Transplant Athlete
Sunday, May 04, 2008
  Treatment Modalities

So, there's been some changes to the world of Dialysis, since I last considered it. There are two basic types, but many variations.
  • PD - Peritoneal Dialysis. There are many flavors, but basically, they sew a catheter into your abdomen and during treatment fluid is pumped into the peritoneal cavity. The wastes concentrated in the blood leach through the peritoneum into the fluid which doesn't have any of the wastes in it. When the concentration of the waste in the blood is equal to the concentration in the fluid, the fluid is pumped out and new clean fluid is pumped in. The process is repeated until the blood has been cleared of the dangerous waste products.
  • Hemodialysis also has many flavors, in general, the blood is pulled out of the body, cleaned in a machine, and then returned to the body.

They have their pros and cons. Neither can replicate a kidney, but they both can remove the waste products from the blood. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'd like to continue ultracycling while on dialysis (24 hour events, brevets, maybe another PACTour).

My doctor recommended Nocturnal Hemodialysis. Normally, you go to a center during the day, get aggressive dialysis for several hours, every other day. With Nocturnal Dialysis, you can go to a center at night, get dialyzed while you are sleeping, this frees up your day, and the longer dialysis is easier on the body. This can also be done at home, but requires a partner. ABL and I discussed it, and she is willing to stick me, so I've got my partner.

The one drawback, the one thing that makes me hesitate is the Fistula. I wrote about it earlier. It just looks so damn gross. Take a look at this one or this one. I'm sorry, but that is plain nasty. I love my body. Sure, I don't have the guns of the Hulkster, but I like the way my arms look. My legs may not be as good as Lance Armstrong's, but I love their curves. I'm not sure if I'm scared, or vain, or both.

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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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Warning Signs for Kidney Disease:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Burning or Difficulty when Urinating
  • Frequent Urination at Night
  • Blood in your urine
  • Cola or tea colored urine
  • Swellig of the eyes, ankles, or feet
  • Lower back pain unrelated to physical activity

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