Why is it? (Dialysis related)

Dialysis patients are often treated as second class citizens because they have kidney disease and are on dialysis. Dialysis centers are stripped down to basics in order to provide fast and furious treatments. Get the patient in, get them treated, and get them out as soon as possible. Make sure not to use too much equipment with the patient . We have to watch that profit margin carefully seems to be the massive dialysis corporations thinking.

Twenty years ago when I first began dialysis paper sheets were put on the chair for each patient. Warm blankets, as well as extra blankets, were kept for patient use. There were lockers for patients to leave their things in. Some dialysis centers used to have ice machines. Cookies and snacks were served by staff at least once a week. Games were played to help pass the time. Patients would chat with one another. Magazines and books were brought in to be shared by patients and staff. Techs and nurses would come over and talk to the patient when they had nothing else to do. Techs and patient would often take care of the same patient for weeks at a time. It felt more like the patient was wanted.

Twenty years later there are no paper sheets, bring your own. Bring your own blanket. Bring your own headphones to use for the TV. Bring your own snacks. Haul your own stuff into the center in a large bag, no more lockers to be used. Patient safety was the reason given. No ice machines anymore. No games are being played. Hello and goodbye are the only chatting I hear going on. The tech and nurse will talk to you while being put on and off the machine Techs with nothing to do, do not come over and sit with patients and chat with them. The idea seems to be not to get close to patients in case something happens to them. They are also moving the techs and nurses around the clinic so the patient gets someone new to work with each week. (God help the patient if they do not get along with their new person.)

Dialysis patients are not a profit making commodity. We are people with a harsh disease that only gets progressively worse. Cancer can be cured or put into remission; kidney disease is relentless with dialysis or transplants as treatments, not cures.

Kidney disease needs to be recognized as a disease worth having; and being researched and discussed.

Dialysis patients need to be recognized for their relentless courage to live.