In case you were wondering, this is what a peritoneal dialysis machine, or “cycler”, looks like. The set-up is pretty simple really: turn it on and do what it tells you to do! Insert the casette, hook up the drain bag, hook up the bags, hook up yourself. From this point on the machine does the rest of the work which is the whole fill, dwell, drain process. I have 3 dwells that are each a little over 2 hours long, so I end up having to be tethered to the machine for about 7 or 8 hours each night. I usually try to hook up by 8:30 at least so I can be done by the time I have to wake up and get ready for work at 5:20AM. Fridays and Saturdays I can hook up whenever I want as long as I don’t have any morning activities planned (I hate mornings and sleeping in is one of my favorite things in the world to do). This machine is pretty sophisticated—it has a memory card in it that can be programmed for each patient’s specific treatment needs. I started out using two 1.5% solution bags each night, however this wasn’t really strong enough to remove a significant amount of fluid/toxins from my body and at some points it was actually adding fluid, so my dialysis nurse said to use a 1.5% and a 2.5% which worked pretty good. Now I alternate every other day between using a 1.5% and a 2.5% and two 2.5% bags. Things are going well.

Yes, that is a bowl of ice cream sitting on that bag next to the machine. I can set things like my phone or the remote or a bowl of ice cream on the bags if I need to, so that’s nce. I’m lucky that I’m even allowed to eat ice cream! Most people with kidney failure aren’t supposed to because dairy products are so high in phosphorus.

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