Saturday, July 7, 2012

Setting up Boundaries

Boundaries doesn't seem like the right word, but I lack a better word to use in it's place.

Peritoneal Dialysis requires setting up, the actual dialysis time and then cleaning up.  Each evening I do the set up while Hubby does his stats.  He takes his blood pressure, temperature and weight.  The time it takes me to set up varies.  It can change if I have to add medicine to the bags, or if I forgot to empty and clean out the discharge bucket earlier that day, or if I happen to touch something I shouldn't have and need to wash up again, or maybe it is because I left a dialysis bag in the other room.  I allow myself 45 minutes to complete the set up, but if everything is ready to go and I don't need to add medications, it only takes me about 25 minutes.  I also clean and redress Hubby's exit site during that time.

Right now my husband is still unable to work, so we have a larger window to set up.  He likes to be "hooked up" between 7 and 9 at night.  Once I get started with the set up, I don't want to be interrupted by someone knocking at the door or calling on the phone.  We have set up "boundaries" with our friends and family so that I can set Hubby up without interruption.  It is important to not be interrupted because that is when mistakes can happen and mistakes can lead to infection or even bigger problems.  We didn't make a grand announcement or make it into a big deal, but when we speak with family or friends, we let them know that stopping by after 7 isn't good for us because of Hubby's dialysis.  We also let them know that they can call after 7, but I won't be able to answer and probably won't be able to return the call until the next day.  Of course things happen and people need to stop by or they urgently need to talk to you, but that should be kept to a minimum and only for emergencies.

Setting up boundaries early on will make it easier on you and will allow family and friends time to adjust and remember that you need this time for your health or the health of a loved one.

Remember, no matter how your family and friends take the new limits you have put in place, your health or the health of your loved one is most important.  In time everyone will adjust.

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