Patient Comments: Dialysis - Experience

Please describe your experience with Dialysis.

Comment from: lizzyroo, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: October 31

My mother was on hemodialysis for 13 years. She was in her late 60s when she got diagnosed. We knew nothing about kidney failure. She was sick for a week, then she went to the hospital, stayed for a week and then we were told she would have to start dialysis the following week. She had a positive attitude from the beginning. That makes a difference because there are a lot of things that must be followed in order for you to stay healthy during your treatments. For an older person I think hemodialysis is best. My mom did great as she progressed with her treatments. She was even able to drive herself to and from the treatments for a while. I was there to support throughout the whole process. Family support means a whole lot also.

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Comment from: taylornibbler, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 10

My mother gets dialysis 3 times a week and she is having severe muscle cramps in her legs. I am trying to find what she can do during dialysis to help alleviate or lessen the cramps. She is 80 years old and has other conditions, if there is something to help with the cramps it may make her time in dialysis less stressful.

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Comment from: mal3, Female (Patient) Published: November 16

I have tried all three types of dialysis. Hemodialysis is tiring and takes much of your time but it allows you some freedoms that you do not get on other treatments. Peritoneal dialysis was better for me because I worked all day and it allowed me to work and still get treatment. It is more responsibility on you but worth it. I connected at night before I went to bed and unhooked in the morning before I left for work. I also tried home hemodialysis. This treatment is very dangerous and you have to have someone there with you when you hook up and unhook for support. This treatment is only offered to certain people, not everyone qualifies. If you are independent I suggest you try peritoneal dialysis. If you are scared and precautious I would go with hemodialysis. I would not try home hemodialysis unless you are confined to a bed and there are no other options. Dialysis is not a bad experience once you get use to the idea.

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Comment from: Cutler, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 08

Peritoneal dialysis is apparently not so well known as hemodialysis, but in my experience, it is much preferable, as the patient has the treatment in their own hands and can vary the times for exchange of the solutions to suit their daily changing routines. The danger of infection appears to me to be much less the danger of the catheter becoming infected at the entry point to the abdomen, but keeping the connector free from infection. This is not difficult but requires attention to details when connecting and disconnecting. I recommend the manual exchange, though given good drainage times, the cycler has benefits, as the exchange can be intensified, and it is run during sleep. The main problem with CAPD is the storage of the solutions and other materials, as this takes up quite some space and has to be carried to the treatment area (10 kg per box). However, if the patient can accommodate the materials and is willing to do the work, the patient is much more independent and can take holidays wherever desired.

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Published: May 02

I am just devastated. My mum has been on dialysis for four years now. She was on Hi I am just devastated-my mum was on dialysis for four years now. She was on hemodialysis for three years, and eventually after numerous catheter infections – her veins became very weak for any further catheter insertions – she went on to peritoneal dialysis. We live in South Africa, and the only option we were given were four bags, four times a day. She hated it, as the liquids were 2 liters at a time just sitting in your tummy. She put up with it for a year and then she had a protein deficiency, which led to continuous diarrhea and vomiting. It got so bad that she refused to eat – and she eventually died of severe dehydration three weeks ago. It's absolutely devastating, because through it all we were with her every step of the way. I still feel that we could have done more.

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Comment from: Wizard, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: March 18

We need your input. We would like to hear from elderly patients who are on dialysis. Our mother is 77 years old and is in stage 4 kidney failure. She needs to make a decision as far as which dialysis treatment is best for her: hemodialysis or peritoneal. Can someone please share the pros and cons of both?

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