D & d #5

DIabetes and Dialysis #5

Welcome to the fifth installment of my blog as I start down the road towards starting dialysis. It helps me so much that I can write this and have others read about what I am going through.

I went for a tour of the dialysis center that I will be using once the dialysis starts. I really don't know whether this has helped me or not. I will tell you that I still would recommend it to anyone who has to go down this path. If nothing else it gives you the opportunity to meet those that will be taking care of you. It also is another opportunity to talk to these people and ask questions.

When I was diagnosed with T2 it was in the doctors office. A diet was setup and I was given a set of do's and don'ts. When the diet and exercise was not controlling my BG any longer that was noticed by my doctor and we started oral medication. In 1998 when I went on insulin threapy is was my idea and it was in my doctors office. I have never had a hospital stay caused strictly by my diabetes. I found out on my tour of the dialysis center that I will be required to start my treatment with a 3-4 day stay in the hospital. To be honest that really pissed me off.

I always thought that I would just go to the dialysis center for that first treatment and just let it rip. The chance of a hospital stay never even entered my mind. LIke most of us I loath hospitals. I used to visit folks in the hospital for my church in NJ. I never liked doing that but I felt I was lead to do it. I do not even like walking in the front door. Now I learn that I am in for a 4 day stay. Damn.

Each one of us is different. Some like to get the bad news a little at a time. I am one of those people who likes it all right now. I want to do this whole internal processing thing ONCE. Not over and over again.

My surgery to place my fistula is healing nicely. I have an alergy to adheasives used on tapes and bandaides and I was starting to itch really bad. I also had some of the most beautiful colors of purple on my arm that went right along with the remanants of that yellow stuff they put all over you in the hospital when they do surgery to prevent infection. Some of the people I work with thought I was just showing my support for LSU football in the most personal way possible. Well there is humor in all of this after all.

Once I got that darned tape off the purple started to disappear and now my arm is back to its normal color. Albeit except for the area right around the incision which is still a little pinkish.

When I took the tour of the dialysis center they asked if I was doing my post surgery exercises. What exercises? I guess I was supposed to be squeezing some kind of ball to help this thing heal and mature for use. Now why didn't some one tell me that after the surgery. So I told them no and they presented me with this little egg shaped squeezy thing that I am supposed to squeeze on. The damned thing has what looks like three renditions of Marge Simpson. One with orange hair and the other two with different shades of purple. Ummm...excuse me but like I'm a dude. Can I get something in a John Wayne motiff? Well there is humor in all of this after all. Or at least my wife seems to think so. I personally and undecided. I am sure she will give me my opinion in the next couple of days.

I have an appoitment with my kidney doctor (nephrologist) this coming Tuesday so we shall see where the labs come out. I actually think I am getting to the point of "let's just get this crap started".

About time for the hockey playoff game to start so I need to finish this up. Thanks to all of you on Tu that read this blog. You help and support me in ways you could never realize.

Hey Sparky. You know I am with you each day as you go down this path. Your posts are a great source of information to others who might be going through the same thing. Your friend. Reed

oh absolutely Sparky, you know, you are probably helping someone and you don't even know about it. We have many people who come to TuDiabetes and do what is called "lurking" - that is, they read posts and never join, never comment. Your courage in writing this blog is really amazing. I think I'd want to curl up and hide. I don't think the average person could do this, but then, you're way above average.

Sparky, what a journey. I'm honored that you are sharing it with us, especially as I know nothing of the process.

Any idea when you start? Can you talk with the hospital dietician to make sure you get appropriate food, and at least have that piece set beforehand?

Big hugs to you both!

Hey, I am Sparky's wife Sharon and we are into this roller coaster together. I am like him, I dislike getting these little bit of more unpleasant information on dialysis little at a time. It just gets me worrying more all over again. It was the manager at the dialysis center that told us he would be hospitalised for the first time of dialysis in case of there being reactions and other problems popping up. Makes sense since transporting a patient and the delays could make stuff go from bad to way worse quickly. Just wish the nephrologist had told us this when he explained the dialysis to us. I will go with him tomorrow just to see what other news he has to give us. It looks like they do put off starting dialysis as long as they can because they know its unpleasant. As long as there are "no symptoms" which we still haven't been told what those are, it can be put off till the fistula heals. Jon did find out that high blood pressure is one of them, but not from the dr. Symptoms seem to be mostly gradual so that you don't realise how sick you are. They have not given us any idea yet when he starts jrtpup. They say 12 to 14 weeks till the fistula has healed. I assume there will be a dietician talking to us at some pt. We have heard they do that when you are first going to be going to the dialysis center. I've been doing research on my own and following the meals, what to cut out, what he can eat, at this point look impossible for us to follow. I don't know how I can do this, feel very discouraged. Trying to find humor in this so we don't get real down, but it is hard right now. I will do my damnbedist to help him though!

Oh Sparky - I missed your last post and am sorry for being late with a reply.
It is absolutely disheartening that they "forgot" to tell you some things. I clearly remember when I had cataract surgery, they forgot to tell me that there was a possibility of a "secondary cataract" forming, which could happen quickly and mess with my vision. Well, it happened to me the Friday night of a long weekend and I was terrified I was going blind. When I went in that Tuesday, they just zapped it once with a special laser and it instantly cleared.
As you now, I started dialysis when I was already in the hospital. I think they have to see how your body will react to a couple of sessions. Sometimes people's bp can go whacky. And yes, it would have been good to know this ahead of time Idiots.
Did the facility seem nice? I have only been to the one so don't now how they differ. Mine had a circle of recliners around a nurse's station. You have to dialyize with your feet up (don't now why). There was one nurse on duty to handle emergencies and do paperwork. The rest were techs who hoo you up to the machine and check on everyone at intervals. Everything is computerized, including bp readings. They also enter your weight into the computer to see how much fluid to remove. Each station had its own cable tv with a dvd player. My shift was sort of chatty and this guy was always telling tall tales and then asking me to lend him money. It was indeed it own little community
I was given a little rubber kidney to squeeze. Go figure. It's good that it is maturing nicely.
When you go to the nephro, tell him that you want to speak to a nutritionist - immediately. Your dear sweet wife is under enough stress without the need to figure our your dietary needs on her own. Not necessary.

Hi Kathy, I got to talk to the dietician today. Today was the first time she came to the center to talk to Jon. I expected someone like other dieticians I have talked to, bossy, preachy,whatever, but this lady was nice and very understanding. She talked to Jon and then I drove over to see her. Good thing I talked to her because she never got it, though Jon told her over and over, that he has diabetes 2. Diet not a whole lot different. Its quite restrictive. I didn't hear anything from her I haven't already found out on my own research except that he can have tangerines. His labs are real good so far except he needs some iron and more Epogen to help his hematicrit.Fluid restrictions aren't that severe yet. We've been told this center doesn't allow visits, but the dietician asked me if I wanted to see Jon while I was there. Of course! I got to visit him and the nephrologist came to see him too while I was there. So I got to ask him and the technicians any questions I had. I hope my visit made the long 4 hrs in the chair better for my brokenpole.It kind of helped the stress Kathy. I expected a whole lot worse from this dietician.