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  • Personality Changes

    Hi, Iím the wife of a PD patient. We have been happily married for 32 yrs. We were compatable on every subject, rarely had a disagreement, let alone an arguement! Those were basically - never.
    Once he began PD, almost overnight, he turned into Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. I never knew which one would awake the following morning. He is crabby, bordering on vulgar. He is not only this way with me, but also our grown children, anyone on the phone who doesnít give him an agreeable answer. He was on the phone with his dialysis nurse yesterday, and I couldnít believe how angry he was with a man who has been his champion for a year! The nurse forgot something, and my husband went off on him.
    Iím almost afraid to live here. Almost. The good guy arrives often enough.
    BUT, neither Dr Jekyll nor Mr Hyde ever apologize for their actions.
    Is this common? Can it be corrected?
    All I am sure of is that his blood count is low, and heís having weekly shots to make more blood cells.
    His phosphorus is sky high.
    He is low in Iron (from the low blood count).
    Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2

    Welcome to the forum, there are a lot of very knowledgeable people here that are doing dialysis and will probably give you some great advice soon. All Ivan say is that one of my sons even though he has always been really easy going, calm, and has the patience of a saint has a total personality change when he is really sick. When he gets out of sorts I always went strait for the thermometer. I knew he must be sick, and yes he was. I have also known some real awesome people that start having mood swings shortly after motorcycle accident, cancer, and yes, chronic illness. My personal opinion is that he may be having a difficult time coping with his "new" life. It may also be an unbalance of some sort with his meds, etc. I would certainly talk it over with his Dr. I don't know what it's like to be on dialysis, I'm at egfr 22. Hopefully someone with experience will come along real soon and give you a hand. Wishing you the best.


    • #3
      Dear PDerswife,

      I feel what you are going through, my husband started Home Hemo 6 months ago. It was difficult the first I would say 3-4 months, he was having severe gout attacks and was in constant agonizing pain...he was on crutches and couldn't do much walking. He was depressed having to cope with the reality of his kidney failure and the toll of dialysis. Things were really stressful for everyone involved. I felt helpless that I couldn't help him. I spoke with his social worker and dietitian and they were a huge help. The social worker explained that everyone will need an adjustment period to dialysis, some take longer than others but they will adjust and things will get better. It was hard to believe at that time but I swear it does and will get better. The dietitian will help you with what food to avoid to help him lower his phosphorus and he will get his EPO shot monthly at clinic to help make more red blood cell. Please remember that his care team (social worker, dietitian, dialysis nurse, & nephrologist) is there not only to help him but you as well. Do come to clinic with him every month, write down your questions, issues and don't be afraid to speak up and let them all know so they can help your husband and you. I would advise you to have deaf ears for now and not take anything your husband says literally because he is having to deal with a life altering situation, just be there for him let him know you care and would help him with anything he needs. I promise you he would be back to the wonderful man you married years ago. As caregivers, it is very stressful for us as well. Take care, let me know if you have questions or concerns.
      Last edited by myhope1006; 06-07-2018, 01:56 PM.


      • #4
        Hey there PDerswife... imama23 contacted me about your situation and thought I could offer some insight. Not a lot of people talk about the mental effects that a major illness has on the mind. I went through all the stages of denial, angry, depressed. I was able to work through this process mostly by myself, but I was lucky. It's one of those things that if you're not going through it yourself it's very hard to understand. There could be also medical reasons his mood and personality are changing. My first thought would be to inform the doctor and maybe have a neurologist do some scans to make sure it's not something in the brain. Next I would have him talk to counselors, a pastor, or priest, someone he would trust to talk to about his situation. Talking helps... if you can get the person to talk.

        Some of the symptoms you describe sound a lot like OCD. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a common, chronic and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts ( obsessions ) and behaviors ( compulsions ) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over. I have found throughout my 11 years as a dialysis patient that ROUTINE is very important. Some handle disruptions better than others. For example if I'm in a different chair, doesn't really bother me, or a different machine, no problem, a different nurse that I know from the clinic,, meh not to bad, but a new nurse I don't know trying to stick me... mmmmm no freak out time for me. Sudden unscheduled days flip me out. Transport not being on time or late getting on the machine ... I might need medication. And I do take medication to help calm my anxiety. I am on 2.5mg of Ativan or often called Lorazepam and it really works for me. It may be something as simple as that.

        So there are some places for you to start. Make yourself a check list and get things done to help him. if you're having aa hard time understanding things doctors are saying let them know that and ask them to explain it in a more simple way.

        There are other things I use to calm down but this is what works for me and may not work for others. Incense, coffee, music, video games, movies are my non medical calming agents. Hot soaking shower work well for me too. With my coffee I often out in 1/8th teaspoon of cinnamon and a table spoon of honey. Makes it taste a little like a pumpkin spice coffee!!

        Well doll, I wish you luck. Try those things see if they work. If not we'll put our heads together and figure something out for you. You are not alone in this. We are here and we are listening! Keep us updated and keep your head up!
        Last edited by Grouch123; 06-08-2018, 10:50 AM.


        • #5
          In response to PDserPersonWife on regarding personality change. I thought I would respond since my wife also said my personality changed. As a patient, I donít think so. But I do know some of the impacts. I have had a series of health issues and was technically dead for seven minutes after a heart attack. I had a heart transplant that led to my kidney issues.
          Items that impacted me.
          • After a major operation, your perspective on life changes. I donít worry as much. I want to be a better person. I wanted to start life over again since I am starting life again.
          • Dialysis impacts the chemical balance in your body. Because of this imbalance, Iím having problems with my eyes and have some medicine that should correct it.
          • I started on hemodialysis. One time after the treatment I drove home and got lost. I was confused. I had no idea where I was. Could have been caused by dehydration.
          • Peritoneal dialysis also has drawbacks. Imagine pumping six pounds of fluid into your body every night than emptying it out with additional fluid. This is done 4 times at night followed by two more sessions of daytime dialysis. At least thatís my current regiment. I get cramps, weight gain, and my stomach has expanded about 4 inches. Clothes donít fit.
          I hope my perspective helps.


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