Home dialysis is changing lives
Eddie Kyme hasn't let dialysis get in the way of his busy schedule. He drives his taxi around daily without interruption.
Eugene Rayner spent six weeks travelling around England, administering his own treatment.
Home dialysis has kept them mobile.
Mr Kyme's kidneys were functioning at 14 per cent when he found out he was a good candidate for the treatment.
The 70-year-old initially did his dialysis manually, but switched to a Cycler machine two months ago.
Treatment is done overnight, and takes about six hours.
“When I do it manually, I do it three times a day, so that sort of screws your day up,” he said.
“Once you get on the machine it's all done overnight, all at once.
“It seems complicated at first, but now I'm used to it.”
He and his wife are now planning a cruise.
Bermuda Home Dialysis Services started offering home peritoneal dialysis machines a year ago. The machines are leased to clients and replaced if broken. Supplies are delivered once or twice a month.
“They don't have to purchase anything,” said registered nurse Irena Ashton. “It's for patients across the board, not just the highly functional. Even those with home caregivers, it's perfect for them because you eliminate trips to the hospital.
“If you are disabled and you have to have a caregiver, you have to consider that.”
The company will “troubleshoot” with patients until they feel comfortable using them on their own, she added.
“It's repetitive, you will learn it but a lot of new patients when they come in, are afraid. You have to have the confidence to say you can do this.
“Even if you make a mistake, it's still very safe to use at home. You can't hurt yourself.”
Eugene Rayner spent six weeks in England and was thrilled with how easy and hassle-free his dialysis was.
The 74-year-old has been using the home treatment since February.
“Over the course of the night while I'm asleep, I do three cycles, pumping in, dwelling, and then pumping out. And then I do the process again,” he said. “Three times over the course of the night — no disruption to my day.
“The hospital requires four hours plus your travel time. I live in Somerset.”
While in England, he and his wife drove from Maidenhead to Cornwall and back again.
He ordered the supplies in advance and they were there waiting for him once he'd arrived.
They're planning a trip to Malaysia based on that success.
Said Mrs Ashton: “If they're dialysing well, you can adjust how much they do. You can really individualise it. [Our clients are] the new type of retirees. They're retired, but they're the busiest they've ever been. They're not going to sit in the hospital.”
Renee Bean was Bermuda Home Dialysis Services' first client.
“I can say at first I wasn't sure nor happy about the idea of having to go on dialysis at the age of 29,” she told Lifestyle. “But having the option of being on hemo or PD I wouldn't have it any other way.
“Just the thought of sitting up in a hospital for hours wasn't the way for me. I enjoy being in the comfort of my own space and setting up on my own time — still being able to live a normal lifestyle without feeling restricted.
“I recently had to travel and brought the machine. All went smoothly. I thank Irena for bringing PD to the island and so far it has been going great.
“She is an awesome nurse and I am glad I am doing this with her.”
Bermuda Home Dialysis Services has seen patients embrace life since it started offering home peritoneal dialysis machines a year ago.
Unlike traditional haemodialysis which cleans your blood, in PD a sterile cleansing fluid is put into your stomach through a catheter.
The inside lining of your own belly acts as a natural filter. The fluid leaves your body through the catheter once the filtering process is finished.
Patients receiving traditional dialysis are treated on a daily basis at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital. The treatment lasts four hours with appointment times dictated by the hospital.
The new treatment allows people with chronic kidney disease to avoid the hospital entirely.
High blood pressure and diabetes are the leading causes. CKD affects approximately 12 per cent of residents.
Mrs Ashton hopes her Gorham Road clinic will help those affected to better manage their illness and even help to prevent early onset dialysis through lifestyle and diet changes.
Contact Bermuda Home Dialysis Services on 295-8999 or email@example.com