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Daughter trying to understand side effects

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  • Daughter trying to understand side effects

    I am looking for some information. My father is living with me and on dialysis (hemo) and has been since October. He also has diabetes. It seems that since he has begun dialysis he is tired and washed out all the time.I have spoken several times to his nephrologist who said that it is normal to be tired directly following the dialysis but that they would up his dry weight, check his time, levels etc. He seems to sleep 80% of the time. I am concerned about his quality of life and lately he has been questioning whether he should just stop all together. Obviously, I do not want that to happen. I feel frustrated that I can't seem to help him and everytime we speak to the doctor and they adjust things it does not make a difference. Is this normal? The days he has dialysis I have to wake him to eat and there are times he does not want to get up to eat. Any suggestions??

  • #2
    Wecome to the site, Sky. First of all,how old is your father? Is he receiving any other medical treatments? It's not unusual to feel washed out after dialysis and the severity seems to vary from person to person. I feel a little bit tired after dialysis but it soon goes away. My appetite is good (especially for things I can't have) and I don't sleep anymore than usual. Also,does he have any nausea or cramping?
    Whatever does not kill me makes me stronger...Neitzsche
    Flip

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    • #3
      Thank you for responding to my post. My father is 74. He has not mentioned any cramping or nausea. He frequently has very low blood pressure directly following the treatment and has to wait up to an hour and a half before they will let him leave. His appetite is ok, especially for all the things he can't have. He is not a great follower of the diet. I try my best but I can't control everything he eats. My father is the type that hardly complains about anything and whenever asked responds with " I feel alright".

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      • #4
        Older patients can have particularly bad reactions to dialysis. If he is not good at following his diet he may be building up toxins that cannot be successfully removed at each session. His low blood pressure is one indication that they may be having to remove too much fluid at each session. When my blood pressure drops really low like that I am washed out and sleep more than usual for a couple of days afterwards. The problem is as follows. It is really hard on the body to remove more than about 2 kilos of fluid at one session. Removing more can cause cramping and drops in blood pressure. If the patient is not really good at following the diet and fluid restrictions it is very easy to accumulate more than 2 kilos of fluid between treatments. That fluid eventually has to come off. If this is happening every time then it is understandable that he is wiped out all the time. Do what you can to see that he follows his diet and fluid restrictions and he may improve. Also if he has other medical conditions, they may be contributing to this sleepiness. Keep in touch. BTW, welcome to the site.
        To the stars through difficulty!

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        • #5
          With the low BP, they may be taking off too much fluid. When they up his dry weight, it should help some with the way he feels. Does he still urinate? Make sure he stays hydrated, if he does.
          Shannon
          KidneyFun // Kidney Korner // Organ donation awareness products!
          If the world didn't suck...........We'd all fall off!

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          • #6
            I agree totally with Shay and Nancy. I had problems with low blood pressure on exit when I first started dialysis. I think part of it was the fluid loss. The doc took me off my BP meds and I haven't had any problems since. If your dad is on BP meds, he may need to reduce them or quit totally.
            Whatever does not kill me makes me stronger...Neitzsche
            Flip

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            • #7
              Hi all!

              When my blood pressure dropped, like everyone else I would get faint, lose my eyesight, etc. I would then spend varying amounts of time laying on my head with my feet toward the sun. One thing that is important to remember is that when we do in-center hemo, the machine is trying to remove in 3-4 hours what the body takes 24 hours to do so it is hard on the body and sometimes the body simply balks. Hopefully they will get to the source of his problems and make his time a little more enjoyable.
              "Within every adversity lies a slumbering possibility"
              Linda
              Tx: 7/28/2005
              St. Louis University Hospital

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              • #8
                Thank you all so much. I will try my best with the diet but he definity is obstinate! He thinks that he did "fine" without the dialysis that he should be fine now without it. I will keep in touch. Again, thanks

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                • #9
                  We'll send you a bill, lol. Good luck,Sky.
                  Whatever does not kill me makes me stronger...Neitzsche
                  Flip

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    More questions

                    Hello everyone,

                    Another problem seems to arisen from one of the last visits to dialysis. His fistula collapsed. My understanding the beginning was once that happens it is unusuable and may need to be rebuilt? He said that they were just not going to use it for a while and then try again later.

                    You have all mentioned the food being a big player in the dialysis. If he has toxins that have already begun to build up from not following it, can that be reversed? And how would you know? They have up'd his time from 3 hours to 3hours and 20 mins. Would that be part of the reason they have increased his time?

                    Thanks. You can post the bill here!

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                    • #11
                      Toxins continue to build up in the blood unless removed by dialysis. Following the diet closely minimizes the amount of those toxins and thus the amount of dialysis required. I would guess that if they have upped his time they are not satisfied with some aspect of his dialysis adequacy. That could be fluids or toxins or both. You would have to ask at his center.
                      If his fistula has collapsed it may be possible to repair it by inserting a stent. If it is just traumatized from bad sticks or from him bumping it or otherwise injuring it, then resting the fistula for a few days might help. He really needs to get the advice of his vascular surgeon (the dr. who put in the fistula in the first place) about what needs to be done. If it has collapsed, I don't know if there is a specific window of time for a stent to be placed, but I wouldn't let it go for very long.
                      To the stars through difficulty!

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                      • #12
                        That is not a long time for dialysis. Most people go at least 3 1/2 hours.Often they will start you out lower and gradually build up your time. Most of this is based on your labs. If you are not getting cleaned out good, they increase your time. Most of the people I know that have had dialysis time increased don't follow their diet like they should. Hope this helps.
                        Whatever does not kill me makes me stronger...Neitzsche
                        Flip

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          an oldester on dialysis but no diabetes

                          Hi
                          I''m 73 and have been on dialysis, hemo, for 2+ years now. I do follow my diet and my wife is diabetic, so I almost follow the diabetic/dialysis diet. My time is 4 hours, my dry weight is 66 and they normally pull of 2-3 kg. My biggest problem is that I get BORED. I come in early and volunteer and help othjer patients and before that I exercise starting about 630AM.
                          Without the exercise the dialysis is much worse for me. I have it scheduled late in the day and come home and have hot tea and honey bun, sleep for an hour eat dinner, work on the internet for an hour and then off to bed and wake feel good the following morning.
                          For the first four months of dialysis I was like your Dad and then something changed and I don't know what it was.
                          I do know that attitude is the most important thing in the area of feeling good, with or without dialysis. I can look at dialysis as if it is the only thing I have to look forward to for the next 20 years or I can be grateful to it for the next 20 years to write notes like this and also do some very important things. One is in the works now and I'll send you a note when I have it implemented. ABOUT 1-2 MONTHS..
                          Church, civic club meetings, etc can make a whole lot of difference, but you have to get him to want to be better.
                          May God have mercy on us all

                          CK

                          Idiopathic globular membranous nephritis 1999-2006
                          Feb 2006 Dx about 1-2 yrs before dialysis. Dialysis start 6-2006
                          Chest Cath 4 mos in center hemo dialysis
                          Fistula, button holes, self stick days 07-09 in center hemo
                          Graft nocturnal hemo 4Q09 to present

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                          • #14
                            Sometimes with a weak fistula, they will slow the machine down and increase the time to compensate. Just out of curiosity, what do his numbers look like?

                            BTW, your bill has already been paid by Chefnancy.
                            Whatever does not kill me makes me stronger...Neitzsche
                            Flip

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks, Flip. It would be really helpful to know his numbers. That could tell us more about their reasoning in making the changes.
                              To the stars through difficulty!

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