Transplant Can’t Happen Soon Enough


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So this weekend we are in for another weekend of wedding stuff!  On Saturday we are meeting Kate in Providence to go look at wedding dresses.  Joining us is Carolyn (who is flying in from Ithaca) and two of Kate’s bridesmaids.  We also plan to visit the hotel we are reserving for rooms for the wedding weekend and explore some of the myriad of details associated with this event.  Meg and I are excited to see both our daughters.   Carolyn is flying in to Boston since we couldn’t get her a flight to Providence and she has to get up at 4:00 in the morning to make the flight but she is young and can sleep on the plane.  On top of all this it is our 29th Wedding Anniversary on Sunday!  29 years ago we pledged better or worse etc… and little did we know that would mean planning for a kidney transplant.  Other than a nice celebratory dinner on Saturday night we don’t have any major plans for the anniversary.  Major celebration will happen only after the transplant.

Medical wise – last week I had one day where I had to abort a treatment due to my inability to tap into a vein for my venus hole (upper of my two button holes).  That was last Thursday.  On Friday, Saturday and Sunday I was able to hit the vein although a couple of those days took multiple attempts.  On Tuesday of this week I had an appointment to have my fistula looked at and surgery performed to give it a fistula-gram, which is where they scan the access and then if necessary put a balloon up the vein and inflate it to move the vein.  I have had about 6 of these in the past as part of routine maintenance on my access and buttonholes.  At the start they give my access a shot of an anesthetic that numbs my access a little to prevent the pain.  Usually it fades fairly soon after the procedure.  This time it is still numb two days later.  After the treatment I can understand and when I put my needles in on Tuesday, everything went well except I had no feeling in my access and felt nothing of the needles going in – which is very different from normal.  Wednesday was a day off treatment.  It was still numb this morning (Thursday) so I am calling the surgeon’s office that performed the fistula-gram.

I wrote the above post on Thursday and then Thursday night had a horrible treatment.

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I had a horrible treatment last night (Thursday).  I put in my first needle with very little trouble, and even the second needle when in fairly easily but it was not a good stick.  I am not really sure what happened but my venus needle pressure was so high (around 800 when normal pressure is around 200) that the machine kept shutting down and it was now full of my blood.  I called the Davita On Call nurse and unfortunately got a guy that is a Peritoneal Dialysis Nurse and knows nothing about Home Hemo – but he said he would call my Training nurse.  I then called the NextStage 24 hour help desk and their solution involved throwing out the cartridge and starting over.  This would force a blood loss of the approx 190 cc of blood that is in the cartridge.  Then my training nurse called and she was able to talk us thru the problem.  We hooked up everything to the saline bags and just re-circulated that thru the machine so the blood wouldn’t clot.  Meanwhile I took out the venus needle and re-needled my Venus Hole (upper hole).  Got a very good stick into my vein this time and was able to restart the treatment.  It added about an hour and a half to the time and my Blood Pressure went sky-high during that time, but was back to normal by the end of treatment.  I did have some blood that was diluted by saline that went into me which is not a problem except I am trying like crazy to lose weight and this just adds weight.  I finally finished everything and was cleaning up during the Jimmy Fallon monologue!

Special thanks to my care giver Meg and Wanda my training nurse.  I just had to sit there since I had two needles in my arm and can’t move.  Meg had to do most of the work except when I was putting the needle in my access.  Wanda knew just what to do once we explained what was happening and she patiently talked  us thru the procedure.  Now we have trained for these types of procedures but that was a year and a half ago and if you don’t have to use them, which we haven’t, you forget things.  If I was in the center for dialysis the nurse just deals with everything but we still prefer the freedom that home hemo allows us.

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