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What is involved in dialysis?

We all know what dialysis is, right?

Dialysis is a procedure to remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood when the kidneys stop working properly. A patient is hooked up to a dialysis machine that works its magic - bad blood and fluid and toxins out and good filtered blood goes back in. That's the short story.

But have you ever wanted to know what happens with your loved one once they walk back into the patient area at the dialysis center? Let me tell you what my routine is:

I get weighed to check my weight. They do this because they determine how much fluid they will remove from my body that day based on my weight that morning and my dry weight. What's dry weight? Dry weight is my weight without the excess fluid that builds up between dialysis treatments. This weight is similar to what a person with normal kidney function would weigh after urinating.

The standard fluid removal setting is 3 kg (or 6.6 lbs) and 4 hours of treatment; however, treatment is based upon the individual's needs. My body can't handle more than 2 kg in a single treatment and my treatment is only 3.5 hours. But there are some patients that have to be in treatment for almost 6 hours!

Here is what happens when I get hooked up to the dialysis machine by one of my favorite techs, Pearl.

Thank you to all of the amazing techs and nurses at Fresenius Clinic in Killeen, TX, for doing such an amazing job every single day. They arrive at 3:30 every morning to prep the machines, supplies, and patient area. They're the real heroes...

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