What an interesting crazy day in the life of Peritoneal dialysis.
Yesterday, started off like any normal day. I got up, disconnected from my dialysis machine, got ready, and made my way to work. Everything was pretty normal. I was sitting at my desk, when I noticed my shirt was wet. I thought to myself, “Did I spill some water when I drinking from my bottle?” I ignored it and continued to work. About 15 minutes later, I was going to the bathroom, and I looked down and was soaking wet. I thought I had peed my pants without realizing it!
That was a scary moment for me, until I realized that my shirt was soaking wet. I lifted it up and the three layers I was wearing were soaked. It then hit me, that my catheter was leaking and that this was dialysis fluid! I looked down and saw liquid coming out of my transfer set. I tightened it and then immediately called my Peritoneal dialysis (PD) nurse.
I was freaking out! Luckily, my nurse was able to speak with me immediately - I was told to immediately clamp my catheter and come in to the clinic to receive treatment. (In my PD world, you always have to be prepared. In my purse, I always carry a clamp, medical tape, sterile gauze, etc. These are all things that I might need in case of emergency.) I immediately left work and drove to the clinic. Side note: I am very fortunate to have job where I can immediately leave in case of emergencies like these.
On my drive to the clinic, I called my boyfriend and my mom and of course thought of worst case scenarios. Did my catheter have a hole? Would I need to get surgery? Will I get peritonitis? WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?
I arrived at the clinic in record time. Thank goodness it wasn’t rush hour. During rush hour, it takes me about a hour to get from my work to the PD clinic. This time, it took me 30 minutes.
When I arrived at the clinic, I sought dry clothes because it looked like I had peed my pants and my clothes were freezing wet. (Note to self: Carry extra clothes in my car from now on.) The clinic did not have much to offer and I ended up wearing scrub shorts and an apron-like top. (Pictured above)
At the clinic, my nurse filled me with antibiotic fluid to avoid getting peritonitis and changed my transfer set. This is the piece that gets changed every 6 months, it was also the piece that became loose and leaked the fluid.
The process of changing my transfer set is very tedious and involves masks, gloves and sterile everything. A process that has become second nature in my world.
At the clinic, I received good news. One: that I caught the leakage in time, two: there were NO pinholes in my catheter and three: it wasn’t a worst case scenario!
Once I was filled with antibiotics fluid, I went on my way. The fluid needed to stay in for at least six hours and I had to keep an eye out on my drain bags to make sure I didn’t get peritonitis.
This morning all was clear!