Friday, July 13, 2012

Hemodialysis

As my new kidney got rejected, I have to undergo dialysis, which according to Wikipedia is a process for removing waste and excess water from the blood, and is used primarily to provide an artificial replacement for lost kidney function in people with renal failure.

I was advised to do it 3x a week for the rest of my life or until I undergo another transplant. I am doing it for a year now.

The process is simple enough. The machine is primed. Tubes and a dialyser is placed on it. A nurse injects you with 2 big needles connected to tubes which will then be connected to the machine. One tube removes dirty blood from your body, gets circulated and cleaned by the dialyser; and it goes back as cleaner blood to the other tube. The process takes 4 hours.

Does it hurt? Aside from the needle pricks, the process itself should not hurt. If it does, you have to tell your nurse.

Don't you get bored? Luckily, the dialysis center I am in has free wifi access so I can go online anytime. We are also provided with cable tv.

What other problems will you encounter? There's having low or high blood pressure; itchiness; painful cramps; feeling too cold or too hot.

How can you avoid these? Eat a hearty meal before dialysis, meals should be accdg to prescribed diet by your doctor/nutritionist (mainly no meat, no dairy, no legumes); control fluid intake; bring candies so you can raise your sugar level in case you need to; and take your medicines regularly.

How will you feel after dialysis? As you have been sitting for more than 4 hours, you'll feel a need to stretch. Standing should be done slowly because you might feel dizzy and fall. After a few hours, you'll feel hungry and better.

Can you live a normal life with hemodialysis? Sure! A lot of patients still work. Some of them have been on hemodialysis for more than 10 years now.

How do you choose the right dialysis center? I go for friendly and efficient staff first, then cleanliness and facilities. Of course, you also have to think of its affordability. Most centers offer Philhealth packages. Some accept PCSO guarantees.

These are some of the aspects that describe hemodialysis in the Philippines. I'll tackle the hemodialysis patient's diet tomorrow.

Thanks for reading! :)

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