Pat’s Adventures in Dialysis


Thursday, May 28, 2015

The “We’re Back in the Midwest! Well in Illinois!”, edition.

Good morning!  Whew!  Yesterday was a long day. And despite the time change, I am up at 5:30 AM. Except it’s Central time instead of Pacific time. Go figure. Well, yesterday was travel day.  We went to Champaign, Illinois with all of my dialysis equipment. Heh. The NxStage Home dialysis system is touted as being kind of easy to travel with.  Well. I’m not sure I’d call it easy. But, with planning, it wasn’t so bad. Remember I was kinda fretting over the logistics. Well. We made it here with everything.

Let’s start with packing the cycler. The cycler weighs about 75 pounds. The padded metal case weighs 24 pounds. Just under 100 pounds. Dad had one of his hired hands to come and  help pack the thing. When he and Brian tried to put it in the case, they realized that a few parts had to be unscrewed. *Sigh*. They unscrewed the parts and the cycler fit into the case. And now we need an extra bag to put these parts in. And a set of tools.  Good thing Shawn has a tool set. We got her one who she moved to Illinois 2 years ago. Yes, she asked for it. Smart lady!  Anyway. They packed the cycler and put it in the car.
Our day started at 3:30 AM Las Vegas time. Our flight was at 6:25.  We figured we needed to get there early because of the heavy package. We ended up with six pieces of luggage. 1 suitcase for each of us, his and hers, the cycler, the dolly/cart to push the cycler, a suitcase with the extra cycler parts, and a suitcase that had more parts for the cycler, parts that were attachments we knew about. We arrived at the United check in area around 4:30. The skycap got the cycler out of the car. Yes we tipped him. We got directed to a manned counter. Steve helped us. Because the cycler and 2 bags were medical equipment we had no problem checking it in. As a matter of fact, United was very helpful!  And when we landed, they brought the cycler out and left it near the carousel.
Once we landed in Chicago, we gathered our luggage.  A young man helped us take the luggage to the Thrifty car rental bus stop. He got a tip. The Thrifty car rental bus driver and Brian lifted the cycler up on the bus and helped unload  it. The bus driver got a tip. Once we got the car, a small SUV, because cycler, I asked a parking attendant to help load the cycler in the car. He got a tip. And then we drove 2.5 hours to Champaign. Brian had me drive us out of Chicago. He then drove us to the hotel.
We arrived at the hotel, all my packages were waiting for me!  NxStage delivered enough dialysate for three treatments. This is 18 bags of fluid. And my nurse shipped 3 bags of saline!  Yay for them all. Shawn brought 4 friends to help unpack. Four PhD students. Lol. And move everything. The front desk guy at the Wingate by Wydhan hotel was so nice and accommodating. I must say, Brian and I were concerned about this trip, but we made it with very few hiccups. We had to purchase a few supplies….thermometer, sharps container, paper towel, scale, antibacterial soap and purel, but that’s ok. We’ll do treatment this evening. The cycler is set up and plugged in on my side of the bed and we’re ready to go. And oh yeah. I called the local Davita clinic and they will discard the sharps container for us.
Finally, I did carryon all of my medical supplies, needles, syringes, etc. and TSA left us a card inside the cycler. Lol. Someone got into the case. But it’s all good. We’re happy to be here. And oh yeah, we documented (filmed) everything on the GoPro camera as we went along. That should be fun viewing.  Lol.
Well that clearly was an adventure in dialysis. I was told by previous travelers to make sure I had a lot of tip cash and they were right, but it was worth it. And everyone was so nice and helpful along the way. More to come on the trip. Let me say that we were extremely tired by the end of the day, but quite content. And just happy to see and be with Shawn. I love my baby!!
Have a great day. And we’re trying to adjust to humidity!  Lol lol.