"My doctor said that I am supposed to start feeling better after starting Dialysis," a KidneyBuzz.com viewer said, "It has been over a year now and it feels like it is getting worse. I think that I am going to stop."
The sentiment of this Chronic Kidney Disease patient is not uncommon. Both newcomers to Dialysis as well as veteran patients who have been conducting treatments for years consider giving up and quitting Dialysis. In fact, a study which was reported by Renal & Urology News found that, "withdrawal rates more than tripled," in some groups of Dialysis patients. If YOU are considering giving up, then you should know that generally speaking, Dialysis becomes better and more manageable as time goes on, and you are able to incorporate Dialysis into a "new normal" lifestyle. Essentially: Dialysis does not get better, Chronic Kidney Disease patients become better equipped to deal with it.
Let's be clear as we explore this sensitive topic, if you are having a tough time on Dialysis, in no way is it your fault. However, it is sometimes very difficult for Dialysis patients to see any "light at the end of the tunnel," and they do not believe that their situation will ever improve. Yet, it will. For instance, Sherri Peres, has been a Dialysis patient for over thirty (30) years and said, “I believe you just have to do what you have to. I’ve had that attitude my whole life – you can’t give up.” Here are some of the reasons that life on Dialysis will get better if you do not give up and instead stick with it:
1. AN IMPROVED GRATITUDE FOR LIFE: The longer you are on Dialysis the more you realize how fragile life truly is and you learn that there is a lot to be grateful for - even Dialysis treatments because they keep you alive.
2. GROWING WISER: Dialysis patients often become much wiser and soon realize that most issues are resolvable if only you decide you're committed to resolving them. This may relate to your day-to-day health as well as your overall life.
3. SHIFT IN ATTITUDE: Often a Dialysis patient's attitude completely shifts from a desire to prove or establish himself/herself to one of finding inner peace, personal fulfillment and a true presence in the "now" rather than the future or the past.
4. EQUIPPED FOR CHALLENGES: Dialysis never becomes "easier," patients just become better equipped to deal with things that they did not know how to deal with previously. Experience and challenges further enhance and improve their skill set and ability to manage various challenges associated with treatments.
5. YOUR EMOTIONAL FORTITUDE INCREASES OVER TIME: Typically, Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients are most emotional when they first begin Dialysis. Over time as patients understand that Dialysis is not a "death sentence," they can better manage the fear and anxiety that comes with Dialysis.
6. YOU CAN BE A DIALYSIS PATIENT AND STILL BE HAPPY: Many patients think that they will never be happy again because they must deal with the constant challenges of Dialysis. However, as patients become more familiar with their treatment type, they find that they can enjoy life even while on Dialysis. Many still seek a Kidney Transplant while conducting Dialysis and that is just fine (click here for assistance in sharing your story with potential Altruistic Living Kidney Donors).
7. YOUR FRIENDSHIPS WILL BE STRENGTHENED: "Once I got sick a lot of my family members and close friends stopped coming around me," one KidneyBuzz.com viewer wrote. "I guess they did not want me to ask them for a kidney or something." While some people will drift away when you become sick, the family members and friends that remain are in fact true friends and your bonds with them will likely strengthen.
8. YOU KNOW HOW TO GET THROUGH DIFFICULT TIMES: Not many people can say they have gotten through more difficult challenges than beginning and living on Dialysis. The treatment will make Chronic Kidney Disease patients mentally tough. The struggle of Kidney Failure and Dialysis will give you the tools to deal with future life challenges.
9. YOU WILL HAVE MORE VALUE FOR LIFE AND LOVED ONES: Similar to Lesson Number One, Dialysis patients have a heightened understanding that time is limited no matter what age you may be. For that reason, patients value the time they share with their close family and friends and cherish special moments.
10. PATIENTS LEARN WHAT MAKES THEM HAPPY: Over time patients learn what makes them happy, even while on Dialysis, and create a life that incorporates people and events that add to their joy. Similarly, Dialysis patients usually realize that time is limited and, when possible, avoid situations and people that take away from their happiness and peace of mind. That self-knowledge is invaluable, and makes up the building blocks of a life well-lived.
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