At times it’s been very frightening, humbling but most of all inspirational.
I’m Mair and I’d like to take you on the journey of my kidney dialysis and in particular my home dialysis. At times it’s been very frightening, humbling but most of all inspirational. A roller coaster ride with lots of peaks and troughs so please feel free to come along and join me on this enlightening life-changing journey.
It all started back in February 2019 when after a short period of feeling very ill I was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with multi myeloma. The cancer attacked my kidneys which meant I would require dialysis. I was welcome to a completely new world and way of life. But one filled with kindness, care and dedication. You could not ask to find nicer nursing team who were prepared to go the extra mile.
I spent 6-months in hospital and came home just having to pop in once a week to have my neckline checked and bloods taken. To say it came as a shock is putting it mildly when I was told I was going to need dialysis on a regular basis for the rest of my life. It was like being hit by a train! Once again, those true professionals came to my rescue and threw me a lifeline. Home dialysis.
At the beginning I was very sceptical, and it all seemed like too much hassle and upheaval. After all, where would I put all the equipment required and how would we sort out the training. And how much would it cost us? I soon discovered that we didn’t need that much space it would all be installed free of charge and my lovely husband said he was prepared be trained up for using the Machine. So, my spare room wouldn’t become filled with junk after all, it now had a purpose
For us COVID-19 has had some positive effects. I was shielding, my husband didn’t go to work, and the unit very kindly agreed to train him on the machine. Our home dialysis nurse Melanie could not have been more supportive and encouraging.
The process to get here involved visits, from plumbers and electricians. Our first delivery of equipment was a bit overwhelming; you do need some space to store all the medical supplies.
Our first session was on a Tuesday, it didn’t go as smoothly as planned.
My Venus pressure decided to play up to a degree that it had not done before. With full support and encouragement from Mel, there was no panicking, it was a training opportunity.
My next session was the Friday morning before our weekend away. Mel kindly agreed to come along early so that we could get this out the way and go, that’s exactly what we did. Mel was with us for our next few sessions, but she would soon be on leave! Mel assured us that she was more than happy for us to go solo and there would always be someone at the end of the phone. So, solo it was and here we are. We’ve lived to tell the story.
The beauty of it all is I am able to change my dialysis days to suit our plans. In a period of just over 18months I went from knowing nothing about home dialysis, to being sat in the comfort of my own home with all the flexibility it offers. There is no more travelling backwards and forwards to the hospital. For me, the benefits outweigh the negatives.
I’ve been fortunate to be offered the services of the clinical psychologist. It has been invaluable for my sanity, a lifesaver, especially with the world being in such a state flux, COVID-19. If you have ever thought about calling on these services, don’t hold back take the bull by the horns and ask! The team could not be more supportive and encouraging.
If you are at the beginning of your home dialysis journey, enjoy the ride and all the freedom it will give you, happy travels.