What is the best Home Dialysis Routine?

Dulcie emailed me recently with this home HD question:

I’ve been reading your blog for about six months now and it has been a great support. My husband’s kidney failed last year after eighteen years and he has started dialysis again. He’s in the process of training up for home hemo and I wondered if you had any advice as to how many times a week he should dialyse for when he starts at home? In centre he has been doing Monday, Wednesday, Friday 3.5 hrs each.

My reply: (more…)

The Big(D) questions: How to keep going; PD, HD or a transplant?

Last week was a big week for questions, and rather than answering them in the Comments area, it seems like a good idea to discuss some in a post.

First, Dan wrote:

Hi Greg, I’m 30 years old and I have PKD, I’ve had a transplant which unfortunately failed in January 2012. I spent a few months training to do haemo myself so I could do it at home (thinking that would make it much better) how wrong I was!  I’m not sure if it’s my age and the need to stay active but dialysis is driving me mad! I get very fidgety and agitated especially when I’m on the machine and sometimes I get so angry when I’m on there I just want to smash the bloody thing up! (more…)

Musings from a BigD Christmas party (or why I’m glad I don’t dialyse at home)

Julie and I went to the BigD Christmas party last Sunday. It’s on at the same time every year, 5pm on the last Sunday in November. At the same place, a park with a big sheltered area surrounded by trees, swings and slides. We all try to bring at least one significant other.

Chris, the Unit Manager and several of her wonderful staff and friends organise it every year. They do the hard stuff: buying the chickens and salads, cooking the snags, buttering the bread, making the punch. For the rest of us, it’s just there, ready to eat and enjoy. All for $10 a head. (more…)

Where to Dialyse: Home versus BigD Unit?

Most states and countries subsidise the cost of dialysis. So you can choose to dialyse in a public unit, a private unit or at home.

  • Public units are busy and (by their nature) no frills.
  • Private units are for profit, and offer a more personalized service which is funded partly by government and partly by your health insurance provider.
  • Home dialysis involves setting up your own BigD machine in a space at your home, usually with special plumbing and wiring, a storage area for supplies and consumables and a disposal service – all paid for by the government.

(more…)