One of the reasons I’ve not gone the home hemodialysis route is that I’ve been stubborn in my belief that it’s simply a way for the service provider to off-load their labor costs on the dialysis patient. There are other reasons: I have a dog who’s an empath—she’d rip the lines out at the first needle stick; our home is less than 1,500 square feet and includes two offices—I don’t know if we’d have room for everything; and we’d have to get new flooring—blood just won’t wash out of light grey carpet.
Studies are beginning to show that home hemodialysis patient outcomes are qualitatively better and anecdotal evidence indicates that those who dialyze at home feel better. So home hemodialysis stays on my radar.
Writing in his Dialysis from the sharp end of the needle, Bill Peckam offers a different point of view of the economics of home hemodialysis:
“We substitute our labor for the labor required for a conventional incenter treatment. This frees up money to pay for additional supplies. With additional supplies the dialyzor can then dialyze more often to live longer, better. The dialyzor gives time, in exchange for time. Time is our currency, it’s the whole point.”
Hmmm. Much to think about there.
Meanwhile I continue to see my Chinese medicine practitioner twice each week. Actually, he’s a bit of everything: chiropractor, naturopath, napropath, and just about everything else. Over the years he’s also become a very good, very close friend. He took one look at my six-month cumulative labs and my tongue and told me I’ve had a lymphatic infection for the last five months. This likely explains my adventure in the hospital last weekend—the infection is subclinical in the view of western medicine. The treatment is simple: eat a lot of garlic and onions and stand over the fumes.
As I’ve said many times, dialysis keeps me alive, but my Chinese medicine practitioner keeps me well.