Dialysis treatment need not involve unpleasant trips to a medical center three or so times a week. Some Americans with kidney disease are now doing it themselves by hooking up to dialysis at home, the New York Times' The New Old Age blog reports. Barbara Boyle of Hayward, Calif., decided on the DIY method so she can travel with the machine and free up time for family. “I’m a satisfied customer,” she says. "I have a lot more flexibility."
In Boyle's case, her husband dons a mask and gloves to avoid infection, then instills a new dialysate bag and cleans out her waste fluid three times daily (each exchange takes 30 minutes). Sounds easy, but there are caveats: It's better to plan ahead rather than wait for kidney failure to strike, when crisis often "pushes you into in-center dialysis," says a doctor. And any dialysis requires some patience and tolerance. “I just don’t have the energy I used to have,” says Boyle. "But as long as I have to [do dialysis], this is how I want to do it.” (Read more dialysis stories.)