For dialysis to work, each patient needs access from the body to the machine. Back in December, when my kidneys failed, I was given a permacath in my chest so that blood can be taken from my body, fed into the machine, and pumped back into my body. I am glad to say that I have no memory of how this was done.
At the end of January, I then had a Tenchkoff catheter put in to my peritoneal cavity and abdomen so that we could attempt to move to peritoneal dialysis. Unlike the permacath insertion, I do remember how this was done. The sedative only really took effect after the procedure. Not terribly successful.
So, you can see why I am somewhat reticent about the next two procedures that are coming up. The first is the creation of a fistula in my left arm. Ultimately, this will give access for haemodialysis which is less prone to infection than the permacath. The second is the removal of the Tenchkoff as we have decided that peritoneal dialysis is not for me.
Tomorrow I have the pre-operative anaesthesia assessment for the fistula operation. The operation itself is scheduled for next Tuesday. There is no date yet for the Tenchkoff removal. It looks like I shall have all three possible accesses at once!
Before the assessment tomorrow, I have to answer a questionnaire. It has the following question…
Do you suffer from HIV or AIDS?
Although I am tempted to answer,
No, I do not suffer from HIV. I live with HIV.
I suspect that that would not be terribly helpful. I shall answer “Yes” and then write a letter to someone at the hospital to try to get the language updated. I might also suggest that they update the form in general as there is not room enough for answering many of the questions.