What’s life with dialysis like? How’s it going to be different? Which changes are you going to need to make? Dialysis therapy may seem very frightening – simply because most people know very little about what it is and how it functions. Although changes may certainly need to be made, many dialysis patients find that dealing with their prognosis and ongoing treatment is easier than expected. We know for a fact that living with dialysis, compared to the alternative, will actually greatly improve the quality of life.
What should I expect during my first dialysis treatment?
Firstly, it is important to understand how long the treatment process is. Although each patient is unique, and this reaction depends largely on the kind of dialysis one is getting. Care usually takes around four hours and is performed three days a week. Nonetheless, we suggest that you consult your doctor to learn exactly what to expect during your diagnosis.
Bearing in mind the recovery will take a few hours, you can now plan accordingly. Most people choose to undergo dialysis care in the evenings. It is worth noting that many dialysis facilities provide night-time care. Finally, you should also plan how you want to spend time during your treatment (e.g. with a book or magazine, etc.). Planning ahead would make it much easier to deal with dialysis. Although you can receive dialysis in a hospital and in some cases at your home, many choose a dialysis center. The advantages here is that the center and healthcare professionals are dedicated specifically to administering dialysis care.
Dialysis Center Process
Normally, the patient goes through a routine check-up upon reaching the dialysis facility. It involves getting weighed measuring your blood pressure, testing your pulse, etc. After this, the actual treatment for dialysis starts and the patient is attached to the dialysis machine. This is achieved with intravenous needles in the arm. If you’ve donated given blood, it’s not too far from that. Then the dialysis machine begins drawing blood from your body and mixing it with dialysate fluid. This fluid is what actually removes waste products from your blood. This process continues for several hours.
Accepting and getting used to life on dialysis
Anxiety among patients with new dialysis is normal. Such worry is generally dissipated as the patient becomes more acquainted with the dialysis cycle. As mentioned earlier, such fear comes from the concept of how radically different life with dialysis will be relative to before therapy starts. Most patients can do exactly what they had done previously – including work, travel, and exercise.
Possible Side Effects of Dialysis
While not every patient will experience these side effects, the following is reported by some dialysis patients:
-Anxiety and Stress
-Low Blood Pressure
-Loss of Libido
It’s important to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned side effects. He or she will be able to provide you with recommendations on how to manage these effects.
What Happens Next?
Perhaps most interestingly, many people with dialysis continue to live normal lives. You will realize, though, that dialysis does not treat kidney disease. Dialysis is simply performing some of the functions of a healthy kidney. A patient will need to be on dialysis for his or her entire life, unless he or she gets a kidney transplant. As for life expectancy on dialysis, that varies considerably. Regarding life expectancy on dialysis, this varies greatly. Some have lived for 25 to 30 years on dialysis. Ultimately, this is something to discuss with your doctor.