If you’re doing your dialysis at home, you will need to make some adjustments. But it is possible to integrate your treatments without too much disruption to your household. Here are some areas that may need to change:
Pets: For those on peritoneal dialysis, you must keep pets out of the room when you do your exchanges to avoid infection. For those on hemodialysis, if there is any risk of your pet biting or clawing at the tubing, you may not be able to have your pet with you during treatment. Some people believe they must give away their pets, but many people on both peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis keep their pets without problems, if they’re careful.
Storage: Storing dialysis supplies can take up space and make a home feel more crowded. They may displace things you kept in a closet or, in some cases, they need to be stacked up against a wall. Be creative—if you don’t have a closet, you may be able to put up a curtain or blinds that will completely hide the boxes.
Sleep: For those on peritoneal dialysis, having a cycler in the bedroom, can be disruptive to both you and your partner. If the cycler squeals or makes loud, irritating noises, talk to your PD nurse. It may be possible to put something under the cycler to cut down on the noise, a technician may be able to adjust it, or you may need a replacement. The same can be said for having a dialysis machine in the bedroom. Most people get used to the machine, but others do have problems with it. Sometimes the lights on the display can be very bright in the dark. Some people will tape a piece of cardboard over it that can be flipped out of the way while in use. Others wear a sleeping mask to keep the light from bothering their sleep.