My Dialysis Empowerment Journey

This blog post was made by Lisa Love on May 12, 2022.
My Dialysis Empowerment Journey

During my dialysis journey, I’ve come to realize that some things can’t be explained and must be experienced. As I experienced dialysis, I wanted a better understanding of the process, because others’ perspectives of dialysis were attempting to create fear inside of me. Those fears, as I know now, were part misconceptions.

Misconceptions can paralyze individuals like me, who lacked understanding. And because I was in this struggle, I felt the need to familiarize, understand and get involved in my own health care needs. Honestly, I realize now, you must be a part of this arena to truly understand its process.   And boy did I have work to do!

Guess what? I put in the work, and now I am more aware of what it all meant. I’m equipped and empowered to share my experience with others. This journey isn’t easy but thank God that my preparedness met opportunity. Here’s why… 

Prior to dialysis, I had high blood pressure that was left untreated for a long time because I had no symptoms and for that reason, I did not take it very seriously. Again, my lack of understand was the start of my renal failure journey.  

Shortly after my dialysis journey began, a light bulb came on, making me realize that I personally needed to know what all of this was about, and why I am here. And because I am here, what am I going to do now? Never being one to smoke, engage in recreational drugs or alcohol, I thought I was safe. But now I know that this disease has no respect of person, and age is certainly not a factor. Now that I have been dealt this hand in life, I had to play it.

My mission s to beat the odds with a positive outcome. Which meant I needed to get involved in assisting my health care providers and knowing my own health care needs better.  I needed to familiarize myself with this necessary treatment and its process. Some of which included knowing my medications, dry weight, blood pressure, appropriate foods, beverage choices and realizing I needed weekly dialysis treatments. And even though I still urinated and had no fluid gains, I still needed these necessary treatments.

During in-center sessions, I was made aware of the service and health benefits. Therefore, after much research, I chose home hemodialysis, which became one of the best decisions that I made involving my health. Although I had only treated in center for a short period, I had become accustomed to the process…so I decided to continue therapy using the same form. Having done so, it only took about a month before our training became second nature.

Being in the comforts of my own home, was more enjoyable as opposed to being in center. One thing that I will always remember about in center dialysis was how uncomfortably cold I always was.  

I initially thought my life was over by others’ perspective, and of course my fears of the unknown. So, I had to get an understanding for myself, and I am glad that I did. I took a risk that a lot of patients are not in favor of or takingand I am now thriving! I got involved and understood my own health care needs, made necessary changes, listened to my doctors, and I stopped totally depending on or looking to others for my personal health concerns. Because I took the imitative and got involved, I got my life back and my perspective totally changed regarding dialysis.  

I would like to encourage other warriors like me struggling with taking dialysis to get involved in their own health care journey. There is an opportunity during this opposition to make your outcome greater than the process. And things will always seem impossible until they are done.

What I know now is…that my purpose for trying home dialysis and the advantages of it received, was bigger than the threat. I am so glad that I took the time to research it! It has now become one of the best decisions made, that I do not regret risking. I have been transplanted for almost 5 years, but prior to that, I was living life as close to normal as I could, while still maintaining good health through home dialysis.

Taking advantage of this wonderful advancement for my treatment needs aided me in getting my transplant much sooner.  Having a much closer relationship with my treating doctor and the Home Team, certainly fueled my decision making to get listed. And, to also receive my kidney transplant months later.  


  • Barb Huber

    May 14, 2022 1:11 AM

    I'm both excited at the possibilities that PD offers and afraid that I'll make an error, possibly a big one.
    But like the author, I believe that this is the best thing to do for me. By trusting my nurse and educating myself I'm going to be handling this whole big thing better.
    Maybe I'll even get the transplant!
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