Well I woke up feeling great this morning, fully expecting a full day at work and my 2nd dialysis session at 4:15. After getting to work, the lab called and asked if I would be able to come way earlier, like at 10:30am. (I got the call at 9:30am). The nurse said they had a spot open up and they’d rather have me in earlier because the more experienced cannulizer (the guy who sticks the needles) was there. I let me work peeps know and off I went 45 minutes later.
No waiting around this time – I got there at 10:30 and they got me right in, I was hooked up and dialyzing by 10:40. Sweet! I finished exactly 2.5 hours later at 1:10. My next session is Friday – I’ll go for 3 hours that day. Then on Monday I start my 4 hour shifts.
The needle sticks were less painful this time. In fact it hurt more pulling them out than it did going in. But it was a good session. I got a slight headache again about halfway through, but that went away by the time I left. Here it is a few hours later and I feel great. I think my body is really liking this clean blood thing. Well, “cleaner” blood, I should say. In reality it’s only doing about 10% of what healthy kidneys do. But man – that 10% makes you feel sooooo good.
I met my doctor’s Physicians’s Assistant today. She is really cool, and talked to me about how my medication will be changing since I’m on dialysis. They are taking me off my calcium and sodium bicarb supplements. Hey, less pills for me to take is a win win! Apparently they will control those numbers through the dialysis sessions now.
She also told me I’ll be meeting a dietitian soon. There’s a pretty strict “dialysis” diet that I have to follow, which makes me limit certain types of foods – mainly those high in phosphorus and potassium. (Hence the big “K” pic above). Potassium is the big no-no – as my kidneys do not process it correctly, and if ignored, builds up and causes heart disease. Don’t get me wrong, my body does need some potassium – everybody does. It controls your heart rhythm and other things. However since my body can’t eliminate the excess potassium, I have to watch my intake. This means thing like bananas, beans, spinach, and some other common fruits and vegetables need to be eaten in major moderation. The potassium I get from other everyday “low potassium” foods are ample enough intake.
I also need to watch my liquid intake. I’ve read that you basically need to drink only enough to make you not thirsty. Water levels in your body fluctuate bigtime while on dialysis, so you need to keep it at as even a level as you can so not to send your blood pressure too low or too high. So, gone are the days of sitting around sipping on iced tea half the day, or throwing down several pints with the guys and gals. I can drink alcohol if I wish – it’s not the alcohol that’s the big issue – it’s the amount of liquid. So extreme moderation is the key. I have to think of “moderation” as a different thing now. It’s no longer “don’t get drunk”… it’s “don’t drink too many ounces, period.”… which in my opinion is a huge buzzkill – pardon the pun haha. So through it all, my synopsis is, don’t drink alcohol hardly at all. I figure if I don’t make it a habit again, I won’t over over-do the liquid allowance. I *might* do a glass of wine once in a great while with dinner on rare occasion but we’ll see – depends on the situation and the mood. But for now, being “clean” is the name of my game…. in pretty much every way possible.