Almost everyone that went to dialysis most had a bag. Backpacks, duffle bags, tote bags, suitcases, yes I said suitcases you would be surprised what one would bring. When I started dialysis I received the same care package as everyone else: A medium tote bag, a blanket and a set of headphones. After a few short months of being on dialysis, I realized that the bag that was given was great, but it was not big enough to hold everything that I carried. I found this out when I tried to stuff a queen size comforter in the bag. I managed to pack it nice and neat but when I went to leave one of my nurses, Spunky tried to put it back in the best she could, but it didn’t quite fit, and the zipper broke whoops. So I went to the store and bought a decent size duffle bag that would hold all of my things, So what did I put in my bag and why did I need all of these things.
Blankets- Other than the queen size comfort I usually took either two thin blankets. The reason for this is that it can get cold in dialysis due to the dialysis machine taking the blood out of your body and returning it back to you after it has been cleaned. If you want to know a little more in depth of the process check out, Dwelyn Williams Story “I Don’t know about this. A renal Patient’s initial treatment.” It is a great read, and he shares a more in depth of how dialysis works. So blankets were a must, I thought about taking an electric blanket, but this is highly frowned upon by the fire Marshall, so that is not a good idea.
Headphones and phone charger- these two things were essential as I was on my phone quite a bit listing to music, audiobooks, motivational speeches and so on, and being on dialysis for 3 hours and 45 minutes my phone would die, so I would find a long changer for my phone, so it could reach to my chair, and then I would not have to worry about my phone dying during my treatment. Trust me, a treatment without headphones and a charger was misery.
Art Supplies- Another thing that I brought with me was some art supplies. Things such as drawing pencils, colored pencils, pastels, eraser, a pencil sharpener and sketchbook. During treatment, I would spend a lot of time drawing and coloring. In fact, I have several drawing books that I filled up during dialysis.
Books- On occasion I would take a book such as a comic book other times a self-help book or even school books. While on dialysis I went to school online, and I would take my books and laptop so that I could work on school.
Snacks- pre-COVID days my clinic allowed me to bring snacks into which I took advantage of this. Now snacks generally consisted of a protein bar and Skinny Pop ( A low sodium popcorn). I remember one time that I brought in my snack and my chair partner brought his as well, and we started to compare. He had a honeybun and I had a protein bar, and then we looked at the nutritional value. Well to our surprise the Honey Bun had more protein than my protein bar!! So much for trying to be more healthy. LOL
There were a few things I tried to take in, but they ended up in failure. Let’s see,
a 66 key keyboard is not a great idea to try to take. It was too big and plus playing with one hand is ok, but it is not the same. Handheld video game. When I had my catheter I was able to play a hand held video game, but after they started to use my fistula well once again one hand was pretty difficult.
So I have a question for you. If you are on dialysis or have been on dialysis what do you have or what did you have in your bag. If you have never been on dialysis what would you take in your bag?
Well until next time keep encouraged along the journey, for you are one step closer to the next peak.