Dialysis keeps former harrier mobile

By Merania Karauria

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Graham Hancock used to be a harrier and tennis player, but he's now limited because of his peritoneal dialysis.PHOTO/STUART MUNRO 130913WCSMGRAHAMHANCOCK
Graham Hancock used to be a harrier and tennis player, but he's now limited because of his peritoneal dialysis.PHOTO/STUART MUNRO 130913WCSMGRAHAMHANCOCK

Graham Hancock receives peritoneal dialysis four times a day, and it's the kind of treatment that he can take with him when he goes away on holiday.

The 73-year-old Wanganui man has been receiving dialysis for 18 months and the four treatments he has to give himself in a day take around 30 minutes each.

But he would like to see one or two renal nurses in Wanganui, and especially for those elderly who will need dialysis into the future.

Mr Hancock says he is pleased with the attention he receives at the Wanganui Hospital, and in particular Dr Thompson who he says is "very good value".

He is also grateful to the renal nurses and specialist Norman Panlilio at MidCentral Health in Palmerston North for their encouragement and contact by telephone.

Mr Hancock carries two litres of dialysis solution in his peritoneal cavity into which a catheter is inserted.

He says the liquid is left in long enough to pull the extra fluid and waste products from the blood.

At the intervals starting at 7am, 12pm, 5pm and 10pm, he goes into his sanitised room and prepares the solution which he has to heat to body temperature. Then he hooks it up on to a stand, attaches to the catheter and the new fluid goes to work replacing the old fluids.

He was the former president of the Wanganui Lawn Tennis and the Victoria Club. He has always been lean which came from his harrier days. But he can no longer play his sports, although he can have a round of golf and play bowls.

It's the tiredness that gets to him, and he has come to know his limitations.

"I don't have the strength in my body, and when I have the strength I make the most of it."

The fluids in his cavity means he can't run, or bend easily, and because of bruising he can't play with his grandchildren.

Cleanliness is paramount and pets are a no-no because of cat dander and dog hair.

An Auckland company sends the two-litre bags of fluids, 240kg at a time, which he keeps stored until ready for use.

On a visit to family in Australia, the company sent the fluids there.

Throughout it all, Mr Hancock remains positive. "Life has to continue," he smiles."My ability is deteriorating. I strive to think positively, but some days I don't have the energy.

"For health reasons I do not qualify for a kidney transplant."

- WANGANUI CHRONICLE

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