5 Good Reads (NKF Staff Picks)

January 09, 2017, 3:51pm EST

Take a Time Out to Tune In on Kidney Health

Crack open your favorite book or turn on your e-reader. Reading is like meditating while learning. Medical studies show that even a few minutes of reading each day has a big impact on reducing stress levels.
And there’s no substitute for the knowledge you gain by concentrating in-depth on a subject instead of scanning a web page or blog (though, they are still good to have!). In fact, just sitting with a book is a great tool for managing kidney disease. Better informed patients are pro-active patients who get better results from their healthcare.
Here’s a list of personal favorites from our staff* you can use as a starting point:

1. Moonface: A True Romance

A memoir and romance rolled into one, this is the story of the most selfless gift a person could give another: their kidney. Author Angelica Balcita delivers a touching, entertaining and moving story about her life, Charlie, her donor and eventual husband, and about being a young woman with a failing kidney. As one reviewer wrote, Moonface is a "sweet testimony to the power of family, love, perseverance, and hope."

2. Resilience

An inspiring memoir by the NBA champion, Olympic basketball gold medalist, and kidney transplant survivor, Alonzo Mourning. Mourning's internal strength, faith, and determination had driven him his entire life. But it was not until he was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease and underwent a kidney transplant in 2003 that Mourning realized the true nature of his resilience.

3. Help, I Need Dialysis! How to Have a Good Future with Kidney Disease

Written by a duo of a kidney patient and a nephrologist, “Help, I Need Dialysis!” is a comprehensive guide to how dialysis works and how it may affect your daily routine, including your diet, work, travel and sleep cycle.

4. And Then I Saw a Rainbow: The Journey of a Dialysis Patient

A collection of poems and essays, the book has “a little bit of everything,” according to its author Carole Imber Soloff, who wrote it while on dialysis for almost two years. It’s meant to inspire patients to persevere in their journey to find a kidney, and to help care partners understand the hardships of dialysis.

5. Chronically Happy

At two years old, Lori Hartwell’s kidneys became permanently damaged and she was put on dialysis, with no expectations to live a fulfilling life. She survived, beating the odds. As a teen, she underwent multiple surgeries and two failed kidney transplants. Yet, joy and happiness continued to be two driving forces in her life. In her book, she helps people lead positive, happy lives despite their chronic illness.

Whether you’re reading one of the above or a favorite of your own, remember taking a "time out" to tune out can stop you from stressing out and really help your health.  And, if you’re looking for quick tips or information, you can always rely on NKF’s A-Z Guide on kidney health.

*NKF does not review or endorse books, their authors or content.