Today definitely wasn’t a great dialysis day. I set my machine up as usual and everything was fine. I cannulated my buttonholes…and everything was fine. I quickly scanned my circuit for air and there was none, so I attached my arterial line to my needle and started the pump. The blood went through the tubing. All of a sudden, I kept on getting alarms. It was my arterial pressure. What could be wrong with my pressure? I cannulated properly and I knew for a fact that the needle was in the right place….what the heck is going on?

I tried overriding the alarms several times but they just kept coming back. I called Shoelee (don’t know how to spell her name…she’s a nurse) to help me. At first she suspected that it was my needle so she tried moving it to no avail. I myself was confident that it wasn’t my needle as I know I got it in the right place. All the while, my blood was just sitting in the tubing doing nothing. After 5 minutes Shoelee decided that we should recirculate the blood that was already in the circuit so that it didn’t clot. When we pulled the troublesome needle out and pushed saline through it, a large clot came out of the tip. How the heck did I get a clot in my needle? I flushed it with saline more than once just like I always do…?

Anyhow, I held the site with gauze until it stopped bleeding, and then I put a bandaid on it. I cannulated another hole. I had to reposition the needle twice but it went in. When I tried to reconnect again….alarms. Great….because we spent forever trying to fix my needle instead of flushing the circuit with saline and recirculating right away… my entire circuit was clotted. Crap!

So now I had to do “hemofilter management”, which essentially is just stripping all of the tubing from the machine and starting from scratch. I waved goodbye to the tubing as I put it into the garbage can, as those tubes still held a good amount of my blood in them. And, being anemic….losing blood is not on my top ten list of things I’d like to do.

So both Rose and Shoelee where there to help me and guide me and we striped the circuit and replaced the tubing. It’s a major pain in the butt. The pump won’t move…you have to crank it yourself like a jack-in-the-box in order to get the clotted tubing out. The machine alarms the entire time and you can’t silence it (not something I’d be impressed with if this happened at home). When the lines are being primed with saline, you have to watch the bag yourself until 700ml has been reached. During a normal setup, when 700ml has been reached, the pump turns off itself. This time you have to watch or else the bag will empty itself, start sucking air, then you’ll have a circuit full of bubbles (not a good thing). While all of this was going on, Rose was sure to reflush my needles with saline. I’d be right pissed if after all that, my needle(s) clotted again. When I finally had the entire machine set up, I reconnected my arterial line. Another thing, the pump won’t stop/alarm when it’s time to connect the venous line. So I have to keep my eye on the tubes and stop the pump myself when it’s time to connect the venous line. So I did that…and everything went fine.

Operation hemofilter management took us about half an hour. Much faster than it would have taken had I been doing it myself 😦

I had my gravol in a small drip bag. I ran it slowly over the course of an hour or so. I always get crazy stomach aches on dialysis. I ran it too fast though. I should have run it slower. When I had about an hour left, my stomach was killing me. I went back and forth between giving myself boluses and putting myself in minimum. I finally gave up and took myself off about 18-20 minutes early. When I returned my blood…I felt a bit better but still crummy. I sincerely hope that this stomach pain will subside once my body gets used to home hemo.

After dialysis, one of the techs came and showed me once again how to change the foreclean filter at the back of the machine. Pretty straight forward.

Remembering all of these crazy procedures is going to take some SERIOUS getting used to…

On a completely separate note, I’m watching CSI Miami. Horatio is SUCH a champ. Matched by none.

So yeah, as I’ve mentioned, I’ve been told to expect some sleepless nights. They’d better hook a girl up with some sleeping pills. I don’t have time for insomnia!! Hehehe

I just re-read the above entry…dang do I sound like a dialysis nerd with all my crazy dialysis terminology or what! “hemofilter management, arterial, cannulate…ooooooooo!” LOL.

Intermediate cake decorating class starts tomorrow! Yippiee!

0 comments on “My Machine Clotted! :-(

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