Monday, April 2, 2012

Surgery #3 and a week of Dialysis Training

Tuesday: On March 27th I went in for a scheduled outpatient (same day) surgery. This was just a minor procedure, they cut a thin slit in my abdomen to externalize the buried catheter that was placed two weeks prior. This process was really a breeze as they gave me local anesthesia, I fell asleep, stayed asleep during the entire procedure and woke up alert and ready to go home. This was very unlike the two surgeries earlier in the month with heavy anesthesia that left me groggy and ended up in two overnight hospital stays.

Wednesday: Wednesday my husband and I went to the Northwest Kidney Center Peritoneal Dialysis training center in downtown Seattle to start my training. The training lasted five hours and pretty much consisted of my sitting in a chair, listening to a nurse explain proper procedures on doing PD at home. There is quite a process including cleaning the prep area, washing hands, using hand sanitizer, making sure all windows are closed, removing any animals from the area and basically following every step precisely to avoid risk of infection. If I skip a step or make a mistake like touching the open catheter (which is a direct line to my stomache when open) I am at high risk of infection which can lead to having to switch to hemodialysis (depending on the severity of the infection).

Thursday: Thursday morning I received my first months worth of dialysis supplies. These were delivered by Baxter (a medical supply company) in a large Penske trunk and filled *two* pallets, consisting of *72* boxes. I am told that after the first delivery on average I will get about 30 boxes a month. We will see.... we spread the boxes from the first pallet around the house into every empty nook and crany we could find and the second pallet is sitting under the carport with a tarp covering it!
Thursdays training was more hands on and I actually ended up doing a full day worth of dialysis exchanges (four exchanges when done manually). The first few times I had the fluid in my abdomen I didn't feel anything other than just a full sensation. But the last three times it has been pretty uncomfortable for the first 30-60 minutes. The solution is causing my heartburn to go out of control so I have to start taking a second prilosec a day to combat that. Also the fluid can cause a feeling of a 'stitch' or pain in my side and sometimes I feel pain moving up through my back and then eventually it just dissipates... it almost feels like the pain starts low, moves up through my stomache, my back, my limbs and then is gone.

Friday: Training on Friday was once again from 11am to 4 pm. This time we met with the nurse first, went over a few things and then I met with the dietician. The dietician went over my lab work from what was drawn on Wednesday and told me that so far all my numbers are looking good. She also explained how when a patient is on Peritoneal dialysis, they have to increase their potassium and protein intake. This information was a little confusing at first because when someones kidneys are failing (prior to dialysis) you have to go on a low protein and low potassium diet. This is because the kidneys can not process the protein when they aren't functioning properly. Once on peritoneal dialysis (it is different with hemodialysis) the dextrose/dialysite strips protein from your body so you have to compensate with a high protein diet. This is ok with me. I am happy to be able to eat high protein again and loving eating my bananas and oranges!

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