As we have discussed in our previous posts here at Joe Cosgrove’s Blog, the difficulties that come with undergoing dialysis treatment are real and should be taken seriously. However, living your life with kidney disease should not stop you from doing the things you like and from learning new things about yourself, your body and dealing with the treatment that is making you better. We have made a great emphasis on the importance of being an educated patient who is on top of the process and curiously investigates and discusses with the physician, any questions you may have about the changes your body is going through.
One of the most underappreciated benefits dialysis can bring to you comes with the treatment itself, literally! The time you spend while hooked onto the machine is very valuable and sometimes it comes as a breath of fresh air to those people who were used to a very hectic lifestyle and are forced to slow down due to their ailment. If this situation applies to you, then we understand your pain, as it can be quite difficult to adjust to a slow-paced lifestyle when you are someone used to feeling productive at all times; but you shouldn’t worry because there are many other ways to use up this personal time productively.
Personal time is something that can greatly help you in your own personal growth and aid you in the discovery of hidden talents or interests that perhaps you didn’t even know you had, or that you wanted to take up but didn’t have the time. The psychological benefits are great and the personal satisfaction is something else to keep in mind when thinking of ways to spend your downtime while going through dialysis.
The therapeutic effects of music are not something new, as numerous studies have shown that it can help reduce anxiety, nausea, and pain on patients undergoing medical procedures. This can be a great opportunity to enjoy the music you like, or better yet, learn about new music and really give it a try by listening to full albums of a new artist or take a risk by listening to something you have never heard before. These sessions of self-discovery are great for learning about new things and broadening your preferences.
Reading is a great activity to engage on while going through dialysis. Some people are only able to read when they are in a space that makes them feel comfortable enough to do it by giving them the peace and quiet they need to concentrate; so turn your treatment time into that space. Just like with music, you can explore the unknown and dig into genres of literature that you haven’t tried before. Reading about your own condition is also that helps patients feel empowered as well. The option of audiobooks is something else to consider, as they give you a chance to literally sit back and close your eyes while enjoying the reading of your book by someone else. Audiobooks are great options and some people who never tried them before, get hooked very quickly.
Keeping a journal
Keeping a journal is a great way to deal with, and document your experience. A blog online, for example, can be of huge help to other people going through the same thing as you. This type of activities can open up a new world of support, friendships, and personal healing through a release of your experiences by writing. Opening up to others and sharing your perspective with family and loved ones can also help them understand you and strengthen your bonds.
Getting every day things done
This quiet time could be perfect for taking care of errands you can do from your computer like paying bills, writing emails, online shopping and just general internet browsing that you normally do every day. Allocating this space for that can help you reduce your computer time so you can enjoy other activities during your day that do not require you to be connected.
You can meet other people at the dialysis center that are going through the same thing as you. Is great to meet new people who understand your process and that time is a great moment to do so. You can be of help to someone who is just getting started or listen to some advice from those who are already experienced with the process.
Learn a new skill
Is there a hobby you wanted to pick up? Perhaps a language you always wanted to learn? With all the new technology is very easy for you to carry your laptop or a tablet and occupy your time learning a new skill. Learning a new language or perhaps even coding in your computer can be accomplished during this time. The feeling of doing something with your off time is great and it can influence positively your healing process.