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After six years of going to the dialysis clinic three times a week, Shane was at the end of her rope. “I was so depressed going to the clinic, being in that atmosphere of sickness,” she remembers. “I was 38 years old, and I needed a change. I wanted some normalcy in my life, so I prayed for some other way I could get my dialysis.”
Shane also began doing research into dialysis options. She learned about home dialysis on the Internet, but her clinic did not offer home training. In fact, she couldn’t find a home program anywhere in Buffalo. Then her social worker told her about the NxStage System One for daily home hemodialysis, and Shane called the company directly. They referred her to a program in Niagara Falls, NY—just 20 minutes by car from her home.
Shane contacted the clinic and had her name added to the home training waiting list. While she waited, she recruited her friend and minister, Rev. Edward Smith, as a helper. Three months later, she began training to do dialysis at home. “The clinic has a 3-week training program,” explains Shane, “with sessions from 5 am to noon every day. I caught on in a week, so the last 2 weeks were spent getting really comfortable with the procedures.”
Shane went home with her NxStage dialysis machine in May 2006. “Since I’ve been dialyzing at home, I’ve had the time and energy to go back to school and complete my bachelor’s degree. I am so proud of myself,” she adds, “and I owe it all to God and my friend Rev. Smith.”
Shane also has the energy to continue her work as a minister and choir member at the Jesus Crusade Temple of Salvation in Buffalo. In addition, she does motivational speaking. Now that she has her degree in writing and leadership, she is looking for a full-time job in the field of human services or public relations.
Shane dialyzes 6 days a week for 3-3.5 hours. She usually fits her treatments in after supper. She reads, watches, TV, or talks on the phone during her treatments. “It’s so much better than dialysis at the center,” Shane explains. “The people and the policies at the clinic changed a lot and you didn’t have any control over your situation. Now I do.”
Shane credits home dialysis—and the excellent clearances she gets—with making her new lifestyle possible. It couldn’t be more different than her life on in-center hemodialysis. “Then, I was physically and mentally drained,” she recalls. “Just getting on the bus to and from the clinic three times a week was hard.” Sometimes the effort was so great, and the atmosphere at the clinic was so depressing, that Shane simply skipped her treatment. “That was not good for me,” she admits, “but after I got a serious infection in my graft I became paranoid about letting the staff handle me.”
It’s been more than 15 years since Shane was diagnosed with glomerulonephritis at the age of 24. She has done peritoneal dialysis and in-center hemodialysis. When she was in her early 30s, she had a transplant that lasted 3 years. Now, at the age of 40, Shane feels like home dialysis has made it possible for her to make a new start in life. “I needed to have control of my own life, and have the stability that comes with making my own decisions about my treatments. I have that now, and I owe a special thanks to NxStage for all that they do to help me every day. Home dialysis saved my life and gave me new hope for a brighter future.”
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