Our world revolves around dialysis! On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, every week, of every month, of every year, there is a dialysis treatment. The treatment is four hours long, every time. Kidney failure does not care if you have an anniversary, a birthday, bad weather, the flu. You go to treatments. Of course you do, it’s how you survive.
The toll of dialysis is a steep one! Trust me, I know! The benefits far outweigh the burden if what you are looking for is survival but it is a tough row to hoe! For us, there is no end in sight.
For reasons I will go into, in detail, later, a transplant is not an option the hubby is considering. As I mentioned in this post about Our Kidney Adventure, I am always hearing of new treatments and new advances. We are optimistic one of the treatments will become a reality but for now, we are looking at dialysis. And we are not alone! Millions of Americans suffer from some form of chronic kidney disease, not all requiring dialysis.
So, I am always looking for ways to lighten our daily load. Home dialysis is an option we feel would help us on our adventure and there are so many reasons why!
- Home dialysis provides patients with a better quality of life. The two major dialysis providers in the USA, DaVita (who we dialyze with) and Fresenius Dialysis both offer a home dialysis option. For our home treatments, we would use Fresenius due to the fact that DaVita does not provide home dialysis services in our area. According to DaVita, the number one benefit of staying home: improved patient outcomes! Patients are more likely to attend every treatment when treatments are at home which results in better health overall.
- Less time dedicated to treatments. With in-center treatments, the travel to and from Fort Stockton takes almost as much time as the treatments themselves. My husband effectively dedicates 8 hours, every other day, to dialysis. We are so thankful for the option of dialysis because it is a lifeline we live on but how great if we could still stay alive with dialysis but not have to drive 200 miles for treatments?!
- Life can be lived on our schedule. Rather than leave the house at 3:20 a.m. for treatments, we could actually spend four hours at the end our day dialyzing at home instead. No brainer!
- In-center dialysis can be depressing. Depression is a major side effect of dialysis. It effects each patient differently and there are ways to combat this sadness. One way, home dialysis. Not having to sit at the center for four hours is considered a major health benefit.
- Less travel related expenses. This is a big one for us! Our travel expenses are huge! Oil changes, tires and gas are the three major expenses we have! Imagine cutting back from 600+ miles a week of travel to less than 100! WOW!
In this post, I lightly outlined home dialysis and the many benefits but home dialysis is not for everyone and I will also go into the drawbacks related to dialyzing at home and why the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks for our family! So, stay tuned! And THANK YOU!