You’ve been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and told that you’ll need to start dialysis to keep your kidneys functioning. This may seem like a daunting task, but with a bit of organization and planning, you can reach your work goals while on dialysis. Here are five tips to help you get started.
Set Realistic Work Goals
The best way to start is by setting realistic work goals. When you’re on dialysis, your body is going through a lot. You need to be patient and give yourself time to adjust. You don’t want your work goals to add any extra stress to your life.
Start by thinking about the type of job you want. Do you want to continue working the same job you have now? Or are you looking for a new challenge? Maybe you would like to try working from home.
Think about the hours you would like to work each week and what type of work schedule would be best for you. Don’t forget to take into account your treatment schedule and how many hours you can realistically work each week.
Working With Your Medical Team
Your doctor and renal social worker are your best allies when it comes to working while on dialysis. They can help you understand your treatment and what to expect, as well as advocate for you with your employer.
Be sure to keep them in the loop about any changes in your health or work situation. They may need to adjust your treatment or work accommodations as needed. And remember, they’re there to help—so don’t be afraid to ask for their guidance.
Take Care of Yourself First
When it comes to working while on dialysis, it’s important to take care of yourself first and foremost. Here are five tips that can help:
- Make sure you’re well-rested. Dialysis can be exhausting, so make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
- Eat a healthy diet. This will help you feel your best and give you the energy you need to work.
- Take breaks when needed. It’s important to listen to your body and take a break when you need it.
- Drink plenty of fluids. This will help keep you hydrated and make dialysis easier on your body.
- Pace yourself. Dialysis can be tiring, so try not to overdo it in the beginning.
Practical Strategies for Working on Dialysis
It’s important to have practical strategies in place to ensure that you’re able to stick to your dialysis routine and still have time for work.
- Make sure you have flexible work hours/willingness at your workplace: Find out if there are flexible working arrangements that can cater to your dialysis schedule, and if need be, consider asking for accommodation if your workplace is compliant.
- Learn about remote working options: Depending on the type of job you have, there may be opportunities where you can do some or all of your work remotely. Doing this will give you more control over your schedule and could help you better manage your time between dialysis and work.
- Don’t forget breaks: Breaks are essential when it comes to taking care of yourself, so make sure you take the time to rest. It’s perfectly ok (and recommended) to take breaks during a busy day—all it requires is a little bit of planning ahead!
- Speak up about situations where you feel overwhelmed: This includes speaking up if something at work is impacting your health negatively or draining too much energy away from doing regular dialysis treatments. It’s important that everyone understands how much effort just staying afloat takes with a chronic illness like peritoneal dialysis, and work colleagues need to be aware that they can be part of the solution.
Resources and Support
It’s important to remember that you’re not alone in this journey. There are resources and support groups available to help. It’s a good idea to talk to your healthcare team and dialysis center about how to balance work and treatments. They’re a valuable source of information when it comes to managing your schedule, as well as any potential health risks associated with working while on dialysis.
There are also programs specifically designed for individuals who are working while on dialysis, such as the National Kidney Foundation’s program called “Enhancing Life Through Employment” (ELTE). Through ELTE, you can find resources like job training and job search assistance, as well as support groups and counseling services.
These resources can make all the difference when it comes to managing work responsibilities and dialysis treatments, so don’t be afraid to reach out!
Reaching your work goals while on dialysis can seem daunting, but with these five tips, you can make it happen. First, be open with your boss and coworkers about your situation and what you need to maintain your treatment schedule. Second, make sure to take care of yourself and get the rest and nutrition you need. Third, set realistic goals and timelines for your work projects. Fourth, use your free time wisely to get ahead on your work. And finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. With these tips, you can reach your work goals while on dialysis and maintain your treatment schedule.