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Started New Fistula on Saturday

Posted Oct 01 2008 8:41pm
I had another exciting dialysis treatment on Saturday. Normally, the dialysis treatment runs without issue for four hours, and then you go home. On Saturday night, however, I was not so lucky. My machine was having trouble with the arterial pressure. The arterial pressure is the amount of suction that the pump has to use to remove the blood from your body. If the pressure gets out of range, that can be very dangerous, so the machine stops drawing out blood. I was having problems with my arterial pressure after about five minutes on the machine.

The nurse tried everything she could think of, including laying my chair down flat and switching the lines on my catheter. Since nothing was working, she called the on-call doctor and asked if she could use one needle in my new fistula. This is the fistula that was placed above the elbow on my left arm almost seven weeks earlier. The doctor said yes, so the nurse placed one needle in my arm, and left the other in my chest catheter. The needle did not hurt too much going in, which was nice. I still had pressure problems with my catheter, and they ended up switching which side of the catheter they used about three more times during the next three hours of my treatment. The bad part of it all was that I don’t think I got as good of a treatment with the machine running slower and it stopping all the time.

Sunday morning when I woke up, I felt sick (which is not abnormal). Before we were ready to go to church, however, I began to vomit. This did not make me feel better, so we stayed home from church. I felt pretty sick for a couple of hours, and did not try to eat again until almost 11:00 am. The soup stayed down, so I figured that I was better. I did not really feel better until after I took a nap (I hadn’t slept well Saturday night). By Sunday evening, I felt better, and I did make it to work on Monday.

I have an appointment with the vascular surgeon Tuesday morning. I’m not really sure how it is going to go. Since they have started using my fistula, I don’t suppose I really need his permission to use it. I have to make him page my nephrologist so that they can talk about my fistula, but aside from that, the fistula information should be easy. I am also supposed to talk to the vascular surgeon about my gall bladder. The GI doctor thinks that it needs to come out, so I have to see if he has read my records and if he agrees. If so, that’s one more surgery that I have to schedule and another delay in the transplant (if my dad is approved as a donor).

Please continue to pray for the transplant team as they process my dad’s results. I would like to know as soon as possible whether or not he will be a good donor for me. Also, pray for my appointment with the vascular surgeon on Tuesday morning. I don’t enjoy talking about having more surgery, but I want to do whatever will be the best for me. And, pray that my arm will finish healing. The needle didn’t cause many problems for me, but the skin is still quite sensitive around the surgical incision, so the tape that holds the needle in place was kind of painful to remove. The skin was red for quite a while. I am hoping that it will heal or toughen up a little.

Thanks for reading with me today.
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