Hi to everyone. I’m new to this forum, although I’m not new to forums in general. Anyway, I’m here to learn all I can about what lies ahead of me, since now I must avail myself of either hemo-dialysis or peritoneal-dialysis. For the record, I’m at Stage 5 CKD and my doctor has me scheduled for a nephrologist consultation. I’ve also been started on insulin. I lasted as long as I did without these two, taking instead metformin, then Januvia, and, lastly, Synjardy. I’m 64, by the way. I’m still physically active, and regularly do yard work, etc. But admittedly this latest news has cast a grim pall over everything. Not here looking for sympathy or false hope, just insight into what my best course of action should be. At the very least, since I must do dialysis, I wish to do home dialysis. That’s why I’m on this forum.
You’ve been doing your homework! Choosing a home option can definitely improve the chance that you can keep what you value in your life–working, staying active around your home, etc. You may find that dialysis means you won’t need the insulin, since what you have will circulate around in your blood longer. That might be a bit of a plus. I’m not hearing that you’re sure which type of dialysis might be a good fit for you. So, a great first step–even before you talk with your doctor, perhaps–would be to try our treatment matcher: https://www.mydialysischoice.org. No one wants any type of dialysis. But, this tool will help you see which options can make your life work best, and then you can ask your doctor if they will work for you physically.
If you are on Facebook, you may also want to join our closed discussion group. You’ll find lots of good info and support. https://www.facebook.com/groups/HomeDialysisCentral/
You are already doing the right thing by looking for information. You can do this, and you CAN have a good life.
Thanks for responding, Dori. Although I’ve been a Type II diabetic for over 20 years, the days of controlling my glucose levels with pills has finally ended. So recently I started insulin, but my kidneys are basically done for. So without dialysis, it’s the end of the road for me. I’ve done some research, watched some YouTube videos, and read a few medical articles. Of the two types of dialysis I’ve studied, I much prefer peritoneal dialysis. Ultimately (like most) I would prefer a kidney transplant. However, I’m realistic, and realize this is not likely to happen, since the demand is so high. Anyway, I am soon to consult with a nephrologist, and will learn more soon. In the meantime, I also hope to learn more here.
Do you have any relatives or friends who might consider donating a kidney to you? If so, you and they can be evaluated and depending on how you’re feeling (not just your eGFR number), you might be able to get a transplant before you ever have to start dialysis. The tool Dori recommended is a good one to review the options for dialysis and see which would fit best with your lifestyle.
Many people like PD and is a good first treatment for kidney failure. You an learn how to do it quickly so if you’re working, you don’t have to miss much work. Most people do PD using a machine overnight so their day is pretty free. To get enough dialysis with PD, some people have to do a midday manual PD exchange. From what they’ve dole me, those who do PD successfully feel pretty much the same all the time, whereas those who do in-center HD often feel “washed out” after dialysis and it can take hours to recover.
People who do home HD (which is a great option if PD doesn’t work or stops working) overnight or who do shorter but more frequent treatments 4-6 times a week also don’t have the “washed out” feeling that in-center patients have. Learning to do HD takes somewhat longer than learning to do PD, but once you’re learned how to take care of yourself on PD, it might give you a head start on learning HD.
What can really help is talking with patients who are doing dialysis. Dori suggested the Home Dialysis Central Facebook group. Your doctor may have patients who are willing to meet with you or talk with you on the phone too. Ask to visit the dialysis clinic and talk with the home training nurse. When I was a social worker in dialysis, I loved talking with patients before they started dialysis. It gave me a chance to meet and learn about them and gave them a chance to meet me so I could explain things I could do to help them. As Dori said, you’re doing the right thing by learning all you can about kidney disease and treatment options. Congratulations on becoming informed so you can make the best choices for you.
Thank you, Beth. I will follow up on your suggestions.