Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Worst Dialysis Day Ever!

Ugh, today had to have been my worst day at dialysis.

It all started when I was cannulating myself. The needles went in fine and I was just connecting myself. I connected the first tube and that was fine, but when it was time to connect the tube to my second needle, I forgot to clamp my needle. When I removed the syringe from the needle, blood started spewing all over the place. Of course I tried to clamp the needle in a panic, but the clamps are really hard to clamp sometimes....especially when it's covered in your own blood. I finally got it clamped, but the damage had already been done. Liz (one of the nurses) helped me clean up. Ugh, what a horrible start to dialysis. I didn't think it could get any worse than this. Boy was I wrong.

After I connected myself and cleaned up my hands, Dr. Chan came tell me that my appointment had been set and Meghan (the receptionist) should be coming to me shortly to tell me when it would be. When he came over, he said to me "Um, your machine is leaking".

When I turned around, I quickly scanned my machine and didn't see anything. Then I looked at my dialyzer, and there it was. I didn't tighten the blue tube thaht connects to the dialyzer tight enough and blood was dripping down my dialyzer and onto the floor. A substancial pool of blood had already developed on the floor beside my dialysis machine, all over the the side of the machine, the wheel of the machine, on the acid jug, on the extra Bicart, on the dialyzer itself and on the arm that holds the dialyzer.

I turned my pump off and asked Dr. Chan to grab a nurse for me, which he did. Stella came over and taught me what I should do if that happened at home. She told me to turn the regular pump off and also the dialyzer pump, to clamp both tubes coming out of the dialyzer, remove the tube, then reconnect it tightly. After that, it was fine, but the floor and my machine was still quite bloody. I knew that since Rose (my nurse) wasn't there today due to the massive snow storm (she lives a bit of a distance away) that I'd be doing a major clean up after dialysis....and it's hard enough to just stand up and walk around after dialysis, never mind getting down on all fours and scrubbing dried blood off of the floor and a dialysis machine.

After about half an hour, as usual, I began to feel a bit nauseated. I gave myself my gravol which made me feel better in about 10 minutes or so. I leaned my chair back and closed my eyes so I could get some rest. I began to dose off. As soon as I began to dose off, I heard a deep male voice say "HELLO FLO!".

It was Fabien, one of the techs. He came to see me last friday to teach me about maintaining and taking care of the water treatment system which would soon be delivered to my house. He did mention that he'd come back on Wednesday just to review, but I had forgotten. My heart sunk. If this visit from Fabien would be anything like his last visit, I'd be sitting there for 2 hours STRAIGHT listening to him demonstrate the various procedures for testing the water, changing filters, etc. Don't get me wrong, Fabien is an awesomely nice guy...but when you're tired, not feeling great, and dreading spending 45 minutes cleaning up after doesn't matter how great you are!

Fabien spent about 45 minutes chatting before he left.

I thought that was the end...but it wasn't. I changed my Bicart as usual. My dialysis friend Sadia came over to say hello to me and buy me a snack as she normally did. After dialysis and after clotting, putting my bandages on, etc, I put the feet of my reclining chair down to see a pool of water mixed with some of the blood that had already been on the floor. What the hell?? Where did this huge pool of water come from?? I looked around and realized that the cap that I had placed on the Bicart that I changed had fallen off, and almost all of the water that was in the Bicart container had spilled onto the floor. I almost cried.

I put my machine in disinfect and then I pushed it against the wall. I grabbed a chair, some disenfectant wipes, some gloves, and cleaned up as best as I could. I had to take a few breaks inbetween as I felt like I was going to pass out. It seemed like everything was covered in blood, and it was taking a lot of effort to clean it up.

I did a pretty thorough job, taking into consideration that house keeping would be around to clean up again.

When I went outside to meet my dad, he told me that he had a meeting to go to so he'd have to rush a bit. I was happy about this, as I'd be getting home in record time. When I got home, I then spent quite a while trying to call the government of Canada concerning my CPP T4! Needless to say, it took a LONG time as I kept getting busy signals when I called!

All in all, I'm sure that my previously stable hemoglobin has dropped. :( Ugh I hope Friday is a better day.

1 thought(s):

The Continuous Morph said...

Hi, I am writing from Houston, Tx and I just wanted to tell you to hang in there. I am 38 yrs old. I am also a home hemo patient using the Nxstage machine. I would just like to let you know that it gets easier as time goes on.

If you would just like to talk, email me at

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