Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Blogging for Dialysis Patients

   I was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) by my primary doctor.  I was referred to a nephrologist, a word I heard for the first time.  No one in my family ever had the same ailment so I knew nothing about it.  I was given a kidney disease orientation immediately.  They put me in a room by myself to watch a PowerPoint presentation that gave me a list of what I can no longer eat or drink and why.  It showed images of the fistula, graft and catheter for dialysis access.  It showed me my options between hemodialysis in a center, home hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.  I picked the hemodialysis in a center because I preferred to have professionals overseeing my treatment and didn’t want to miss out on the frequent tests conducted in the center.
  
   The surgeon first installed a fistula on my left arm.  The long scar tells an ordeal I am quite proud of having gone through.  The fistula didn’t develop as it should.  My arm was tight from decades of dumbbell lifting which I did religiously to stay in shape.  The surgeon next installed a graft.  I started dialysis in a couple of days.

   I assumed that every kidney patient went through the same orientation, were given the same options and experienced the same pains.  That was 2009, now, there is social media.  I realized not every patient got the orientation.  I joined Facebook groups of dialysis patients.  It allows patients from different countries, different hemodialysis centers and different methods of treatment to ask each other about their dialysis experience.  The Facebook groups allow us to encourage our fellow patients in some distant continent.
  
   We don’t always get to comment about all our opinions and personal dialysis practices.  This led me to blogging.  Blogging is easy.  Here are the steps I took.

1. I gave my blog a title and got a domain name from GoDaddy Inc.
2. I started a free blog from www.blogger.com, picked a theme or design, tweaked it a little to conform to my liking. 

   My articles on dialysis has 23,888 Pageviews.  If the blog helped one patient, the work is well worth it.

ARTICLE (Click to view)
PAGEVIEWS
1,479
1,641
1,614
3,663
784
480
1,798
2,448
1,551
3,463
1,060
502
212
1,655
1,538
TOTAL
23,888

   Patients need a hobby to stay positive.  Blogging costs $10 a year for the domain name, maybe even less from another provider.  Website building is free and easy.  There are customizable templates.  Free hosting is included. 

   Writing is not for everyone but you'll never know until you tried.  For the old, poor and sick like me, it's a legacy at the cost of ten dollars.



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