Staying Positive Throughout Dialysis
When you got the diagnosis of chronic kidney disease (CKD), you were probably scared and had a million questions. When the doctors told you that you had end-stage renal disease (ESRD), it probably sounded bleak and hopeless. Even though the name of the disease refers to an end, it is not the end of you. It is just the end of the ability of your kidneys to filter your blood properly, making dialysis a necessity. With conventional dialysis you have about three hours three times per week where your thoughts can run wild. Here are some ways to help you stay positive throughout your dialysis treatments.
Make the Routine Enjoyable
If your dialysis is the conventional type where you visit one of our Satellite Healthcare Dialysis Centers, you have at least three hours for every session where you are relaxing in a comfortable recliner. This gives you time to do many things you have always wanted to do during down time. This can be anything from writing that novel or short story to reading or binge watching TV shows.
The point is to occupy your time with an activity that keeps your mind busy while completing dialysis. The same goes for home dialysis. Arrange an activity you enjoy that can be done without having to get up and move around. Patients do everything from knitting to watching movies on tablet PCs. There is an activity best suited to you too.
Talk to People
You are going to see the same people at least three times per week when you visit a Satellite Healthcare Dialysis Center. You are going to become familiar with the staff and the patients. You will have people you prefer interacting with, so make it a point to talk to them. Conversations about hobbies, children, pets and current events are great icebreakers. After a few visits you will no longer be the new person. You will become part of the dialysis family at our facilities.
Staff to patient and patient to patient interaction often forms strong bonds that become part of one's support structure. This is a great psychological and emotional help for those enduring a chronic health condition such as kidney disease. Staff can help you understand the procedures and the equipment better to allay anxiety, and veteran patients offer that been-there-done-that point of view that lets you know you are not alone in this. So, go ahead and strike up conversations and get to know the people at the dialysis center you go to.
Join a Support Group
Your kidney disease does not get locked away in a closet when you go home after dialysis. It is there in the background, prodding you to make specific decisions for every bit of food and drink you take in to every activity you choose to partake in. It can be a tedious routine that can wear you down emotionally as well as physically. You are not an island when it comes to your kidney disease and needing to undergo dialysis. Kidney.org statistics indicate that there are 468,000 people on dialysis just in the United States. That means there are 467,999 other people that know exactly what you are going through. Having an extended support structure to help you through the rough spots can be a real boost toward staying positive through your dialysis treatments.
There are all kinds of support groups for those with kidney disease with some likely being close to where you live. If you do not have a local group that meets, maybe it is something you might want to get started. If meeting in person with others on dialysis to talk about issues you are facing is not your cup of tea, then consider online support groups. Check out Facebook pages, Yahoo email list groups and online forums for those with kidney disease who are on dialysis. If you are not comfortable with the first group you check out, do not give up. The next group might be just what you need to help keep yourself positive.
Ask About Dialysis Options
The standard dialysis procedure is for patients to visit a dialysis treatment center three times per week during the day to be hooked up to a dialysis machine for about three hours. However, that routine does not work for everyone. For some patients, lifestyle changes make it difficult to keep their dialysis treatment appointments. It depends on what your doctor recommends, but other dialysis treatment options may be available to you.
Nocturnal dialysis is where you get your dialysis procedure at one of our centers during the night while you sleep instead of during the day. Home dialysis options are also available. Peritoneal dialysis can be self-administered or by assistance and done at night, during the day or both. These dialysis options free you to go back to enjoying your normal daily routines as much as possible, giving you a new lease on life.
No one wants a chronic disease, but, thankfully, ESRD has dialysis available to take over the critical role your kidneys used to perform. There are many ways to stay positive through ongoing dialysis treatment. A few have been mentioned, and you will discover many more on your own. Do not be afraid of the journey. Make the best of it and enjoy every new day as a gift to enjoy to the best of your ability.