Finding Support for Kidney Disease
Facing a chronic illness alone can be hard. If you have fears or concerns, try talking to people close to you. Also talk with your health care team and other people with kidney disease. Don't hesitate to ask for support or help when you need it. Ask your health care team about support groups in your area. Contact national organizations that offer expert advice and education.
Talk to Your Team
Over time, you'll work with a team of doctors, nurses, dietitians, technicians, pharmacists, and social workers. They want to help you feel as good as you can. If you are confused or worried, ask them questions. Find out what changes in treatment might mean. Knowing more about your illness may make its treatment less frightening and easier to follow. If needed, your doctor may ask you to see a counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist to help you with your mental health.
Talk to Other Patients
When it comes to support, the experts are the people who are living with kidney disease. They know what you are going through. Talking with other patients can give you insight and offer new ways to cope. Sharing experiences may also help you see that you are not alone. And sometimes that's all it takes to make life a little easier.
Sources of Support
Information and support are offered by groups all over the nation. Contact the following:
American Association of Kidney Patients 800-749-2257 www.aakp.org
American Kidney Fund 800-638-8299 www.akfinc.org
National Kidney Foundation 800-622-9010 www.kidney.org
National Kidney Disease Education Program 866-4 KIDNEY (866-454-3639) www.nkdep.nih.gov