My dad is 87 with only one kidney post nephrectomy 12 years ago. Now his remaining kidney is starting to fail him and he has fluid buildup in his lungs and feet. He's on oxygen and doesn't want dialysis for fear that it's "a death sentence" his exact words. But at this rate hes like to die from respiratory arrest. How can I convince him to do dialysis ? Thank you John.
The truth is kidney failure is a death sentence without treatment. Dialysis and kidney transplant allow those with kidney failure who would die otherwise to live. Here's a booklet from the National Kidney Foundation about what will happen if you choose not to do dialysis:
I suspect your father may have mistaken beliefs about dialysis based on how the media presents dialysis when highlighting the need for more donated kidneys for transplant. I'd encourage your father to learn all he can about ALL options for treatment before making any decision. For example, many people think that hemodialysis in a clinic 3 times a week is the only option. For many, that feels too limiting. Patients who don't want to be that limited choose to do one of the types of home dialysis. Home dialysis offers more scheduling flexibility, usually a more liberal diet and fluid limit, and patients who do home peritoneal or hemodialysis often feel better. Most patients who live alone can learn to do peritoneal dialysis without help. If your father lives with someone else or has someone to help, he and his helper could learn to do hemodialysis at home. Home training nurses are excellent at explaining different home options. You can find a short video, info about each of the home dialysis options, and chart that compares each of the home dialysis treatments with in-center dialysis here:
Here's a fact sheet dispelling myths about dialysis:
You might also want to show him the patient stories here http://homedialysis.org/types/patient_stories or suggest that he ask his doctor if he can speak to other dialysis patients who have chosen various treatments.
If your father chooses to do dialysis and if he finds later that the burdens outweigh the benefits, he will have the option to discontinue dialysis and let natural death occur. Here's information from NKF on stopping dialysis:
Beth Witten MSW ACSW LSCSW
Medical Education Institute, Inc.
When I began Dialysis I had apporx 5% kidney function and was ill only twice, once I began the treatments I was sick quiet a few times because the techs were unable to find my correct withdrawel rates and dry weight, once these items were found my treatments have been uneventful, I have never been to the hospital and no longer get ill, I have treatments 3 days per week for 4.5 hrs each treatment, I have been going to the center for 1.5 years and so far have not been interested in a transplant, I look forward to many more years of life..........something you should all remember, dont miss a single treatrment and dot cut your treatments short
It's great that you're getting 4.5 hours of treatment, Guest. Four hours is the least someone should get, and more is better. :-)
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