I honestly wasn't sure it would ever happen, but setting up, cleaning up, and having hubby do dialysis is becoming more routine. I can now do it all without much thought and we have now found ways to turn the time into a positive time.
Setting up the machine early has definitely made things easier. It gives me freedom to do it when I have time and then it is always ready when it's hook up time. After hooking Hubby up and cleaning his exit site (which has to be done every day until he receives a transplant), I climb into bed and we snuggle and talk until he is ready to sleep. Some of our best conversations happen during these times. Our marriage grows stronger and stronger each day, which I believe has really helped us get through all of this.
It is still emotional. I'm not sure there will ever be a time that it isn't. I cry less, but I still have days when it hits me. When I realize that Hubby needs a new kidney, that his health will continue to decline, even with dialysis until he gets his transplant. And even then, he will be on meds his entire life and continue to see doctors regularly, because all kidney transplants experience rejection.
During our transplant class we learned that there are different types of organ rejection.
Hyperacute - this is the most severe form of reject and happens within minutes or hours after the transplant surgery. This is a very rare type of rejection.
Acute - this is most common. It takes a while to happen, but most often happens during the first 6 months after transplant. This type of rejection can be treated with medication.
Chronic - This can happen at any time and we were told in class that this eventually happens to most transplant patients. Kidneys, depending on the source (living donor or deceased), only last a certain number of years after transplant. They last longest from a living donor.
As always, I'm not a doctor or a nurse. The information I share is from personal experience and from what we learn from doctors and nurses as we continue on this journey.