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A Healthy Person on Dialysis

© 1997 Andrew Lundin, M.D. All rights reserved. Reproduced with permission.

A healthy person on dialysis should be able to do many or the things
they planned to do before becoming sick. Being an astronaut may not be
in the cards, however. With age and other limiting conditions, more
vigorous activities will have to be curtailed. There is no question that
one's stamina and strength are lessened with renal failure and dialysis
so that a degree of acceptance of these limitations helps. But
conditioning can help and exercise is encouraged. Laying around, feeling
sorry, maybe necessary for a time, but only makes the problem worse if
not overcome. I finished college at Stanford University in California
and went to medical school as a dialysis patient, dialyzing 14 hours
overnight, three times per week. When an intern and resident I worked in
a city hospital in Brooklyn, NY, and for several nights, dialyzed every
other night when I wasn't oncall for 36 hrs. I write this reluctantly,
not to brag or seem heroic. it was just what I needed to do to reach my
goal of becoming a doctor. We are not heroes, we are survivors and just
need others to help or get out of the way so we can make it.
The dialysis world is full of achievers who encourage me by their
successes. Perhaps some of them can tell us what they have done despite
Peter Lundin, MD

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