Last Friday, one end of the tube was attached to my AV fistula and the other to my IJ access. But on Monday, the two ends where now using the AV fistula. Yehey! In time, the left IJ catheter will be removed and my fear of having another catheter-related infection will be gone for good. Yes! And I look forward to the day when bathing will not be as difficult as it is when I have this IJ catheter on.
But wait! For two days a week -- Monday and Thursday, I will have two big needles to contend with. Waaaah! Having needles sticking on your skin is quite painful especially that I am not using any anesthetic cream like EMLA. But I guess, that's really life. No pain. No gain. Sort of. Anyway, the pain everytime will be just at the time when the needle pierces the skin so I just have to bear it.
My AV fistula is on my dominant arm, the right arm. An attempt was made on the left side months ago but the blood vessels were just too small to make a fistula. Having the fistula on the right has its disadvantages. I can't lift heavy objects using my right hand and I can't turn on my right side when I sleep for fear of having my right arm bear my weight. During dialysis, I can't use the fingers of my right hand to text or navigate a touchscreen smartphone for four hours.
As I spend more days in the dialysis facility, I am now slowly getting new friends. "Classmates", that's what we call our "dialysismates". As dialysis patients, the dialysis nurses become our friends too. God bless them (dialysis nurses). They really now our part of the dialysis patients' lives. They have become part of my life too.
|Dialysis nurses of Asia Renal Care 1 (photo courtesy of Frances Adrienne Quijada)|
So now here is more or less my routine during dialysis:
- Have my weigh in
- Pray that the dialysis will go smoothly
- Interact with dialysis nurses
- Meet Mr. and Mrs. Needles
- Short nap
- Chat with classmates at times
- Check my smartphone once in a while using my left hand.
- Update the status of my Facebook account or upload an Instagram photo. (Count number of likes).
- Watch a movie on the TV screen (cable TV)
- Say goodbye to Mr. and Mrs. Needles
- Thank God for another shot at life
- Go to weighing scale and observe the weight loss
- Thank you to dialysis nurses
- Go home excited to see my wife and pet dog
During dialysis, there may be uncomfortable moments. The 4 hours duration just staying on your chair. The needles. The fixed position of your "dialysis arm". If you just concentrate on these, then dialysis will indeed become unpleasant. But dialysis is also an opportunity to savor a new life as your blood is cleansed from toxins. It is also an opportunity to make new friends and to thank God for the blessing of life and love.
Thank God for hemodialysis.