You guys need to know that I only write about dialysis when something departs from the routine. Most of the time, nothing notable happens. Last night was a little different.
Part of the routine is you weigh yourself before the treatment to figure out how much fluid needs to be taken off. (Since my body isn’t making much urine these days, removing excess fluid is part of what dialysis has to do.)
You subtract your dry weight from that, and usually add about half a kilo to compensate for the backwash of saline as you're being taken off. Sometimes this calculation works, sometimes you need to add a little more because the body doesn't give up the fluid as readily.
OK, so last night I weighed in at 55.2 K. My dry weight's 51.8. Now, I don't really like to take off more than 3.5 at one time, because it's just too hard on my little old body. So I thought, we'll do 3.5 and then I'll have Saturday to get down to my dry weight before the weekend.
A few minutes before my time was up, I was starting to get a little cramping in my feet, which is pretty normal for me and means I'm getting close to dry weight. Except this time, a couple minutes later, I suddenly feel utterly faint, tingly and disoriented. It’s a good thing I was sitting back in the recliner, or else I probably would have collapsed. It was a terrible feeling. I thought I should buzz for the nurse, but I couldn’t quite get it together enough to reach for the button. Weird.
But soon Barb, my tech, started taking me off; I told her how I felt, and she immediately started pumping saline into me. It was amazing how quickly I began to feel better.
So with the addition of the saline, plus the fact that I wasn’t taking off enough to get me to dry weight, I was sure than when I weighed myself out, I would not be anywhere close to dry weight. But I was 51.9 K! So my body was giving up fluid much faster than it usually does.
I felt fine by the time I was ready to drive home. I just hope I never have to go through that again. Scary.
Update: To respond to Cindy's question in the comments ... in case anyone else is wondering the same thing: The short answer is no. I really don't think so. If my kidney suddenly regenerated, I think I would first notice that I would be making more urine. Which I am not. Probably it just means that I've had less sodium in my diet lately and that allowed my body to give up more fluid. Sometimes, it also retains more fluid around "that time of the month" ... and since that was 2 weeks ago, it could be a factor too. I guess I'll see how it goes at tonight's treatment.