Porto. Pedro has already laid the breakfast table before his family awakes. He is looking forward to reading his daily newspaper. Only five years ago he barely had any time to read. But since he became a dialysis patient he uses the time wisely during his first 30-minute exchange which he performs at home independently. Next, he will wake up his 6-year-old son, get him ready for school and bring him there on his way to work.
Three times a day Pedro Monteiro has to do his exchange. “In total I only need 90 minutes for dialysis per day”, says the purposeful engineer and union employee. It can be integrated into daily and work-related routine. And the main thing: Pedro Monteiro can continue to be independent from others. An aspect which is near and dear to him.
Pedro Monteiro still recalls the day he got to know the diagnosis after a blood test in February 2011: both kidneys are only efficient on a limited level. A dialysis treatment was absolutely essential. A shock for him. With a slightly hoarse voice he tells he already knew this day would come. But he tried to displace his thoughts as long as possible. The imagination of his prospective everyday life scared him. Would he still be able to wholeheartedly focus his life on his little son, go out with friends, do sports and travel with his family – simply to lead a normal life?
Today – five years later – Petro Monteiro knows the answers to his questions. Whether work, sports, family or other freetime activities: his life differs only marginally compared to this life before dialysis. He still goes to the office every day and exercises in the nearby gym. At the weekend the 42-year-old often goes running on the idyllic waterfront of Douro. Thus he feels independently and gets his mind truly cleared. He is thankful that he can still do his favorite hobby, he explains while enjoying the first spring sunrays on his skin.
Dialysis at home was made possible thanks to Pedro Monteiro`s decision for a peritoneal dialysis which is a suitable alternative for daily use compared to dialysis in a hospital. With this treatment the properties of the peritoneum are used to clean the blood of toxins and remove water from the body. The peritoneum is a natural membrane of the body and functions as a filter. When a dialysis solution remains in the abdominal cavity for several hours, it collects urea, creatinine and other metabolic products that would otherwise be excreted by the kidney. Three times a day Pedro Monteiro has to drain the old fluid from his abdominal cavity with the aid of an implanted catheter and let the new dialysis solution run in.
If you ask Pedro Monteiro what the disadvantages of peritoneal dialysis are, he does not have to think about it for long: he thinks it’s a pity not being able to play with his son in the pool. Swimming is tabu for him because of the catheter. Otherwise there are many advantages such as being more flexible and mobile compared to other therapies. Thus, he realised his greatest dream at the end of 2013: He flew to Rio de Janeiro with his family where he spent some easy-going days and celebrated his wife’s 40th birthday while enjoying the view of the Sugar Loaf Mountain. And Pedro already has new plans. “The next big holiday is already planned”, he says gladly but doesn’t disclose where he will spend his holidays. But one thing is already certain: the peritoneal dialysis will make it possible.