Monday, February 1, 2016

Living on Dialysis

   Dialysis have short and long term ill effects on the body.  The immediate effects usually wear off as quickly as they come i.e. low blood pressure causes dizziness and vomiting up to passing out, muscle cramps from toes, to legs to  stomach and chest, depending on the potassium content of the previous meal.  

   Long term side effects would need time and a lot of ‘tender loving care’ (TLC) to counter.  The most obvious is dry skin and itchy scalp.  Due to constantly pulling fluid off from the blood stream, the moisture under the skin goes with it.  That moisture serves as the buffer between the skin and the nerves under.  Without that moisture anything that may cause pain, like a splash of hot oil from cooking or any cut or bruise, feels more excruciating than normal.  

   I have tried a number of popular skin lotions but their effect was temporary at best.  I finally gave up and resigned to having parts unprotected by clothes like the forehead, arms and legs to be parched dry.  

Pure Collagen
   Then my daughter brought me a bottle of liquid pure collagen and a bottle of collagen lotion.  I’ve heard of the healing effect of collagen on the skin so I used it on the skin that covers my dialysis access which has been ravaged by the frequent onslaught of needle prick so that it had developed scar tissues on top of and under.  

Dialysis Access Improvement
   I pour the liquid collagen into a piece of gauze, lay the gauze on top of my shunt then cover it with plastic wrap for a few hours to keep it from drying.  My shunt skin started to recover so I used the left over collagen in the gauze on the rest of my arms, forehead and legs.  In time, I noticed those parts slowly retained moisture to almost normal.  

   As for dry itchy scalp, I alternate using my regular shampoo laced with a little amount of Creamsilk and Head and Shoulders.  My hair is now as soft and scalp as healthy as they were before I fell into the hole called dialysis. 

   Now, the diet is a different story.  Fluid should be measured all day not to exceed the amount allowed by the patient’s body weight and size.  Forbidden food can be had at moderation.  Total abstention is not advisable.  When the joy of eating no longer justifies living, the patient might decide to forego both.

See also:
Racial Bullying  
The Bright Side of Colonoscopy
The Gunman Saga Continues

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