21 Things I've learned this past year I've spent on dialysis

This blog post was made by Claudette Dunn on January 9, 2014.
21 Things I've learned this past year I've spent on dialysis

  1. Dialysis doesn't have to be nearly as bad as you expect it to be.
  2. Even if you are a dialysis patient, you are a human being first and deserve to be treated with respect.
  3. You are the consumer and the client. All the medical and dialysis professionals are the service providers and they work for you. It's okay to expect quality, efficient service just like any other service you pay for.
  4. Educate yourself about all your options. Don't wait for the medical professionals or social workers to inform you.
  5. Take as much control over your treatment as you can. The more you know about it, the better.
  6. Try to have the best lab numbers you can, not for the silly stickers they give you, but because these numbers can greatly impact your prognosis and quality of life. Also, great lab numbers will keep them from speaking to you like a child.
  7. Get as much dialysis as you can. Although we want to spend the least amount of time in the dialysis chair, remember that more is almost always better. Native, working kidneys work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The closer we can get to that number, the healthier we will be.
  8. Never take a shower with your sites still taped. The glue will adhere to your skin and it will literally take days to get it off.
  9. Be smart about your diet and fluids. If your labs allow a little splurging here and there, fine, but remember if you go overboard the only one you hurt is you.
  10. If you desire a transplant and are looking for a live donor, get as much publicity as you can. Get your story in the newspaper, the local TV stations, wherever you can. Start a FB page, but don't concentrate on the already tapped out kidney disease community where everyone is in the same boat as you. Reach out to the rest of the world and educate them about your plight and how difficult it is to find donors. The more people you reach, the better your chances are.
  11. Talk to as many dialysis patients as you can and listen to their experiences. Very often other patients will teach you things the medical professionals are clueless about.
  12. Don't expect people who are not on dialysis to understand what you are going through. They won't.
  13. Accept that even well meaning people will say stupid things and ask you stupid questions. Try to be patient with them.
  14. Don't expect your friends and family to stop their lives just because of your illness. They won't.
  15. Be present if you don't want people to forget about you. Even when you are tired, try to drag yourself out of the house so you can stay relevant to those around you.
  16. Expect to find out who you real friends truly are. If you lose people they were never really your friends to begin with. Good riddance to them. Your true friends will stand by you and support you.
  17. Family members can be very disappointing, but they're only human too.
  18. There are angels walking among us. Keep your heart open so they can find you. If you have a closed heart you might miss them.
  19. Don't try to shield your loved ones from your reality, and this includes spouses and children. They are there to be your support system and they deserve to know (within reason regarding children) what you are going through.
  20. Dialysis isn't the end of the world. It's a new beginning to a new life, one that can just as fulfilling as your previous life.
  21. You will learn you have strength you never knew you had.


  • Joan BALLA

    Jan 17, 2014 11:09 AM

    I really appreciated your list. I will keep it nearby when my dear husband needs it. He has stage 4 kidney failure!
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  • Clark Wilkinson

    Jan 10, 2014 12:14 PM

    Whoever wrote this is a forward thinking person.
    These 21 things listed are what every Dialysis patient should
    live by.
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