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What happens when you skip a dialysis treatment?

June 14, 2018

Going to dialysis three times a week is not easy. The constant pricking of your arm and veins every other day is not an easy thing but it’s what keeps kidney patients alive. Many have thought about skipping a treatment because of many reasons and if you’re one of those people, please don’t.

 

The reality is that every time you skip a dialysis treatment or ask the technician to shorten your treatment because you have to go, it is causing a variety of problems.

It may not be like it’s a big deal now, but in the long run, this can cause heart disease problems, breathing complications, you can damage your other organs and cause them to malfunction, not to mention that the water retention that will make you feel uncomfortable and swollen all over your body. Plus, if you’re fortunate enough to be on the kidney transplant list; skipping treatment will delay or prevent your chances of getting a donated kidney.

 

I feel fortunate to be surrounded by people that care about me, such as my family, the technicians, nurses, and the doctors who I see routinely. They’re here to help you but at the end of the day, it’s your decision to make sure you are at the dialysis center on time, that you meet all of your doctor’s appointments and that you take care of yourself by eating right, limiting the amount of liquids you consume and exercising.

 

 I try to keep a positive attitude, I keep busy with my art, but it's definitely not easy. When you feel you can’t do it anymore, don’t be scared to ask for help. There’s always a solution to a problem. 

 

If you don't believe me and need more confirmation about dialysis, visit Kidney.org, which is the National Kidney Foundation. Here is what happens when you stop dialysis:

 

What to expect once dialysis is stopped
Without dialysis, toxins build up in the blood, causing a condition called uremia. The patient will receive whatever medicines are necessary to manage symptoms of uremia and other medical conditions. Depending on how quickly the toxins build up, death usually follows anywhere from a few days to several weeks.

 

As the toxins build up, a person may experience certain physical and emotional changes. The body has a normal, natural way to prepare itself to stop. Understanding what’s happening can help the patient’s friends and family members prepare to help their loved one. In the final days, the body starts to shut down. In most instances, the shut-down is an orderly series of physical changes which may include:

 

Loss of appetite and fluid overload

Sleeping most of the day  

Restlessness

Visions of people who don’t exist

Disorientation, confusion and failure to recognize familiar faces

Changes in breathing (Normal breathing patterns may become shallow, irregular, fast or extremely slow. There may be periods of breathing that sound like panting. Exhaling may create a moan-like sound. This is not distress, but the sound of air passing over the vocal cords. Changed breathing patterns indicate decreased circulation in the internal organs and buildup of waste products. Elevating the head and/or turning onto the side may increase comfort.)
Congestion (If saliva and mucus collect in the back of the throat, you may hear a gurgling sound. While the sound can be distressing to hear, it’s a normal response to a fluid imbalance and the inability to cough up normal secretions. It may help to raise the head. Turning the head to the side allows gravity to drain the congestion.)
Changes in color and skin temperature

 

 

 

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