Saturday, February 9, 2013

Arrange2Live Introduces New Blog: Arrange2LiveWhenEverythingGoes2Health

When Interior Designer Jane C. McClure and I wrote Arranging Your Life When Dialysis Comes Home: The Underwear Factor, we could envision broadening our scope to other issues in addition to kidney disease.

Certainly, Arrange2Live grew out of a critical need: Steve and my need to have some peace and order in the midst of our Home Dialysis experience. While Steve and I eagerly embraced the technology of Home Dialysis, nothing could have prepared us for the onslaught of medical equipment and supplies that landed on our doorstep!

The NxStage Machine (upper left) was nearly swallowed up by
boxes of supplies, and those ubiquitous blue underpads changed the ambience!
Steve, Jane, and I made some important observations about bringing health care into the home. It was clearly needed and welcomed - and no doubt, it improved the quality of our lives immensely.

But just as when we welcome a new baby into a home, planning helps! Why don't we have Dialysis Showers?

Thus far, Jane and I have adapted our concepts to provide:
  • Hemo and/or Peritoneal Dialysis for Steve in 5 different living spaces
  • A functional "dorm" environment for Steve and me when Steve was completely disabled before he died in April 2011
  • A welcoming bedroom for a couple after one of them developed a terminal brain tumor
  • A move to Assisted Living for my 95-year-old Mom, using the furniture and furnishings from her home of 50 years.

Now, granted, it's been a mixed blessing to have provided the "lab" for many of these experiences. But Jane and I have gathered hundreds of tricks from our combined medical and design experience.

We welcome opportunities to speak to groups - particularly the Dialysis Community, and other health care providers - about bringing health care home. We are also pleased to provide consultation to those on the front lines of home care.

Follow us on our new blog:

Take care,
Linda Gromko, MD

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

ANNA Conference Felt Like Preaching to the Choir!

If anyone would have predicted ten years ago that I'd be talking to the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the American Nephrology Nurses' Association, I'd have thought them completely mad!

For me, nephrology was something I would learn "later." It seemed overwhelming in medical school. And when I would cover the Swedish ICU/CCU as a resident physician, I'd pray we didn't get called to a CODE in the NW Kidney Centers - those people were sick!

But, now, having traveled with my late husband Steve Williams through the precipitous tumble into Acute-on-Chronic Renal Failure, the home hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and his litany of other medical adventures, I feel oddly at home. The kidney nurses are my colleagues, and I will be forever grateful for the hours of assistance they gave me and my husband.

A home dialysis treatment comes to a close.

Linda responds to a dialysis machine alarm - while
Steve watches cooking shows on TV.

Should you be attending the International Dialysis Conference in Seattle in March 2013, join me for my remarks on 1) Caring for the Home Dialysis CarePartner, and 2) "What My Husband's Kidney Failure Taught Me About My Own Profession."

Take care,
Linda Gromko, MD