Dialysis for some Chronic Kidney Disease patients (especially people in Early Stage) who are unfamiliar may seem like a Death Sentence. For those that have been on Dialysis for any extended period of time know that this is a myth and 100% FALSE. My father, for instance, has lived on Dialysis for over 14 years, and shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, over time he has learned to better manage his disease which has helped improve his health outcomes and he is now living better than ever. Can you believe it!?
However even the more "seasoned" Dialysis patient, who has conducted treatments for many years, can be fooled by popular Dialysis Myths. You don't believe me? Well, we did some research on what people believed about Dialysis and what was actually TRUE. The results were quite surprising. Take a look and see if you have fallen for or are still being mislead by these Dialysis myths.
Myth: As a Dialysis patient I will have to stick to a ridged Renal Diet and give up all of the foods that I LOVE.
Truth: Nope! Many long time Dialysis patients settle for bland or excessively strict diets. You should not; and if you are doing that right now, stop! No, I am not saying, "Go crazy and eat WHATEVER you want!" That would not be smart. But you should see your diet as something that changes over time. You should work with your Dietitian to add food to your diet, make substitutions, change things that are not working, and more.
Myth: Dialysis has to hurt, but it's better than being dead.
Truth: Wrong again. Dialysis does not have to always be painful. During dialysis you may feel a pinch when each of the needles go into your fistula. If the needle causes more than a "pinch" there are skin numbing drugs that can help such as Lidocaine and EMLA cream. The rest of your dialysis treatment should NOT hurt. If it does, tell your Nurses and Nephrologists so they can fix it. Also, talk to your Nephrologists before applying anything to your fistula in case of allergic reactions or other concerns.
Myth: All I have to do is conduct my Dialysis to feel better.
Truth: This is partially correct, that is what makes it so tricky. Dialysis is an important part of you feeling better once your kidneys fail. You might even say that it is the biggest part in ensuring you live. What is often missed, however, are the other VERY important aspects of your life such as diet, taking medications as prescribed, fluid limits, and exercise.
Myth: Dialysis will bring my Kidney Function back to normal.
Truth: The unfortunate fact is that once your kidneys fail, they very seldom get better. Dialysis is not a cure, it is a treatment that does some of what your kidneys did. You need to incorporate Dialysis into your life to better manage your health outcomes and enjoy a high quality of life. Even if you have a Kidney Transplant you will have to manage your health, so the best time to start is right now!
Myth: People on dialysis can no longer travel
Truth: You can still soak up the sun, camp, visit family or travel for fun. Just schedule it with your center in advance. If you are on Hemodialysis you can arrange treatments at a center at your planned travel destination, and if you are conducting Peritoneal Dialysis or Home Hemodialysis most centers can arrange for your supplies to be directly delivered to wherever you are going. Just go talk to your Social Worker so s/he can help.
Myth: There is too much to learn about Dialysis. It takes too much to stay informed.
Truth: It is YOUR health and YOUR life, come-on...jump in the front seat. That is where you should stay. You do not need to know every single thing about Dialysis, but you should refer to resources from blindauthor.com, and stay in close communication with your Healthcare Team to ensure you do not miss any new findings, information or products that can help improve the quality and comfort of your life.
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