Will the COVID-19 Pandemic Ever End?

2022-08-08T15:37:03-04:00August 1st, 2022|Categories: Dialysis, eNews, Immunizations, Mental Health|Tags: |

By Alan S. Kliger, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, and Chair, Excellence in Patient Care Advisory Committee, American Society of Nephrology Some recent quotes I’ve heard - - - I’ll bet you have too: “Who can even pay attention when the subject of COVID-19 is raised?” “Enough already – I’m through with it” “What’s the difference? Even with vaccines and boosters, I still got COVID twice!” After nearly three years of this pandemic, COVID-19 infection has gone from a frightening and deadly disease to a major disruptor of our lives, to annoying background noise for most of [...]

Telehealth with a Mental Health Professional: What to Know Before You Start

2022-05-10T13:00:27-04:00May 5th, 2022|Categories: Dialysis, eNews, Kidney Transplant, Lifestyle, Mental Health, Stress Management|

By Kirsten Weir If you or a family member are managing chronic kidney disease, you’re probably thinking a lot about physical health—the health of the kidney and the rest of the body. Caring for your mental health is just as important. And with telehealth options that let you see a mental health professional from your home, it’s more convenient than ever. “The increased availability and acceptance of telehealth might be one of the few positive changes to come out of the [COVID-19] pandemic,” says Amy Walters, PhD, a clinical health psychologist and the director of Behavioral Health Services for St. Luke's [...]

Falling by the Wayside? Falls Prevention in Dialysis

2022-05-06T16:08:10-04:00April 25th, 2022|Categories: Dialysis, Fact Sheet, Physical Health, The Kidney Citizen|

By Laura Plantinga, PhD, Bernard Jaar, MD, MPH, and C. Barrett Bowling, MD, MSPH Why are dialysis patients at particular risk for falls? Studies show that approximately one-quarter of dialysis patients fall every year, meaning that they are about three times more likely to fall in any given year, compared to the general population. While older age certainly plays a role, there are several other factors that put dialysis patients — regardless of age — at higher risk for falls. In fact, most falls probably result from a combination of factors, usually a combination of long-term “predisposing” risk factors [...]

The Courage to Self-Cannulate – Taking Control Means Less Pain, More Independence

2022-05-06T15:41:22-04:00April 25th, 2022|Categories: Dialysis, Quality of Life, The Kidney Citizen|

By Michelle Carver, Vice President Clinical Service Initiatives at Fresenius Kidney Care If the idea of self-cannulating every time you dialyze seems impossible, you are not alone. Many people fear needles, especially the large ones used for dialysis. But trust me, when you learn to do it, you’ll wonder why you ever doubted yourself. It gives you control, may make your access site last longer and, believe it or not, hurt less. One of my dialysis patients compared it to putting a cotton-tipped swab in your ear – would you rather do it yourself or have someone else do [...]

My Experience as a Kidney Patient in CKD, Dialysis, and Transplant

2022-05-09T12:48:26-04:00April 25th, 2022|Categories: Diagnosis of Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Home Hemodialysis, In-Center Hemodialysis, Kidney Transplant, Stages of Kidney Disease, The Kidney Citizen|

By Orlando A. Torres After a 30-year battle with chronic kidney disease (CKD), in 2016 I had Stage Five kidney failure. This was the end of a three-decade battle which took countless hours of treatment. For years, I had been followed medically for CKD, having a special test done monthly and eating a special diet. As a CKD patient, my condition affected other organs in my body. The number of regular activities I could do also declined, but I never quit and refused to accept those limitations. I never let CKD limit what I did. I think it is [...]

COVID-19 and Patients with Kidney Disease on Dialysis

2022-05-06T15:50:34-04:00February 25th, 2022|Categories: Dialysis, Employment, eNews, Immunizations, Kidney Transplant, Lifestyle, Mental Health|Tags: |

By Alan Kliger, MD Updated March 18, 2022 I am writing this mid-March 2022, as the last peak of COVID infection with the Omicron variant has rapidly fallen in every US state, but wastewater analysis has shown places in the US where virus infection in some communities is rising again. A new sub-variant, BA.2 is making up about 23% of cases. Abroad, the United Kingdom is seeing increasing hospitalizations with COVID infection, and many locations in the far east have raging infections. The effects of the surge in Omicron cases around the world this past winter have deeply affected [...]

Depression and Dialysis – A Look at Two Potential Treatments

2022-05-10T11:36:41-04:00January 3rd, 2022|Categories: Dialysis, eNews, Medication, Mental Health, The Kidney Citizen|

It is not uncommon for patients receiving dialysis treatment to have depression, though it can be hard to distinguish the symptoms of depression from those of kidney failure. Trouble sleeping, poor appetite, headaches, and fatigue are all symptoms of both conditions, leaving dialysis patients to wonder not only if they have depression, but if treatment would help to improve the symptoms they are feeling. Talking to your kidney care team is a great first step to figuring out who you should talk to about whether you have depression, along with figuring out potential treatment options. Though there are many ways to [...]

Be Ready for Weather-Related Emergencies!

2022-05-06T15:19:16-04:00December 17th, 2021|Categories: Additional Resources, Dialysis, Physical Health, The Kidney Citizen|

By Mike Guffey, DPC Board Member It is critically important for dialysis patients to be prepared for weather emergencies, especially as we head into the hurricane and winter weather seasons. Patients should have an emergency checklist and a “go” kit with emergency supplies. www.ready.gov is a good go-to site with checklists and contact cards to help your family be prepared. You should gather the information well in advance of any incidents, but it is helpful to review them at the start of each severe weather season. Maintain the kit in a sturdy plastic container and rotate supplies on a [...]

Greetings from San Antonio Texas

2022-05-06T15:18:09-04:00December 17th, 2021|Categories: Dialysis, The Kidney Citizen|

By Natalie Zuniga, DPC Board Member, pictured here with her husband, Eddie Zuniga My name is Natalie Zuniga and I survived the 2021 Texas ice storm with my spouse, Eddie Zuniga, who is also a dialysis patient! I have been a dialysis patient for over three years and my husband has been a dialysis patient for eight years. At first, we thought it was a death sentence and we were not going to live much longer, and we gave up. But then, by hard work and education through Dialysis Patient Citizens and our nutritionist, Mary, we are now striving [...]

Travel Lovers, Don’t Let Dialysis Slow You Down

2022-05-06T15:38:24-04:00December 17th, 2021|Categories: Home Hemodialysis, Peritoneal Dialysis, Quality of Life, The Kidney Citizen, Treatment|

By Vanessa Evans, Sr. Manager, Patient Communities and Advocacy at Fresenius Medical Care North America and DPC Board Member Brenda and Bernie Alvey are the consummate camper travelers, crisscrossing the United States and taking in sights from the St. Louis Arch to the Grand Canyon. But their camper has a few unusual features, including two recliners, extra outlets, and a homemade stand to accommodate Brenda’s portable home hemodialysis equipment. The Alveys have always loved traveling, but they thought their trips had come to an end when Brenda was diagnosed with Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis (MPGN), an autoimmune disease that destroys kidney [...]

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