Hi all (Hi Joshua),
I have been on dialysis since 2011. I did hemodialysis 2011-2020, but the shunt had to be closed because of an infection, and the doctors switched me to automated PD, I’ve been doing this since June 2020. I had a bunch of problems in the beginning, breathing issues and panic attacks mostly, but I managed to bring it all under control by starting Tai Chi and Qi Gong (the breathing exercises helped a lot).
In Dec 2020, I started getting severe pain in the stomach area. After some weeks of putting up with it (having talked to my doctors of course), I went to emergency, and they did a CT scan and endoscopy, but found nothing wrong. My doctor concluded that the pain is psychological in origin; he said that from the start of PD I had one problem after another (this is true), and since no physiological cause can be found, it is likely to be psychosomatic. As a result, they want to switch me back to hemo, which means getting a new shunt installed. I’m reluctant to go that route because I am on a transplant waiting list (waiting time in Germany is 12 years, I am at year 10), and want to reserve the new shunt for after my transplant fails.
In the meantime, since January 2021 I have started getting pain in my ribs. It usually starts around 3AM when the cycler is in its 5-6th cycle. The pain is a kind of tightness in the ribs. Stretching and breathing exercises do give some relief.
Sorry for the long preamble. My question to this list is: do others also have this problem? What’s the possible cause (if it’s not purely psychological)? My doctors seem uninterested in investigating the cause, they just want to switch me back to hemo. But if I can solve this pain problem, I could keep going with PD until my transplant happens—I have to hold out for another two years.