My husband has pain

My husband has extreme pain in his shoulder area and in lower arm where fistula is. He has had two stents put in and a balloon. This pain is very bad this time, what should I do for him

I’d suggest that talking with the doc who has been working on his fistula ASAP. He may need to be seen right away.

Thank you. I have my husband at hospital. They did an ultrasound and are still waiting in ER. Dr hasn’t come in to talk to him yet.

Please let us know what they found and how they helped relieve his pain.

I do not have any fistula issues but I had persistent shoulder pain over the last few years, the pain would would keep me up/ wake me up. I had trouble sleeping in a bed. As much as I wanted to I couldn’t do it because if I did fall asleep (ambien) I would toss and turn all night from one sore shoulder to the other. I gave up and switched to my dialysis chair to sleep even when not dialyzing.

The solution in my case turned out to be more movement/exercise. I committed to a gym and a personal trainer as my highest priority, first dollars I spend each month, started in Feb. I resolved to be coachable and do what was suggested by Rob (my PT). One session at time, there are so many muscles around the hips and shoulders that don’t get the movement they need through my generally walking based exercise. My core had withered after retiring.

It isn’t easy, nothing is ever easy with kidney disease, but putting myself into my personal trainer’s hands has been hugely beneficial. Even as I continue to recover from a tough summer of issues if I did not have 5 months of PT behind me I am very sure I would not have been able to take care of myself these last two months and would have had to be inpatient rehab and then inpatient dialysis. I feel like I dodged a bullet that whistled past my ear.

My husband is doing much better. The pain is better. The tech that inserted needles had one too close to the wall of vein.

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Hi Bill,

I’m glad to hear that a PT was able to help you get back in better shape. It takes a huge amount of motivation and effort, but in the long-run exercise really helps. As Trish Painter (exercise physiologist) would always say, a cycle of deconditioning can occur when you have kidney failure and are on dialysis and you need to stay physically active to keep that from happening. Remember the old adage, use it or lose it. This is true for people with kidney disease too.

I’m sure you know this, Bill, but for those who don’t know it, there are exercise materials on the Life Options site. Check out the Resources for Patients, including “Oldies, But Goodies” at And Kidney School’s Module 12 on Staying Active with Kidney Disease. It can be downloaded in English, Spanish, and audio or it can be viewed online to help you develop an action plan based on your responses…

I’m glad to hear this. Is he willing to learn how to do his own needle sticks? If so, he is likely to be able to stick himself better than anyone else. There are topical anesthetics to numb the skin and if he has Medicare, the clinic is supposed to provide them whether in-center or if doing home hemodialysis.