Friday, November 23, 2007

Story of the first home exchange

I ran into the bathroom to start washing my hands (had to wash them for 2-3 minutes with antibacterial soap). Washed for about a minute before I realized - oops, forgot my face mask. Get the face mask on. Back to the bathroom and wash again... Oops, forgot to get catheter out of my clothing, so get it out, and wash again. Meanwhile, the bag was cooking in the microwave downstairs - technically I wasn't supposed to use a microwave oven that was also used for food, but it was all I had to warm the solution bag (the nurse had forgotten to give me the warming pad). Amma was in charge of that part. She brought the warmed bag upstairs and then started part 2 of the dance.

The instructions said have a paper towel in your lap to protect your clothes. Bloody paper towel wouldn't STAY in my lap - any time I moved my hands or my legs or any part of my body below the neck, the towel would slide off my lap. Keeping the rest of my body very very still, I pulled up my mask, connected my catheter to the tube from the solution bag, grabbed for the paper towel, then looked at the list of instructions to see what to do next. OK - clamped the fill bag, grabbed for the paper towel, broke green cone, grabbed for the paper towel, opened clamp and watched fluid flow down the pipes (oops - tubes) into the drain bag. You got that part about grabbing for the paper towel? OK, then just insert it at every step from now on.

Then re-clamped the fill bag, broke the blue cone, unclamped the catheter. Watched the fluid drain out from my body into the drain bag. Slowly felt the hunger again that had been suppressed. After drain was done, clamped the drain bag, unclamped the fill bag and watch the fluid go into my body. Slowly felt the hunger fade as my belly filled. After the fill bag was empty, clamped everything, disconnected catheter from tubing and put the screw-cap on the catheter. And voila! It was done.

Cleanup was easy - wrap the discarded screw-cap in the paper towel and throw it in the trash. Empty the drain bag into the toilet and throw that in the trash as well. And you know what? Now I can actually ask someone else to finish peeing for me *heheh*

A typical exchange is supposed to take about 30 minutes - this took more than an hour, mainly because of my keystone kops style of doing it. I have to say that I have brought the whole process down to about 40 minutes, start to finish, now that I have a little more experience with the process.


Shyam said...

Going to buy a dedicated microwave for the Dialysis Centre? :)

Rama said...

Dear Radha,
A very well written blog about your experiences. I am sure this will benefit several people sharing your journey. You are an inspiration to all of us.
Take care,

Radha said...

Shyam - you'll need to wait for the coming installments to answer your question :)

Rama, glad you like it. Make sure to keep reading :)

Nancy said...

Holy Smokes! I just read the first 4 posts and this is unbelievable; you are totally Heroic, Anu!
Thanks for putting this all in a blog. I will keep up reading it.

Linda said...

Hi Radha

I'm a friend of your sister shyam and she passed your link along to me. I have a friend who went through peritoneal dialysis (sounds like this is what you are doing). Hang in there little sister. You are SO brave. My daughter has juvenile diabetes -- takes insulin daily to live. We all think we're in such dire straits, till we see the next person. You are going to come through with flying colors, I can tell from your humor :)

Please come visit my blog sometime -- be glad to see you there!

With loving best wishes,

Radha said...

Nancy: Do keep reading - glad you like it :) Wish I could come back for lessons right away (please keep a slot open for me?), but it won't be possible for me to sing at all until I can transition to the night-time cycler machine, because then I won't have 2+ litres of fluid pushing up on my diaphragm during the day. I hope! :)

Linda: I was totally blank until Amma reminded me, "You know, Linda - Shyam's friend who came to the "official" wedding" :) Of course I promptly went right to your blog, even before I knew who you were, but it is nice to have a face to go with the name! Thing is, I have the bad habit of not leaving comments on blogs (even Shyam's), a habit that I'm trying to break, now that I have my own blog *heheh*

Shyam said...

Radi: Oh no no, Linda's not the person you met!!! Linda's someone even I havent met, although that's only a matter of time! :) You're thinking Lynne, whom you DID meet.

Radha said...

Oops, then - sorry about the mixup, Linda :) And Shyam, apologize to Lynne on my behalf :P

Renu said...

You go Girl!!