Do not believe the stories you hear on sites that push dialysis. They will profile someone who claims to have a wonderful life on dialysis. This is not typical. Please check this out:
Here are a couple of paragraphs from my book, Life After Lithium:
You may have read propaganda written by sponsored people who claim to travel the world or do extreme sports while on dialysis. While no doubt these stories are inspiring, and their plight certainly admirable, we must remember that glowing, idealistic stories like these are cherry-picked to sway us into thinking dialysis is some kind of Heaven. Every person I know on dialysis is so consumed with the procedure that they have no time or energy to do anything else. All are sickly with multiple health issues, can barely breathe, many on oxygen or using electric wheelchairs, many overweight and certainly not about to run a marathon. None are in a position to travel and all are dependent on visiting aides to help them. Not one in my acquaintance was able to continue working a job. Their main source of socializing, the center of life has now become the dialysis center.
This institutionalization of elders and sick people is sad indeed. I’m sure most didn’t want this sort of life. A 2015 New York Times article questioning dialysis gives us a far more grim picture of life on dialysis than the rosy tales the dialysis centers want us to believe. This article states that about 40% of older patients on dialysis die within a year. Much of this is due to secondary conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes. Still, these statistics are telling indeed. Typically, a patient will undergo hemodialysis at a dialysis center, spending three or four hours a day there, three times a week. Some patients also endure a lengthy commute to the dialysis center. The New York Times article likens this to holding down a part-time job. I cannot help but see the resemblance to day treatment or various types of outpatient mental health treatment.
I did not put the footnote in there, or at least right now I can’t find it.
These two articles are worth a read. If you can’t access them, try a different browser.