Chronic Kidney Disease patients conducting Dialysis would prefer to have their healthy kidneys and live without relying on regular Dialysis Treatments. Unfortunately, this is not an option for the 600,000+ Dialysis patients in the United States and over 3,000,000 global Dialysis patients. While the burden of Dialysis can only be removed with a successful Kidney Transplant or future alternative devices such the Artificial Implantable Kidney or 3D Printed Kidney, there are simple techniques patients can adopt to make Dialysis a bit easier and more tolerable.
Most patients would definitively note that life on Dialysis is typically VERY difficult. A few comments from KidneyBuzz.com's Facebook Friends include the following:
Hugo Nida: Dialysis, in a nutshell, SUPER SUCKS!!!! But, you do it because you want to live! If your life sucks, Dialysis makes your life suck even more! You still do it because you want to live. You continue because you know that someday life will get better and it does!!!
Edith L. Van Sandt: Dialysis is awful. Watching your friends get sick, die. Give up because dying is better than the suffering on Dialysis.
Lisa Cole: I want to give up on occasion...but I don't. Doing Dialysis for over 5 years now. I take the good days and run full speed ahead and bad days try to rest and pray a lot.
Daris J. Boggs: Dialysis was living death for me.
April McGhee: I was on Dialysis....hemo for 6 months and it was the worst 6 months of my entire life. Terrible, terrible, just damn terrible.
Mark Kahre: Dialysis is only tolerable because of its necessity.
Given these patients' perspectives, there are still some really simple tips that Chronic Kidney Disease patients can easily incorporate into their Dialysis Treatments to improve their health outcomes and lighten the burden of Kidney Failure (even if just slightly).
1. Have a loved one by your side: While it may seem trivial, research has shown that patients with support from family and friends improve their outlook on life which directly translates into better health outcomes. "My family gives me something to live for," one Dialysis patient mentioned. While physical pain, frustration, and exhaustion do not lessen; often having a loved one nearby can be enough of a distraction and support to make the ordeal easier. Do not be afraid to ask your loved one to sit with you during treatments or take you to or from Dialysis.
2. Use an Anesthesia: Topical anesthetics will help numb the area where the needle is inserted and make the Dialysis needle stick less painful. EMLA cream (2.5% concentrated Lidocaine or Prilocaine) should be applied about 45 to 60 minutes before Dialysis. This can be found at local drug stores. Similarly, Pain Ease, is a name brand spray that can be used on the site of insertion of your needle. This solution almost ‘freezes’ the area and makes the site numb.
3. Bundle up and stay warm: Rooms can feel very cold during Dialysis Treatments (at home or In Center) because of Anemia (low red blood cell count). Also, when a Dialysis patient's blood is removed from his/her body, it is cooled and when it is returned to the body it can make the patient feel cold. According to the News Tribe, cold temperatures, "make the human mind focus more on the negativities – in this case, pain." Hence, patients should wear their Tailored Dialysis Clothing (click here) as well as gloves and socks to stay warm during Dialysis Treatments.
4. Lotion and Lip Balm: People suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), especially those on Dialysis often have problems with itchiness and dryness of their skin. Get some nice body lotion and lip balm because Dialysis Treatments can dry out your skin.
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