Diagnosed with ESRD - End Stage Renal Disease in 2010 with 28% kidney function left. In January 2013, it dropped to 5%. Started twice a week Hemodialysis in February. My beautiful and courageous wife, Ninette, came forward willingly to be my donor and we started with the work-up in March. We finally finished everything and got approval 08 July 2013. We had the procedure the 25th of the same month.

Our journey continues...

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Permcath Issues

Image courtesy of davita.com

Last night's hemo session was a bit strange. For some reason, the alarm kept sounding off. Although I've had some alarm issues some sessions ago with this relatively new Permcath, last night was a bit different. The nurse kept telling me to tilt my head or twist my neck to a certain angle to keep arterial pressure at a certain level. Last time, a tech told me to inhale deeply once in a while to get the same effect. In several of the past sessions, the nurse/tech instructed me to recline my chair all the way also to keep arterial pressure up. And yet last week, a tech told me to just lean back while keeping the chair's back less than 120 degrees. To borrow a Tagalog expression, Ano ba talaga, Kuya? I guess, there's still a lot to learn. And nurses and tech, individually, have their own techniques. I'm ready to listen and follow instructions. Anything of a smooth sailing, uninterrupted hemo session. As I have said before, that alarm is annoying.

Also last night, another patient had Permcath issues. When the nurse took off the dressing, she asked the patient, a man advanced in age, if his Permcath site got wet after his last hemo session. What prompted her to ask that question was some greenish fluid oozing out to the gauze and some tenderness around the site. (Sorry for the gross description.) The nurses conferred with each other and called the nephro fellow over. It was indeed infected and she wrote out a prescription for antibiotics. The man was seated next to me and I heard the whole conversation because everybody was speaking loudly. The old chap was hard of hearing. Around 80 or so, he would arrive at the center with a slow gait while pushing a wheelchair bearing his cane and bag. Sometimes he also shows some signs of forgetfulness especially when conversing with the staff. Good thing his son accompanies him to dialysis most of the time.

It's been said that an arteriovenous(AV) fistula is the best access for hemodialysis with the least number of complications. But you have to undergo surgery and wait around 2 months before it can be used. It probably is the best long term access for hemodialysis. I really hope I do not need to have it done and just keep using the Permcath until the(hopefully, July) transplant.

Another detail that appears trivial but is very important is the kind of shirt to wear during hemo sessions. Because my access is a Permcath, I have to wear only button up shirts. No polo shirts and tees. I forgot to wear the proper shirt one time, and only realized it when I arrived at the center. I had to make the short drive home and back just to change my shirt. Now, I make sure I keep an extra shirt in my bag or in the car.       

One of the nurses, Soledad, is spending her last 6 working days with the center. I learned that she has been accepted as a registered nurse in New York and will be leaving soon. Another one to join the ranks of OFWs(Overseas Filipino Workers). Plenty of similar stories in this center. One time, there came a visitor and she was flocked by the staff. I figured she was a nurse at the center before she went to the US for employment… Well, good luck to you, Soledad.

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