a realistic assessment of how renal patients struggle and feel
Guest Contributor: Robert Bear
Patients with serious chronic diseases should not have to suffer needlessly, but many patients with advanced chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease do. They suffer, in part, because of the co-morbidities and clinical consequences of their disease. But mostly they suffer for other reasons: lacking sufficient knowledge about their disease and its history, they are afraid; finding it difficult to communicate meaningfully with their care providers, they feel alone; having to make difficult decisions they are unprepared for – including possibly choosing conservative care only – they feel anxious and bewildered; facing extraordinary lifestyle adjustments – sometimes including loss of employment and financial security – they feel vulnerable. Often, their life expectations have been upended. Many say they have lost dignity, feel a sense of hopelessness and wish for death.
Care providers in, and leaders of, chronic kidney failure programs want to prevent…
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