Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Kidney Dialysis

Do you know anyone whose had kidney failure or is facing the frequent routine of kidney dialysis? I do...my father was faced with his kidney's failing on him a few years ago, and having to make a decision to go for dialysis or not. Yes, it was a choice he had to make. At first, the thoughts of all that was involved in it, left him reeling with indecisiveness and thinking it just wasn't worth it. The staff who provided us with information made sure he was aware that it was his choice to made, and made sure he was well informed about all the things that would happen no matter which choice he did made. Eventually he chose to go the route of having dialysis. This meant starting with a lot of blood work & tests, receiving injections that had to be given at home for awhile by myself, and having an access line put in to his chest surgically. On the same day they did this they started dialysis. When you first start off, you need to be at a main dialysis hospital where there are trained doctor's available all of the time to help when there are problems. This meant we had to drive for an hour in order to get to one of these places, and then while my father underwent treatment, I had 4 hours to fill in away from home. Thankfully it was close to a friends home, as well as some big shopping center's. We made that trip 3 days a week, back and forth for 3 long months. I wasn't crazy about the drive, but my father was finding the drive too much as he would be so exhausted after a treatment, and it bothered him to be on the road amongst all the traffic, bad weather, and road conditions as winter started, and meal times were also affected. For me, it meant having to make arrangements for my children, and my own schedule, and at times when my own health was bad, having to bother friends for help. Eventually, after he was stable in his treatment, he was moved to a local hospital only 5 minutes from home, and thus the journey continuted. He is still faced with making the choice of having his access line changed to the arm, but that too has it's good and bad points, so he hasn't decided on that one. On the days he has dialysis, his whole schedule is disrupted, he is exhausted, and often feeling chilled right thro' and unable to warm up. The rest of the day is often spent drifing in and out of sleep. With the dialysis there is always a risk of bleeding, dizzyness, pressure being affected, the possibility of stroke or coma....and I'm sure other symptoms of which I am not even aware of. It is an evasive proceedure that many face in order to give them some quality of life after their kidneys fail.
If you're interested in learning more about this, check out the following sites.

Here's just a few of the many sites that can be found on the internet.
http://www.kidneycircle.com/index.html or/

Kidney dialysis happens when a person's kidney's quit functioning properly. If they aren't working the person's body begins to fill up with toxins which send poison's thro' the body, and will eventually end up destroying the rest of their organs, and eventually causing death. Dialysis treatments give people the opportunity to live longer, and to continue on with their lives.
Kidney dialysis is a life saving proceedure for many people, and a most necessary one. For most, dialysis means having to get to a place where they do dialysis treatments, and spending on the average of 4 hours, 3 days a week in dialysis. If you don't live near a place where dialysis can be done, many people are having to drive for several hours back and forth to places that do it...or in some cases, patients are forced to remain in places far from their homes in order to receive treatment. It is a very time consuming, and evasive thing to have to go thro' and after that time receiving it, most patients find the rest of their day a write off as it leaves them feeling totally drained & tired.
Before they receive dialysis, patients are shown some of the different proceedures & options available to them. There are also choices to be made in deciding how they want to receive treatments,getting onto a good diet to help you, finding the right vascular access area which is used to provide the dialysis treatment for the patient, and preparing for all of these things. It's not an easy thing for these patients to have to go thro'. Their are risks & side effects to all of this, and making a committment to being there to receive treatment. Often patients have to rely on others to provide transportation, and time to help them. For some, there is the option of home units, which definitely aren't for everyone, for others there is the hope of being put on a list for a kidney transplant. This too in not without risk, and problems, but for the younger patient, is a definite advantage over the frequent treks to the hospital for dialysis. It is something that requires a challenge to both patients, and their families, and also to the many doctor's & nurses who work in this field.
If you know someone in your family who is having to go thro' this process, then reach out and offer your help & support as they go thro' this. It's a challenge that these people have to contend with daily. If you can help in some way, why not do so?


The Reverend said...

I watched my buddy suffer as he watched his mother slowly deplete from Diabetes. she was on dyalasis and was on it for a good portion of her life, unfortunately the outcome was not good and I had to witness the aftermath of a loving son without his mother.

The Reverend said...

sorry I posted four times somethings wrong with the server