Although dialysis is lifesaving, it can be tough. The good news is, there’s a lot you can do to feel better, avoid infections and enjoy more energy.
Take control of your health! Follow these tips:
- Do your own punctures. You know your arm best! Having control over this part of dialysis makes many people feel less stress, and less pain too.
- Consider home dialysis. More treatments, an option with home dialysis, make you feel better. You’ll also enjoy a more flexible schedule and greater independence.
- Watch your fluids. The most common reason people on dialysis visit the hospital? Too many fluids. Stick with your limit!
- Exercise and eat well. Living a healthy lifestyle is key to feeling good on dialysis. Exercise regularly and follow your low-salt, kidney-friendly diet.
- Attend all appointments. Your doctor monitors your labs, checks your medications and keeps your health top of mind. Make appointments with your doctor a priority. And, of course, be on time for dialysis, and stay for your full treatment.
Make your health a priority
How important is this? Just ask Juan Nava. After a long workday in 2011, Juan came home with swollen legs. One month later, he was on dialysis.
A diabetic, Juan also experienced temporary blindness caused by his illness. He had to leave his position as a restaurant dishwasher and food preparer.
“My family used to lead me around by the hand; I couldn’t see anything.”
Surgery later helped him recover his eyesight.
“Now I try to appreciate everything. I try to do what I used to do, but better.”
Don’t wait to make changes
Juan is back at work, but with reduced hours to fit in dialysis three times a week at Northwest Kidney Centers SeaTac clinic. He also relaxes with his family and tries to work out at the YMCA five days a week.
“For dialysis, it’s all mental. You have to set it up in your mind and ask what you need to do, what will you do.”
Interested in trying out home dialysis or starting an exercise plan to get fit? Don’t wait! Now is the time to focus on your health. You’ll feel better when you’re making positive changes to your lifestyle.