Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Diary of a Caregiver: Home Dialysis Begins

My aunt started her home dialysis this week and will continue to do
the manual 4 times a day for a whole month. She is doing well, no
complications, it seems to be working as her blood pressure is not as
high and it is gradually decreasing. The only problem is she is not
confident about doing the entire procedure herself because she is not
practicing, and not reading her manual. I've laid out the practice
tools for her but she hasn't touched it. So I threatened her that she
needs to practice because by next week, she will be doing the entire
thing herself without my assistance (only watching). I also said if
she can't do it herself then maybe she is not a good candidate for
peritoneal dialysis and needs to switch to hemodialysis, reiterating
she will need to go to the hospital 3 times a week for 5 hours. Maybe
that will be a wakeup call for her.

Sometimes she cooperates sometimes she doesn't. My mom has also
talked to her about the importance of doing the dialysis herself
and that she should be independent. She has also tried to plant the
idea of hiring a caregiver and that medicare will help cover some of
the cost. My aunt was agreeing with my mom as she always does, but I don't think she was really listening.

I called my cousin about hiring a caregiver and he said he will contact the social worker soon. He did say that I really didn't have to be there and if I want to leave by all means do. I said if it came to a point where I get really burnt out or I have something important to do then I will let him know to make arrangements.

I plan to stick out the whole month, I don't give up that easily. At least I hope so, caregiving is a really hard job and I have a new found respect and admiration for nurses. But this doesn't mean I want to be one. Not ever. I'll stick with being a pharmacist, thanks.

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