Hi everyone. Just a quick post to let you know I’m still alive and kicking. My silence is due to spending what seems to be my annual few weeks’ stay in hospital due to unknown causes.
I went in with a sore hip, which, together with a fever implied BUG. After many blood and bug-in-a-bottle tests, together with heroic doses of vancomycin, I seem to have recovered. The bug defeated, though at some cost: daily blood and bottle tests helped drop my HB from 110 to 74.
I’m home now, but with so little energy, my Nephrologist ordered four units of blood. I had the final 2 units last night on dialysis. So this morning I’m waiting for a burst of energy that will enable me to walk further than twice around the bed.
But things seem to be on the up, except the hip, which is taking its time. Hopefully, I’ll be back to the blog with inspiration and enthusiasm in the next couple of weeks.
Again, I’m a little late to the party, (this aired in May) but have you seen this story?
It is a truly shocking report. it confirms our worst fears: US dialysis is in crisis. The most expensive dialysis service in the world has the highest dialysis mortality rates.
Two for-profit giant companies (DaVita and Fresenius) deliver 70% of the care, overwork and underpay staff while making enormous profits. From this report, it is clear that the industry is overwhelmed by bad incentives, poor oversight, and profiteering.
Any wonder why over 70% of the fistula rupture stories on this blog are from US readers.
The one small light at the end of the tunnel is the California Dialysis staffing bill.
But first, have a look at the report (Language warning!).
Medscape has a great article about\ the California bill, (it’s free, but you may need to log in), that has attracted a huge number of comments, all in favor.
For example, one nurse wrote:
…The problem arises when you take care out of patient care. By this, I mean that the monetary value of running a clinic outweighs the quality of care provided by the staff. You can not expect Staff to give the quality of care when they are overloaded with 4+ patients to care for and only have 15 minutes between each patient to rinse back, take VS, close up their access (be it a catheter or a access (graft or AV Fistula)) and put another patient on by doing their VS, quick assessment, cleanse their dialysis catheter/ graft/av fistula, start their treatment, document on the patient and give report to a charge nurse.
…I was tired of on-call and went to work in-center and my ratios in New Jersey were 3 patients per tech, nine patients/RN. I had to assess 9 patients and put on 3 every shift and when you have techs they may put the patient on the wrong bath, not do vital signs timely, with no time between shifts if you had a patient hypotensive, it was insane. A patient died on that unit, but not assigned to me that day because the techs did not do their vital signs and the nurse was busy doing something else. The B/P kept on dropping and no one assigned in that area ever told the nurse assigned there. You still have to do care plans, monthly notes, give blood, give meds, and get yelled at because you are not doing turn over fast enough.
How the No boosters keep a straight face is beyond me.
One interesting thing from the video: when these companies are sued, they settle.
Food for thought for anyone who has had a loved one die from a fistula rupture in one of their units,
Lorraine from Melbourne shares her excellent Roman adventure:
I want to share with you my experience after starting haemodialysis at Diaverum Diamond Valley in August last year. As well as taking courage to successfully return to my part-time work in a gradual way after a period of depression following my hospital admission I managed with no hitches to undertake a short overseas trip to Rome.
Even though I was extremely ill earlier last year with a long hospital stay, including nearly two weeks in ICU and with no immediate prospect of overseas travel, I decided with much faith to renew my expired passport. Little did I think that I would need it to travel to Rome in February this year!
I went with two friends to participate in a congress and private audience with Pope Francis for the 25th anniversary of an international network of business entrepreneurs, workers, students, researchers united by a vision of the world and the economy oriented to the common good and the integral development of the human person and society.
With the wonderful help of Chris, our Unit Manager, my dialysis sessions were seamlessly organised with Diaverum in Rome and providentially I was not even charged! But there was an even more extraordinary moment of providence when I met Pope Francis personally as a representative of the Zone of Oceania for this network. The photo says it all!
But there was an even more extraordinary moment of providence when I met Pope Francis personally as a representative of the Zone of Oceania for this network. The photo says it all!
Lorraine with Pope Francis
It certainly does. Thanks Lorraine, you are an inspiration BigD-ers everywhere.
BigDandMe is all about living well on dialysis.
Hard to imagine when we first hear the bad news: I’m going on dialysis. Then, our life seems to be consumed by shock, anger and not a little fear. But for most of us, that doesn’t last, because after a few weeks, we start to feel well again, and our resilient side comes to the fore. Our life is not over, just different. And dialysis is the price of the ride.
It is always great to hear of other BigD-ers with this living-life-to-the-full attitude.
Wayne Cooper LSBM at DELA
Like Wayne Cooper, a board member of that wonderful South Australian institution, the Dialysis Escape Line Australia*. DELA’s main goal in life is to set up temporary dialysis units at resorts and on cruise ships to allow patients a holiday, without the stress and difficulties commonly experienced when organising treatment away from home. (more…)
Its time for a new look, and here it is. I hope you like it!
I’m on holidays this week in a beautiful part of South East Asia. Back next week with all the details!
No dialysis in unit on Christmas Day. So I started nice and early this morning (0530 Christmas Eve), so that everyone who normally dialyses on tomorrow can dialyse today or Boxing Day (St Stephen’s Day).
Home now, wrapping presents, preparing food and enjoying the anticipation of a happy day tomorrow.
Have a very Happy Christmas and I look forward to catching up in the New Year.
It’s Christmas Day here in Melbourne! Time for family, reading books to grand kids (and to me) and hopefully next Tuesday, whipping up enough enthusiasm to clean out the garage. Have a great Christmas everyone. We’ll get together again in the New Year. Greg
No post this week – Queen’s Birthday long weekend. While I’m a staunch republican, I’m happy to accept Queen Liz’s birthday holidays. They won’t last forever.
No post this week, it’s the Anzac Day long weekend. Lest we forget.