I think it’s just amazing!
Instead of watching the phosphorus in my diet, I am actually adding a whole bottle of sodium phosphate to my dialysate (via the bicarb concentrate). I’m just so excited about that. I mean, I’ve had to limit dietary phosphorus for more than 5 years now. All of a sudden, I don’t have to worry about it at all! I can eat pretty much whatever strikes my fancy. The labs look terrific. I feel like standing out on my balcony and shouting “I can EAT!”
I’m also adding calcium to my dialysate, but that doesn’t have much impact on diet.
So far, I’m finding that I have to make an effort to drink more than what I’m thirsty for, because, if I’m not at least 2 kg above my dry weight, the UF rate over a 6-8 hour treatment will be too low for the machine. So, from limiting fluid (still limited on short daily), to pretty much not limiting it at all. The only limit seems to be what my body can stand, because, if I were to get too heavy, while I wouldn’t have any trouble removing it, I guess I might get that “full” feeling until I did. I haven’t so far, though.
Potassium is one I’m not exactly sure about yet. I will have to experiment over a few more lab results. I’m eating pretty much a normal amount at this point, but without going overboard. So far, my pre-treatment K has only been as high as 4.8
No more problems with appetite, that’s for sure. When I come off in the morning, I’m hungry for a lumberjack-sized breakfast, and it’s the same all day long.
Sleeping does not seem to be a problem for me. I’ve slept through most of the night from day one, without any alarms at all. I seem to get a venous alarm the first half hour or so, and nothing after that. In addition to sleeping on my back, I can easily sleep curled up on either side, and, as a total surprise to me, I can even sleep on my stomach, as long as my fistula arm and the dialysis machine are on the same side (so the tubes don’t cross over me). The slower flow speed seems to really make a difference.
People keep asking me if I’m afraid the needles might pull out during the night. Well, I mean, I guess it’s not impossible. But, the needles themselves are very securely taped with a large Tegaderm, plus the needles lines are again very securely taped at my wrist (I have an upper arm fistula). I use a burn mesh I slip over my arm, and over that, I tape a cuff I make from two 4x4 gauzes. Then I tape each needle line (actually at the bloodline at that point) over that individually with a long paper tape that goes all around my wrist and overlaps itself, and over that, I tape down the end of the paper tape with a little piece of plastic tape. I am much more careful about the taping, and it does seem as secure as it can get. I also tape the leak detector’s sensor right behind and up against my venous needle. That puts it in between the venous and arterial needles, and it would detect a leak from either. I test it before each treatment to make sure it works. I also was trained to put a piece of plastic tape around the connection between each bloodline and needle line, just as extra insurance that they don’t somehow unscrew themselves.
In addition to that, I have a leak detector alarm under the dialysis machine, and another one under the R/O.
Running with a dialysate speed of 300, a single jug of bicarb and of acid are more than enough. There’s still quite a bit left over after the treatment.
Anyway, so far so good!