I truly understand the fear you feel about doing dialysis; I had the same reaction when we first started! I think we all have. For myself, as a Christian, I pray and have learned to trust the Lord in a much deeper way since tackling something like dialysis that was so beyond my own ability. I have also learned not to let fear rob me of God’s greatest blessings.
And daily home dialysis has become a great blessing for my husband, Ted, and I. Ted feels so much better; it’s the difference between day & night! He started dialysis in 1988, has had 2 transplants, has done in-center dialysis 3x/week for many years, and we have done home dialysis for over 7 years now, first on a big Fresenius machine and over the past 19 months, on NxStage.
NxStage is much easier to use than the big clinic machines. It is still a lot to learn, and it is a commitment of time and energy each day - a commitment I think that is well worth it. You clinic will train you & help you along the way and it will get easier as you go.
I remember when I first learned to drive, many years ago. It was stick shift back then & I thought I’d never figure out how to use the clutch, shift gears, and drive all at the same time; I was terrified I’d hit something and hurt (or kill!) myself or someone else! I very much wanted to drive, so I set the fear aside as best I could and practiced (a lot!) until I finally felt confident.
We all face fearful situations in life. I encourage you to ask lots of questions - here, and at your clinic - and look ahead to the benefits you and your husband will enjoy. He can dialyze at home, be with you rather than away at a clinic, and he will feel much, much better. He’ll be able to eat a much more normal diet, drink a bit more, and he’ll have energy and a feeling of well-being again. You cannot get those benefits dialyzing just 3 days/week.
You will be trained along with your husband. You will not be alone doing the treatment. In fact, NxStage encourages the patient to do as much of the treatment as they can for themself, and that includes inserting the needles! Most pts can cannulate themselves. My husband cannot as his fistula is in the underside of his upper right arm. He cannot see it well and is right handed. He does do much of the rest of his treatment though. Dialysis is something we do together and the two of you together are stronger than one of you alone. Together, you can do it!
Keep your eye on the prize; the prize of a healthier husband who is well dialyzed! Ted feels better now than when he had his transplant. It makes me feel so good to know that each day I can do something to help him lead a healthy, happy life. I think of some other wives I know whose husbands have cancer or other serious diseases and there is little they can do. With dialysis, I have a choice. It’s hard work and the first few months seemed overwhelming. But I’m so glad we “took the plunge”, overcame our fears, and hung in there. I think you will be, too!
What is NanoDialysis? Is it available at your clinic? This is a new one to me!
Blessings to you, JoAnn. Please stay in touch ~