Our guest today is Charissa Rice, Field Marketing Specialist, for NxStage she discusses her position to educate patients and family members on more frequent home hemodialysis as a treatment option. She says, “I want people to know that home hemodialysis can possibly change your conversations from starting with ‘I used to’ to ‘I can and still do’!”
Charissa was diagnosed with systemic lupus in 1997, during her junior year in college. The lupus caused her kidneys to fail in 2009, about the same time she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Charissa initially began three-times-weekly in-center hemodialysis, but it was extremely hard on her. Her nurse encouraged her to try more frequent home hemodialysis with the NxStage® System One™, as more frequent treatments would mean fewer ups and downs in fluid levels, which can affect the heart. Charissa recruited her girlfriend to be her care partner and they went through training together. Charissa went home the week before Christmas – what a great gift!
Charissa noticed significant changes after starting more frequent home hemodialysis therapy, including better blood pressure control with fewer medications, quicker recovery time after treatment, increased energy levels, and improved physical intimacy. She could spend more time with her husband, Enis, and their four children. Charissa also enjoyed the ability to go back to work and travel.
Charissa was blessed with a kidney transplant in June 2011, which lasted for 19 months. She resumed more frequent home hemodialysis in February 2013. Despite the health benefits that more frequent home hemodialysis may provide to those with chronic kidney disease, this form of therapy is not for everyone. Patients differ and not everyone will experience the reported benefits of more frequent home hemodialysis. All forms of hemodialysis, including treatments performed in-center and at home, involve some risks. In addition, there are certain risks unique to treatment in the home environment. Talk with your doctor to see if more frequent home hemodialysis with NxStage may be right for you. For more information go to NxStage.com