a few more points about dialysis

The waiting room

dialysis waiting room

I spend a few minutes sometimes waiting here prior to a run. luckily the chairs are not that comfortable or I might fall back to sleep.

The evil scale

Before and after each dialysis run we weigh in.  This is the moment of truth when evidence is shown if we kept to our restricted diet and limited fluid intake.

The walk of shame is the title for the walk back to weigh yourself a second time for those mornings when you are not wide awake enough to remember your weight, so the nurse can mark it on your chart. They then make some calculations about the amount of fluid to remove.  Depending on your body weight, this can be up to 3 kg.

Every thirty minutes or sometimes more often, your blood pressure is taken by the dialysis machine.  You wear the blood pressure cuff throughout the run.

The Fistula in Action

fistula in action

The two needles hurt a little, hell, I think they hurt a lot. but once they are in there is no discomfort. The real trick is to keep your arm practically dead still for four hours. A little zen helps. If you don’t have zen the nurses offer to tape your arm down to the cloth covered pillow. After the run and they pull the needles, you must hold gauze over the two holes for about ten minutes, otherwise you leak some blood.

This shot was taken right after needles were inserted and lines connected, but no blood is yet flowing from the left or upper line which is the venal point, the lower one closer to my hand is the arterial flow and it has started.


Author: William J. Gibson

62 year old - writer/photographer Canadian, survived open heart surgery, received kidney transplant, sometimes dour, sometimes amusing, over six feet in height, severely follicle challemged

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