Fear Of The Big D... Dialysis!
Last updated: August 2023
When I say the big 'D', a few things might come to mind: something totally irrelevant to kidney disease, something that can happen in a worse case scenario of chronic kidney disease, and then the only word I could possibly mean... DIALYSIS.
The fear of dialysis
The big D. To my fellow kidney disease warriors reading this article, I'm sure this word has been one of the most frightening things to think about when it comes to kidney failure. I know it is for me.
I was in a doctor's appointment one day and one of the doctors dropped the bombshell and asked me how I felt about potentially going on dialysis. The only thing I did was cry. The thought of dialysis can be terrifying. Knowing that you could eventually become dependent on a machine to keep you alive.
Dialysis is a hard pill to swallow. As of today, I am sitting at 12% kidney function and on the cusp of needing dialysis. It isn't something that I have mentally prepared for, and if anything, it is something that I avoid thinking about. It was never in my life plan to imagine myself being hooked up to a machine to survive! As I'm sure it wouldn't be for anyone else.
Hemodialysis is when you a needle gets place in your arm and you go into the hospital or treatment center regularly through out the week to get your blood cleaned for about 4-6 hours for one session (the amount of time in a hospital or treatment center depends on the patient).
The other option is peritoneal dialysis, which from my understanding, is when a catheter goes into your tummy and stays there through out the period of you needing dialysis. Then every night you hook yourself up to a machine for approximately 6 to 10 hours (again the exact timing will depending on the patient) and while you sleep, fluid enters your tummy, removes all the toxins from your body, and by morning you are good to proceed with your day.
Living a normal life on dialysis
Being 23 and still wanting to live my life, peritoneal dialysis feels like the most appropriate option for me. I would still be able to wake up to my 6:30am alarm for work, complete my 40 hour work week, go out to restaurants, and still go to the gym. Life can be sweet, right? I'm hoping this is the the way it is going to go anyway. I' will keep you updated!
In all seriousness though, how amazing is it that a machine can practically keep you alive? Your body has created these intricate filters to remove toxins and then comes along mankind and creates a temporary version of a kidney. Mind blowing if you ask me!!
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