I have said this before, but it deserves its own post: For more information, check out http://bigdandme.wordpress.com/ . specifically, this post: http://bigdandme.wordpress.com/2009/08/14/what-to-expect-when-you-start-dialysis/ . Don’t read the comments, though. They are long and depressing.
From there, check out Greg’s Top Posts. You will find out everything you might want to know (and likely more) about how dialysis works, what a fistula does and what it looks like, and why dialysis is not the end of the world, especially when transplant is not an option.