“You Want to Slit My Throat?”: What is a Parathyroidectomy?

2020-12-11T12:44:50-05:00December 30th, 2020|Categories: Fact Sheet, Physical Health, The Kidney Citizen|

By Keith A. Bellovich, DO and Mirjana Dimitrijevic, MD Parathyroidectomy is the surgical removal of one or more of your parathyroid glands. It stems from the Greek ektomia = "cutting out" which means to surgically remove something from your body. The parathyroid glands are made of tissue slightly larger than a single grain of rice, located around your Adam’s apple that produce parathyroid hormone (PTH) and control the levels of calcium in your body. PTH stimulates the conversion of calcidiol (25-hydroxyvitamin D) to calcitriol (activated vitamin D) within kidney tubular cells, which leads to the absorption of calcium in your diet [...]

Are There Living Kidney Donor Registries?

2020-12-15T14:01:11-05:00December 11th, 2020|Categories: Additional Resources, Fact Sheet, Kidney Transplant, The Kidney Citizen|Tags: |

By Harvey Mysel I’ve often been asked: “Where can I register to get a living donor?” Unlike deceased donation where there’s one national list, (although you can multi-list because some areas have a shorter wait time) there’s no such list for someone looking for a living donor. You must find your own living donor. When you do have someone that is able to be a living donor, many are not compatible with their recipient. Thirty to 50 percent of donor/recipient pairs are not compatible with each other. In such a situation the incompatible donor could still help the person in need [...]

Make Your Wishes About You (My Way)

2020-12-11T11:14:04-05:00December 4th, 2020|Categories: Fact Sheet, The Kidney Citizen, Treatment|

By Elizabeth Anderson, LCSW, DSW and Dale Lupu, MPH, PhD When I was first told I had chronic kidney disease (CKD), I was grateful that there were lifesaving treatments, but I was also scared because I didn’t have a plan. I worried that I might be in pain or become a burden to my family. I felt better when I was able to discuss my desires and healthcare decisions with my family and healthcare team. What kind of medical care would you want if you were too ill to express your wishes? Like most people, you may not have thought about [...]

Having a Kidney Transplant During COVID-19

2020-12-15T14:01:36-05:00November 27th, 2020|Categories: Additional Resources, Fact Sheet, Kidney Transplant, Mental Health, Stress Management, Support, The Kidney Citizen|Tags: , |

By Jewel Edwards-Ashman I started the year 2020 anticipating that I’d enter kidney failure and have to undergo my second kidney transplant. But I didn’t expect to start doing home dialysis and eventually have transplant surgery in the middle of a pandemic. Transplant surgery in ordinary circumstances comes with a high level of stress and anxiety. Having a kidney transplant during a public health crisis only exacerbated those feelings for me. To reduce my stress and manage my emotions, here are three things I did: I prioritized self-care. Most Americans, even those who aren’t living with chronic illness, have been experiencing [...]

The “How To’s” to Building a Top-Notch Immune System with Physical Activity and Nutrition

2020-12-11T09:01:41-05:00November 18th, 2020|Categories: Fact Sheet, Nutrition, Physical Health, Stress Management, The Kidney Citizen|Tags: |

By Collette Powers, MA, RDN, LDN, ACSM EP The year 2020 has proven to be a challenging year. Not only have many had to fight COVID-19 head-on, but millions have experienced the repercussions of the pandemic such as job loss, increased anxiety and stress, food insecurity, and social isolation to name a few. As our nation continues to fight this fight, we now have to consider and prepare for other illnesses commonly seen around this time of year such as upper respiratory infections (also known as the common cold), influenza (flu) and pneumonia. With fall here and winter around the [...]

Medicare Advantage Now Open for Enrollment

2020-12-11T09:22:52-05:00October 15th, 2020|Categories: Costs for Treatment, Fact Sheet, The Kidney Citizen|

Between now and December 7, dialysis patients are, for the first time, able to choose a Medicare Advantage plan for their coverage. Medicare Advantage is an alternative to traditional Medicare run by private insurance companies. To help kidney patients explore their options, Dialysis Patient Citizens has established Dialysis Plan Choice, an online tool designed in collaboration with Consumers’ Checkbook for dialysis patients to quickly and easily compare their current Medicare Fee-For-Service plan with the options available to them through Medicare Advantage. DialysisPlanChoice.org helps patients and caregivers more easily understand what plans are available to them, the costs are associated with those plans, and, most importantly, which plans [...]

Coping with Chronic Illness During COVID-19: How to Live Well in the Context of Stress

2020-09-10T13:31:55-04:00September 9th, 2020|Categories: Additional Resources, eNews, Fact Sheet, Mental Health, Stress Management|Tags: |

By Elizabeth Steinberg Christofferson, PhD An increasingly vital aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic is how the pandemic impacts our mental health, overall well-being, and how we cope with the pandemic, especially as it continues on for a longer period than we may have anticipated or hoped. This article provides psychoeducation on the connection between stress, chronic illness, and COVID-19, tips for managing anxiety related to these stressors, and resources for further support. Stress During COVID-19 and Symptoms to Look Out for COVID-19 adds to already present stress that impacts patients and families on many levels in terms of their medical and [...]

Supporting Your Health and Wellbeing Before, During, and After Kidney Transplant

2020-12-11T09:37:28-05:00September 3rd, 2020|Categories: Additional Resources, Fact Sheet, Kidney Transplant, Lifestyle, Mental Health, Physical Health, Stress Management, Support, The Kidney Citizen|Tags: |

By Elizabeth Steinberg Christofferson, PhD and Leah Grande, MA Preparing for and receiving a kidney transplant, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, can be an uncertain and overwhelming process. This article discusses tips to promote positive mental and physical health for yourself or your loved ones. Preparing for a Transplant There are many different emotions associated with deciding to go on the transplant list, and all of these feelings are normal and valid! You may feel excited about the potential for improved health and energy, fewer restrictions on what you can eat and drink (although you still want to eat a [...]

Kidney Patients and Coronavirus: What Have We Learned?

2020-12-11T11:38:37-05:00September 1st, 2020|Categories: Fact Sheet, Lifestyle, The Kidney Citizen|Tags: |

By Alan S. Kliger, MD The COVID-19 pandemic has changed life for virtually everyone on the planet. For most of this year, we have all gone through many troubling emotions: fear, disbelief, anxiety, anger, mistrust, cynicism. We also have learned so much, and have looked to the future for trust, hope, anticipation, and most of all the ability to get on with life beyond face masks, social distancing, closed schools and closed businesses, and to a time we don’t have to worry every time someone walks toward us: might they be the one who infects me. In the midst of such [...]

Understanding Chronic Pain and Depression

2020-12-14T16:30:32-05:00July 13th, 2020|Categories: Fact Sheet, Mental Health, Physical Health, The Kidney Citizen|

How Chronic Pain Can Impact Your Mental Health When You Have Kidney Disease By Hannah Calkins Chronic pain and depression are closely linked and because as many as 60 percent of hemodialysis patients report moderate to severe chronic pain, it’s likely that many of them have experienced depression—or are at risk for it. But it may not look or feel the way you expect, according to psychologist Robert Kerns, PhD. “Depression among people with chronic pain may not be experienced as profound sadness,” says Kerns, a professor of psychiatry, neurology and psychology at Yale University. “Other symptoms may be more likely [...]

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