Health

A day on the life of an End Stage Kidney Disease Patient

Let’s rewind a little bit. I was at the prime of my blogging career then. 

Traveling has been literally a part of my life. Flying 3-4x a week is a normal thing.

Then  around last quarter of 2015 I felt something is wrong.  My toes got enlarged due to water retention and slowly my stomach got bigger too.

Until it bacame worse: I can longer rise up from the bed. Walking became hell.  Hinihingal na ako.

Water entered my lungs thus my difficulty in breathing.

So just a few days before New Year (December 29) i was confined in a hospital.

Immediately I was given diuretics to flush out the Fluids and toxins.

Several laboratory tests were also done and confirmed: I had an End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)   A nephrologist was referred to me. And according to him the only way to lengthen my life is via hemodialysis.

Hemodialysis is a weekly process usually between 2-3x a week. Depending on the need. I started with 3x weekly until it was reduced to just 2x.

Dialysis is a process where the blood is taken out of your body have it cleansed and filtered  before returning it to your body.

IS IT PAINFUL?

The needle prick. YES.  Your nurse friends can tell you how big a Gauge 16 needle is.  What’s even more painful is the weekly injection I have to go through for eryrhropoeitin.

As a CKD patient part of the ordeal is to have anemia  thus the need for weekly injections.

It’s just so painful. Its beyond description. Sometimes I just cry because of the pain.

When your nurses are having a bad day  or  mabigat ang kamay.  Chances are youll get a missed prick. Making your veins bulge and hematoma appear the next day. Its  very painful.  That why I always have an ice bag ready in the freezer just in case.

ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS? 

Based on my experience  nothing serious.  Youll just get cramps when there’s too much water taken out of your blood (like 5liters).  Sometimes chills occur especially when using a new dialysis filter.

During my dialysis session

HOW LONG DOES A SESSION LAST

usually 4hours.  But sometimes I had to terminate  30minutes before the end of treatment due to unbearable cramps.

What’s even more painful is the weekly expense i have to incur.  Sure, the government through Philhealth offers free 90 sessions. But that’s not enough.  Even more for 3x weekly patients.  And Philhealth only covers the dialysis treatment itself  not the eryrhropoeitin injection which costs PHP1K  per shot.

SO WHAT’S LIFE AFTER DIALYSIS

i still see a bright sunshine ahead.  It may not be tomorrow. Someday I’ll be back. I miss travelling. I miss dancing in the streets. I miss winning trophies for various  festivals. For the meantime I’d continue to do consultancy for costume design and do research on local folklores for Festival concept.

For now just continue to smile who knows  someday the whole world will also smile back at you

17 thoughts on “A day on the life of an End Stage Kidney Disease Patient

  1. Hold on to God, He will take your pains away. Though we may not understand His purpose, but Im sure you’ve already accomplished your mission through your blogs and the people you helped and inspired. We love you!

  2. Eric! You are such an inspiration for me and for so many who may be going through the same thing as you and are losing hope. You remind me to stay grateful every day no matter how my day turns out. Yours is a courage that comes from deep, deep within. Stay strong and hopeful, my dear friend. Continue living with purpose. You are always in my prayers. See you soon!

  3. I have seen a lot of patients with kidney disease and mostly undergoing hemodialysis too.
    But some of them are also able to continue doing what they’re passionate about. One them is even a practicing lawyer! Keep strong, continue your medications and your hemodialysis, follow your schedule, and I am sure you will be back to doing the things you love.

    I think it is good that you are sharing your experience. It will help those who feel they are confused and afraid of their diseases. Patient advocates are also of great help in healing patients by sharing knowledge, experience, wisdom, and giving moral support.

  4. Hi! Thanks for sharing. Your situation is exactly like mine—end-stage kidney disease, undergoing 3 x a week dialysis, except that my dialysis experience is quite the opposite of yours. Mine has been very positive on all fronts—painless procedures, highly competent and excellent nursing staff, brand new, clean facilities, unbelievably much more affordable than I expected, and the best part of it, I’m feeling (and looking) better than ever, like new!

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