The objectives of this blog are to help people on or new to dialysis to:
- Deal with (understand and face) the challenges of the Big D
- Live their lives (via hints and techniques) as healthy, non Big D people when they are off the machine.
Where possible, each post will handle challenges and issues in this format.
So let’s stand back and have a look at kidney disease, our kidney disease, from the psychological level. Of all the things to deal with, this is the most important. How we do that determines our quality of life from here on.
We have all heard of the (Kübler-Ross) Grief Cycle. :
- Shock: Initial paralysis at hearing the bad news.
- Denial: Trying to avoid the inevitable.
- Anger: Frustrated outpouring of bottled-up emotion.
- Bargaining: Seeking in vain for a way out.
- Depression: Final realization of the inevitable.
- Testing: Seeking realistic solutions.
- Acceptance: Finally finding the way forward.
We all go through the 7 stages; some of us go faster than others. (If you think you’re different and it doesn’t apply to you, you are still at stage 2!)
The secret of success is to establish a new equilibrium for your life (again). You’ve done it before: when you left home, when you got a job, took out a mortgage, found a partner, had kids, even grand-kids, etc. All of those events demanded change and growth, and you’re up to it this time too.
That doesn’t mean you can’t curse, rage, weep and even whine a little (best done in private). It’s part of the process and can be quite satisfying. Just not too much. Move on.
For the time being at least, this is the new you.
The Big D is a moving feast. Techniques and technologies change. Fast. And what you do matters. Get to know the two laws of dialysis: For every action there is bound to be reaction, and nothing good happens quickly (but bad things can). Too much salt, too much fluid, not enough fluid, how do I shorten my recovery time, get rid of restless legs, sleep, driving after the Big D, travel. Experiment, notice, react. Keep up to date (read and write to this blog!). Find your best operating level and keep tweaking it.
Next post: some specifics – Getting the needles in.