No, not Christmas, silly! December 26th. NO, not Boxing Day either. Nor the anniversary of that horrible day two years ago when the earthquake struck Indonesia, and the tsunami struck the rest of Asia. This was the day I would have my big PD tests to figure out how well the dialysis was working for me. And exactly like the aforementioned Christmas build-up, the let-down is just as bad. So what did happen, you ask?
They had me collect my bags from each exchange of the previous day, and do a 24-hour urine collection as well (and pitifully little it was too, another reminder of what my kidneys ain't doing any more). Also to make sure that the last exchange of the night should be a green bag. Dear brother, who came here specifically to accompany me to the PD clinic on this big day, toted the heavy box of used dialysate bags into the clinic. Elevators weren't working, so we took the stairs.
The nurse had me start my first exchange of the morning - but only the draining portion. They wanted me to drain as much of the fluid as possible - so this time it took me almost 30 minutes just to do that thorough drain, leaning from side to side, standing up, etc. About all I didn't do was do a hand-stand. Once the drain was done, a nurse disconnected it from my catheter and took it away for testing. Then we waited a little bit, another nurse came in with a green bag, attached it to my catheter and had me do the fill. She timed both the drain and fill - and during the fill, she had me turn on each side a few times, so the fluid would reach every nook and cranny of my peritoneal membrane. Then she immediately drained a bit of it, and took a sample, then returned the rest back to me via the catheter. At 20 minutes, she drained some more, took another sample, etc. Then at 2 hours, and at 4 hours, she took a blood sample as well, then had me do my next exchange.
This time with a red bag, because my doctor had said so the previous week, and I'd not done because I didn't want to chance having my BP drop really low (which there was a good chance it would, because the red bag pulls out the most fluid from the body) while I was alone. I wanted to do it either at the clinic or at home with K around. So red bag it was. The nurse sat by me, again recording exactly how long it took to drain the remnants of that morning's exchange, and how long it took me to fill.
Then they said - thank you very much. You can go home now. We'll send you the results next week.
HUH?! I don't get to train on the cycler this minute? I have to do the manual exchanges for the next god knows however many months? I have to go around being a bloated snake for longer? I don't get to even attempt to sing for however many more months?
I asked the nurses when was the earliest I could start training on the cycler - the answer was: earliest by early February, latest could also be end of March. ARGH! Until then, I have to do my 4 exchanges a day, no matter how my test results come out. And until next week, I won't even know if and how much I will have to carry around during the day once I do start on the cycler. I want to know RIGHT NOW! And I want to start RIGHT NOW! And that has about fuck-all impact on when I get to start the cycler training, because the nurses at the clinic are swamped - they're going to train 11 new PD patients next month, which is why the cycler training has been pushed back. Us patients already on manual PD can live another month or two doing more of the same, but the same can't be said of those new PD patients, now can it?