Helping you live a better life on dialysis

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Monitoring Your Care

As the person in charge of your day-to-day care, there are a number of things you’ll learn to do to check how you’re doing. These include:

  • Pay attention to how you feel: You’re the best judge of your energy level, the ease of your breathing, any pain or swelling.
  • Track amount of fluid removed: Keep accurate treatment records of how much fluid you put in at each exchange and how much comes back out. If you're not getting all of the fluid back out—plus excess water—you'll need to tell your nurse. Keeping the right fluid balance is critical to your health. You can learn more about this important topic on our Controlling Fluids page.
  • Take your blood pressure: Using a home blood pressure cuff, measure and record your blood pressure to see if it’s in your healthy range.
  • Track your weight: You’ll weigh yourself pre- and post-treatment, wearing the same thing, to help see if you are taking off enough fluid.
  • Have monthly blood tests: Your doctor will conduct blood tests to measure such things as potassium and phosphorus in your blood. A blood test for blood urea nitrogen will be drawn pre- and post-treatment once a month to help measure whether you are getting enough treatment to keep you healthy.
  • Listen to your access: Each day with a stethoscope, you’ll listen for a whooshing noise called a bruit (pronounced bru-E). Tell your care team if the bruit becomes higher sounding—this can mean that your access is starting to narrow, and may become clotted. This can be fixed if it is caught early.