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  • My mother has stage 5 Kidney failure

    My mother is 85 and over the past 4/5 years has had many health issues. She has kidney failure and because of her health, surgery is not an option.
    I have been caring for her for a few years now.
    It's very difficult seeing how much she has been going down hill these past couple of months.
    The hardest thing is seeing her so frail and having no energy. She has always been an active lady, much like myself really.

  • #2
    Hello TriciaA,

    You didn't note if your mother is on dialysis, but I will presume that she is. I started HHD and with it hemodialysis in July 2012 and haven't lost a step - still work a demanding full time job that requires travel. Unlike your mother, I am 25 years her junior and don't have any health issues outside of PKD and the need for dialysis.

    While I am an HHD patient and conduct treatments in the comfort of my home and on my schedule, I have treated in center when on business travel for more than 2 or 3 days so that I can stay on my 5X week HHD treatment schedule. I have seen plenty of elderly and frail hemodialysis patients when treating in center. Most are unable to drive and must rely on medical transport to get between their residences and the dialysis center. Most have other health issues that periodically require hospitalizations. I certainly cannot speak for their respective "quality of life" but, from simple observation, I can't imagine that theirs is satisfying.

    Unless you are in a position to serve as her care partner and both demonstate the ability and willingness to be trained and then conduct home hemodialyis, your mother's future life through in center dialysis has appreciable limitations that will make any effort at maintaining an active lifestyle quite difficult.


    • #3
      One of the most difficult things for me was to give up my busy lifestyle. I was teaching part-time when I started dialysis. By the end of that school year, I was so sick and fatigued. As it happens, we moved, so I just stopped working and went on disability. And my youngest went off to college. I do in-center dialysis and most afternoons, I sleep. My kidneys failed because of PKD, so I have no other major medical issues. The thing that I had to learn was how to busy myself, but with activities that won't fatigue me. My greatest problem is that I have a constant severe problem with anemia because my native kidneys were removed. That is something I work closely with my doctor and the charge nurse at the dialysis center to keep my numbers up.
      I'd suggest that your mom find some new activities that are not as physically demanding, but still give her pleasure. I attend a women's Bible study one morning a week. I've started writing a blog about my Florida Cracker family. I play my piano. I read. One of the most satisfying things that I've taken up since stopping work is writing letters. I set aside every Thursday morning to write between four and six proper letters to various people. Some of them are having health issues; some are friends; some I want to encourage. The thing is I've been the one who has been encouraged. Maybe your mom has a talent for art or needlework--she could do that, without becoming fatigued, and perhaps give her work away to those who appreciate it.
      I disagree, somewhat with stumpr54, I chose to stay on hemodialysis at a center for many reasons. Honestly, the only day that I'm completely tired is on Monday because of the weekend fluid gain. The rest of the week, I go out at night and on the weekends, if I want to. One can have a good quality of life on in-center dialysis if you watch your lab values carefully, come for every session, and just live your life with cheer and hope.


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