Monday, January 25, 2010


As pictures can tell a thousand words...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thinking sun and sand

We continue our thrice-weekly visits to the dialysis center in Madison in preparation for developing a working access point in Sabine's arm (eliminating the catheter in her neck) for our home dialysis.

Veins must be tricky things -- the staff here at the center has had troubling finding and accessing the vein connection in Sabine's arm which has resulted in multiple "sticks" with large gauge needles!

However, we are seeing some progress and when we return from our Florida trip (which begins EARLY next Wednesday morning) in the first week in February, I will be learning to take over as the primary "sticker" which will eventually turn into two points (buttonholes) that can be accessed by a blunt needle and, hopefully, less pain and anxiety producing.

We are looking forward to seeing both kids and grandkids in Florida. We will be outfitting our slide-in camper again as a mobile dialysis station to serve us on the road!

Again, this is has been a stable time for the cancer since the transplant last spring. We will see Dr Sheehan and review her tests when we get back to Wisconsin. So far, so good.

Love and blessings from both of us!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Still Poking Around

We are still going to the dialysis center in Madison to establish a "buttonhole" in Sabine's arm. It was snowing this morning as we ventured out from our farm and drove to Madison. Sabine has been a little anxious during this process which has gone on for a couple of months now because there has been difficulty in finding the vein/fistula in her arm. After multiple "pokes" with a 15 gauge needle in your arm you get a little fidgety!

Last week we had to go into surgery to do a little "roto rooter" in her arm to unclog a blockage (stenosis). Earlier this week the dialysis center did a test of the flow in her arm and the numbers were very good -- great flow and no blood "looping."

Because of the problem staff nurses were having finding her fistula and making a connection, I pressed for a clinical meeting (getting the staff together to do some problem solving and find the best way to get a connection without having to make multiple "tries"). Earlier this week, information was exchanged among the dialysis staff and a "best practice" was developed and shared. So, this morning the first attempts were successful and all went well (halleluyah!).

Things are now looking up and we still plan on leaving for two weeks in Florida at the end of this month. (I will be using her tunnel catheter will we are on the road just to be sure we won't run into vein problems).

We are both relaxing after an intense, yet joyful, Christmas visit by kids and cousins. More snow is on the way. Our snow shoes stand at the ready!!