- Types of home dialysis
- Daily HHD
- Nocturnal HHD
- Standard HHD
- News & events
- Message boards
- For professionals
- About us
...everything you need to know about doing dialysis at home.
Like most 11-year old New Yorkers, Nicole is a busy sixth grader—she has homework, school projects, and household chores. She likes to spend time with her family and play with her puppy, Daisy. But in addition to her usual activities, PD treatments and a quest for kidney disease knowledge also play a large part in Nicole’s day-to-day life.
At the age of 9, after a 2-month hospital stay, Nicole was diagnosed with kidney failure due to a very rare disease called Wegener’s Granulomatosis. Her doctors made the decision to start her on PD, and she began hemodialysis for two and a half months while waiting for her catheter to heal. “I didn’t really know what was going on,” Nicole recalls. “I was kind of out of it. Usually things like this happen to other people. When it happens to you, you think, ‘Why me?’”
Nicole’s solution was to begin researching her diagnosis and PD. “I thought I should know what Wegener’s was,” she explains. “I wanted to find out more about it.” So Nicole went to her dialysis center and wrote down some of the website addresses they gave her. She also took informational handouts from the center logbook.
Looking for information took time, but Nicole made sure to fit it into her busy schedule. “I would look for information on weekends, when I didn’t have homework, after dinner, or after I did my homework,” she says.
Nicole won’t go so far as to call herself an expert, but does feel she knows a good amount. “If you know more about PD, you can tell your family and friends about it…then they won’t ask you any more questions!” she declares. “Also, if you have information, then when doctors talk you can actually understand them.”
Helping her teachers, school nurse, and classmates gain an understanding of PD was the next step in Nicole’s quest—in a science fair project. “The title of my project was ‘Kidneys and Dialysis,’” she explains. “I got my information from the computer and from other places. Merrianne (my Home Patient Service Representative) from Baxter, gave me materials to help build my exhibit, and my social worker Julie gave me websites to go to.”
Nicole also drew a picture for a ‘Kidney Calendar’ contest, winning a trip for her family to Washington, D.C. “I’m happy to tell people about kidney disease and PD,” she says. Her picture is included in the American Kidney Fund 2003 calendar.
Nicole’s mother, Sherri, says Nicole was lucky to make it out of that 2-month hospital stay. “Nicole has an idea of how lucky she is and doesn’t feel sorry for herself,” she says. “I don’t know how she does it, but she’s got a good attitude. She’s handled it better than most of the adults in her life.”
If Nicole’s good health continues, she hopes to get a kidney transplant from her mother in 2003. What else does the future hold for Nicole? “I want to go to college,” she explains. “Then I’m going to go for extra school so that I can become a teacher.” Nicole has already taught us that learning all you can about PD can help you live a good life with kidney disease.
This patient has granted Baxter International Inc. permission to use this personal story for purposes of educating others about peritoneal dialysis.
Home Dialysis Central is made possible through the generous annual contributions of our Corporate Sponsors. Learn more about becoming a Corporate Sponsor.