Day Four: Counting down my days on dialysis

20205682_10211227436855309_1687969479_oSo currently sitting on a couch (that’s me ^), on what could possibly be the second to last dialysis session I have before next week’s ‘big event’. So I’ve decided that before I go any further I have to tell you all a little bit about my dialysis machine. Apologies if this sounds like a lesson in biology and chemistry, I’ve made it as simple as I can.

WHY DO I NEED DIALYSIS?

A dialysis machine in simple terms replacing SOME of the functions of our kidneys for people who do not have very productive kidneys (such as myself).  The main role, among others, that the kidney performs is to clean the toxins in our blood and then excrete it in the form of  ‘urine’.  So for every sip of water or food we eat the body breaks it down and there’s a certain amount of bad waste products that stay in the blood.

So for someone without working kidneys we use a dialysis machine to clean those toxins out (as the majority of renal patients, therefore, do not pee as much if at all as everyone else).

TYPES OF DIALYSIS:

Peritoneal dialysis:

 This form of dialysis utilizes the biological process of osmosis- basically, I used to put in a bag of solution into my stomach using a tube and that solution would suck all the toxins out of my blood and then I would remove the fluid. This process was done about 6 or 7 times over 9 hours every single night. I did this all through high school and would hide a very obvious tube in my skirt or under my shirt. I did this for about 5 years till I got a very bad infection, which is highly likely with this form of dialysis. In the end, I missed my high school graduation, went into a morphine induced coma and spent some time in ICU.

Total time= 9 hours 7 days a week 365 days a year= No life + no ability to travel.

End result= I do not like this form of dialysis.

Hemodialysis:

20226493_10211227556338296_1898704677_o

Definitely a win in my books switching to this form. Hemodialysis takes my blood directly out of the body, runs it through a filter and cleans the toxins out. It is alot harsher on the body than the PD process, you wind up with a hangover after each session (but no actual hangover if you drink alcohol – it cleans it right out). It does, however, involve me sticking very large needles into my left arm three times a week a process that took me a year to learn and has increased my pain tolerance by 1000. The beauty of being in NZ is that young people like myself can learn how to run the machine at home, and become a self-care nurse and therefore giving me a sense of independence and freedom (but notas much as a transplant).

Total time= 4hours, 3 times a week= 12 hours a week  = Still time to study/have a life.

End result= Happier Denny but very ugly and sore left arm not to mention severe surgeries to maintain hemodialysis capabilities.

20049537_10211227556378297_324244828_o

There that was long enough. Please comment questions or anything I would love to pretend people read this! Follow dennydailyblog on instagram for latest photos and updates and be sure to read the next post for FAQ’s and the final steps before the big day.