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...everything you need to know about doing dialysis at home.
Donald, a New Jersey dentist, knew exactly what he wanted to do when he retired: become a snowbird! He and his wife would spend summers in their long-time home, close to their children and grandchildren. When the weather turned cold, they’d head south to Florida to relax in the sun.
Then, 4 years ago, Donald was diagnosed with kidney failure. He was determined to keep their retirement dreams alive—and peritoneal dialysis (PD) made their travel plans possible. “I’ve never had a problem getting my supplies,” declares Donald. “Dawn (his Baxter Home Patient Service Representative, or HPSR) always calls to make sure everything is in place for me when I arrive.”
After almost 4 years of traveling between New Jersey and Florida, Donald and his wife have a routine. “You’ve got to make sure everything is in place so you can do your dialysis when you arrive,” Donald notes. “I carry my HomeChoice® machine with me, and I take a lot of other stuff, too. Everything except the solutions. I also carry a letter for airport security explaining what the machine is for.”
To make sure he brings it all, Donald has a checklist including masks, betadine, clips, drain bags, blister film, minicaps, and more. “We pack everything in separate Ziploc® bags and I check it all over before we leave,” he said.
Donald would like to have a HomeChoice cycler at home and in Florida, but he can move his machine from place to place. In airports, after thorough security checks, he and his wife put the cycler on a cart and wheel it onto the plane. Once on board, the flight attendants usually stow the machine in a closet, but it fits under the seat, too.
At his destination, Donald makes sure that his bedroom is set up for night-time cycling. “You need a table for the machine that is level to the bed,” he points out. He has used lamp tables, a bridge table—anything that works.
Over the years, Donald has found that traveling at non-peak times makes things easier. “We try to fly mid-day or mid-week,” he suggests. “Things go a little smoother if you travel when it’s not too busy.”
Experience has also made them willing to schedule other trips. “I just call ahead to be sure the hotel has someone who will be responsible for receiving and storing my supplies,” said Donald. “If you explain what you need, people are usually willing to help.”
As “snowbirds” they enjoy the best of all seasons. Donald’s kidneys may have failed, but PD allows him to keep doing the things he loves.
This patient has granted Baxter International Inc. permission to use this personal story for purposes of educating others about peritoneal dialysis.
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