By Bill Peckham
I've been back a week; I am still absorbing the experience of spending 8 days rafting 225 miles through the Grand Canyon.
Everything went well, I completed three hemodialysis treatments using the NxStage, literally dialyzing on a raft since it was the coolest and least sandy spot available (photo shows me dialyzing the first night. Image courtesy of Kathleen Radtke-Fitzpatrick). There were no serious injuries or accidents while our party of 12 was in the Canyon, I think we all enjoyed the trip. For me it was a peak life experience.
The idea to dialyze on the raft, as opposed to the hot/sandy shore, came from the AZ Raft crew; it was because of the river guides - Randy, Dave, Amanda, Kat and Chris - that we all had a safe, fun and exciting, eight-day week of white water rafting and awesome daily side hikes. Call it providence or dumb luck that I ended up with AZ Raft, but I feel very fortunate that I ended up in their experienced care.
I also feel very lucky that life gave me the opportunity to experience the Canyon from the river. The trip was a life affirming challenge, it tested my physical and emotional limits, the sort of trip you think you will never get to have once you start using dialysis. Being able to take this trip was a gift, I feel very grateful. I am back to work, on the clock, but with the Canyon still occupying my thoughts; I will have photos/video and more to say soon.