard to sleep in the evenings, sleeping during the day? Not gonna happen. We had a particularly irritating patient who used to speak at the top of his voice for 4 hours. Non stop. My Sister eventually gave me earplugs to drown this individual out.

I’m so glad I don’t do heamo anymore. I am so much happier on peritoneal dialysis.

Not yellow anymore!

If I look at myself now, and compare the photos, I can’t believe how much better I feel.

Me on the heamodialysis machine. I can be so cheesy!

This was my life, 3 times a week for 4 hours. I absolutely hated dialysis, nothing got me down more than this. It felt like such a waste of time. I know it isn’t a waste of time, it saved my life, but I hated it.

a shot of the dialysis unit, with my favourite staff member Kedi.

We weren’t allowed to show their faces, not sure why. But I loved Kedi, she was amazing.

A better view of the dialysis unit.

An close-up picture of my artificial kidney.

This was the artifcial kidney that was used. It acts as a filter for the blood that was filtering through.

My permcath. (permanent catheter)

A permcath is a long pipe with 2 ports that plug into your heart. I do have a fistula, but because I wasn’t going to do heamodialysis for years I refused to use my fistula, I’m so pissed off that I have one to begin with. It’s a major pain in the ass. My percath gave me absolutely no trouble. The nurses kept trying to force me to use my fistula. But they were met by a brick wall. I was not going to budge.

My fistula.

My fistula is in my left arm. Right in the bend. The vascular surgeon took an artery and a vein and did something with it. Not really sure what. But it causes a bubble of sorts. It purrs like a cat 24/7. It’s so loud at night it wakes me up. And I can feel it. It’s quite gross if you touch it. I’m not allowed to carry heavy packets in my left hand. I have to look after it really well, because if it pops, I am in very big trouble.

My body has been through a lot. Dialysis is very hard on a body. It’s a bit like chemo. My hair started to fall out during heamo, the same happened to me during chemo. My blood pressure was always low during heamo, same with chemo. I struggled with nausea during heamo, and definitely struggled with nausea during chemo. It was a very difficult time for me. And my body has been changed and damaged with all the surgeries and procedures I’ve had. I look forward to owning my body again.

I found this blog: http://www.DevonTexas.wordpress.com I found his blog very informative about dialysis. Interesting read.

Determination, patience and courage are the only things needed to improve any situation.