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My preparation for dialysis

Mental health

Chronic kidney disease and mental health

Living with kidney disease may sometimes be challenging. Especially in the beginning, you and your loved ones may feel overwhelmed by the situation. Feelings of hopelessness or a certain fear of the future may appear. Talk to your clinical team and your friends and family members about the thoughts that bother you. You will soon realize that there are people around you, that care about your well-being and want to help you. Do not be shy and accept as much help as needed. Sometimes talking to your loved ones may not meet your needs. In this case, it may be advisable to seek professional support from a social worker, a psychologist or a psychiatrist.

Many patients may go through a phase of uncertainty at first, because they are nervous about reorganizing their everyday lives. Perhaps you can look at this fear of change from another angle: Fear usually protects you from making risky decisions which are too risky. Believe in yourself and accept the disease. With the support of your health care team, you will find ways to integrate the treatment into your new everyday life.

Socio-legal aspects

Compensation for disadvantages (severe disability)

People with severe disabilities are confronted with challenges in everyday life that people without disabilities may not encounter. For this reason, in many countries, special protection is laid down by law. Disadvantage compensation provided by your local healthcare system tries to support you in your everyday life and may also apply to you.
In order to receive this and other benefits, this system must be available in your country and you must be diagnosed with a severe disability. Typically, this is done by applying for a disability card. The application process also determines the degree of severity of the disability.

Nutrition

At first it may seem daunting to pay more attention to your eating habits. However, remember that dietary measures can support the success of the therapy and help you avoid complications. Try to see changes in your eating habits less as restrictions, but rather as a development of new habits that fits your changed situation and improve your clinical condition. Consistently following the treatment plan will give you the strength to cope with everyday challenges and enjoy your life.
 

Delicious recipes for dialysis patients

There are also special recipes for dialysis patients that fit to the special dietary requirements. You will be amazed by the wide range of healthy foods you can still eat! You will find a collection of delicious recipes at the following link.

Vital signs

Some vital signs may need to be measured and recorded daily or at certain intervals. Please consult your dialysis center about them. These may include your blood pressure, pulse, body temperature and body weight. Those values are an important source of information when it comes to adjusting your dialysis treatment or medication. In addition, potential problems may be detected and treated at an early stage and complications may be avoided.

Blood pressure and pulse

Kidney disease almost always leads to an increase in blood pressure, as it is usually accompanied by a malfunction in hormonal regulationas well as water balance. The excess water accumulates in the cardiovascular system. This additional volume leads to an increase in blood pressure.
Elevated blood pressure can lead to other secondary diseases as the heart has to pump against this increased resistance. This increases the risk of heart disease which can potentially lead to complications and can also accelerate the progression of kidney disease.
Please consult with your physician about your blood pressure targets

  • What you should have in mind when measuring blood pressure and pulse

Body temperature

Your target weight

Changes in family life

You may need to work less than before.
Due to the decrease in kidney performance and its impact on the body, you may not feel as fit as before and may have to limit your workload. The time needed for treatment should also be taken into consideration. You may want to consider talking openly with your employer about your remaining work capacity and agree on a solution that is good for you and your health together.

You might need more support regarding housework.
Depending on your health status and your dialysis prescription, you may feel exhausted after your dialysis treatment and lack the energy to do the housework. If this is a problem in the long term, think about getting support in the form of domestic help. You should also remember to take extra care of your catheter or shunt during the activities you need to do.

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