My questions are: is there anyone out there with a physically demanding job? Can i lift substancle weight with that in my arm? Does anyone workout? Will this make my arm "useless" as i've heard? I'm in a dilemmea here...any thoughts or opinions and experience are welcomed and needed...thank you!!!
I have an office job so I don't have direct experience but... The paperwork says never lift more than 10 pounds with your fistula arm, so don't carry in groceries etc.. But that being said I'm sure relatively healthy/able people (like me) all carry much more than that. i.e. I carried in and out of the house a 60 pound smoker over the weekend. Likely I'm risking my fistula in some way, but it has not physically impacted my mobility/arm in any fashion.
Make sure you understand your HD session timing before you make the jump. If I want to be close to my house and stay with my doctors all the shifts are during working hours. Once I factor in the commute I'm leaving at 2:30 on M/W/F.
I am quite new to hemodialysis, and don't have a lot of advice for you, but I did want to offer you support. I have been told to never lift more than 3 pounds with my fistula arm......fistula is 3 months old.....I am now completing 3 weeks of HD. Try to be gentle with yourself....this can be a brutal process, especially when you're getting poked with 15g needles, much comfort is needed!!! God bless.
Hi TutuOBrien, I was told I could lift up to 20 pounds because I had three grandbabies in 2013 and would be watching one at least once a week. The doctor told me I could lift the babies until they were 20 pounds and use mostly my right arm. I had to learn to fed the opposite of what I was use to and it felt funny for a few weeks. My sons still place her in my arm the wrong way and has to re adjust. Now that they are at 20 pounds my sons or husband lifts them up to me. I can still carry them around in my right arm with left arm support.
I have been on HD for 4 months with a difficult deep fistula. I should have a transposition soon. Just waiting for the vascular doctor to ok what the kidney doctor thinks needs to be done. So far, he has had me wait. I am thankful for Christian friends and support.
Unless I've missed it, no one has mentioned using Bactroban on the needle site once bleeding has stopped. This is not only a "Best Practice", but also lubricates the contact point and the scab will not pull off when the bandage is removed. Good luck!
Here are some of the fistula care guidelines provided on this website by DaVita:
Proper blood flow through the fistula
Blood needs to flow smoothly through your AV fistula. To reduce the risk of blood clots, be careful not to put extra pressure on the area. This may require some changes in your daily habits:
■Do not wear tight-fitting shirts.
■Do not wear jewelry (such as bracelets) that may restrict blood flow on your access arm.
■When carrying things (groceries, bags, luggage), make sure the straps or handles don’t tighten around your fistula.
■When having your blood pressure taken or blood drawn, use your non-fistula arm.
■When sitting or sleeping, make certain that your head, pillow or cushion doesn’t rest on your fistula.
I have followed these recommendations since having an AVF placed in October 2011 and since beginning the use of it in July 2012. I had to move my wristwatch from a lifetime on my right wrist to my left wrist in order to comply with these recommendations. The wristwatch band would constrict the anastomosis (union of artery and vein that creates the fistula) if I were to wear it on my right wrist. One other precaution to add, never have anyone draw blood from your fistula arm. The fistula is your lifeline and its use must be limited to hemodialysis.
Buttonhole fistula access is a sure fired way to limit bleeding after removal of dialysis needles. These sites develop tracts much like a pierced ear and that tract or tunnel is a great means of aiding clotting and stopping blood flow. The longer the tract, (within limits) the more area for blood to clot between the skin and the fistula. Additionally, the blunt dialysis needle used with buttonhole sites does not produce the tissue and vessel trauma that a sharp dialysis needle will, which further promotes bleeding, much like a cut.
I've got 5 different buttonholes sites that I rotate through in different combinations and find that my most developed sites stop bleeding most quickly and those nearest the anastomosis, where the flow pressue is the highest, take the longest to clot. I don't use heparin and until recently my platelet count was below normal, which would generally increase clotting time.