The Adventures of Kidney Boy

A Journal About Living With End Stage Renal Disease. Dialysis. Transplants. Love. Family. Friends. The Unsung Donor. This is my life, from the end of a needle to the bottom of a pill bottle.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Gaining my bearings....

So yesterday I went into the hospital and got my blood transfusion.  We did it in the acute dialysis unit at a local hospital - I got two units of blood.  Yeah!  Vampirism is IN baby.  But seriously, I think it really helped a lot.  My hematocrit level was amazingly low - most people who have number as low as mine are being pushed around in a wheelchair to an emergency room. 

Because we do home dialysis, we use what's called "the buttonhole technique" on my fistula.  For those not in the know, the buttonhole technique is where you use 15 gauge needles in the same spot, using the same angle, over and over until it builds up a "track" at the sites, which allows you to use "blunted" tip needles.  This is supposed to extend the life of your fistula - but the same person who "sticks" you with the needle has to do it every time, in order to preserve the integrity of the established tracks.  That person, for me, is my wife - so she came along yesterday and I was going to have her put the needles is for me, and then the staff at the acute unit could put me on the machine - and we'd all be happy.

However, when we arrived yesterday - they made the biggest stink about her doing it.  She was, in fact, treated rudely by the staff - my wife is my biggest supporter and advocate, and I hers - we stood our ground.  Eventually, they called my dialysis people who said "Let her do it!"  and then they called my nephrologist who said "Are you crazy?  Let her do it.  She does it everyday."   Finally, begrudgingly, they let her.  Two seconds later, my needles were in and ready to go.  Sigh.  Bureaucracy.  Paperwork and procedure get in the way of everything.

Anyway, the treatment was fine - I got my two units of blood, and Jordan stayed with me the entire treatment, and I went home.  I was beat from the dialysis treatment, but I noticed I wasn't extremely winded as we walked back to the car.  Which was awesome.

Hopefully we can keep my levels up - I can't function when they're so low.  Well, I guess I can function, but I feel like I'm moving through a giant container of Jello. 

Losing your "sharpness" of mind and body function is one of the most damning things about being sick.  But that's a topic for another entry for sure.  Right now, I'm just going to work on getting the best out of this blood transfusion.  I hope I don't start to like "Twilight" or something now.


~Steve

1 comment:

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