What Do You Do When You're on Dialysis?


Nov 8, 2022

What Do You Do When You're on Dialysis?

What Do You Do When You're on Dialysis?

The Facebook Private Group, LIVING on Dialysis has a community of over 4.3 K members who consists primarily of dialysis patients and caretakers. The group was founded by Michael and Christina Gilchrist. Christina has been on dialysis for over 20 years, and Michael, her husband is her caretaker and advocate.

Dialysis is a treatment for people with kidney disease whose kidneys are failing. Dialysis is like an artificial kidney, performing some of the important functions that damaged kidneys are no longer able to do. There are two main types of Dialysis, hemodialysis and peritoneal Dialysis. Hemodialysis is typically done in a center. Both hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis can be done at home. More information about dialysis can be found here.

I asked the group a question, "What do you do when you're on dialysis?" At the time of this writing, I got 116 responses. In this unscientific survey, over a quarter of responses said they sleep. I think the best explanation was

"...Sleeping since it’s overnight for hours!" - Melissa M

Jessica S. illustrated this point by posting a picture of her infant son sleeping while on peritoneal dialysis (PD).

Watching movies and TV show, listening to audiobooks and podcast and reading books (I lumped them all as consuming media) was the second most cited response. A good nugget of advice in regards to e-books came from Renee S:

"Have you ever heard of the Libby App? It is a library app where you can borrow e-books from a library for FREE. All you need is a library card. I have read 71 books this year and only purchased one book." - Renee S.

There was a good rationale for just watching TV:

"I mostly watch TV. My brain gets foggy while I'm on the machine so doing something more functional doesn't really work very often." - Carol A.

Speaking of doing something functional, several people took the opportunity to work while on dialysis. Charles H. trades stock. Sally K. learns Spanish and new recipes. Some have started new ventures all together:

"I decided to go back to college while I’m disabled. I do my homework while on dialysis." - Eden M.

The funniest response came from Nikiwe N.:

"I switched the tv to a music channel and I sing along to the songs other patients will be laughing because I can’t sing." - Nikiwe N.

In addition to singing, several responded to creative endeavors including needlepoint, crochet, drawing, color and diamond art:

"It's little gems or rhinestones that you adhered to a sticky canvas similar to paint by number or cross-stitch." - Jamie B.

Several used this time to socialize with other patients and clinic staff. Laura L. says that her husband does home hemodialysis:

"Hubby often snuggles with the grand babies." - Laura L

A piece of good advice came from David P.

"Suck on hard candy for dry mouth; gum when the candy runs out." - David P.

Finally, the most honest response:

"Complain and keep looking at the clock and time lol" - Indonesia S.

The KidneyLuv team thanks the LIVING on Dialysis Team for their contributions to this blog.

Related Article

What is Dialysis?

About Rich Foreman

Rich Foreman brings over 30 years of technology leadership to his role of CEO and Co-Founder of KidneySoft.  As founding CTO, Rich led the team that developed the CordicoShield / CordicoFire Wellness App. Cordico was honored with the Sacramento Innovation Award in 2021. After achieving a 7 digit ARR, Cordico was acquired by Lexipol in 2020. Rich has a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Washington, an MPA from Troy State University and was an officer in the U.S. Navy. Rich co-authored his book, "Tap into the Mobile Economy." Rich's blog was listed in Top 20 Marketing Mobile Blogs of 2014. He has been featured on KCRA3, NEWS10, 1170 Tech AM PowerDrive, Business Radio Money 105.5, SiliconIndia, the Sacramento Business Journal, and the Sacramento Bee. Rich is also the Founding Director of the Sacramento Chapter of Startup Grind and served a term as Utility Commissioner for the City of Folsom. Rich is a regular contributor to TechWire.net and StartupSac. Rich was the Co-founder of Apptology which was named Small Business of the Year in 2014 by the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber. He was also the Founding Chief Technology Officer at Cordico. Cordico was acquired by Lexipol in 2020.  Rich also served 4 years as a Naval Officer in the Civil Engineer Corps.

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This material is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the advice or counsel of a doctor or health care professional. KidneyLuv makes every effort to provide information that is accurate and timely, but makes no guarantee in this regard. You should consult with, and rely only on the advice of, your physician or health care professional.

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