Advocate for Your Health!

2022-06-06T12:29:40-04:00May 27th, 2022|Categories: eNews, Treatment|

Written by Orlando A. Torres, a DPC Patient Ambassador from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico Last year, I participated in my first Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) virtual Fly-In. DPC is an advocacy organization that represents all kidney patients in our community. The Fly-In was a virtual event where kidney patients, along with DPC staff, and other advocates, engaged in conversations with Congress members and their staffers in relation to new legislation to benefit renal patients. We discussed the concept of the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act that extended Medicare coverage of life saving immunosuppressive medications for the [...]

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 [...]

DPC’s State Advocacy Efforts Flourish with Elevated Voice of DPC Patient Ambassadors

2022-05-09T16:58:33-04:00April 25th, 2022|Categories: Costs for Treatment, Kidney Transplant, The Kidney Citizen, Uncategorized|

Image: Medigap champion Kentucky State Rep. Tom Burch and Elizabeth Lively, DPC Eastern Region Advocacy Director By Kelly Goss, J.D., LL.M., Western Region Advocacy Director and Elizabeth Lively, Eastern Region Advocacy Director, Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) It’s been a busy start in 2022 for DPC’s state advocacy efforts. Many states are holding shorter legislative sessions due to the upcoming primary elections, and several bills impacting dialysis patients have been introduced and are moving quickly through the legislative process. Legislation to expand Medigap access has been introduced in Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Improving access [...]

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.gov Launched by the White House

2022-04-12T12:33:41-04:00April 1st, 2022|Categories: eNews, Immunizations, Resources|Tags: |

On Wednesday, March 30th, the White House launched a new website, https://www.covid.gov/, that will be its one-stop shop for questions on masks, treatment, vaccines, testing, and where to find and order resources. Users can search by county to access the latest COVID-19 Community Level in their area, and can click on links that take them directly to the CDC’s site for guidance on staying up-to-date with vaccines, when to get tested, and additional precautions that can be taken for those at high risk for severe illness, such as those who are immunocompromised. The site is designed to be accessible to a [...]

Identifying Health Misinformation

2022-03-08T13:00:47-05:00March 1st, 2022|Categories: eNews, Immunizations, Lifestyle, Mental Health, Physical Health|Tags: |

Over the last two years, people have been exposed to a lot of information, from many different sources, regarding COVID-19. There are many reputable sources for health information, such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO). However, there has been a recent rise in health misinformation, which caused confusion about vaccination and other public health measures, such as masking and social distancing. Although health misinformation is not new, with more people having access to the internet and various social media platforms, it has spread in recent years at an unprecedented rate. In order to keep yourself, [...]

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 [...]

Up-to-Date vs. Fully Vaccinated – What to Know About COVID-19 Vaccination

2022-02-10T12:39:30-05:00February 7th, 2022|Categories: eNews, Immunizations|Tags: |

With Omicron continuing and the possibility of new variants in the future, it is important to not only be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but also receive a booster dose, when eligible, so that you are up-to-date. Someone is considered fully vaccinated when they have received their primary series of COVID-19 vaccines. In order to be considered up-to-date, a person has to have received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster(s) when eligible. The recommendations provided by the CDC will be different for everyone, depending on age, health status, and when you received your first vaccine. It is important to note that [...]

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