Well, there were weeks when I thought I wouldn’t make it, but with the exception of holidays and the occasional illness, BigDandMe has been on the air for 12 months!
For the past year I have tried to give the kind of information about the perils and pleasures of the BigD that I would have liked to get when I first began dialysis: what to expect, all about needling, fistulas, staying healthy, travel and holidays, surgery, improving efficiency and some of the new advances in dialysis, to name a few. To the degree that I have succeeded is related to all your comments, help and support. Many thanks to you all.
Just so you know it’s normal, for the 14 years I had my original fistula I had one side-effect: the occasional numbness in my fingers if I bent my fistula arm for a long period (especially when I was sleeping). This caused the fistula to steal much of the blood that should have gone to my hand (“Steal Syndrome”) and my hand to go completely numb. It was easily fixed by straightening my arm and letting the blood flow free. I am sure that many of you have the same experience.
Now, following my fistula rebuild things are a little different. This time the surgeon has cut some of my nerve endings, and the first three fingers of my hand are permanently numb. It is a strange feeling, they look the same, but the texture of what I feel is very different. Just one of the things to expect I suppose when you interfere with the natural order of things.
So if you have occasional or permanent numbness in the hand on your fistula arm, it’s a normal, though not always pleasant side effect of your fistula. Still, in the scheme of things, it’s a small price to pay for the life-giving function that your fistula provides.