Welcome to the Chronic Kidney Disease Insider Newsletter. If you are living with chronic kidney disease (CKD) on dialysis, have had a kidney transplant or are helping care for someone who is, this newsletter was created for you! The content is meant to keep you and/or a family member up to date on the latest information to help you manage your health now and in the near future in consultation with your physician.
In this month’s CKD Insider: National Family Caregivers Month, Kidney Transplant Allocation Change Upheld, Newsletter Survey, Happy Thanksgiving and the Fun Tip of the Day!
November is National Family Caregivers Month
National Family Caregivers Month is a time to recognize and honor family caregivers across the country. This is for you! This newsletter, associated website resources and mobile & web app in development have all been created for your family member and for you, the caregivers and care partners, who make a difference every day in the life of your family member. Caregivers and care partners often feel there is no other option but to help, but even on the rough days you know how important your role is, even when it is not always appreciated the way you want it to be. Just as there is no other option but to help your loved one(s), there should be no other option in your mind to help yourself. Taking care of your physical and mental well being is extremely important, because if you aren't mentally and physically healthy then you can't help anyone else. The basics to incorporate in your life: Always good to revisit!
Quality sleep. (7- 8 hours minimum: Watch the 20 minute TED Talk: Sleep is your superpower by Matt Walker to learn about the importance of sleep and how to improve it (also outlined in the March 2021 CKD Insider Newsletter).
Healthy diet. (stress can make you go for the candy if you have a sweet tooth, but sugar is not always your friend as it can cause inflammation in your body that leads to health issues. Harvard Health outlines this well in their article on the sweet danger of sugar. They also offer recommendations regarding foods to incorporate in your diet to fight inflammation here.
Regular Exercise. The Mayo Clinic outlines the important benefits of regular physical activity.
Time for you! Whether that means time alone (meditating, learning something new, pursuing a new passion project) or with friends or others who understand your challenges, you need time for yourself.
Get Help when you need it. Caregivers and care partners, we are not alone, there are many tools that have been created to help deal with different challenges along the way. Take a few minutes a day to look through the options in the resources section below and see what's right for you.
Check in on your health. Keep up with your own doctors appointments, and keep track of and address your own health challenges. You can only help if you have the energy and health needed. Think of what the airplane stewards tell you – if the plane is going down put your mask on first so you have the oxygen needed to help others. It’s the same idea, it’s not always easy to do, and often easier said than actually done, but if you make the above into habits, they become a commitment to yourself that everyone in your life will understand, and this will help you overcome the challenges that will appear. Read or Listen to: Atomic Habits by James Clear for ideas on how to create positive habits that make a difference. Additional resources for you:
"From One Caregiver to Another" by Kay Coughlin : Podcast, Book & Boundaries Community. She talks and provides tools to help you deal with expectations, other family members and how to overcome the emotional challenges of navigating it all.
Your Fun Tip of the Day!
Stay Open to the Possibilities! Real or Fake? Flying Electric Cars Compete In A Drag Race!
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Kidney Transplant Allocation Policy Change Upheld in Court
What it is: In December 2019, the US Department of Health and Human Services changed the organ distribution policies. This was contested in court and on November 8th, a federal court upheld the policy change. The new policy gives priority to candidates within a 250-mile radius rather than in the previous 57 regions which divide closely along state lines.
Why it matters to you: If you are waiting for a kidney transplant being eligible for available organs across state boarders could be an advantage for you.
To our American friends who celebrate Thanksgiving and the idea of taking time to appreciate and be with family, and friends, I hope you have a wonderful love filled day!
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