I came across a great article about dialysis - it's history and it's ties with Medicare and Medicaid. (It's located here, if you're interested - http://www.propublica.org/article/in-dialysis-life-saving-care-at-great-risk-and-cost ) The article was really informative, and it actually referenced Bill Peckham and his blog, Dialysis at the Sharp End of The Needle. Bill's been kind enough to talk about my blog on his site - a link to his site is over on my links section at the right.
Aside from the interesting information, the article shared several stories of people's experiences with dialysis - some good, and some horrible. It really makes me appreciate my experiences with dialysis. I haven't had any major bad "blow outs", but I've had a few rough treatments in my day. I've found that doing home hemodialysis has been the best for me - I get more treatments that are consistently better - I rarely have a treatment where I bottom out at the end of treatment. Sometimes in center, I'd be so worn out after treatment that I'd need a several hour nap after doing four hours of dialysis! I think lately I've been feeling so horrible because of my severe bowel distress - with my upcoming bowel resection surgery, I think I'll be feeling a lot better. Hopefully at least a little more, just to be able to increase my activity level. I'm usually a real "up and at 'em" kind of guy, and I've been sidelined for months now. It's depressing the hell out of me!
Anyway, I do enjoy reading other people's stories and experiences with dialysis - it's a large world, filled with all kinds of people from all walks of life. After the article, there's a comment section that's filled with stories from people on dialysis - and a lot of them are inspiring. One from one woman who was on dialysis in 1978 at age 20.... she ended up getting a transplant and having kids... leading a good life. That's what I look forward to. Dialysis is hard, and a life on it can truly suck, but it doesn't mean that it's over. I have to have the hope that I can make it through, get a new transplant, and start leading a life of better quality. So it's nice to read stories like hers.
I hope that anything I share on here can have a similar effect on others - maybe my words and my story will add to someone else's stores of hope that keep them going. At least, I wish that in my heart.