Hope and Humanity with Tablo Home Dialysis
Nearly two years ago, Joseph began his journey into a life on home hemodialysis. With support from his care partner and his nephrologist, Joseph is thriving at home with Tablo.
Joseph, 73, has spent more than three decades with health issues including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, compromised kidney function and finally, an unexpected diagnosis of kidney failure. Through lessons learned during this difficult time, he and his wife Sima developed resilience that they never knew they had, and a renewed faith in kindness and goodness in the world.
In January 2020, while Joseph was hospitalized in New York, the couple met with his trusted nephrologist, who told them that Joseph needed to go on dialysis. They didn’t want to believe the grim, life-altering news, and were terrified. Joseph started in-center dialysis after being sick in the hospital for several weeks. They went through that difficult routine for a year. In-center dialysis was a cold, impersonal and frightening experience for Joseph and Sima. The inflexible, often very-early-morning schedule they were on felt like a punishment, and traveling back and forth to the clinic took a lot of their time. The whole experience was difficult and dehumanizing, and by late last year, Joseph was not in a good place mentally or physically. “He didn’t want to go to treatment anymore, and our children and I, and other family and our good friends, were trying to convince him to keep going. He was in terrible shape. We were concerned that he may not survive,” says Sima.
It was at that pivotal time that Joseph’s nephrologist urged him to consider home dialysis with Tablo, as he felt he would be a perfect candidate. “He told us the technology was excellent and easy to learn and use, and that it would allow Joseph to feel better. He said we would be able to concentrate on the time he’s not on the machine, on his quality of life,” says Sima. They went home to consider this option, but were scared, as performing dialysis at home sounded very challenging. At Joseph’s next appointment, his doctor was adamant about them going home with Tablo. “He would not take ‘no’ for an answer, and we immediately made a plan to start training.”
The couple completed the brief training on Tablo, and this February, a Tablo console was delivered to their home. They then began a hopeful new chapter in Joseph’s kidney disease journey. Sima explains that training and set-up were easy. “They worked closely with us to answer our questions, as we didn’t know a thing about running our new dialysis machine. Then Outset Medical helped us get set up at home with just an electrical outlet and water hook-up, and made us feel very comfortable and confident using the machine. The boxes of supplies are minimal,” she says. “The touchscreen animation is cheery and positive, we love the little birdie that comes up on the screen. The interface is easy to use, it walks me through each step in the process, including troubleshooting. This is incredibly important for making this work for patients at home.”
“The interface is easy to use, it walks me through each step in the process, including troubleshooting. This is incredibly important for making this work for patients at home.”
Sima also offered her honest perspective. “To be perfectly truthful, dialysis is not pleasant, Joseph doesn’t like having to sit down in the chair. We wish he didn’t have to do it, but Tablo helped relieve our fear of dialysis. Now, after treating with the Tablo dialyzer at home for about seven months, he’s able to once again enjoy our children and grandchildren, he enjoys reading his beloved books, and we are able to go on walks and enjoy healthy meals together. He feels he is contributing to the world, it’s a big difference,” she continues.
Joseph is treating four days a week, four hours a day, and Sima says that he is feeling incomparably better than he was before Tablo. “It has provided him with the opportunity for a quality life, and for that we are extremely humbled and grateful. The positive attitude and support of our medical team, and our Outset team, made all the difference. Tablo has given us hope during a dark time in our lives, and our hearts are full of thanks that it is an option for us.”
She and Joseph also encourage everyone to become educated about their risk factors for kidney disease. “If someone does require home hemodialysis, we want to assure them that they can have full confidence in their medical team and the Outset team, that Tablo can work for them,” she says. “I have a saying, ‘the uniqueness of each individual is the stunning beauty of the world,’ as we are all puzzle pieces in the masterpiece of life. Outset took the individual person into consideration when creating Tablo.”
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