Dialysis Patient Maintains Her Independence by Performing Home Therapy 250 Miles Away from Her Doctor
It’s like knowing you’ve got a guardian angel looking over you. Peritoneal dialysis has given me my life back.
Joann Still, PD Patient
Despite a 21-year battle with a medical condition that disabled her kidney’s ability to function, Joann Still continues to live the life she wants by performing peritoneal dialysis at home in Anselmo, Nebraska. Joann can sleep soundly while performing her dialysis therapy at night. Meanwhile, her healthcare providers use a two-way telehealth platform to monitor and adjust her treatment from their office in Lincoln, Nebraska.
A mother of three, Joann has lived and worked in her small community in rural Nebraska her entire life. In her late forties, she was diagnosed with membranous nephropathy, a kidney disease that can progress to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) requiring patients to go on dialysis therapy or receive a transplant. As time went on and the disease gained momentum, she began feeling worse and worse. “I did not realize how much I had declined and how bad I was feeling,” said Joann. “I didn’t have the energy to work in the yard, go anywhere or do anything. I was just existing.”
Last year, Joann’s doctor indicated she needed to start dialysis to filter toxins from her blood, the work her kidneys were no longer performing. Current dialysis options include peritoneal dialysis (PD) or hemodialysis (HD).
From her peaceful ranch in Nebraska, the nearest HD center is 80 miles away. The three-hour commute, in addition to a four-hour treatment session, would make it hard for Joann to maintain her home and lifestyle. And, she would need someone to transport her to and from the treatment sessions, which created additional challenges for her and her adult children’s work schedules. Fortunately for Joann, PD therapy allows her to garner the treatment she needs without sacrificing her daily life.
“My peritoneal dialysis has been so easy to do at night, by myself, and then I get up and go about my day — doing whatever I want,” Joann said.
To conduct treatment, Joann uses an APD device with its intuitive features, such as voice guidance, a touchscreen control panel and the Sharesource remote patient management platform. Sharesource is a two-way telehealth platform that also allows Joann’s healthcare providers to proactively manage her care by viewing recently completed home dialysis-related treatment data that is automatically collected after each PD session. Her healthcare providers can then act on this information by remotely adjusting her home device settings without requiring her to travel the 250 miles to see her nephrologist.
“It’s like knowing you’ve got a guardian angel looking over you,” Joann said. “Peritoneal dialysis has given me my life back.”