Ten Things to Do While on Dialysis

The hours can seem long in a dialysis center.  Bringing something to do will keep you from being bored and keep your mind busy.  Take these ideas and use them.  Some will fit you and some will not.

Kindle/Laptop/ or other Device: Download, games and books to the Kindle.  Spend your time enlightening your mind or playing games for fun.***

Read.  Bring a book or use your Kindle to download books. When I read time slips by quickly.

Journal.  All you need is a pencil and pen and a notebook; or use your computer. Write your memoirs while you sit in the chair for hours.  Write that book that has been in your head for many years.

Puzzles. Soduko, word searches, thinking puzzles books will help keep your mind sharp.  Buy them at your local 99 cent stores.

Podcasts.  You can download most onto your kindle or find them online. I like:

The Thrilling Adventure Hour– comedy, old fashioned variety show.

Wolf 359- science fiction story.

Do It Scared– uplifting talk and advice. 

Find ones you like or try a random podcast.

Draw.  Drawing equipment is a small clipboard, paper, a pencil, eraser, and colored pencils or crayons.

Color. Buy an adult coloring book.  Get a set of colored pencils.  Take your time coloring a page. 

Crochet or Knit.  The yarn can be in a plastic container with a small hole in the lid with the yarn poked up through to the crochet hook or knitting needles You can knit and crochet with little space. Everything is in the container to and from the center

Picnic. If your center lets you eat while on the machine, bring a picnic lunch with food you like. Pack them in a picnic basket or lunch bag along with a large napkin and a checked tablecloth.  Put the tablecloth over your lap and have a picnic. **

Meditate. Relax your mind. Turn off from your worries.

Sleep.  Let your body rest. A lot of dialysis patients sleep during dialysis.

Notes:

** Clean up after yourself after each dialysis center.  Make sure your materials all are in their containers and trash is picked up before you leave.

***Be courteous to those around you turn the volume down on your devices when using them.

***Remember to bring a power cord or charger and cords for your devices.

*****Actually there are eleven things on the list but sleep does not activate the mind, although it can help it to rest and relax.

I dialyze to live. I don’t live to dialyze.                                          Katherine E. Soto

June 2019

Dialysis Fatigue March National Kidney Month

I was so tired last night after dialysis I just sat and watched TV. After an hour after the Tylenol kicked in and i had eaten something, my brain kicked in again. I had a bad case of after dialysis fatigue.

What is dialysis fatigue? It is the headache and overly tired feeling that comes upon a dialysis patient during the last part of or immediately after dialysis. It is almost impossible to describe the way it feels, so I will use last night as an example.

I felt a headache and tiredness creep into my body the last half hour or so while I was on dialysis.. I asked for Tylenol to help prevent some of the pain I knew was coming. I was pretty quiet while I was taken off dialysis. I just wanted to go home. In the car I played on my cell phone or sat quietly. I was so happy to see our house, I almost cried walking up to the door. Usually I am hungry enough to eat a bear after a treatment of six hours., not last night. I did not really fell like eating. I was tired from my head to my feet. I was so tired I just wanted to sit and cry. It would have only made things worse, so I stopped that negative thought. I sat in my office at my desk, turned the TV on and stared blankly at it. I tried to write something, but my brain kept saying; “NO, too tired to do this now.” I played a few Facebook games, because that usually relax me. Even that did not work.. I finally had a little food to eat. I started feeling a little better and could write a little bit again. I crawled into bed to read for a little bit with the heating pad on my sore spots. I felt every aching spot in my body telling me all about its pain after I turned out the light to try to sleep. I just had to lie there and let the body find its favorite spot and position that will allow me to sleep.

This is how dialysis fatigue affected me on one night. Not every single night is this way after dialysis, this is a description of a particularity bad night.

This is one article about dialysis fatigue so it is not just an “in my own mind” effect. It gives pointers on how to recover quicker. It also says to recognize and validate the fatigue.

https://www.kidneynews.org/kidney-news/practice-pointers/postdialysis-fatigue

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2582327/

A research study done on dialysis fatigue. It gives extra information on the effects of dialysis on the body related to fatigue symptoms.

What can be done to prevent or help dialysis fatigue symptoms? Common sense things.

Recognize when you have fatigue. Rest is recommended.

Review your medications with your doctor. Ask which ones can go into a nighttime routine.

Eat a well balanced diet. Pay attention to protein intake at each meal.

Exercise when you can.

Do things you enjoy. Have some fun.

Remember: Dialyze to Live, do not live to dialyze!

World Kidney Day

Today is World Kidney Day. Yes, a day to recognize all your kidney do for you.

Did you know that your kidneys work hard in your body. They help regulate phosphorous, potassium, calcium and sodium, as well as other nutrients your body uses. As a kidney patient on dialysis I can attest to the power of the kidney in the human body. I have to follow a rigid diet to regulate these things now that my kidneys are not working. The kidneys also push toxins, waste, and fluid out of your body. Without the kidneys functioning, dialysis becomes the only choice. Say thanks to your two working kidneys sometime today.

Here is a link to the National Kidney Foundation for news on kidney related issues: https://www.kidney.org

National Kidney Month I Know These Things by, Chris Hassel 3/9/2019

I know the pressures that Kidney Disease can bring you,
I also know the costs.
Many outside of our community can’t understand, 
Not because they don’t want to,
But maybe it’s a price they don’t have the currency to pay.
What I mean to say is that it’s one thing, financially;
And that is a HUGE cost alone.
But, it’s another cost when you talk about Relationships.
All of the strained relationships from friends and family.
They may not understand the time, energy and finance.
It’s a whole different currency, because we are now SICK.
I don’t like that word, but is there another, better word.
Whatever relationship you can build on, that’s important.

I hope you cherish every relationship,
They are each important, 
But nothing is more important than your spiritual life,
Whatever that looks like for you.

Do you feel like you’ve lost a piece of yourself,
I think on this journey it’s so long and difficult,
That it would be easy and natural to lose a part of yourself.
But hang in there, in time, we will bring ourselves back.

It’s hard enough on our bodies, doing dialysis and than Transplant.
Than you have the restrictive diets and times and means and abilities.
Even though I’m going on 13 years post kidney transplant,
Dialysis and Transplant took so much out of me.
I had No money, No Energy, No Time and now No Friends.
I think that’s why these boards are so important,
It can’t replace many friendships, but it can Foster them.

We get our strength from each other, 
I know if I’m having a bad day, others will encourage me,
And when you have a bad day, I try to encourage you.
This is a process and I believe in it.
I know that we will monster on and get stronger,
Nothing in life is easy, and this burden is ours to carry on together.

So, even as we cover the Costs of this disease,
I want you to hang in there,
And if you feel like giving up, DON’T.
Hang in there a while longer,
Together, we will pull through, the hard times and the good times alike.

Know that we are Stronger Together.
And We are Not Alone.