Kidney Living Voices

Fall 2012 Issue
What gives you strength?
We have good and bad days on dialysis, ups and downs. What keeps your spirits up? What gives you strength or hope? What makes you feel empowered?
I discovered my kidney disease in 1999, I was 60 yrs. old. My creatinine was high and I had blood in my urine. So, in 2001, at 62, I had 2 years of Hemodialysis. I got strength by keeping my numbers in a good range; I was able to work in my yard and even travel by keeping my fluids at a safe level. I felt healthy by following "the rules" in all those ways. Then, in 2003, at 64, I was able to receive a cadaver kidney; I have been doing very well for 9 1/2 years now. I will always be grateful for all the medical teams I've been lucky enough to have over those 13 years! Do all you can for yourself to stay strong; it really does make a difference!
Ardy Erickson
Posted by: Ardyn Erickson
I rely on my love of the lord and my faith. My family is a big influence in my life. They show me much love and support.
Posted by: Blanche
My Strength, Hope, and Peace come from God. There is nothing like laughter I receive from the staff. If it had not been for 25 years of marriage with the greatest man on Earth and the blessings of my two beautiful daughters loving and encouraging me I probably would be the saddest person on dialysis.
Posted by: Mary E Plunkett
I've been on dialysis for 5yrs. When all this came to a head my family was dealing with my younger brothers death. To make a long story was a hard difficult time..I get my strength thru my daughter and family. Also thru my fitness and keeping busy with sports. We can go thru tough times but its great to be thankful and make positive the situation your going thru.
Posted by: darrin garcia
Empowerment through knowledge. Know everything you have to know on ESRD. This makes you well prepared and live within the parameter of restrictions that ESRD puts on you.
Posted by: Satyanarayana. Y . C.
I go to a Davita Clinic that is very positive in character now. I have an extremely supportive family who get me through each day-good or bad. I am knowledgeable about my treatment and my team allows me to contribute to making decisions. We have very caring doctors and a physicians assistant who is so very helpful. I've been on dialysis since 2003 and God continues to bless me with new days. I am thankful for every sunrise.
Posted by: Judy Spinks
I try to have a positive outlook on dialysis. This is how I convince myself that this is what life is. We can stay alive, live a life that we know we can have, being hooked up to a machine 3 days a week for 4 hours a day, It is just our way of life. Where there are so many that don't have this choice, they get a death sentence when they say "there is nothing we can do". So I am thankful that at least there is something we can do, and there is a hope. Life is what it is and you have to do what live the life you have.
Posted by: Deanna
I keep a "positive attitude" knowing that God is with me every day and as I wait for a kidney,in the not too distant future, I go to dialysis treatment 3 times a week and have a great group of folks to keep me living till the day of my transplant.. Keep God in your heart and lean on HIM to keep you going...
Posted by: Norman
What allows me to keep my head up and give me hope despite dialysis, is knowing that I will someday soon get a transplant. I don't know how soon "soon" will be but I have that to look forward to. There IS a light at the end of the tunnel.
Posted by: Michele Lee
I try to keep in mind that while I may have kidney problems there are far more people in the world in much worse shape than I am in. I need to remember to be grateful to live in a place that I can get dialysis with very easily.
Posted by: Sandy L. Thompson
For many years now, I have felt that "we" are in this together. After 18 months of dialysis (following the rejection of a transplant), we decided to learn how to do hemo-dialysis at home. We certainly DO have good days and bad days - just like 'life'. But we are thankful for each new day. And I am so thankful to see how much better my husband does on home dialysis. We travel with our machine. I jokingly tell him that "we" are joined at the hip. But there is no one else in this world that I would want to do this with!!
Posted by: Kathy Helge
What keep my spirits up are the worker at my center. Before coming here I had no hope are faith. What empowered me are my goals in life
Posted by: tawana
What makes me empowered is having a voice in my own care and by being fully involved. I pull the strength from my inner self and by living each day not being defined as a dialysis patient but by being "me".
Posted by: Dana DiEduardo
My children, and my faith in God and my ambition to survive make it easier. Yes there are days that I feel great and others where I am cramping and feel like I had enough. Looking forward to the future that I have. Knowing that I do have one because of the medical services that are available for me and others
My will to live gives me strength. Smiling and finding the good in all things. Looking at the beauty around me. Staying positive and prayer is what keeps me empowered.
Posted by: Kathleen King
The best decision I ever made (re: dialysis) was to be on PD. I have the ability to do an exchange on my own. I rarely feel sick or tired. The love for my family gives me strength and hope everyday.
Posted by: Monica Alfonzo
My wonderful wife keeps me going during the bad days and good days. Without her loving and caring ways, I would never make it. But above all, my faith in God keeps my spirits up.
Posted by: Tony Masters
Even though it may take me longer to finish projects than it used to, I continue to practice my talents and hobbies. The continued feelings of accomplishment keep my spirits high.
Posted by: J. McCoy
The mere thought of life itself keeps my spirits up. 3 hrs 3 times a week to keep me living is really worth the effort no matter how difficult & painful it is at times. Determination to stay alive is what gives me the strength to have my blood cleansed while all the time hoping that someday, I will have my turn to get a call for transplant.

Now, my transplanted kidney is still functioning 8 years and hopeful that I will still be blessed with another 8 years and more.

What makes me feel empowered? The choice to keep living along with the treatment and/or lifetime medicines or quit on life.
Posted by: Geoff Guillen
I understand that I have complete control over my thoughts, emotions and actions. And I believe the maxim that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. I also have a rare form of adult onset muscular dystrophy. I refuse to lay down. Life is a blast. I can dance if I want to.
Posted by: Mark Gallo
Coming to the realization that I'm stronger than this. Also the fact that I am determined to be there for my youngest daughter's wedding.
Posted by: Joe Pinero
I have only been on dialysis since May. My daughter moved her family down from VA to help care for me taking me to and from Drs appts and treatment So I guess I'd have to say that my family keeps my spirits up as well as giving me strength and they also empower me to continue.
Posted by: David Eades
When I found out I had a kidney tumor, I felt my life was over. I felt this way because my country is not equipped with the resources to medically treat kidney diseases or tumors. I cried over it but I kept on living and thinking positive. The secret to my strength is God. I don't have money to treat my tumor so I have to live day by day hoping and praying that God keeps me healthy. When the time comes, He will know what to do with me. I have 7 years living with this tumor and it has not grown or cause much damage on my body. God you are wonderful.
Posted by: sandra
I am not on dialysis yet but if my kidney function would to drop just a little lower, I would have to be on dialysis. I lost 70% of my kidneys 4 yrs ago.
Posted by: Patricia Wheeldon
My best days come from the fact of knowing that I have a great doctor with a great staff. That's what makes me feel empowered.
Posted by: Kenneth R. Carnegie
I get up early for dialysis 4 days a week (at 4 am.) and have my treatment from 5:30-8:30 a.m. and then go to work. I used to wish I could get up and go for a walk or exercise instead as some of my friends do. However, I realized that getting up for my treatment is doing something good for my health! It is just the way you look at it.

Also, my iPad changed my life on dialysis! I can look at FB, read emails, the NYTIMES, play games, listen to music and watch movies. It is amazing how quickly the treatments go by.

And what give me strength/hope? That would be life. I choose to live every day. Even when I am feeling a bit weak, tired, and fatigued I am happier than the alternative.

And after thirty years as a ESRD patient, I am fully empowered because I put in my own needles! It took me a long time-- but feel so empowered doing this. Dialysis is truly a gift. It allows us to live, laugh and love.
Posted by: Celeste Lee
Look it's not easy dealing with kidney disease. My motivation to maintain my dialysis routine is my family. I'm still raising my family and as many of you know it requires a lot of energy to keep up with kids. Hence, I try to be very mindful of taking my meds, keeping with daily vitamin D. And oh taking those EPO shots.
Posted by: Fred
So far I've spent 27 years on hemodialysis, the past 8 years have been nocturnal. Nocturnal will make you your own best friend when you live alone. I work hard to take good care of myself and I'm in pretty good condition. What makes my day is positive feed back from the staff at my center. Good nurses and doctors that I feel confident about, adequate dialysis, adequate information to make informed decisions to be empowered.
Posted by: Rosalind Bowman
My family husband and son gave me strength, And what gave me hope was I would tell myself this was a temporary situation and it would be greater later. I took an active role in hopes of receiving a kidney transplant. That was 12 years ago. Again my family. Knowing my son will graduate high school this June 2013 empower me knowing I did it!! Diaylsis, transplant and all the ups and downs. I am in control.
Posted by: Denise DaSilva
I have learned in my 3 years of dialysis that I am very fortunate to have dialysis available. It is not fun but it is a life saver. I am on 2 transplant lists and one of my sons is in the process of trying to become my donor. That gives me the strength I need. Also, I realize how important it is to keep healthy as possible and to keep as active as possible.
Posted by: Carol Joiner
I am a survivor, cancer, heart attacks, blood clots, kidney loss, thank God. But I see others with problems I wouldn't want,and bringing a smile to their faces gives me joy, this world can stress everyone lets help others. I know it will make you feel better.
Posted by: Tom Newby
Having been on hemodialysis for the past 2 years, I am especially grateful for the peace of mind and feeling of balance in my life that the practice of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique has brought me. I have enjoyed the benefits of the TM technique since 1973.

I simply sit quietly, close my eyes, and the natural, effortless, mental technique calms my mind, quieting the turbulence of mental storms. The TM program is practiced by millions of people worldwide, of all backgrounds and beliefs. It is not based on a particular philosophy, lifestyle, or religion, yet it enhances all aspects of life.

I like to think that practicing the TM technique is like watering the root of a tree, rather than attending to each individual leaf. I even enjoy the technique while connected to the dialyzer. It makes the session feel more comfortable, and time passes more pleasantly. I often think of the TM technique as my "mental dialysis." I can cleanse my mind of worry while my blood is being cleansed.
Posted by: Philip F. Tomlinson, Jr., PhD
My husband and children give me strength. No matter how bad my day is going they light me up. All it takes is once glance or a simple hug and the words I love you !!
Posted by: Jennifer Medina
What Keeps My Spirits Up??

My family first off without them I would for sure be a mess. But the one person that truly gives me hope and strength is my grandmother. Without her in my life I wouldn't be able to manage things. At 83 she has more energy than I do, she is never negative and always positive even if things are terrible.

She has lived a tough life but she has also kept her Grandson "ME" on Dialysis going.

She is a great woman, mother, grandmother and caretaker to me.

Love ya Gram!!
Posted by: Chris Ullger
I am a proud father of two wonderful kids, and they keep my spirits up daily. They give me the strength on the days after dialysis that I feel that I just cannot go on. I have a 14 year old son that is a honor student and is attending early college this year and he empowers me to "keep on, keeping on". I look forward to the day that he becomes the very successful young man that I know that he will be. I am very hopeful that one day soon I will get that "oh so" awaited call that MY kidney is waiting for me, But most importantly God gives me all the strength, hope and empowerment that is necessary for me to be the "Bestest Dad In The Whole Wide World" as my kids constantly remind me that I am.
Posted by: Dexter Davis
I have been living with kidney failure my whole life. I have a rare form of kidney disease known as Fanconi Syndrome. It is hereditary. I'm 44 years old and I am now in stage 5 renal failure. I haven't had to go on dialysis yet but I am finally on the transplant list. Every day is a challenge for me but I try to stay positive. I think about my children and grandchildren and I have a very supportive husband. I'm blessed to have a very supportive, loving and caring family. I know what to expect having seen many family members go through the process already. I still work but it gets hard at times. It keeps my mind of of what's going on with me. There are times when I feel sorry for myself but I think about those who are going through harder times than I am and remember that I have my family to stay strong for.
Posted by: Tammy Mikula
I have been on dialysis going on 13 years now. I feel great now. At first it was bad, but that changes over the years. The most important thing that keep me happy and feeling great is the staff were i go for dialysis and two fine doctors that I've known for years. You have to never give up; live life to the fullest everyday.
Posted by: james e welsh
My mother was also on dialysis and she always told me that if you let it beat you in your head then it will beat you in you body. So I get up everyday and go to work.
Posted by: Marianne Magner
I work very hard at maintaining a positive attitude. I consider dialysis my LIFE GIVER and I spend as much time as I can getting out and LIVING. I have found that exercise helps. I also spend time volunteering at the local hospital's ICU. There I talk to families who don't know my situation and LISTEN to what their loved ones are going through. It's hard to feel sorry for myself when I do this!
Posted by: Jane Carter
My daughter, family and Faith gives me strength. I keep my spirits up by knowing that my life is God's plan and my faith will carry me through it. I know that having a positive attitude and staying involved in your medical treatment is a MUST. By educating yourself and being informed on treatment options is an instrumental part of treatment and this empowers me continue on.
Posted by: Monica Santalla