Friday, December 23, 2011

Full Week of Training

We've been at DaVita training with Jennifer every day this week.  Training has lasted about 2 hours per day.  We've gone through every section of the binder, learned all about the regimented daily routine and why it's so important.

Chris will be taking his temperature, weight, and standing & sitting blood pressures each day.   These factors will help him determine which concentrations (yellow/1.5%, green/2.5% or red 5%) of dialysis solution he will use.   Some days he'll do all yellow, others may be two yellows and a green.   He's also going to chart all these numbers, so Jennifer can help track his progress.

If his weight spikes, then his blood pressure will likely go up, and so he'll need a higher concentration of fluid.   Lots of variables.

Diet changes, too.  He's going low-phosphorous, which means no more whole-wheat bread, no nuts, etc.   Processed meats (hot dogs, sausages) are out.  We were surprised to find out that dark-colored colas were on the no list, but lighter sodas like Sprite are OK.

Chris had some very specialized blood work done on Monday and they told us that his kidney function is down to about 9%.  This means that he IS now eligible for the EPO (Erythropoietin) shots to help his red blood cell production that Humana had not approved earlier.  It also means that Jennifer can give Chris the iron in a shot, rather than having to spend hours at the hospital getting an infusion.  On Friday, she gave him both the EPO and the iron.

She sent us home on Wednesday with a scale, blood pressure monitor, a heating pad and several bags of fluid.  Chris did his exchanges and also demonstrated his proficiency when Jennifer came to do a home visit.

We have an appointment to come back on Thursday to see Jennifer, and we're also expecting a big supply delivery from Baxter on the 27th.

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