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...everything you need to know about doing dialysis at home.
Anndrea is not a typical person on dialysis. She goes to a center for her treatments—but from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. (7 hours!) three nights a week. “It’s perfect for my schedule,” she claims, “and I have a lot more energy.”
In July 2009, Anndrea, 31, had been on dialysis for almost 3 years after her kidneys failed due to focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). She went to the center after work on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for 4-hour treatments. Then, she went home and straight to bed. Her routine was far from convenient, but she didn’t think she had a choice. She didn’t feel comfortable doing treatments at home, so she thought, “this is it.”
Then, her clinic—Fresenius Medical Care South Louisville—posted a sign-up sheet for patients who wanted to come to the center at night, for longer treatments. Anndrea was the first to sign up. “I didn’t even know this existed,” she said, “but my nurse, Jamie, and the social worker, Mike, explained it to me and I thought, ‘I’ll give it a try.’”
Now, Anndrea heads to the clinic at 7 PM on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Once there, she settles in for a long, slow treatment. “I’m a night owl,” she admits, “so I don’t sleep. I just watch TV or relax.” When she’s done, she drives herself the short distance home and takes a long nap before getting up for work in the morning.
It’s been almost a year, and Anndrea still loves her new schedule and how much better she feels. “I can work 40 hours a week at the check-cashing business. I don’t have to leave early to get to my treatments,” she said. “Plus, I feel a whole lot better. I’m not as drained after my dialysis. My blood pressure is good, and my phosphorus is down so much that I don’t have to take binders any more!”
Anndrea’s co-workers have seen the difference, too. “They can see that I’m not so tired.”
Anndrea is so happy with her nighttime treatments—and how good she feels—that she is eager to share. “When people ask me about it, I tell them to give it a fighting chance. You have more ‘good’ time to spend with your family so you’re not tempted to skip dialysis to have family time.” Anndrea likes being able to go to her nieces’ school events during the day without missing a treatment. She also knows that the slower, longer treatments leave her feeling good. “When you run 4 hours and they take off that fluid, it’s hard on you,” she recalls.
For Anndrea, in-center nocturnal is a great option. “I would definitely suggest to anyone that they try it,” she said, “it works for me!”
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