I count myself among the lucky ones. Why? Well because I’m not dead. My disease sucks, but at least I have dialysis to help clean my blood and prevent my body from killing itself. It could be way worse. End stage renal failure has changed my life and how I think.
Dialysis is never far from my thoughts. When I schedule appointments, I have to consider my dialysis schedule. When I make social plans, I have to consider dialysis. When I want to travel, I now have to think, do they have dialysis centres I can visit. Dialysis doesn’t just affect me, it affects people around me as well. Danny and my dad do not like leaving me home alone while I dialyze, so they take turns babysitting me while I do my treatment.
My diet is impacted. Good and bad. Dialysis doesn’t just take out the bad stuff, it also takes out the good stuff that your body needs to heal. Like protein, and calcium. I get a monthly report from the program dietitian telling me I need to eat more protein or phosphates or whatever it is that I’m lacking that month. When I got shingles, I was lacking everything because I was too sick to eat enough.
Also, my size changes, daily. I can swing 5 kg of fluid in a day if i’m not careful. 1 litre of fluid drank is 1 kg of weight gained. It is hard on the body when you swing like tarzan on the scale. I often have to think my week through and where I was my fluid cheat days be. Whether it’s going out for dinner or going to the movies, I have to budget for the fluid allowances. I’m glad I’m better at budgeting fluid than I am at budgeting my finances.