There are only three Ways Out

I went to Janine’s funeral yesterday.  Janine was a long-term BigD friend, who’d been dialysing for 15+ years.  The BigD community (recipients, their families, and clinicians) is a long-term proposition, like a special interest club.  We all have a common interest (kidney stuff), we spend time together (no matter what!), we learn from each other and some of us become close friends.  Janine was a gold-class club member. (more…)

Keeping your brain sharp on Dialysis – Part 3

3. Get lots of Mental Exercise

If regular dialysis is a prerequisite, and regular exercise is a key contributor to keeping your brain sharp, then constant mental exercise is the main event.  Much research has shown that like every other part of your body, you’ve got to use it or you will lose it.  And I’m not talking about doing more of what you do now (though by all means stay at work and absorb the stimulation, do crosswords and Sodukos, jigsaws  and puzzles – it all helps to hold off the decay). (more…)

Keeping your brain sharp on Dialysis – Part 2

2. Get Regular Physical Exercise

I have always done some kind of exercise, and for the last ten years, I have exercised regularly at least three times per week. I began this routine after a longish stay in hospital, when I felt especially dull, unmotivated and weary.  So I decided to get up half an hour early of a morning and walk or run.  It was difficult to begin with, especially in cool weather.  But I found that the secret not only of rapid recovery, but to feeling good: bright, alert and optimistic, is simple, physical exercise. (more…)

Keeping your brain sharp on Dialysis – Part 1

One of the (many) fears I had about going onto the Big D was that I would become a dullard (or perhaps a greater dullard; all things are relative).  Back in 1995, my Doctor John Dawborn warned me that after kidney failure, I would have extra toxins on my bloodstream, reduced oxygen levels to the brain and a more sedentary lifestyle (due to feeling less well), all of which could slow me down mentally, so that I may not be able to finish The Age newspaper’s crossword. (more…)