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.

Dialysis Update

I was not happy how dialysis went yesterday. I believe the nurses and technicians working on my behalf did not like how dialysis went for me. Because I could not dialyze properly, I have had discomfort the rest of Tuesday and most of the day today. I had mentioned that I had a dizzy spell that lasted almost fifteen minutes, and I had two dizzy spells yesterday. I was alone from 1:45 PM to 7 AM until DKF arrived to take care of me until 10:30 AM. I had to do a lot for myself while feeling dialysis didn’t do its job the best I could.

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.

Update

I had gotten a call from our dietitian at the dialysis center. She is such a sweetheart. She wanted me to know that we are resuming our regular schedule. I will be there at 8:30 -8:45 AM to be tethered to the machine/dialyzer by 9:15 AM. Also, I was reminded to go to door #4 instead of door #1 we have been instructed to do so for the past three weeks. The lung/sleep center is reopening their doors to patients now that they have the go ahead from governing officials involved with the Coronavirus pandemic. It has been a trying time for many businesses and people. Knowing that there is a coming to an end to the pandemic in the future, I as a human being with a higer risk of getting sick, I am still going to take things very seriously from this day forward — ecomonically as well. It can be a scary world beyond the safety of the home that’s for sure.

Update

I have learned that things happen for a reason. Since my last rant about how dialysis had gone all week last week, I am feeling a lot better. Even though my body felt like it was going through some war — I understand that things happen in a way we do not expect. Since dialysis went fairly well yesterday, i do not expect anything different next week except get back on schedule with everyone involved with the center and the patients coming and going. With the Coronavirus epidemic, it has its drawbacks with everyone somewhere — even me. I have shared my burdens about the pandemic several days ago, and I know and understand that it is not going to be same after the stay-home policy is lifted.

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.

Not Happy

I have spoken to LV the nurse today about yesterday’s happenings at the clinic and hospital visit that turned out to be one of those unnecessary visits. Dr. S looked at my catheter and found it still in working order even though the nurses and technicians could not get my catheter working for them. IR being Interventional Radiology is a place I’ve gotten to know in the past year because I have been there three times now. I felt a little overwhelmed yesterday, and today the feeling is beginning to dissipate a little. I wanted LV to know that I was displeased.