Thursday, February 10, 2011

Peritoneal Dialysis Brings Steve Some Benefits; Will They Last?

Steve had a rocky start with Peritoneal Dialysis - with worrisome volume overload and wide blood sugar swings.

But now that we've settled into it a bit and ironed out a few math problems, PD looks very encouraging.

Here's what we're noticing:

1. It's so easy, compared to Home Hemodialysis. Particularly compared to Home Hemodialysis with chronically challenging fistula access! (All those stenoses requiring periodic angioplasties!)

2. It's done daily, which has to mimic actual kidney function more closely.

3. Steve feels better! This week, he started Outpatient PT and OT, so this new energy level will be much-needed.

4. Steve's appetite has returned, and interestingly enough, food has begun to taste better. On hemodialysis, Steve said that chicken tasted like cardboard. He'd say he'd eat "from memory." Now, he says that food tastes the way it's supposed to taste.

It may be premature, but we are very hopeful that Peritoneal Dialysis will continue to encourage. We are glad to have moved from Hemodialysis to PD - and not the reverse! This technology is much more user-friendly, and conducive to CarePartner sleep!

Since our "filter" is now a living membrane, i.e. Steve's peritoneum, it's not as reliable as a manufactured dialysis filter. Will dialysis via PD provide adequate dialysis?

Will he run into later complications or peritonitis?

Most critically, will PD buy us enough time to potentially gain Steve enough rehab - and give him enough mobility to become a kidney transplant candidate once again?

Take care,
Linda Gromko, MD

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