Dialysis Update For the Week of July 26 – August 1, 2020

Tuesday

Dialysis didn’t cause any problems during treatment even though the machine alarm kept going off every few minutes. My catheter was being a little finicky, but I got through therapy at 12:30 PM. A nurse put Cathflo in my catheter after treatment to break up the clotting (if any) to allow treatment to be successful. I had to recline, sit still, and be quiet.

Thursday

Dialysis went smoothly, and I got hooked up before 9 AM and out the door shortly after 12 PM. On a rare occasion, I get hooked up before 9:15 AM. The center seemed abuzz of patients, technicians, and nurses today. 

There is always something happening in the three pods, but today the day seemed smooth sailing for everyone. 

I found Thursday to be a good day. 

Now I need to do better with my fluid intake. I have been three to five kilos over my goal weight this week. That is a little disappointing, but I know I can do it. I have to do better. Yes, the summer months are warmer, and I get thirsty for more water. I can do this.

Saturday

Today was a perfect dialysis day for me. I am still four kilos over my goal weight. 

Yes, I am disappointed. With this being my last treatment for the week, I am determined to drink the allowed fluid of thirty-four ounces. I have to be very serious from this day forward. Maybe Gatorade will help me.

There is a technician I like. She is such a sweetheart. She is twenty-two years old, and she had trained for three months before she got the go-ahead to work with patients. She does a fantastic job. I do not mind being her guinea pig, LOL

Weekly Update

Saturday

I have a dialysis update for the week of July 13 – July 18, 2020. I was planning on posting an entry earlier while at dialysis, but the internet was down at the clinic today, Saturday. I couldn’t even get online to have Sabbath school and worship. Dialysis went smoothly all week long. I am glad to be home relaxing, listening to Kids Praise Too! on 3ABN. I missed the first half of New Perceptions on 3ABN but got the topic’s gist when I got home. Despite not being able to be online while at dialysis can be a downer, but I do what I can.

Today I was not in chair four. I was in chair two while JA was in chair one. E (male) was in chair four, and E (female) was in chair three. It was a nice change for treatment. Treatment today went smoothly, but before it went smoothly, we ran in a couple of snags with the machine reacting to my catheter. I don’t think it was my catheter or me. The nurse T (female) was having difficulty with my computer/machine and vowed not to touch it again during my treatment. I did not find that amusing. With treatment going smoothly today, I can now express how the procedure/treatment went on Tuesday and Thursday. Please forgive me for talking about today first. It was fresh on my mind, and I have time to explain.

Tuesday

Lately, my blood pressure has been going below 100/60. Today my BP went to 96/45. I get the feeling of being taken into another dimension. I was feeling like I was riding the waves of an ocean or sea. Technicians attended to my needs to get some fluid back into my system to put the BP above 100/60 again. I was then unhooked from the machine, got a weight before walking out of the clinic door, and left for the day.

Thursday

I am glad to be halfway through my weekly treatment at the dialysis center. My BP didn’t cause much of a problem today. My BP went low once, and they had to take care of low blood pressure again as they did on Tuesday. I plan to see Saturday be better.

Saturday Dialysis Day

For today, Saturday, July 11, 2020, dialysis came and went like clockwork.  We had a couple of bumps in the road today, but dialysis worked for the most part.  Out 3.2 kg of fluid being taken 3.14 kg of fluid out of me.  When the machine alarmed one time, it took a technician to restart the device again to dialyze me after five minutes.  Unacceptable!  I talked to LV, the nurse, about it.  I witnessed technicians around one patient when one of them could have come over to my machine to restart.  LV, the nurse agreed with me that waiting five minutes is not acceptable, and it will not happen again.  Technicians should pay attention to their patients in their pod.  I was not a happy patient.  The five minutes cost my fluid outtake, which was turned out to be .06 kg short.  Lisa said she would make that point clear to the technicians at a meeting.

I do have to admit that I am glad to have my weekend now. I don’t have treatment again until Tuesday. Now that summer is here and the weather will get hot, keeping my fluid intake at thirty-four ounces a day will be a little difficult. Anything over thirty-four ounces will be fluid intension in my body.

Week of June 23 – 27, 2020

I admit that I have not been keeping up with my dialysis updates like I first started. Why not wait until the week of treatment is over to give an update. I haven’t failed to talk about last week; I didn’t do it yet. Why not right now? Last week June 23, 25, and 27 went smoothly. Tuesday, June 30, dialysis was a little rough in starting. I had to have Cathflo put in for forty-five minutes before being hooked up to the dialyzer. Thursday, July 2, dialysis went very smoothly without a hitch. I am hoping Saturday goes well.

My Saturday at Dialysis

I I have come to share how dialysis is going. I’ve also changed when I share because not always am I able to get online after treatment. Why not share about my week of dialysis on Saturday instead of every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday? It seems more logical to me. I have twenty-three minutes left to dialyze today, and it’s going smoothly today. My BP is low at 102/50 at the moment. Have to keep an eye on it. As for dialysis all week, it has gone smoothly. My BP was low on Thursday, so they could only take out 2.6 kilograms of fluid. When I get dizzy, they will always put me on minimum — clean my blood only. I am at a minimum right now at 12:36 PM. More details later.

Two Weeks of Dialysis Treatment and Thoughts

I have not updated my life on dialysis for the past two weeks.  Please forgive me for not keeping up.  I came up with an idea to make this dialysis update the one that covers the days I missed.  The past two weeks of dialysis went smoothly, and I got out of the clinic by 1 PM each day.  Today, I got out by 12:30 PM.  My catheter has been holding up nicely at eleven months old.  I find this fantastic because catheters wear out eventually.  Clinics are beginning to reopen from the Coronavirus pandemic, so when time is set for me to have a mapping done for a fistula or graft, that appointment will be made.  The team that works with me depends on who is in all three pods.  All the techs and nurses are very good at what they do.  The clinic has traveling techs (3), and the rest of the techs and nurses are permanent.  Although we shouldn’t have favorites, I do have my favorites.  I still have a fear of strangers until I get to know them as they come and go.  CC, K, and A, from other states, love to continue their traveling and not stay in one spot too long like To, Tr, and T, and R for a year before leaving.  I do not know if T will be back even though I have heard she does want to return after the threat of the Coronavirus has cooled down.  The virus has yet to calm down in Rock County.  I am still playing it safe even though I get looks from neighbors.  Dialysis patients are having their temperatures checked before entering the clinic, and are to wear masks out in public until further notice.

The week before, my two-week hiatus of keeping up with my life on dialysis, I did have a week of dialysis that didn’t go smoothly.  Cathflo had to be used because my catheter was NOT working correctly.  During that week, I could tell that dialysis didn’t help me.  The center has days where patients have issues with their treatment.  Although dialysis treatment is best when using a fistula or graft, some patients like me, use a catheter for treatment.  Fistulas and grafts are, sometimes, tricky, whereas the catheter can be more tricky.  I am grateful that my catheter is working smoothly at this time, even with an occasional hiccup or two from time to time.  The past two weeks have proven to be excellent dialysis days also though my blood pressure was low three different times during the past two weeks.  What the techs and nurses do, when blood pressures read low, they put the machine on the minimum that allows your blood pressure to come back up as my blood continues to get cleaned of toxins, and the taking of fluid is at a standstill.

Today was a good, excellent dialysis day.  What happened afterward is something I have to mention in my diary.  I am glad that tomorrow is Sunday, and DKF is not here until Monday morning.  I need a break from people.  I am taking advantage of my day once Sunday arrives.

Not Good Today

Dialysis did not go well today. The machine had an error message that would not go away with the steps the techs and nurses were following. I was able to get 1.1 kg of fluid out of me before being untethered from the machine and home. I can feel the effects of not having dialysis not go very well. Since I have been home after 1 PM, I have had a dizzy spell for getting up too fast that lasted for more than ten minutes. I had to back up to my corner chair slowly to sit back down after taking three steps in my living room.

Sometimes Constructive Criticism is Necessary

I did speak to LV the nurse about SAM’s attitude this morning.  LV promised me she would talk to SAM discreetly when the time was right.  A nurse should act professionally at all times despite the chaos of what is happening around her or him.  On Tuesday, SAM’s attitude about a doctor’s handling my case with the catheter was not appropriate.  Her tone was snotty.   I understand that she was looking out for me and wanting me to be able to dialyze without any hitches, but catheters are finicky pieces of plastic tubing sometimes.  Talking about how a doctor handles a patient’s need can get a nurse in serious trouble if they are not careful.  Today was an excellent dialysis day.  My dialyzer did not have any warnings.  It stopped once because I had moved to lay back to rest my eyes.  The catheter was being finicky about me lying down.  In other words, the catheter was being finicky about my position.

Dialysis Update

Dialysis is back on track now. I saw Dr. A at the clinic this morning before being tethered to the machine/dialyzer. He did get my message on Friday regarding my dislike of how things were taken care of on Thursday. Yes, I was still feeling the pressure of everything that was going on at the clinic. Unprofessional at best given that half of the machines/dialyzers were not working. Today, I understand that it was right to have my catheter checked since it was not working for proper treatment. One of the nurses seemed to cop an attitude about how the IR doctor Dr. S. didn’t do specific tests to check if the catheter needed to be removed and have a new one put in, and she wanted a new one put in. I will be speaking to LV the nurse tomorrow about this one nurse’s attitude. I believe doctors know what they are doing. My catheter did not need was not needing any replacement at this time.

Now, please understand that I understand this one nurse’s feelings at this time. The catheter was giving us all trouble on Thursday, and it needed to have an inspection. I’ve had this catheter almost ten months now. The only part of the nurse I do not understand is the attitude she had towards the doctor who does the procedures/catheter placements. A nurse should never judge or question a doctor’s decision unless it puts the patient in a dangerous position of some sort or even death. I am not happy with this nurse’s attitude whatsoever. I believe nurses are to be professional at all times. Yes, an opinion can come about from time to time, giving the circumstances, and yes, we did have seven machines go down last week that brought out chaos and mayhem. Doctors, nurses, and technicians took the time to get all the devices a test to get them all up and running as smoothly as possible with the machines being problematic. When a machine goes down, they have to pull them out and look at them to see where the problem lies. Dr. A told me that there were bacteria in the machines, and they needed to dialysis team had to take time to service the devices to optimal use. The idea of bacteria in the dialyzers is frightening. As far as for a patient’s safety, I can see that it can be frustrating.

As far as dialysis went today, for me, it went well. I am back in chair number four. I was able to dialyze without a hitch at 3.5 kilos. Because I couldn’t dialyze properly last week, I reached 94.6. That is the highest coming-in weight I haven’t seen in a year! I will get back to 88.5 kg soon. Dr. A believes it will be by Saturday. I feel different about it.

A Better Day

I will be frank and sincere about today, but first, this week at the dialysis center has been very crazy because half of the dialyzers are down.  Today was one of those days where the clinic had five people at a time dialyzing.  I was in chair #12 today.  Another patient was in chair #3, chair #1, chair #4, and chair #10.  Time on the dialyzer was shortened to 2 1/2 hours so that all of the patients could come in respectfully at different times of the day until closing for the weekend.  I was in at 7:45 AM – 10:30 AM.  They didn’t want me in until. 11:45 AM, but that time doesn’t work well with my schedule.

Even though the dialysis center had a crazy week, my time at the center cannot be changed with twenty-four notice because my worker DKF has other clients to work with throughout the week, and most of the time, my schedule cannot be changed. I understand that things happen for a reason, but sometimes as a team, we have to work with how plans go for others.  My schedule is set in stone as far as my personals cares are concerned.

I hope that the unusable machines get fixed soon so that the dialysis center can get back to a regular schedule, and all the patients can get back to their regular schedule/time.  It is serving, it causes great anxiety for me, that my schedule gets thrown off.