Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Home Dialysis

I know this is Wednesday and many of you are axiously awaiting the results of our visit to Dr Sheehan this afternoon.
But first a report from our meeting yesterday with the home dialysis staff.

It looks like we are good candidates for home dialysis! What this means is that starting mid-July we will be going to home dialysis class five days a week for three weeks.
We will be trained on how to use this fantastic machine (see picture) and how to handle any malfunctions. The machine weighs about 70 pounds and it transportable (yes, that means would could vacation with it!). The filtering supplies are all in self-contained sets that will be mailed to us at home.

Home dialysis means "dialysizing" six days a week for two hours (versus our current scheduled of driving to Madison three times a week for four-hour sessons). We need a room to be set aside for the machine and a comfortable chair and take reasonable germ precautions.

We learned something new. As soon as we are certified we can begin home dialysis even if Sabine doesn't have her arm fistula in; that is, we can use the tunnel catheter in her neck for dialysis until the fistula "button" is surgically implanted and heals over. The benefits of having a fistula are great: less chance of infection, and swimming!

So we are waiting for Sabine's surgery to be completed sometime this summer and getting trained on this machine. The staff has been wonderful. They not only have a 24/7 tech support number for us, but one of the nurses are always on-call if we should need help at home.