Welcome to “Life and Random Thinking” and thank you for visiting.
My next three posts will be a change in topic because my health battles have been a big part of my life.
My next three posts I have decided to write as I celebrate my third anniversary of my third kidney transplant in 2019. I am so grateful to still be around, and it’s due to the generosity and friendship of a kind man.
In each post I will try to keep my comments brief and leave out the countless steps in between. I apologize since the first post is lengthy but the others are not. – David
In 1980 I became a husband after I found and married my wife in a whirlwind. We had our first date August 6th, 1979 and were married March 8, 1980. When you find someone that special, you want to be with them always. It turned out I would need her strength and love over the years ahead many, many times.
In 1983 we celebrated with the birth of our daughter in October but in July of that year I could no longer manage daily life without life assistance in the form of dialysis due to kidney failure. In July I went to Vancouver General in renal failure. They operated on me to insert a tube into my abdomen – about twelve inches of tube was inserted inside and another foot protruded from my abdomen which I taped there and hid under my shirt. So it began.
That dialysis was four times a day, every day. I did a portable type of dialysis and carried a gym bag to work so I could go to a small room for my 30 minute lunch break daily and carry it out before going back to my desk.
This dialysis is called CAPD (Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis). Continuous because you do it 24 hours a day. Ambulatory which means portable and Peritoneal because that is the name of the abdomen cavity where the fluid sits in a persons body while they do dialysis. The lining of this cavity filters the fluid drawn out from the body.
My routine was to get up early and drain my abdomen using the tube which involved hooking up a tube and an empty bag. Standing I would let the fluid drain out into the empty bag on the floor – usually about 1.5 litres of fluid came out.
Then I would hang a full bag of IV solution, one litre, or just hold it high enough so it would drain into my abdomen. The solution was always cooler than body temperature so it was always chilling the first half hour especially on winter mornings. When the bag was empty. I would cap off the tube into my abdomen and head to the bus stop and go to work. That was bag 1 for the day.
At work with my gym bag I would work until lunch and repeat the drain and refill process in the nurses closet office in the building. That was bag 2 and then back to work for the afternoon.
When I got home from work it was time to repeat the process with bag # 3.
Before I went to bed it was time again for bag #4, had to go to sleep early as I had to get up early and do it all again the next day and the next day. Of course there was restrictions on fluid and diet but I don’t recall those as too difficult and my wife was always so wonderfully supportive.
A short video here is worth a thousand words, about 90 seconds long.
I probably did CAPD for about a year and half. Then some bouts of peritonitis and stays in the hospital lead to the access point being sutured shut so I could recover. I am glossing over the details but they were painful times involving stays in hospital.
End of part 1 of this post (I try to keep them brief).
Thank you sincerely for reading – David