What they didn’t tell me before starting Peritoneal Dialysis

The setup seems simple: four exchanges a day, it takes about half an hour each time.


Well, my tube is obstructed or in a bad position or something because it takes me an hour just to drain. An hour. The surgeon who implanted my sci-fi project has decided its my fault because I’m fat. Okay, he didn’t actually say “fat” he said “overweight”. But when someone has the cojones to blame mystery pockets of fatty tissue on your implant not working when it doesn’t make anatomical sense, we all know he meant fat. He also doesn’t want to fix it without getting paid up front. I call him Snidley in my head.

Let’s just start with the obvious. There is no way it is feasible to work in an office to which I’d have to lug my IV pole, at least two bags of dextrose (because you should have an emergency supply in case you get stranded), several needles & syringes, medication vials, and miscellaneous supplies including sanitary wipes. Not to mention the two exchanges I’d have to do during the work day. That half hour becomes more like 1 1/2-2 hours each time.

I go through a roll of paper towels every four days. I have to find a way to dispose of the needles. The stronger solution makes me feel bloated and uncomfortable. If my drain time doesn’t improve, I’ll have to do exchanges manually until I get a transplant (which requires way more money than I’ll have without a big lottery haul).

It may have only been four days so far, but I dread the alarm for the next exchange.

I guess I feel a little resentful and angry that I don’t magically have the free time in the brochures. I just started this trek and I haven’t thought too much about anything. I’ve just been following instructions.

It really is a ton of work that terrifies me each time I do it. But, I have to do it because I can’t stand the thought of having them drain my blood and cycle it through a machine for four hours at a time.


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