Burdens to care partners is a real aspect of home hemodialysis. Not only do we invade their space with huge amounts of supplies, but they lose a bit of freedom by being tied to a schedule, no matter how flexible it is. Over time, I have assumed more and more of my own self care chores. The one that I believe will be the most difficult for me is when pulling the needles, My wife tamponades the buttonhole after I have pulled the needle. I have a very high flow fistula which is good for my dialysis, but I do tend to soak through at least one bandage with my venous after dialysis. I haven’t attempted to do a one handed needle pull and tamponade yet. I know a lot of folks do this, but for me, I am afraid of squirting blood all around the room.
Other than that, I can pretty much do everything myself. Learning how to self cannulate is the hardest task. That seems to be the divider of those that are able to do home dialysis for long periods of time. Those that are on home hemodialysis I know personally may have a little bit of assistance, but for the most part, it is their own personal job, as much of a pain in the neck it is to stay alive. But, that is what we are doing, staying alive.
I do believe that America needs to come in line with Canada and other nations that allow single patients without a care partner to do dialysis. If my wife were ever to pass, i would plant her in the back yard before ever going back in-center and putting an inflatable doll in my car for the office visits and put a mechanical arm that waves as I drive away. LOL, joke alert.
In all seriousness, going back in-center is something that I wish to avoid at all costs. If that was my only option, I would truly have to consider how long I would endure that type of treatment.