If you have chronic kidney disease, there are several types of dialysis that may be right for you. In general, dialysis is designed to perform similar functions that your kidney can no longer do effectively on its own. This means removing toxins and wastes from your bloodstream, maintaining your body’s chemical balance, and preventing extra water from accumulating in your body.
There are two main types of home dialysis treatment: home hemodialysis (HHD) and peritoneal dialysis (PD).
Home hemodialysis (HHD) can allow you to take more control of your kidney health and your life by offering flexibility and comfort that’s harder to come by with in-center dialysis. For many patients of chronic kidney disease, assuming greater responsibility for their care can be empowering.
Doing dialysis on your own terms can be liberating, but often comes with a little unease at first. If the thought of using needles yourself for home dialysis treatments makes you nervous, you are definitely not alone. But with proper instruction, practice, and coping strategies, inserting needles can become just another part of your routine.
Work with Your Care Technician
An experienced dialysis professional will train you on how to use all of your home dialysis equipment properly, including needles. This individual will teach you tips and tricks to be gentle with the needle and how to get an effective stick on the first try to minimize or eliminate pain. Your care technician can also help you with strategies to reduce your needle anxiety and connect you to local and online communities where other patients are sharing their best practices for reducing their fear of needles.
It may take some time to find what best calms your fears, but try playing your favorite music in the background, putting on a TV show you enjoy, or repeating a calming mantra while working with the needle. Remind yourself that starting dialysis only takes a few minutes, and after that you have the whole day ahead of you.
Have a Reward
When you’ve finished your home dialysis treatment and are done with needles for the day, indulge in a small snack you enjoy or do a fun, relaxing activity. Having something to look forward to after your home treatments can help ease your anxiety during dialysis.
When you’re just starting home dialysis, there’s a lot of new technology and processes to manage, and getting a comfortable routine down takes time. Try to be patient with yourself as you learn what practices are most relaxing for you during treatment.
Our care team at Cincinnati Home Dialysis is here to guide you through home dialysis and all the comes with it. Contact us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kidney disease is life-changing for your loved one – and you. It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed by the idea of becoming a home dialysis care partner. This is a big commitment, and one that should not be taken on without awareness of the responsibilities.
You probably have a lot of questions about the role of a care partner. What’s the “right” way to provide care? How will I balance my loved one’s wellbeing with my own? What if I can’t manage the stress? It’s important to give yourself the time to learn and find these answers as you go. To get you started, here are a few key things you should know about being a home dialysis care partner and taking care of yourself.
Holidays are a great time to hit the road, visit friends and family, and get away for the long weekend. One of the best benefits of home dialysis treatment for many patients is the ability to travel. At Cincinnati Home Dialysis, we encourage you to live the life you want, but it’s important to plan accordingly and stay safe while you travel.
- Let your care team know in advance when and where you intend to travel. Your care team will be able to evaluate whether traveling is in the best interest of your health and can provide advice specific to your condition.
- Locate a dialysis center where you’ll be staying in the event of an emergency. Write down the name, address, and phone number of this center and keep this in an easily accessible place when you travel.
- Bring your medical info. If you do need to visit a dialysis center while traveling, they’ll likely need information about your dialysis access type, insurance, special needs or requirements, medical history and medications, any recent lab results, and contact information.
- Staying with family? Let them know your needs. Have them prepare a space for you to perform dialysis so your stay can go smoothly and comfortably.
- Pack enough supplies for your entire trip. And maybe even a little extra. It doesn’t hurt to have more than enough dialysis supplies on hand for your trip in case you end up staying longer than planned.
- Traveling by plane? Make arrangements ahead of time. When you book your flight, you can request dialysis-friendly meals and boarding priority to maximize comfort during your trip.
- Talk to your insurer about expenses. Some providers will actually cover a portion of your travel costs.
- Think ahead. Plan as many meals as you can in advance. Research the menus of restaurants you want to check out and pack or pick up dialysis-friendly snacks along the way.
Have questions about preparing for your trip? We’re here to help. Call us at 513-791-2137.