Monday, September 27, 2010

Mission Impossible

The thing that makes me the most nervous about doing my own Dialysis at home is, what happens if there is a power outage while I'm connected? Like I've said previously there is no backup power, I actually need to pump my blood back to myself manually, with a tunny plastic lever that snaps into the machine. I then have to hand pump about 100ml of blood back to me. I have been trained to do this, and during training and did do it once before.

There is however a huge difference between training to do this in a brightly lit room and waking up in the middle of the night with only emergency lighting and being conscious enough to do it. To make matters even worse, there is actually a time limit to do this. 10 minutes. Anything over 10 minutes and my blood will begin to coagulate because it isn't moving. Great! So not only do I have to hand crank the pump to give me back my blood, I'm also doing it under emergency lighting and now I have a ticking clock. I'd have to be Jack Bauer to not sweat under those conditions.

My plastic hand crank I would use to manually pump my blood

I have had to take myself off in an emergency situation before though, not just in training, actually in a real honest to goodness situation. About a month or so into doing my treatments at home I had been on for a few hours, and I had been sleeping when I woke up. As soon as I woke up I knew there was an issue and I was going to have to take myself off. It was another situation that I dread but non the less knew would happen someday and I'm sure it will happen again. I had to use the loo.

Since I do not urinate I'll let the fine readers put together what needed to be done. It was time for business. I did an emergency take off, but connected my lines to the medication ports so that as long as I was back in 10 minutes I could connect back up. I grabbed my iPod Touch and set the timer to 8 minutes. It was close, I was just finishing up at my timer went off saying I had 2 minutes left, I got back to my room, setup my sterile area, which takes another minutes or so, I was just connecting when the time went past 10 minutes, and I turned the pump back on. I watched as my blood flowed naturally, I didn't see any issues. I had done the impossible.


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