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...everything you need to know about doing dialysis at home.
Sherryl doesn’t need high-tech medical equipment and machinery to do her dialysis; she does it by hand, by herself, in the privacy of her own home, using continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD).
Each and every day for the last 18 years, Sherryl has done manual exchanges of dialysis fluids using the “bag” system known as CAPD. It has become such a routine that she really doesn’t think about it much at all. “It’s just a part of my life,” she says, “something I need to do every day.”
Sherryl does her first exchange every day around 8 am. Her other exchanges follow at 4-hour intervals, with the last one finished by 8:30 pm. She then leaves the fluid from the last exchange to “dwell” overnight, and begins again the next morning.
Once a month, Sherryl goes into her dialysis center (St Luke’s) for blood tests. At every other monthly visit, she schedules an appointment with her doctor for a check-up.
Sherryl likes the freedom she has with CAPD. “I don’t have to go to the dialysis clinic every other day,” she says, “so I can do what I want with my day.” She also likes the fact that she has flexibility with the timing of her exchanges. “Sometimes I change the times around a little,” says Sherryl, “to fit what I need to do.”
The freedom and flexibility make it easier for Sherryl to keep her part-time job as a clerk at the Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ, a job she’s had for 11 years. “I was already on dialysis when I got my job,” she says, “but that wasn’t a problem.”
When Sherryl first started dialysis back in 1986, she didn’t know anything about CAPD, but she told her doctor that she didn’t want to go to a dialysis center for treatment. He recommended CAPD. “He thought it would be good for me,” says Sherryl, “so I decided to try it.” The training took only a few days, and since then Sherryl has been doing fine.
Her success with CAPD over the years proves to Sherryl that she made the right choice. “I feel good,” she says, “it works just fine for me.”
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