I have events and different things in my life that are now perfectly normal for me. Normal for me, but not most people. A good example of that is my dialysis solution delivery day, which happened this week. Every month I order solution and supplies that are part of my prescription. And every month, it gets delivered. Sounds simple, but it is very disruptive. While I get a calendar that tells me what day each month my delivery will arrive, I never know what time it will arrive until the day before. And even then, I get a window of around 3 hours. Oh, and I have to be home to accept the delivery. Why is this a problem? Because I have a full time job with tasks and appointments and meetings on my calendar. But on the second Wednesday of every month, I have to keep my calendar clear, and potentially take a personal/vacation day, or work from home. It’s inconvenient to say the least. I feel lucky to have that kind of flexibility in my job.
Then there’s the space that is taken up by my boxes of solution. I had to figure out a space where the boxes can be stored so that it’s close to my dialysis machine. I use one box of two bags each day. Each box weighs about 25 pounds…so carrying them up and down stairs is not an option. Luckily, I have four bedrooms, one of which is my office, and that’s where I store the solution. It’s right next to my bedroom, so I’m not carrying the box very far every day.
Also, I’m lucky that the delivery person will put the boxes wherever I tell them to…so I’m not moving them once they’re here. The delivery guy has this hydraulic hand truck that puts out wheels on the step, pulling the whole thing up each stair step. It’s really cool!
If you look closely, you’ll see that some of the boxes have green markings and some have yellow. The yellow boxes are 1.5% dextrose solution, and the green are 2.5% dextrose. Dextrose extracts fluid from my body, so the higher the solution more fluid is extracted. I started out only using 1.5%, but in the last several months, that has not been strong enough, so I’ve had to use the 2.5% more often. This means my body is starting to become immune to the treatment. It’s possible that I’ll keep having to use a higher solution. It’s been really hard to regulate over the summer; when I get sweaty, I can get dehydrated. But if I eat out too much, (or succumb to that bag of chips) I consume too much salt, and my body retains fluid. If I use a higher solution too much, I get terrible leg cramps and I get constipated. If I use a lower strength solution my feet and ankles swell up, and my belly looks huge. I’m looking forward to cooler weather.
Seeing those boxes every day is a constant reminder of my situation. Of course, being on dialysis every day is a big reminder, but the visual of the all those boxes is literally in my face. It’s also a reminder that not all the boxes are yellow…more and more are green. The highest solution is 4.5%. I have never used that yet, and I hope I don’t have to. Dextrose is sugar…my doctor said it’s like eating a Snickers bar every day! So I’ve gained pounds that are not just water. Without the benefit of chocolate and peanuty nougat.
If you want to learn more about transplant, please visit my About page.