Sunday, April 28, 2019

Life Before and During Dialysis

     In my almost eight years of undergoing dialysis, I have seen many of my co-patients become sicker and most of them eventually died. On what I have observed, their condition happened because they do not know much of the important facts of what dialysis is and they lack the right attitude or outlook in life while having dialysis. They are used to living their lives before having dialysis and they are unaware that life during dialysis has a big difference with what they love to do before dialysis. Like a patient who loves to jog early in the morning and do rigorous biking afterwards resulting to thirst and fatigue. Being a normal person before, he loves to drink very cold water and then take a cold shower immediately and nothing serious happened. This continued even when he is already on dialysis and then one day after drinking cold water and taking a shower he suffered shortness of breath until he can barely breath and was rushed to the emergency room of the hospital. His condition was very serious that the attending physician decided to perform intubation (put a rubbery tube into his throat up to his lungs) to allow him to breath. The tube remained in his lungs until his condition stabilized. He is lucky because he was able to survive such ordeal to tell to his fellow dialysis patients of his experience. Others were not lucky though because they suffered heart attack and died. He could be unaware that as a dialysis patient his Hemoglobin and Red Blood Cell count is below the normal value. In short, he is Anemic. He is also suffering from hyper-tension and this is seriously aggravated when he drank very cold water (this will make the arteries and vein shrink) and he was not completely rested from physical exertion. High blood pressure of more than 200/110 is a very dangerous condition especially to a dialysis patient. It could result to a stroke or heart attack and excess water that he drank will be forced into his lungs that makes breathing very difficult considering also that he has Anemia and distribution of oxygen to his heart and lungs is not normal.

     Other patients have a negative attitude or outlook in life. As if they have accepted defeat from their sickness to the point that they do not care anymore of what will happen to them as long as they are able to do what they want to do including eating too much food that will make them more sick. "You will still die even if you do not eat and drink too much. It will be better to enjoy life while we still live." This is what other patients say and seem to be proud of telling to their fellow dialysis patients. This proves that foods are very "addictive" since the patients do not mind dying as long as they can eat what they love to eat. They live to eat and not eat properly in order to live longer.

    Dialysis requires knowledge of the patient about his disease through research and personal experience. He also should have discipline to avoid as much as possible not to be tempted to eat and drink too much.  He should be patient, learn how to endure pain, have courage and hope that he will survive the challenges of dialysis and to live longer to be with his family and also be able to share to other dialysis patients his experience and knowledge so that they will also be motivated to adapt a positive outlook in life despite their condition.

     I have realized that a Vision Mission Statement for our association of dialysis patients is necessary for us dialysis patients to serve as a covenant while we still live. Vision and Mission Statement should be understood word for word and be instilled in the mind and heart. It should be internalized deeply on a day to day basis so that it will not be easily forgotten. Below is the Vision Mission Statement that I have made:

Vision: All dialysis patients in Bohol are dialyzed comfortably, sufficiently and efficiently in various hospitals in Bohol with ample benefits from the government and other charitable institutions; and they are well educated about their disease through seminars, forums, discussions among members and brochures about kidney failure and dialysis.

Mission: To have a network with hospitals, Government and Non-Government Institutions for the: putting up of more dialysis centers with more dialysis machines, formulation and implementation of educational programs on kidney failure and dialysis and ensure that logistics and financial requirements are met accordingly. For this, an Inter-Agency Task Group will be organized; and,

As a result of the efforts made by the above Inter-Agency Task Group, the members of Bohol Association of Hemo-Dialysis Patients and Watchers will have the qualities of a good dialysis patient who is well educated about dialysis, disciplined, patient, resilient to endure pain and challenges, courageous and hopeful that he will live longer and be still with value to his family and other members of the community.

     It would be heart-warming if the above VM Statement would be realized since kidney disease is on the rise and more and more patients are undergoing dialysis treatment. It is time that dialysis patients should have one belief that: Life does not end during dialysis and they should be strong to face challenges and accept them as they come and still have a positive outlook in life and be joyful despite a life of pain and uncertainty. 

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