As a dialysis patient you are about to enter a new and very different phase of your life. This can be very stressful. You may occasionally even feel angry and resentful towards your treatment. In this process it is important that you do not keep things to yourself because the changes you are facing will affect everyone close to you.
A problem shared is a problem halved
The doctors and nurses of your clinic are always there to help you. Ask questions and discuss your feelings and problems with them. Share your concerns. Often with a little bit of information things suddenly fall into place and you might begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Other dialysis patients can also often help since they have first-hand experience of what you are going through. Do not hide away your feelings. It is important to remember that there are many people around you willing to share your problems and concerns and to support you. By involving them you will create necessary breathing space for yourself.
Be open about your situation
Try not to hide that you are a dialysis patient. Inform people around you what it means to you and your relations with them. You have to remember that it is not only you, the patient, who feels the effects of chronic kidney disease. There are also people around you – family, relatives, friends and colleagues – who worry about you and how this will affect their future. As a dialysis patient you might sometimes get the impression that people, even if they are very close to you, might find it difficult to talk about the situation. This can be quite distressing. But do not give up. Have patience and encourage your family to be informed with you. As they gain more knowledge about the disease and its treatment, it will be easier to discuss your situation more openly. Everyone will gain from this.
Your family is a resource
Your need for dialysis will have a significant impact on your family life. Strong support and understanding from those close to you can make coping with dialysis much easier. Involve your family in your treatment. Encourage them to inform themselves as much as possible about chronic kidney disease and its consequences. Knowledge, understanding and encouragement are important in this aspect from both sides.
Continue your working life
If you are in employment, talk to your employer and try to work out how your contribution to your work can be beneficial to both parties. In most cases, you can probably continue to work almost as usual. Be sure to inform them in a proper and relevant way. If you have a physically demanding job you may agree with your employer to work part-time or to change to something less strenuous. Never try to be superman, but work to your own capabilities. If you go to school, changes can be done with little difficulty to accommodate your situation. Please seek help from your medical team as well. They might be able to guide you through different options.