Stayin’ alive

A kidney dialysis/transplant diary

‘Tis a puzzlement

Monday’s baptism into the M/W/F treatment schedule was full of rough waters.

My new time is 2 p.m. I arrived at about 1:40. Put on, I thought, should be a snap because I was not going to let them use my arm access.  Saturday’s treatment had left both access spots swollen, bruised and hurting. The excess blood had settled near the crook of my elbow, far too close to the fistula site for me. Techs and nurses all agreed.

So, we used my Dracula keg tapper for both arterial and venous connections. The machine started popping off almost immediately. They adjusted; it beeped. They adjusted; it beeped. They adjusted; it beeped. You get the picture.

They reversed the lines. It beeped; they adjusted. Deja vu all over again. “Did you get the right amount of heparin,” I asked. I wondered because 2 or 3 people had been involved in putting me on. Things were a bit hectic. The tech I asked just brushed the question aside, sure that the right amount of heparin (now a bolus of 15,000 units) had been administered.

The machine kept beeping. They rinsed me back or flushed me. Still running rough when, guess what, they discovered I’d only received a portion of the heparin. They administered the rest, but even that didn’t clear up the problems.

Gabe finally said he thought we were going to have to unhook me all together, put some med in the catheter ports and let it work for a half hour then hook me back up for treatment. That did finally do the trick but it meant my treatment was 61/2 hours instead of 5. Meanwhile my pain killers were wearing off and my legs decided to give me a couple hours of burning zingers, mostly in my ankles and shins.

I kept wincing, the techs and nurses kept flinching because they thought they were hurting me, they kept apologizing, I kept explaining they hadn’t done anything to hurt me …

It was a long, weary treatment.

Dr. V upped my coumadin to 7.5 mg 3 days a week and 5 the other days because my protime was out of whack. “I assume I should take the 7.5 the night before a treatment,” I asked. “She didn’t really say,” Lisa said, “but that would seem like the logical thing to do.” 

No word on the biopsy, though. Dr. V wants to see the results of this Wednesday’s labs before we do anything more. The new antibiotic may be helping some, but I’ve done half the course now and still having pain, swelling and trouble sleeping. So now, of course, I’m having trouble sleeping then feeling drowsy the next day from the sleeping pill.

There is a positive today: I ordered groceries online yesterday and they will be delivered this afternoon. That’s a relief.


May 6, 2008 - Posted by | diabetes, dialysis, fistula, health, kidney, renal diet, renal recipes, transplant, weight loss

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