Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is one way to remove the waste from your blood when your kidney no longer can.
Fluid is placed in your stomach via a catheter (read about my catheter operation here) and is drained out after a set amount of time. My doctor recommended that I do three exchanges a day, leaving the last exchange of fluid in overnight.
My exchanges currently happen at 8AM, 1PM and 5PM. The The 5PM exchange stays in overnight and is drained at 8AM, when a new bag is placed in. This cycle is then repeated again at 1PM.
The 1PM exchange is the most challenging. I have a full time job and this exchange has to happen during my lunch hour. I lock myself in a office, sanitize the entire room and then do my exchange. That is the easy part. Trust me. The difficult part is walking from the office to the bathroom with a massive bag of fluid. People look at you strangely. I am quite sure they think I’m walking around with a bag of urine (because that is what it looks like). The other two exchanges I do from the comfort of my bed. Don’t get me wrong. It is a process. Everything has to be very clean and sterile. There is a lot of hand washing involved so if you do not have a bathroom near your bedroom, there is going to be a lot of walking.
A lot of people ask me why I would choose PD over traditional hemo dialysis (HD) in the hospital. Honestly, PD takes 30 minutes out of my day x 3 times a day. That is minimal in comparison to the 3-4 hours you need to stay in the hospital while doing PD. I have also spoken to people on HD and they always speak about how it affects them afterwards and how they need to sleep and all that. I am one of those people that are always busy. I would hate to have to sit in a hospital and then to have to go and sleep. Effectively taking out a chunk of my day. PD can sound scary because you need to do it yourself. But I could probably do it with my eyes closed now. The process is quick and efficient.
I have only been on PD for one month and my latest blood tests have shown that my creatinine has not gone up, which mean the PD is keeping it stable. Hopefully this continues as my venture towards transplantation continues.