Spray Bottle Helps Limit Fluids
By Jo Coleman
We have a dialysis patient whose last name is Tew,* who has trouble with fluid gain. He went to Wal-Mart and bought an 8 oz. squirt bottle—the kind you use to keep your hair damp while fixing it. He fills it with a beverage of choice, such as ice water or juice. When he’s thirsty, he squirts the fluid into his mouth until he feels relieved, but carefully measures intake by checking the measurement lines on the bottle.
He said he feels like he’s in more control of his fluid intake because measurement is easy—much easier than finishing part of a canned or bottled beverage and trying to estimate how much he drank. Using the squirt bottle, he cut down on his fluid intake dramatically. I call it the “Tew bottle.”
I realized this could be a helpful tool for other patients, so I went out and bought several spray bottles for patients to use in the dialysis center if they wish. If you decide to do this, make sure the measurement numbers on the spray bottle are large and easy to read. If the bottle is not pre-marked, use indelible ink and mark it yourself.
Editor’s Note: The Life Options Program received permission from the patient to use his last name in this entry.
Name: Jo Coleman
Title: Social Worker
Organization: GAMBRO Healthcare
Date: July 1999