One man, many words: An interview about home haemodialysis

male HHD patient on the football field

While many dialysis patients enjoy socialising with staff and other patients at NephroCare dialysis centres, some prefer the privacy and flexibility of home haemodialysis (home HD). One such man is Serdar Kabaş. Recently we spoke to him at length about his life and experience with home HD.

Welcome, Serdar! Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born 40 years ago in Istanbul, Turkey though today Izmir is my home. My youth was spent in our vibrant, bustling capital city: it’s where I finished school and studied. I’ve always been a hard worker and after graduating, I decided to pursue a career in accounting and later qualified to become a financial adviser.

When were you diagnosed with kidney disease and how did you come to start home HD?

Just after I started working my doctor sat me down and told me I had renal failure and would need to begin dialysis. I was struggling with my marriage and receiving the diagnosis was a shock. I quickly learned to accept my situation and, though my wife and I split up, got my health and personal life back on track. About three months after starting dialysis at a NephroCare centre I heard about home HD. Because I live such a busy life I was immediately interested. My doctor believed I was a suitable patient for home HD, so I began a 2-month training course to learn the ropes. In December 2013, I officially switched fully to at-home treatment.  

How did you accept that dialysis would be part of your life?

When I learnt about my condition, I soon realised dialysis was my only option. But it was hard at the beginning because I spent so much time at the clinic. I am a social, active person and I love working. One day while talking with my nurse at the clinic, she told me about home HD. I thought it sounded more suitable for me and decided to switch.

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your journey as a home HD patient? What’s helped you overcome them?

When I first started home HD, I was afraid about inserting a needle. Over time, I gained confidence and can now do it without any difficulty or unease. Though home HD is great for me, I was confronted with a steep learning curve. In the beginning I slept poorly because I was afraid the needle fall out at night. But with a little time my fear subsided and I now sleep really well during treatment.

How do you spend your free time? What are your hobbies?

I devote a considerable amount of time to sport. I'm a big football fan and I'm really good at playing on astro turf pitches. Generally, I meet up with friends for football matches at the weekends. Otherwise I still work as a financial adviser in my own office. I have an intensive work schedule and I love my job. I also like to play adventure games on my iPad, to drive, to play table tennis and backgammon, and to listen to music. My friends and I from the clinic like to organise visits the different cities and places at the weekends.

Sound like you lead a fulfilling life! What’s your personal motto in one word?

Honesty. I believe being honest is the most powerful part of my personality. While home HD is not for everyone, some, like Serdar, find it better suited to their lifestyle and habits. Speak to your nephrologist should you be interested in it as a treatment option.    

Thanks, Serdar, for sharing your story!