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Lab Tests

Posted Aug 24 2008 9:33pm

Dialysis went without a problem last night. Susan was able to draw blood both before and after the run and we will be taking the samples to the lab later today. Of interest this time will be my hemoglobin. During my last test, it came in at 106. That's not real low (I've had it down in the low 70s before I started dialysis and never want that to happen again) but a downward trend is always a concern so the Doctor had recently increased my dose of EPO from 12.000 to 15,000 units, 3 times a week.

We go to the hospital on Thursday to get the results and meet with the medical team for my 3 month check-up.

I will say, for those of you on regular dialysis at a clinic, that there is a major difference between home and clinic-based dialysis that no one ever mentioned - a reduction in social interaction time. At the clinic, I had a place to go on a regular schedule and meet with the same group of 16 patients and a dozen or so staff. We recognized each other's birthdays, listened to problems with everyone's dialysis, and shared the emotions when someone did not make it. After a while, a new person felt like one of the family.

At home, I see few people other than my wife and daughters. I am unable to work like my friends and acquaintances, so I don't get that interaction and they are often too busy to be available to me. Because I am almost blind, I can't drive a car any more and easily get out on my own. I live at the sufferance of others.

I look forward to clinic day and the opportunity to meet with some very nice people, be the center of attention and have them reinforce that Susan and I are doing well on the home program.

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