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...everything you need to know about doing dialysis at home.
Joe, age 55, is an active husband, father, and grandfather, as well as an avid fisherman and gardener (although for years he discriminated against plants you could not eat). He resides in Camarillo, CA, with his wife Ann. At age 26, Joe lost his kidney function. In 1979, after 3 years of in-center dialysis, his sister donated a kidney, although kidney transplants were a relatively new type of surgery back then. Joe took great care of this gift and it functioned almost perfectly for 23 years. In late 2001, Joe’s kidney rejected and he returned to the only option he knew: in-center treatment 3 times per week.
During the next 4 years from 2001 to 2005, Joe was on in-center dialysis 3 times a week, and he did not have the energy for his beloved family, hobbies, or any other fun. On treatment days he would leave the center, drive home 2 miles, and could barely walk up the driveway. Once inside, he would “crash and be gone,” sleeping for the next 10-16 hours.
On days off from his treatment, he performed his duties as a full time Navy Civil service employee. When a cardiovascular nurse mentioned to him that her mom was on dialysis in her home, Joe was sure she meant peritoneal dialysis (PD). After some clarification and information from the nurse, some investigation on the Internet, and a few phone calls, he realized it wasn’t PD but rather hemodialysis—and he was on his way to training for short daily dialysis at home. Joe learned to use the NxStage System One, a portable machine that patients can use at home or when traveling (without the need for special electrical outlets or water sources). He looks forward to traveling with “Libby” (his liberating machine) soon.
There was a learning curve for Joe to use the machine (the patient or helper must learn to put in the dialysis needles, using the buttonhole technique, and learn to use the machine), but after 3 weeks of training he was able to use the machine at home. He is assisted by his wife, Ann. She took the NxStage training with Joe, but had no previous medical training.
Joe reports that he felt better from the first treatment he did in training. After each training session and treatment he had enough energy to stop for lunch and drive home 35 miles in Los Angeles traffic—with energy to spare. For Joe, each treatment runs about 3 hours (from priming to cleaning) and is done 6 days a week. His improved energy level and appetite was proof enough for Joe, but he was delighted to see the clinical data in his blood tests show significant improvement, too.
Joe wants others to know about this treatment option since it has improved his life “more than 100%.” According to Joe, “The best part of my new treatment is the freedom it allows: being able to spend time with my family without feeling completely drained (and like I’d rather be asleep). Whether you’re a traveler or not, NxStage is simply a better way of life.”
This patient has granted NxStage Medical, Inc., permission to use his personal story for purposes of educating others about the NxStage System One.
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