Tips for everyday life
You might not be able to change a diagnosis, but you can change the way you deal with it. It can be very helpful to talk about how you are feeling, your fears, life changes, stress, and other emotional reactions.
Loss of renal function and the dependence on dialysis, lead to life changes. Your healthcare team has an important role to play in helping you adjust to life on dialysis.
The aim of your treatment is for you to be able to live an as normal life as possible. Many patients see dialysis as a necessary inconvenience. They dialysis to live, they don't live to dialyse!
Nevertheless, it can often be hard for you to accept that you are having difficulties coping with the life changes you are experiencing. It can also often be difficult to discuss your feelings with your healthcare team.
If you feel you are having problems coping with a life on dialysis, try not to keep things to yourself. Speak to a member of the healthcare team at the clinic; ask to see someone you feel at ease with. Clinic staff have many years´ experience, and there are few situations they have not seen before. Often, things become easier to understand with a little bit of information, or with small changes to your treatment, and that will help you begin to see things from a better perspective.
Do not be afraid to share your concerns, we will do our best to help. A problem shared is a problem halved!
It is essential to understand how your quality of life can be affected by dialysis. The common problems that patients experience include:
Anxiety: This may have a significant impact on your daily functioning. Symptoms include feelings of being unable to predict the future, keep things under control, or get what you want. Your heart is often racing during parts of the dialysis treatment, or you are anxious about coming to treatment.
Difficulties sleeping: This can be due to a variety of factors, but anxiety is one of the most common. Difficulties sleeping can also be due to poor sleep hygiene and unhealthy lifestyle choices.
Depression: This can be mild, moderate, or severe. It is a diagnosis that encompasses a group of symptoms. These include; persistent low mood, lack of interest in activities, changes in sleep habits and appetite, lack of concentration, and fatigue.
Problems related to sex: Many dialysis patients experience a decreased sex drive. This can occur as a physical side effect of kidney failure. It can also be associated with changes in your body image, depression, and anxiety.