Well week one of dialysis went very well. It was something I guess I'd feared it and wanted to avoid needing it - but actually it all seemed very simple and well organised.
I am now committed to dialyse three times per week until I get a new kidney from the national transplant waiting list or God works a miracle and my kidneys spring back into life!
I had thought dialysis would be something I had to endure and keep my eyes looking toward a future hope when I got a new kidney and could start living life normally again. It's felt a bit like that this year as we've waited for tests on people who offered to donate. I feel like I've spent 2012 waiting for the right result - life's been on hold - and I never got the result I was expecting.
But I've realised this thinking is flawed. If I choose to limit my life until I am dialysis free I will not achieve all that I could. I have made the decision that rather than looking at freedom from dialysis as my destination - I will accept today as my destination. Dialysis will be a part of my life but it will not define what I am capable of. I intend to enjoy the journey over the coming weeks.
So I have 4 hours on.a Monday, Wednesday and Friday where I have to be connected up to a machine. This gives me more time than ever to read books, catch up on email, relax and watch a bit of TV. Bet you wish you had all this free time!
My consultant thinks it could take up to 6 weeks before I start feeling the full benefit of dialysis. Currently my haemoglobin levels are very low. This is being addressed with weekly EPO injections (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erythropoietin), fortnightly Iron infusions and daily vitamin D supplements to help my calcium levels improve.
Currently I dialyse via a neck line, but on the 27th December 2012 I have a fistula operation booked. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cimino_fistula) The fistula will take 4-6 weeks to mature and once ready my neck line will be removed and I will dialyse via the fistula. Eventually after about 6 months it is possible to have a Haemodialysis machine installed at home to avoid the hospital visits. We may consider this in due course,
At the end of January 2013 we plan to ask about having surgery to remove one of my very large polycystic kidneys. If possible it would be good to get this done ASAP as it would reduce pain and enable me to eat bigger meals. But if there is still residual function the hospital are likely to be reluctant to take one out until its doing absolutely nothing useful.
Thanks for all your support its been brilliant knowing so many people care about us and are standing with us in prayer.
Rob & Joy
Just a Thought...
Don't put life on hold and wait for circumstances to be perfect - they never will be. Make today your destination not some future time when you think everything will be perfect. Take that step of faith now and do something new. Live life to the full now. We all have issues in our lives - not letting them define us is a challenge I encourage you to take up with me today.