Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Information overload!!!

Well after almost 2 hours of chatting with the nurse about all the options, my head feels completely full to bursting!

To start off with the the nurse Debbie, talked briefly about why I was there, making sure I understood the reasons, etc. Then she did a slide show with information about all the different dialysis options available and what would happen with each option.

First she discussed the difference between Peritoneal Dialysis and Heamodialysis which I mentioned in my previous blog. Then we looked more in-depth about each one.

Peritoneal Dialysis

This is where a bag of solution which is put in to the peritoneal cavity via a tube, the solution attracts the water from my blood, bringing all the toxins with it. After a few hours, the solution is drained off and more goes in. I would need to have an operation to insert a tube to my abdomen, this will require an overnight stay in the hospital and about 2-3 weeks healing time. Once that is done I will have training on how to carry out the procedure, depending on which one I opt for.

Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis - CAPD

This is done 4 times a day, everyday and takes about 20-30 minutes each time. I will basically drain the fluid that is already inside, then once that is drained I will attach another bag full of solution and "fill myself back up". The other option is...


Automated Peritoneal Dialysis - APD

This is similar to above, but done during the night and by a machine. This is the option I think I am going to go for first. It seems like the less disruptive to my day to day life. If I do reach dialysis stage, then hopefully with this option I can carry on working. I have one of the nurses coming to my house on Friday 7th June to discuss this further and to ensure I have enough space in my house to accommodate all the equipment.

The only issue I may have with the PD is the fact I have a scar on my abdomen from my kidney operation when I was five, also I have internal scar tissue from my endometriosis. I will need to discuss this further with the actual surgeon.

With the Heamodialysis there is an option to have a home Heamodialysis machine, but this is something that I would not consider as it would mean me having to stick needles in myself!!

If I am unable to have PD then the next option is Heamodialysis, for this I would need to have a fistula made. This would involve an operation where they join a vein and main artery together, this would need to be done some months before actually needing it to give it time to fully heal. Because there is a chance I may need this in the future and the fact my veins are completely rubbish, I have been advised that blood tests ideally should be taken from my hand now because my arms are "special" and I need to preserve my veins.

All of the above is something that is not certain, I may, with any luck avoid having to have any form of dialysis depending on when and how I get a new kidney.

Kidney Transplant

The best option for me is to have a living relative donate a kidney, luckily for me I have my Mum and Dad, both willing to go for all the relevant tests to see whether they are a suitable match. I also have Mark and his step-Dad willing to go through the tests. This is the best option as the Kidney would be in the best condition.

If none of these are a suitable match for me, then there is the option of going in to the paired-donation scheme. Lastly, I would go on the waiting list.

On Monday 10th June I have an appointment with Dr Barton who is my renal consultant. He said he would be looking to do my referral to Guy's Hospital to have tests to make sure I am a suitable candidate for a kidney transplant. He will also be advising them I have four potential candidates to be living donors.

I am so scared of having someone I love go through such a massive ordeal just for me. But I am so scared of not getting a kidney and having to go through dialysis.

I have got so much information given to my by the nurse I feel I have brought a library home with me, but at least I know there are plans in place and now I feel a bit more relaxed and at ease, I now have contact with the nurses, so any questions or worries I have, I can give them a call and put my mind at rest.

So here we go, I have now been strapped in to the roller coaster, just getting ready to start the ride!


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