Monday, March 11, 2013

33rd Annual Dialysis Conference Brings a Reunion with Steve's Home Dialysis Instructors

I had just given a presentation entitled "Caregiver Burden in Home Hemodialysis" at the University of Missouri's 33rd Annual Dialysis Conference, when Melinda Archide RN walked up to say hello. Later, a whole group of nurses from the Northwest Kidney Centers Home Dialysis Training Unit stopped by: Sarah Rassa RN, Theresa, and several others.

What a wonderful flashback to these dedicated nurses who held our hands and walked us through those first tenuous weeks of Home Dialysis Training! Melinda and Sarah were the nurses who trained Steve and me in doing our own Home Dialysis. For me, they were our lifelines. Patient, careful, complete: there was no question too ridiculous, never a fear too petty. All of our concerns were addressed with full consideration.

Several nurses involved in home dialysis came foreward after hearing Steve's story in my presentation to say, "This is why we do what we do."

Thank you to all the Home Dialysis nurses for doing what you do! Home Dialysis - and your consistent reassurance and support - makes it possible! You improve the length and quality of life for people on dialysis. I will be forever in your debt.

Take care,
Linda Gromko, MD

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Here's a blog you might find interesting...

Dialysis Patient Citizens has a new Education Center, and I wanted to direct readers to the following site:

All primed and ready to run, this NxStage machine is
 the size of a small office copier. And it travels well!

I'll be writing a quarterly blogpost featured in the Patient Voice section. My first entry, posted last week discusses benefits of Home Dialysis.

My next post will discuss, "Are You Cut Out for Home Dialysis?"
Please join me and the other bloggers as we explore various topics pertinent to CKD.

Take care,
Linda Gromko, MD

Monday, March 4, 2013

UW Pre-Health Conference Gives Students a Look at Home Dialysis

UW and area high school students had the opportunity to look at a range of pertinent health topics, including kidney failure and home dialysis at the 12th Annual Pre-Health Conference held on 3/2/13. The Conference was sponsored by the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students, the Undergraduate Students of Public Health Association and the Student Health Consortium.
Broad menu offerings included a suture workshop (bananas and pigs' ears), mock interviews, and a host of exhibits. "Give a Gift of Life" (bone marrow donation) was represented, as were Youthcare, "Save Your Boobies," Planned Parenthood, and the US Navy.
I conducted a workshop entitled, "Let Me Go When the Banter Stops: An Experiential Crash Course on Renal Failure."
I asked participants why they wanted to learn about kidney disease after lunch on a Saturday afternoon. One student had kidney disease in her family. Another was concerned because of its life-threatening implications. One was the son of a nephrologist, and wanted to hear more; one simply wanted to hear about something other than the OB-Gyn interests that seemed to occupy her mindshare.
I think they all learned that diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and chronic kidney disease are what they'll be treating in their careers down the road. And they all learned that home dialysis is a viable option to offer to patients.
It was energizing to interact with these bright young students; healthcare is in good hands!
Take care,
Linda Gromko, MD