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No dialysis for 2 days - how it felt

Posted Oct 12 2009 10:00pm
When I went for the trip to Vizag and Araku, I did not dialyse for two nights in a row. I have done this very rarely. Only twice before, I think. This is a classic problem. If you want to do a meaningful trip, you have to go for atleast two - three nights away from home. That inevitably brings up the question of whether to try and get dialysis at a hospital or skip a session or two.

I have been dialysing at home for the last three and half years. Daily nocturnal mostly. I do not dialyse on Sundays. That means I am without dialysis only for one day at most. The problem with dialysis outside home is that first of all, no one allows you to dialyse for more than 4 or 5 hours. And they do not have night sessions. I am used to seven hour sessions at night. This means that I would have to spend about 5 to 6 hours (including time to get to the unit and back and the startup and close up time) of my waking day on dialysis. Not a very good thought when you're on a holiday!

Another thing which bothers me about dialysis away from home is the cannulation. Many centers do not even know about buttonholes or self cannulation. So, I have to explain to them that I do my own cannulation and I use my own needles. Last time I dialysed in Goa, the tech called the neph and explained that I wanted to cannulate myself and use 'different' needles. Thankfully the neph agreed. What if he hadn't?

On the other hand, not dialysing has its own share of problems. You have to watch your fluid intake. It is difficult to control sodium too. Most places will not oblige you with salt-free food. Since I was at a place where I was for the most part inside water - a beach, a stream etc., I did not have a problem. But if the place was less conducive to restricting fluids, I would probably had a miserable holiday - fretting about fluids all along!

At the end of the day, I put on very little fluid weight until I got back home. But then, when I knew I was close to my dialysis machine and that I would get on to the machine in an hour or two, I kind-of took it easy and gulped a little more than I should have. I put on 6.2 liters over 3 days and 2 nights. Which wasn't too bad!
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