Dialysis of benefit at home

Epsom resident Kelly Turley's life changed in more ways than one almost a year ago today.

It was the weekend the 40-year-old, who is originally from Stawell, and her husband Jason moved from White Hills to her home in Epsom.

It was also the weekend Mrs Kelly started on dialysis for the first time and had to have tubes put in her abdomen.

"We don’t do things in halves in this family," she said about the events of that weekend.

A diabetic of about 30 years, Mrs Turley knew her kidney functioning was decreasing but said kidney failure was always her biggest fear.

"I could deal with other symptoms of diabetes, but the biggest thing was dialysis," she said.

"My doctors were keeping an eye on it but it got the stage where they said, no, we’ve got to step it up.

"That was my greatest fear – sitting in hospital, hooked up to dialysis."

But Mrs Turley was relieved to learn about home-based peritoneal dialysis, or "PD" as she calls it for short, offered through the renal dialysis service at Bendigo Health.

The renal dialysis service will receive all proceeds from the Bendigo Bank Fun Run on November 2.

"Then they (the doctors) told me about PD, that you could do at home, and I thought why not, because that way I could do nine hours at home at night and then still get up and function the next day," she said.

Mrs Turley said the option to have dialysis at home suited both her and her husband's lifestyle.

"You think of dialysis and automatically you think people are going to hospital three or four times a week. Not the one at home," she said.

"It means he doesn’t have to take time off work to bring me home, so it suited both of us, and we haven’t looked back."

The home-based method means all the bags she needs for dialysis arrived once a month via a delivery van and are stored in her garage. 

Mrs Turley hooks up to the dialysis machine, which is set up in a corner of her bedroom, for about eight or nine hours a night.

"I don't let it run my life, I'm in control to a certain extent of the times I go on dialysis," she said.

Mrs Turley said part of the reason for sharing her story was to educate people about peritoneal dialysis.

"There’s worse off in the world than me. If I can help other people in any way shape or form, well why not," she said.

"Unless you’ve dealt with it, people don’t understand what you do every day."


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