In brief – I was diagnosed with ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease) in June 2012 when my kidneys failed and I was hospitalized for a week. I had been seeing a nephrologist for several years at this point and knew that my kidney function was deteriorating, but it was still a shock and terrifying. It was decided to seriously prepare for Dialysis – so in September 2012 I had surgery to create a fistula in my left arm to create an access site for when Dialysis began. The mode of treatment that I selected, in consultation with my doctors and family, is for Home Hemodialysis. I like the freedom that home dialysis allows and doing it at home on my time would allow me to continue working (I thought). There are less dietary and fluid restrictions to this mode, however it is very time intensive – treatments 5 days per week at around 5-6 hours per day (an hour to set up/0.5 hours to hook up/3.5 hours of treatment/1.0 hours to take down and clean up). The time from this kidney failure in June 2012 and starting dialysis in May 2013 were some terrible times. I lost my appetite, felt terrible, no energy, couldn’t concentrate, and had trouble sleeping. I started dialysis training on May 2, 2013. Because the training to do home hemo is very intensive I took a medical short term leave from work for the summer with plans to return after completing the training which did not go as smooth as desired (more on that later). I began my home dialysis finally in July 2013 after training for two months and my wife/caregiver had one month of training.
I plan to have more entries about the challenges of dialysis and my training. But enough for now since I now have to set up and dialyze for today!