I started nxstage yesterday… Feel a little overwhelmed. Not that the machine is hard to learn…but its all the little stuff…ste-up clean up etc… Any advice on set up? Can you set the machine up before you get on? Also how long are most of you on for? I’m having a hard time adjusting to the different treatment times. Lastly does anyone do nxstage alone, if so do you feel safe?
I am glad to hear you have chosen NxStage. I just finished my 3 week training and am currently dialyzing at home with the NxStage machine. I know how you feel, I too felt overwelmed when I started my training. However, I found that with great training and dedication I was able to learn how to operate the machine and perfom home dialysis. You said that you started NxStage yesterday, but does that mean you are still in training? If you are still training, I recommend you lean on the training staff, especially in reference to adjusting your treatment times. They should be able to help you the most. Make sure you are completely comfortable with the machine and your treatment before going home.
As far as advice on set-up, the NxStage machine set-up. and clean up for that matter, are easy once you perform them a few times. For set-up, just hang your bags, saline, drop the cartridge and make the proper connections. You have 18 minutes for the cylcer to prime before staring treatment. I recommend you use the 18 minutes to complete your set-up by getting the rest of your supplies ready.
And for clean-up, just shut down machine, toss the bags and cartridge and wipe down the machine and your finished. You will find a process that works for you over time.
Currently, I dialyze 6 days a weeks for 2.5 hours a day. I am 5’7" and 77kg. I did most of my NxStage training alone. My wife attended 4 days to familiarize herself with the machine. I feel comfortable dialyzing alone but I would rather have my wife available for support and company. She helps out making initial contections and disconnections plus she helps with set-up and clean-up. I have dialyzed alone and feel quite safe. Although I am not recommending this to anyone.
I wish you luck with your home dialysis and hope that I was able to answer any of your questions. Please make sure to use the training staff as well as NxStage.
Michael : I’m glad to hear that you feel better using the nxstage machine. For the 3 treatments that I have done, I also feel better. However I am still having a hard time adjusting. Yesterday I could not get my blood flow over 250 which has never happened to me before. In turn, my treatment time was increased by a lot. Try 4 hours!!! When at the unit I run for 3.
Today was a much better day with a flow of 400. I have decided to try nxstage 5 days a week. I am 33 years old and weigh 47.5 kilos. I still don’t have my labs back but we’ll see how they are.
At what time do you dialyize if you work full-time? I also work teaching but I can be home by 3. Part of the problem is I feel like I am asking my husband for too much… That is why I would like to try and dialyize on my own which I think that I could do. Don’t get me wrong my husband is very supportive, but all of a sudden he goes from me being at a clinic to now me needing his help 5 days a week. How does your wife feel?
Thanks so much for your help. I will hang in there because I do feel much better.
If you’re willing to do dialysis alone, it sounds like you’re capable of doing all aspects of your dialysis. If this is true, doing it at a time that your husband is home for you to call if you need him shouldn’t be a burden for him, especially with the length of time you normally dialyze.
If you did your dialysis in the evening you could grade papers, watch TV, read, work on your computer (posting messages to our message board), read, etc. I don’t know what your husband likes to do after work, but he could be doing many of the same things with you or he could be as far as way as is safe for you to call him if you need him.
I’ve known home hemo patients who were very independent and set up their own machines, did their own needle sticks, monitored their own treatment, and may have used a partner to help them remove needles or to help them troubleshoot machine problems only. Some of the ones I know have been home hemo patients/partners for 20-30 years or longer.
The more a patient does for himself/herself, the less burden the partner will feel. Also, the flexibility of short daily dialysis makes it possible to dialyze around many other activities you and your spouse might want to do. This should also help reduce any burden he may feel. However, it is essential that you and your husband keep good lines of communication going so he feels comfortable telling you if he needs a break.
Finally, if he does feel like he needs a break, you should be able to do backup treatments at your dialysis clinic. Another option might be to train a friend or family member what to do if you need help while on dialysis and have them be at your place while you’re dialyzing if your husband needs to be out of the home at dialysis time.
There are many of us who self dialyze, even with a partner, partner is only used as needed. I have no partner, but my son will get me some ice or a supply I may have forgotten, but I also dialyze completely alone if he isn’t here.
I use the Fresenius and am on for 4 hours 6x a week, so you can definitely do it on your own and let your husband just do as much as he wants.
self home hemo 9/04
I see where some patients run 2.5 hrs and another can run 4 what determines the amount of time you run? Does it require more supplies to run 4 hrs as apposed to 2.5? How long does it take you to setup to run? How long does it take to clean up after your run? Have you had many machine problems? How often are supplies delivered?
As I stated on this site, I use the NxStage Solution One Machine. The machine requires a 18 min priming period for the machine. After you begin the priming stage you can use the 18 min to gather all of your supplies for set-up. After the priming stage, I am connected to the machine within 5 minutes. The clean-up stage is easy. After I disconnect myself from the machine, clean up takes less than 5 minutes. All that is required is to dispose of the treatment bags, saline, cartridge and wipe down the machine.
I have only been using the machine for 5 weeks and have not experienced any problems with the machine. My supplies are delivered monthly. I have all my supplies stored on a 6"x3" space in my basement.
As far as run time, there are many factors to consider; access, flow rate, treatment volume, clearance, weight and health to name some. For example, I started on the NxStage using a Perma Cath as my access. At that time my flow rate was max allowed was 300, therefore my run time were almost 4 hours. Since using my AV Fistula, my flow rate is 450 and my treatment times are down to 2.5 hours. Longer run times do not necessarily mean more supplies. I wish you well,