While I'll never know, I imagine that all dialysis charts look different. However, the reason for the charts and what the unit is looking for are;
- Fluid – are you dehydrated or overloaded.
The charts will look at a few things to see if you are dehydrated or overloaded;
- Bloody Pressure – Blood pressure going up maybe an indication that you are overloaded. Low BP may also be an indication that you are dehydrated.
- Weight – When you start dialysis you are given a "dry weight" and you need to try and keep to that. Dialysis (because the body absorbs some of sugar in the dialysis fluid) can make you put on weight. But more importantly, weight going up maybe fluid build up causing you to be overloaded. And a drop in weight maybe an indication of dehydration.
- Checking for water – pressing and holding on the fleshy part of your ankle. If when you release, the welt from your fingers is still there; you have water on the body and it maybe an indication that you are overloaded.
- Bag weights – Each bag that you drain out you have to weigh. Then at the end of the day you add up how much went in and how much came out. If the number is negative it could mean that you have taken on fluid.
Being overloaded means you have too much liquid in you. You can sort it by using a green bag (these have a higher percentage of sugar in them so pull more water out of you). You will also need to drink less.
Fluid restrictions during dialysis is common and I often see people having all their daily allowance in one bottle during the day. This is a big no no – because it's tough to be constantly reminded how much you can drink. Plus, it's the same liquid (usually water) which can be boring.
Use more than one container and more than one type of liquid – variety is the spice of life!