Sunday, April 5, 2009

The toll dialysis takes

I read with a lot of concern what a fellow dialyzor in the US wrote recently on his blog. He started exploring ways and means of ending his life. Kidney disease and dialysis have taken a huge toll on his body and, more importantly, his mind.

I can fully understand what he is going through. Despite all of us being truly grateful for dialysis which allows people to continue to live without functioning kidneys, the treatment, in its most commonly used form, can cause you to 'lose your soul'.

Treatment after treatment, life becomes a painful struggle. The process itself saves your life. Without dialysis, people with CKD would die. So, there really is not much of a choice. Its dialysis or death.

I have been fortunate enough to have to bear with conventional in center hemodialysis for a small part of my almost twelve years with kidney disease. The rest of the time, I have been on PD and daily home hemo. My years on PD were definitely the best.

The problem with kidney disease is not only kidney disease. Its a host of other things that you have to deal with. Every part of your body gets affected in some way or the other. I have had problems with my lungs, heart, liver, spleen, nerves and bones as a result of my kidney disease. And I have never been able to get over my obsession with fluids ever since I had to quit PD. Its purely psychological. The last month has been horrendous for me with the pain hemorrhoids bring. This is not related to my kidney disease but is one more major problem to tackle along with the mix of other problems I already have.

That is why people on dialysis often flirt with the idea of death. It almost seems like a welcome relief. The end of struggle. Freedom. From a torturous life.

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