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Transplant Athlete
Monday, July 20, 2009
  I Hurt Myself Today

"To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real
The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything"

Thanks Trent

Today was the first day of Home Hemo training. ABL stuck me first for the arterial line and it hurt pretty bad. I'm pretty sure she went through the vein, the tech teaching us backed the needle out and reinserted it. I got mine in on the first shot and it didn't hurt as much. Apparently, slow and gentle is the way to go.

I could "taste" the difference between this machine and the in-center machine. It was a very weird sensation. Everything calmed down though and the treatment was uneventful. We only took off 3 kilos even though I was 4.5 kilos heavy. I can normally handle the removal of up to 5 kilos, it's not good for the body, so they like to do a max of 3 kilos. We'll get the rest off tomorrow.

I found some good chestnuts among the literature.
"It was rapidly determined that once weekly dialysis was fatal and twice weekly dialysis just took longer to reach the same outcome." Can you imagine being the first person to do dialysis?
Doctor: We think once a week should do it.
(Two weeks later patient A dies)
Doctor: My bad, maybe we should try twice a week for the next guy.
(4 weeks later patient B dies)
Doctor: My bad, maybe we should try three times a week for the next guy.
(Patient C survives)
Doctor: Finally success! you're still alive. Ok that will be the new standard three times a week.
You'd think they'd start at seven days a week and work down to 3 days a week. The brochure with the machine cites 131 studies that show more frequent dialysis is better for the patient.

The User's Guide for the Dialysis machine says that the pumps "may produce electrostatic charges" during operation...lucky for me, they are not hazardous. Although this ominous warning pops up later: "Non-Medical electrical equipment should not be used within 6 feet of the NXSTAGE System One" "such as a TV". And the warning was repeated, "Do not touch the NXSTAGE System One and and electronic device (such as a TV) at the same time." I'm wondering if I'll be able to use my laptop because there is also a "Recommended Separation Distance" for devices that emit RF signals.

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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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