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  • My story so far

    My husband is nearly 83 and in poor health in ways besides his ESRD. He's been on peritoneal dialysis over 2 years.He's beat a lot of odds so far.

    But I admit that the toll on my has been great. Here are the ways I have found to cope with the stress, loneliness, depression, overwhelming sense of responsibility, bitterness, etc.

    After reading Dr Daniel Amen's books and Suzy Cohen (The 24-Hr Pharmacist), I chose to not take an antidepressant but instead I take 400-500 mg of 5-HTP every morning. It calms my temper, raises my spirits, and helps me see the good things in the day. It is a serotonin booster and for me it has no side effects. I get it at Costco.

    I try my very best to do research about recipes that will fit his specific dietary needs based on his latest lab results. Sodium this month? More liquid needed?

    I take advantage of every opportunity to get help. When he is in the hospital, I make friends with all of the staff. In return, when we return to the hospital, they know us and our problems and they all go out of their way to help us in big and small ways.

    I give my husband tools to help him help himself. When he can't remember to warm the next bag of dialysis solution, I gave him my favorite kitchen timer that hangs around your neck. We moved the garbage can near the back door so he doesn't have to walk far to dispose of the empty bags. I give the empty solution boxes away on freecycle so we don't have to stuff them in the recycle bin....people fight over these wonderful boxes!

    I let my friends and neighbors know how he is doing. When we need assistance, they are there. When we don't have the time or energy to entertain them, they understand. when I have an urgent problem around the house, they come running. In return I try to repay them with homemade biscotti and wine, and take them out to dinner.

    I am not shy about telling total strangers about our situation. Today I met a lady at Costco and spent nearly an hour talking with her about her husband's situation. She will probably be part of my support system! I take friends wherever I can find them.

    When I feel able to leave my husband alone, I volunteer. When I feel I can't leave the house without worrying, I quilt. I got a pendant for our home alarm system so if he has an emergency when I am gone, he can summon the ambulance.

  • #2
    Ma,

    I stumbled across this post you had written. I only recognized your name because of the lab results and those baxter boxes. You immediately reminded me of someone I know.... Actually a couple I know. He is the frail one in ill health and she is one tough cookie.....still runs a gas powered weed eater and a chainsaw!! Always taking care of business and getting things done. Like you, Ma....

    Anyway, I found you and your story most inspiring and I wanted people to read it.

    Thanks, Ma....
    Create signature while not logged in, edited through forums.davita.com on 08/15/2012 @ 12:53!!!!!

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    • #3
      Yes, very inspiring!! Thank you for sharing it.

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      • #4
        Thanks for sharing!

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