Happy Father's Day!
Elena's daddy, Leo, is an amazing caregiver. He takes her to all of her clinic appointments and does a lot of the tasks required for her care at home. Both mommy and daddy take turns with the various tasks but daddy is a pro at taking care of the medical waste!
The most critical part of her dialysis routine involves hooking her up at night and taking her off in the morning. A machine is set up which regulates the flow of dialysate, which is a solution provided to us monthly to be used to for dialysis. The fluid goes through a catheter into her abdomen and once there, the walls of the peritoneum act as a mock kidney, performing the tasks of the kidneys. The peritoneum filters waste and fluids out of the bloodstream into the dialysate, which then drains into a bag. (This is where daddy is a pro at clean-up!). It exchanges in and out of her peritoneum 10 times overnight, removing excess waste and fluid with each drain. At the end of the night, the catheter is unhooked from the machine and capped off to be hidden in her clothes for the rest of the day. This is such a critical process because the catheter goes directly into her abdomen and there is a risk of infection every time the catheter is opened. Daddy is very methodical and patient, making sure that infection risks are minimized with each exposure of the catheter. He even wears a mask, which makes Elena laugh! That silly man in the mask is so serious when he is taking good care of her! Besides the important care that Leo gives, he is a sweet and fun daddy to both his girls. He likes to carry them on his shoulders when we are out doing fun stuff around town. He is also the most fluent in Elena-speak and she gets a kick out of their private conversations that only she and daddy understand.
Elena is lucky to have such an awesome daddy! Leo has always been very hands on and his calm and steady presence keeps the whole family running smoothly. We love you him much and don't know what we would do without him! Happy Father's Day to Leo and all the other super-dad out there.