More Encouraging Ideas

Here’s hoping everyone enjoyed whichever holiday you celebrated: Chanukah, Christmas, or-  just recently – Kwaanza.  One thing they all have in common is food, lots and lots of food.  Usually by now, CKD patients are bemoaning the fact that they went WAY off the renal diet during these celebrations.  Stop, please.  Except for starfruit, whose toxins are deadly for CKD patients, all the other foods that are not included in the renal diet are actually to be avoided or eaten only once in a great while.  So, if you’re an early stage CKD patient, chances are you haven’t done damage to your kidneys with this once a year indulgence.

Here are some more encouraging ideas:

There is a psychological trick to remembering to take your prescribed medication [for CKD or other ailments] in the proper quantity and on time.  When it’s prescribed, ask exactly what it is for and what it is supposed to do.  The simple act of  remembering this discussion, picturing your doctor possibly pointing at a diagram, picturing yourself possibly watching your doctor’s face, and hearing the words said at the time will keep the medication –  and the proper time to take it –  in the forefront of your mind.

All CKD patients want that cure, that miracle that is going to rid us of CKD.  As of now, it doesn’t exist, so be leery of any product that promises to do just that.  Remember the old adage: if it sounds too good to be true, it is.  I noticed overuse of the following words in the advertisements for such products: secret, breakthrough, quick, guaranteed.  My initial reaction is, “Yeah, right,” before I navigate away from the site or turn the page in that particular magazine.

On the other hand, complementary and alternative medicine may be helpful.  Holistic medicine includes the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.  It seems to me that your nephrologist also deals with the physical, but who is tending to the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of your health?

Some people may prefer to have a therapist or psychologist tend to their emotional state. Help in any of these areas can only be welcome. Although they are not the kind of treatments taught in medical school, some hospitals and insurance companies do cover these alternative or complementary medicine practices.  Check with yours to see if the mental, emotional or spiritual help you want is covered.

Then there’s preventative medicine, which is what your nephrologist will probably encourage you to practice anyway.  This is the kind of medicine in which you, the patient, are educated to prevent more health problems [renal diet, exercise, etc.] rather than just treating symptoms you already have.  It also gives you the information you need to stick to your guns when a physician who doesn’t know you is trying to prescribe something you know will do further damage to your kidneys.

You’d be surprised at what was once considered alternative medicine.  Once practices have been proven both effective and safe, they become part of mainstream medicine.  These include osteopathy [an overly simplistic explanation would be the joining of medical practices and chiropractics], chiropractics, acupuncture, acupressure [more commonly referred to as acupuncture without the needles], diet, hypnosis, music, art, visualization, relaxation, massage, vitamins, and meditation. is a helpful site which includes nih as part of the address. That means the National Institute of Health, and it’s a government site.  This may help you decide which of these disciplines interest you.  As usual, check with your nephrologist before you act on your decision.  You don’t want to start something that might either be harmful or undermine your treatment in a way you may not have thought about.

There’s also help of another sort – psychological.  This doesn’t necessarily mean heavy duty therapy.  I’ve found online chat rooms and message boards by entering CKD in a search.  I’ve already mentioned that I’m not the joining kind, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t get some comfort from lurking on these sites.  I’ve found answers to questions I didn’t know I had until I read them.  I also was able to identify feelings I had been vaguely aware of when I found them being discussed on message boards.  Sometimes, lurkers – people who observe rather than participate – are invited to join the conversation. Other times, you’re left alone until you feel you can join in or leave the site.

There are also live support groups for those who want the eye contact, the hugs, the chance to read body language.  Your nephrologist or your local hospital can help you find such a group or you can find their locations by surfing the web.  Support groups may also lead you to come to terms with the fact that, for the rest of your life, you need to declare your CKD for most life and insurance policies. A note on Twitter:  I see that they are beginning to include support groups, but as of the printing of this book, I haven’t seen any for CKD.

Until Friday, new year’s eve,

Keep loving your life!

Published in: on December 28, 2010 at 12:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

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