El primer tratamiento

Una vez en el hospital, las cosas se fueron rápido. Fui admitido en la sala de emergencias una vez más para que pudieran colocar mi catéter en el pecho y comenzarme como un paciente agudo. Cuando el nefrólogo comenzó a repasar las cosas conmigo, había tanta información que estaba sobrecargado y no podía asimilarlo todo. Información sobre la diálisis. Detalles sobre por qué me habían fallado los riñones. Información sobre lo que puedo esperar durante los próximos días. Luego describió los diversos tipos de diálisis y otros tratamientos disponibles. Era un montón de información y no pude retenerla toda en ese momento. Me ingresaron en el hospital y me encontré completamente solo. Hay una canción que dice: “Una vez me quedé en la noche con la cabeza gacha”. Así era realmente como se sentía. Traté de cantar, pero no había canción. Traté de recordar las cosas positivas, pero parecían desaparecer. ¿Qué pasaría después? ¿Pasaré la cirugía al día siguiente? ¿Cómo iba a ser la vida después de eso? Había tantas incógnitas y no había vuelta atrás. La única otra opción sería salir del hospital. Pero mi enfermedad renal era tan grave que probablemente no sobreviviría la próxima semana. Esa noche fue tan larga. La mañana parecía muy lejana, pero llegó la mañana. Esa mañana estaba programada mi cirugía para colocar el catéter. Por la tarde fui a cirugía. Cuando desperté, estaba al lado de una extraña máquina. Sacaba la sangre de mi cuerpo, la pasaba por un filtro y luego me la devolvía. Una enfermera estaba a mi lado cuidándome. Mi primer tratamiento terminó poco después de despertarme y también ese día. El primer día de diálisis se completó y cuando mi día terminó, comenzaba una nueva vida.

Comida de senderos

Desde té dulce hasta restricciones de líquidos …

Permítanme presentarme … Crecí en una zona rural del sureste de Carolina del Norte, donde decimos “ya”, bebemos té dulce a diario y hacemos galletas desde cero. En mi familia, preparar una buena comida es una forma de mostrar amor mutuo. Mi mamá trabajaba de catering, así que literalmente “crecí” en una cocina. Por defecto, estaba destinado a trabajar en la industria alimentaria, pero no fue hasta los catorce años que me di cuenta de a dónde me llevaría este viaje.

En mi club 4-H, hice una presentación sobre cómo los alimentos ricos en vitamina A y betacaroteno pueden reducir el riesgo de cáncer. ¡Me fascinó saber que lo que comemos tiene un impacto tan grande en nuestra salud! Tenga en cuenta que esto sucedió cuando recién comenzaba la investigación sobre un vínculo entre los antioxidantes y cómo afectan nuestra salud. (Ya sabes … antes de que tuviéramos Internet y teléfonos móviles, cuando Atari todavía existía, ¿entendido?)

Ese mismo año, mi profesor de biología asignó un trabajo para investigar una ocupación “basada en la ciencia”. Elegí investigar sobre dietistas registrados (RD). Ni siquiera sabía que existía tal ocupación, pero después de completar mi trabajo y entrevistar a un dietista local, supe que eso era lo único que quería ser cuando fuera mayor.

Si avanzamos rápidamente hasta el presente, mi viaje me ha traído hasta aquí. Para conocerte … ya sea que estés en un viaje de bienestar para la salud en general o para la salud de los riñones. Disfruto trabajar con personas con enfermedad renal para mantenerse lo más saludable posible en cualquier etapa de la enfermedad renal en la que se encuentren. Marzo es el Mes Nacional del Riñón y el Mes Nacional de la Nutrición, por lo que es el momento perfecto para celebrar y discutir estas áreas de interés.

La dieta renal puede variar según la etapa de la enfermedad renal en la que se encuentre una persona. Puede incluir alimentos bajos en sodio, altos en proteínas, bajos en fósforo, bajos en potasio y, a veces, una restricción de líquidos. ¡Habla mucho para hacer malabares! Por eso es tan importante hablar con su dietista renal para obtener consejos y estrategias de “supervivencia” (literalmente), para comer bien y vivir bien.

Debido a que las necesidades de cada paciente son tan diferentes, es casi imposible especificar exactamente lo que debe comer cada persona. Le recomiendo que se reúna con su dietista registrado local que conoce su historial médico y análisis de laboratorio para guiarlo mejor.

Por ahora, me gustaría referirme a un nutriente que la mayoría de los estadounidenses ingieren demasiado en sus dietas.

(Sugerencia, sugerencia … incluso si no tiene una enfermedad renal, probablemente sea una buena idea prestar atención aquí).

SODIO

Sal marina, sal kosher, sal rosa del Himalaya … no importa cómo la agites (o mueles), es sodio.

El sodio no solo proviene del salero. De hecho, la mayoría del sodio que consumen los estadounidenses proviene de alimentos procesados y de comer fuera de casa.

Si sus riñones no funcionan correctamente, un exceso de sodio en la dieta puede causar presión arterial alta y retención de líquidos (hinchazón).

Consumir una dieta baja en sodio puede ayudar a reducir el riesgo de retención de líquidos, presión arterial alta y, potencialmente, ayudar a preservar la función renal.

¿Cómo puedo reducir el sodio en mi dieta? Dices … (pensé que nunca preguntarías).

1.Lea las etiquetas de información nutricional. Trate de limitar las comidas a 600-700 mg de sodio y cada elemento (bocadillo o guarnición) a 140-160 mg / porción. Por lo general, recomiendo menos de 2,400 mg de sodio por día si tiene una enfermedad renal, pero consulte con su médico o dietista para ver qué es lo adecuado para usted.

2.Evite los alimentos procesados tanto como sea posible. ¡Cuanto más fresco, mejor (para el sabor y la salud)! Cuando empiezas a cocinar alimentos frescos y dejas de usar tanta sal, creo que disfrutas mucho más el sabor de la comida real.

3.Considere más frutas y verduras, nueces sin sal, legumbres y cereales integrales (según lo permita su dieta, ya que algunos de estos productos tienen un alto contenido de fósforo y potasio).

4.Planifique con anticipación cuando salga a cenar. Muchos menús están en línea para que pueda mirar hacia adelante y hacer mejores elecciones. Además, pídale a su mesero que los condimentos y salsas estén a un lado o no. Pida que los condimentos estén apagados o muy ligeros.

5.Evite la comida rápida tanto como sea posible. Planifique con anticipación. Empaca tu almuerzo para que puedas controlar lo que obtienes.

6.Enjuague los alimentos enlatados o busque variedades sin sal agregada. (Estos están cada vez más disponibles en las tiendas ahora).

7.Mantenga todo con moderación. Sabemos que el sodio está en todas partes estos días. Si come con sensatez y evita activamente los alimentos con alto contenido de sodio la mayor parte del tiempo, es posible que pueda ingerir pequeñas cantidades de algunos alimentos con alto contenido de sodio en ocasiones. (Solo siendo real, amigos. La vida pasa, pero cuando ya está siendo cauteloso, está por delante del juego). La salud de cada persona es diferente, así que siga lo que su dietista ha discutido con usted.

8.¡Te animo a que pruebes nuevos condimentos y combinaciones de alimentos! Algunos de mis ingredientes favoritos son

Ajo fresco, cebolla, pimiento

Zumo o ralladura de limón / lima recién exprimido

Vinagre balsámico, vinagre de vino tinto

Humo líquido (para adobos)

Vino

Aceites con infusión de aceite de oliva o ajo (para sofritos y verduras asadas)

Pimienta negra (¡dah!)

Mezcla de aderezo ranch seco (1/4 cucharadita = 60 mg de sodio)

Pimienta roja molida

Un chorrito de salsa picante como Tabasco® o Franks ’Hot Sauce®

Aceites esenciales (limón, lima, naranja, romero, orégano, etc.), ¡pero solo una gota te servirá!

Magic Seasonings® del chef Paul Prudhomme Hay varios tipos. Compruébalo en

Paquete de 8 sin azúcar sin sal mágica

¿Qué los hace tan geniales? No hay sal, azúcar ni potasio añadido y ¡saben muy bien! GANAR GANAR!

Estos son solo algunos de mis consejos favoritos para los pacientes y sus familias. Espero que algunas de estas herramientas le resulten útiles en su viaje. Sé que cambiaron las reglas del juego para lograr el éxito para mí y mis pacientes.

El conocimiento, la motivación, las herramientas y una guía lo ayudarán a recorrer los senderos del riñón.

Carol Jones

MS,RDN,CSR

Dietista registrado
Especialista Certificado en Nutrición Renal

Triunfo sobre la tragedia

Mi gran despertar…. Triunfo sobre la tragedia

Por Jonathan Traylor – Anfitrión de Hope con Jonathan / Podcast

¿Alguna vez ha visto un episodio de su comedia médica favorita en la televisión y se preguntó cómo sería experimentar una experiencia traumática en la vida real? Bueno, ¡experimenté uno y viví para contar la historia! ¡Tómese un segundo, respire profundo y cierre los ojos mientras lo llevo en mi viaje personal con la lucha contra la enfermedad renal y la insuficiencia renal de emergencia!

¡El 8 de julio de 2019, entré en insuficiencia renal de emergencia! Todavía puedo recordar la horrible sensación de no poder respirar adecuadamente, las palpitaciones del corazón y el más extraño sarpullido en mi lengua, y caer al suelo sin fuerzas después de días en la cama en los que en mi mente pensaba que estaba luchando contra el dolor. gripe, no podía retener ningún alimento, y todo sabía terrible y tenía un regusto metálico.

Todavía recuerdo llamar al 911 y orar junto a mi cama, todavía recuerdo el viaje al hospital en la ambulancia mientras mi respiración empeoraba, todavía recuerdo cuando el médico de urgencias y el personal de enfermería llegaron apresuradamente después de recibir los resultados de mis análisis de sangre. Recuerdo los sonidos de las palas del helicóptero cuando me llevaron rápidamente a un hospital en San Antonio, Texas {mi hospital local no era capaz de darme el tratamiento necesario} Todavía recuerdo cuando aterrizamos y el médico de urgencias dijo: ” ¡¡Será mejor que agarres el carrito de emergencia ”!! ¡Estaba en insuficiencia renal completa! Etapa 5 ESRD!

Después de 3 días en la UCI luchando por mi vida y ya había comenzado la hemodiálisis sin saberlo, finalmente había empezado a recuperarme y tenía todas las mangueras, tubos y conductos que puedas imaginar adheridos a mí. Traté de hablar pero no pude debido a que estaba intubado, ¡qué momento tan aterrador fue! Quería hablar pero no podía, y mi familia quería comunicarse, así que recurrí al lenguaje de señas manual (mi hermana tiene problemas de audición). Recuerdo que mi mamá me hablaba a mí y a mi esposa Melissa, mi hijo Jett y mi hija Mackenzie. , ella estaba sosteniendo mi mano {tan agradecida por mi amada familia}. ¡Verá, los había hecho pasar a todos por una pesadilla y yo era responsable de todo este episodio traumático!

Pasé 3 días en esa UCI, luego me gradué en una habitación de hospital estándar normal, pasé 2 semanas en total allí en Methodist. Durante mi estadía tuve mucho tiempo para pensar y reflexionar sobre lo que me había traído hasta aquí. y ¿Qué curso de vida causó esto? Ojalá me hubiera cuidado mejor y no lo hice durante 41 años de mi vida, había hecho lo que quería y comía lo que quería y cuando quería. Había descuidado a los médicos y al cuidado de mi diabetes tipo 2 y mi hipertensión {2 razones principales para la enfermedad renal} durante años, debido a la ansiedad y el síndrome de la bata blanca. Tuve que hacer un examen de conciencia en el hospital, tuve que darme cuenta de la aceptación, el perdón (para mí y otros eventos traumáticos de mi infancia) y, sobre todo, ¡tenía que estar dispuesto a cambiar!

En las dos semanas de estadía, recibí instrucciones dietéticas renales, me instalaron una permcath (una vía central para hemodiálisis) y decir que todo fue abrumador es quedarse corto, tuve que adaptarme rápidamente y dejar los alimentos y los malos hábitos que tenía. Fui adicto durante muchos años, cuando salí del hospital sin saber que este viaje acababa de comenzar para mí y sin saber qué esperar, comencé mi nueva vida haciendo en el centro de hemodiálisis, 3 veces a la semana, otra experiencia que me cambió la vida de regreso a atrás, ¡pero tenía que adaptarme rápidamente si quería sobrevivir! Hice diálisis en el centro durante 10 meses y luego hice la transición a hemodiálisis en el hogar {NxStage} con mi esposa Melissa como mi cuidadora. ¡Lo hice durante 3 meses!

Hice diálisis durante 13 meses en total hasta mi milagro Gift of Life of Transplant {¡Agradecido a mi donante y mi familia de donantes Descanse en amor, Scott!} 11/8/20! Después de eso, durante mi recuperación, comencé Hope with Jonathan Live Streaming show & Podcast basado en mi experiencia cercana a la muerte para crear conciencia y ayudar a otros pacientes renales que necesitan un donante vivo, ¡pero esa es otra historia para la próxima vez!

Nota al margen: obviamente, parafraseé partes de mi historia y debo incluir que tuve que omitir algunos detalles {puedo incluir en otros blogs}. Quería agregar eso si no fuera por mi fe firme en el Señor Jesucristo. y el amor y las oraciones de muchos familiares y amigos, ¡no habría sobrevivido a este evento que cambió mi vida! ¡Estoy ante ustedes escribiendo esto como un testimonio vivo y un milagro de propósito! ¡Dios aún no ha terminado conmigo y tiene un plan y una visión para mí! ¡Dios lo bendiga! ¡Amigos!

Por Jonathan E. Traylor, Sr.

Anfitrión: Hope con Jonathan / Podcast

Una lección del camino.

¿Cuál fue la causa de mi insuficiencia renal? Demos un paso atrás en el tiempo. En 2008, a la temprana edad de 18 años, sufrí un derrame cerebral. Me había despertado en medio de la noche y me sentía muy extraño. Mi lado derecho no funcionaba bien y no podía mover la mano ni los dedos. Esto fue devastador para mí porque había comenzado a tocar el piano a los 16 años y lo tocaba de oído. Después de que esto sucediera, traté de tocar algunas de las canciones que conocía. Mi mano izquierda funcionó, pero apenas pude sacar una nota en mi mano derecha. A los pocos días de que esto sucediera, fui a la sala de emergencias. Descubrí que tenía la presión arterial muy alta. La primera vez que lo revisaron, no podían creer lo que era. Probaron un brazalete diferente y luego una máquina diferente pero las lecturas siempre salían igual, 320/280 ……… .. Sí, puedo escuchar ese jadeo cuando salgo a hablar y llego a esta parte del discurso. No falla, lo escucho a través de la audiencia. Al final del día, me diagnosticaron un derrame cerebral, hipertensión (presión arterial alta) e insuficiencia cardíaca congestionada. Me recetaron medicamentos y en unos meses las cosas se veían bien. Mi presión arterial era buena y mis manos y dedos del lado derecho regresaron. Todavía puedo sentarme y tocar el piano sin problemas. Dentro de un año más o menos pensé que sabía mejor. ¿Por qué tomar medicamentos? Estoy muy bien, me dije. Entonces, ¿qué hacía un joven de 19 o 20 años? Paré todo. En 2013, me alcanzó. Mi diagnóstico fue hipertensión y un riñón en herradura. Un riñón en herradura ocurre durante el embarazo. Los dos riñones no se separan. Al no separarse, una de las posibles complicaciones es la presión arterial alta. Si hubiera hecho lo que se suponía que debía hacer, lo más probable es que no hubiera tenido que comenzar la diálisis hasta más adelante en la vida, si todo hubiera sucedido. Lección 1-Aprende la lección que la vida está tratando de enseñarte la primera vez. Piénselo de esta manera, si va a la escuela y no trata de aprender lo que se enseña, luego toma el examen y falla. ¿Que tienes que hacer? Muchas veces tendrás que volver a realizar el examen o el curso e incluso es posible que tengas que volver a la escuela de verano. Lo mismo ocurre con la vida si no aprendes la lección la primera vez, es casi seguro que tendrás que aprenderla de nuevo, y la prueba puede ser mejor que la primera vez. Un consejo que te daré y en el que creeré es que lo aprendas la primera vez para que no tengas que volver atrás y volver a realizar el examen. No lo aprendí cuando tuve el accidente cerebrovascular y tuve que hacerme diálisis. Desde entonces he aprendido muy bien esta lección y la aplico a mi vida.

Tiempo para viajar

Después de unos días de estar en el hospital con los tratamientos de diálisis yendo bien, llegó el momento del alta. Luego iría a una clínica de hemodiálisis en el centro de forma ambulatoria. Me imagino que la mayoría de la gente después de estar en el hospital está emocionada de volver a casa. Seguramente este fue mi caso. Había deseado dormir en mi propia cama, estar con mi familia y amigos y simplemente descansar. El nefrólogo pudo asegurarme un lugar en una clínica de diálisis en el centro. Por lo general, cuando se trata de obtener un espacio de diálisis, recibe lo que está abierto y, con suerte, en el futuro puede programar un horario que funcione mejor para usted. El horario para un paciente de diálisis en el centro es generalmente de tres días a la semana durante cuatro horas cada tratamiento. Al comenzar la diálisis en el entorno agudo, comenzarán con un tratamiento de dos horas y luego trabajarán con el paciente hasta un tratamiento de 4 horas. Creo que habían trabajado conmigo durante una sesión de solo 3 horas. Con esta cita para el tratamiento de diálisis en el centro, me dieron de alta y me enviaron a casa. Comenzaría mi primer tratamiento en el centro el lunes siguiente. Durante el fin de semana pude dormir en mi propia cama y estar en casa. Qué alivio fue esto, aunque tuve tratamiento el próximo lunes. Fue bueno estar en casa. Ir a mi primer tratamiento en el centro es la siguiente parte del viaje. Lo que experimenté ese día fue algo que cambiaría mi vida y pondría mis pies en un camino diferente.

¿Qué hay de nuevo con la dieta renal?

En 2020, las Pautas de calidad para la nutrición de la Fundación Nacional del Riñón se actualizaron para recomendar una dieta de alimentos integrales más saludable a base de plantas para las personas con enfermedad renal crónica (ERC) con o sin diálisis. Teniendo esto en cuenta, las recomendaciones de dieta renal abarcan pautas más saludables para el corazón. Esto permitirá una mayor variedad de ofertas de alimentos para la dieta renal sin comprometer el estado nutricional. Las nuevas recomendaciones saludables para el corazón son similares al concepto de dieta mediterránea.

Notará que algunos de estos elementos se consideran típicamente alimentos con alto contenido de fósforo (queso, legumbres, cereales integrales). Para la mayoría de los pacientes que están limitando la ingesta de comida rápida y procesada, controlando las porciones y tomando captores de fósforo según las instrucciones, estos alimentos saludables para el corazón deben tolerarse si lo desea en su dieta. Si se utilizan legumbres y frutos secos como fuente de proteínas para su comida, debe equilibrar la ingesta de fósforo en general. Esto puede representar un gran cambio con respecto a lo que le enseñaron anteriormente. Me llevará algún tiempo acostumbrarme a decir que se puede trabajar con frijoles o cereales integrales, pero con la combinación correcta de alimentos y opciones de alimentos frescos, se puede lograr el control del fósforo (y su corazón también se lo agradecerá). .

Ideas de comidas súper fáciles Desayuno Huevos duros (preparados con anticipación) + fruta Avena durante la noche (preparada con anticipación con proteína de suero en polvo) + bayas Mantequilla de nueces y manzana sobre pan tostado integral o muffin inglés Yogur griego + fruta + frutos secos sin sal Almuerzo cena Sándwich con 2 huevos fritos, o ensalada de atún / pollo / huevo con pan integral + verduras / frutas crudas “Tazón de cereales” con col rizada, quinoa o bulgur, queso feta, verduras asadas o crudas, aceite de oliva y vinagre balsámico Pasta de trigo integral mezclada con aceite de oliva, salsa pesto, pollo a la parrilla, sobras de verduras asadas o salteadas y un chorrito de jugo de limón

Carol Jones

MS,RDN,CRS,CDO

Dietista registrado, Especialista Renal Certificado

“ I Don’t Know About This?”( A Patient’s Initial Dialysis Treatment) Pt.34…..Just My Perspective

As the ongoing beeping of the dialysis machine goes off. In which I must say is the relief to every dialysis patient. It’s the sound of freedom. The chains of the bloodlines are cut free. The three to four hours from sitting in the most uncomfortable, cold , hard chair known to man for so long, seemingly double that time’s eternity and infinity combined, is near its end. AW, has survived her first treatment of Hemodialysis. She was lucky today. Most renal( kidney) patients aren’t so lucky. In my experience as a Hemodialysis Technician , I have witnessed some good , and some not so good first treatments for renal patients to experience. For example, I can remember having a patient whose graft was clotted, a patient’s fistula infiltrated due to lack of maturity . I mean this fistula I cannulated one time , was so delicate, I felt like if I looked at it wrong it would blow. I had a patient with a left inter jugular placement that was so positional , I swear we had this patient posing in the chair like an art exhibit. Their head was turned to the side away from the television. They were freezing cold and blood pressure was low. And every time they took a deep breath , the machine would alarm. The blood pump would stop. Oh, and did I mention that the blood flow on the machine was at a max 250. In reality , that’s not good enough clearance for her blood to be cleaned during this treatment due to her only running a short period of time. Granted , running at a blood flow rate that low would require her to stay longer on the machine. Sort of like as if they were to dialyze overnight for about eight to ten hours. In some states some facilities have that option in which it is called nocturnal. Anyway , I hope you’re getting what I’m saying. AW, was blessed not to really experience that on her first day. It’s unfortunate how some patients have it harder than others. There are times I wish I had the power to heal them all. You know, like,restore their kidney function. This way they won’t have to come to dialysis anymore. Some would even argue,” If people wouldn’t need dialysis , then I wouldn’t have a job!”…….I’m guilty of even thinking that at one point earlier in my career until I realized that it’s much more grand and rewarding to have the ability to sustain life to an individual with the notion of giving them a second chance on life and to live. It’s the difference between living and just existing. From my perspective, I see some patient’s just sitting here in the clinic looking dazed. I would see some that are depressed. I would see some patients who come in mad at the world. I would see some patient’s attitudes change for the worse as soon as they came into the treatment floor. Like it was a death sentence on repeat. They say hell is repetitious. However, hell is what you go through , and heaven is what you make of it. A patient told me that years ago. I will never forget that. 

“ Dwelyn, where are they taking Cadence?”…”Will she be okay?”…. As I’m putting on my PPE( Personal Protective Equipment) and documenting AW’s last vital signs along with my data from the machine which included her blood pressure, temperature, UF goal, blood clearance, arterial pressure, venous pressure, Kt/v( kinetic time over volume), and making sure I rinse her blood back as clear as I can. This is done due to the fact that all Hemodialysis patients who are having treatments three times a week, lose certain amounts of blood each time. This explains why their hemoglobin will decrease, they feel sort of weak, and possibility of becoming anemic….” AW, I think they are taking her to the hospital near the downtown area. That’s where she normally goes. I’m sure she will be okay . She seemed semi alert when they carried her out.”……AW replies,” That’s scary!” As she started to tear up….” This is too much!”.” I don’t know if I should come back here. What if that happens to me”…” AW, we here will try our best to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone.” …. I continue to say to her….” This is why we have to closely monitor our patients every second as much as we can. “…. As I gave AW a box of tissue once I disconnected her lines, she wiped her tears and said…” Well, Dwelyn I guess I survived this treatment and if I want to live and get better, I have to keep trucking along.”….” When they carried Cadence out of here, she looked at me as if she was speaking to me through her soul. It’s like I have seen that look before.“…” I can’t really explain it.” 

I replied.” Hmmm, maybe it was a sign I guess!”….” AW, now it’s time for me to pull those needles and send you on your way!”….AW replies,” Dwelyn , I AM READY!!!!”””””…… I placed a glove over her right-hand, so I can explain to her that she has to hold one site at a time while applying slight pressure, so she can allow her arterial site to clot first, her eyes are huge without a blink. “ Ok AW , here’s the first one I’m going to pull. I’m going to slide this guard up near the wings of the needle , pull the needle out gently half way, then as I slide the guard closer to the wings and tip of the needle ( bevel) , take your pointer finger with this gauze folded, and I want you to press firmly.” ….AW replies,” Oohhhhh Boy!”, “ Man you might have to do this. Show me, so I can see!”…. As I chuckled,” No problem.”.” Here we go.”……….” Yeeeeeeoooowwwww!”

To Be Continued………

“ I Don’t Know About This?”( A Patient’s Initial Dialysis Treatment) Pt. 33…And.Just.Like.That


AW, is still chuckling as Ms.Elayne is wheeled off by Dicyn. AW, says to me,” Dwelyn I must say that this first day of dialysis has been quite interesting. I’ve met a lot of people and have seen so much. It’s actually kinda fun here. Just wish it wasn’t so long here. “…….Well AW, if it makes you feel better you only have about fifteen minutes left of your treatment. “ …”

No way Dwelyn. I have to admit, the time in this place goes slow, goes fast, then goes back slow, and so forth. I guess time is an illusion.” I replied,” For certain AW, time is definitely an illusion. I really hope that you learned a lot today. Being that today was your first day of Dialysis. I hope that we here at the clinic were able to answer your questions, and you will have many more for sure. “ AW replies,” You know Dwelyn I have had a memorable day. I met a lot of people. I’ve seen a lot of things here, and it’s certainly unforgettable. Quick question. How do you know my treatment time is about to end if you’re so busy walking around, talking?…I replied,” Well you remember when we first got here , I mentioned your prescribed doctors orders for your treatment time?”, “ Well I estimated the time give or take a minute or two and worked my other duties around your time and my other patients in my pod. We are short staff, but we manage to help each other out when the time is needed. “ Also to piggyback off your time I programmed into the machine, it’s like a countdown. So your treatment time was three hours and thirty minutes. So from the time I put you on , or as I should say initiated your treatment, each minute was a countdown. For example: 3:30,3:29,3:28,3:27,3:26, etc….” . AW replies, “ Ahhhhh , I see that makes since “ and, I also remember you told me to try to stay still as much as possible and that’s one of the ways to keep the machine from beeping, and it won’t pause my time.” ,” Sheesh man , you Techs be having to know a lot there boy.” …. As I laughed at AW while I was getting her supplies together to take her off the machine. You know the usual. Tape, gauze, alcohol pads, and band-aids ….I look to my left and I see the Charge Nurse , Dicyn, Ashley , and Denym run rather swiftly. All I could here was ,” Cadence, Cadence can you hear me?”, …. I also hear,” What’s her blood pressure?”…” Lay her back in Trendelenburg !”….” Get the crash cart!”…” Call 911!!!!!

AW, and I were looking in disbelief. Cadence was just talking to us both feeling full of life and at a split second , she …….She was passed out. She suddenly became weak and in distress. Unresponsive, but she had a pulse. I could tell from a distance because I saw her nodding her head back and forth slightly. She had her right hand over her chest holding her heart. As you remembered I said before, Cadence has had a few heart issues in the past along with her recovering from Breast Cancer. I’m not sure if she was in remission. It’s been months since we have seen her, and wow. Out of all the years I’ve been a Hemodialysis Technician, it still hits you a certain way when one of our patients has to suffer more than what we feel that they need too.  Hemodialysis is enough, let alone having other issues. I guess that’s why we refer to them as Renal Warriors. 

AW, says to me,” Dwelyn , is that Cadence down there that they ran too?”, “ What’s wrong with her?”…” What’s all those machines around her?”…….I replied ,” I think she’s okay . She may have had an episode with her heart I suspect.”.” The surrounding machines are a crash-cart and a portable oxygen concentrator. “…And just as we assumed things were okay, the paramedics came in. One of the paramedics proceeded to ask Cadence the usual questions of what year is it? What day is it? Does she know where she is? Cadence was in a daze. The other patient’s around us and throughout the clinic seemed frightened. Some even shed a tear. Cadence played a special part in all of our lives. This is really hitting us hard. As the paramedics loaded her onto the stretcher . They passed by AW . AW, in total shock can’t believe what she’s seeing and how it’s happened so quickly. So drastically. So all of a sudden. It’s so surreal because as Cadence passes by on the stretcher, her and AW made eye contact as Cadence is rolled further away throughout the treatment floor and out the door. 

To Be Continued…………

Mental Health and You

It was the summer of 2009.  A time to celebrate the beautiful weather, embark on vacations, and enjoy each other’s company.  

But something would change in my world that would shake me to my very core…

I spent the summer of 2009 locked in a psychiatric hospital.  Yes, you read that right.  The entire summer—72 days to be exact. You’re probably wondering how I ended up being committed to a psychiatric hospital?

Before I get to that part. Let me introduce myself.  My name is Krista Samimi. I’m a wife, mom, and a humanitarian entrepreneur.  I help individuals end burnout, level up in life, and create abundance.  Doing things differently with purpose, meaning, and intention are at the forefront of my work and Hot yoga, hosting theme parties and gardening are my jam…

After 17 years in the corporate world, I left pharmaceutical and healthcare sales to do things differently.  Not only professionally, but personally. 

What began as trying a holistic approach to my mental health grew into me finding a mission and a movement bigger than myself. 

It’s my passion to share my experiences living with bipolar to decrease the stigma associated with mental health disorders.  As a mental health advocate and speaker, I love to inspire others and provide hope, and how success is entirely possible even with a mental health condition.  

Through my experience, I have a successful business helping high performers elevate their mental wellness via the Gut-Brain Axis.  I’m cultivating leaders and overseeing a large team of Wellness Partner’s.  Together, we are helping others discover their “different” and step into their strengths, and passion and grow into their highest selves. 

So back to 2009!  Stress completely overwhelmed me, and made me have a burnout in my career, leading me to a very poor state of mental health.  Flying coast to coast for meetings and training takes its toll, and my self-care went out the window.  Living on minimal sleep and poor nutrition led me to the worst place possible-the psychiatric facility.

Followed by 3 months in a “half-way” home to relearn the basics of daily living.  Hard to believe I needed to re-learn how to make breakfast and grocery shop.  That whole experience was the biggest wake-up call in my life.  All of my “material” possessions I worked so hard to attain (homeownership, a company car, etc.) meant absolutely nothing at that time.  My mind and body were completely broken,, and my ego was fully crushed.  There is nothing more humbling than to realize that all the “success” in life means nothing, without being healthy enough to enjoy it.  

It’s taken me years to fully step into my power and take radical responsibility for my mental health and wellness.  

There were too many years of feeling ashamed, broken, wishing I had something more socially accepted like diabetes or heart disease.  Acceptance is not an easy road, in fact, not accepting kept me stuck for years.  But it didn’t happen overnight; it took time.  Gradually, over time, I began to accept myself (and others! My dad also had bipolar).  Through support groups, endless hours of therapy, and years of symptoms, I fully accepted what was happening in my mental health.

Acceptance led to solutions, solutions have helped me heal.  It hasn’t been a linear journey.  Just like the entrepreneurial journey, my mental health journey has had its ups and downs.  

I’d love to share with you, the 5 most impactful mental health & wellness strategies that have me living fully and authentically…

#1) Always be true to yourself—if you or someone you know has a mental health struggle, remember it is a medical condition.  It does not define the person, it does not define you.  If someone passes judgment, that’s on them, not you.  

#2) Learn to move your body often – exercise is always important, but with a mental health condition even more so.  Aerobic exercise and other forms of movement are linked to a reduction in depression and anxiety.  It will also significantly lower stress levels. Reducing stress is vital in managing mental health.

#3) Optimal sleep hygiene – This can not be understated. Getting adequate rest is so vital.  Your body and mind can not heal and rejuvenate without proper rest.  Try these 3 tactics for optimal sleep: turn off devices/technology at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime.  No food or drink 1 hour prior to bedtime.  And lastly, make sure your bedroom is just for sleeping…no TV or reading in bed.  This will keep your mind focused on falling asleep.

#4) Holistic supplements targeting the Gut Brain Axis – after years of only taking prescription medications, I added holistic supplements to my regimen.  The supplements help balance the gut brain axis.  Did you know the gut is your second brain?  Yes!  In fact, 80-90% of serotonin (happy hormone) is produced in the gut.  Optimizing my gut brain axis has got rid of my brain fog, anxiety, and depression.  I have more energy, better mood, can better tolerate stress, and overall feel more joy!  And the best part… I take WAY less medication than I did two years ago.  

#5) Quiet time by meditating and journaling – taking even just 10 minutes out of your day to sit in silence is so good for your mind, body, and spirit.  And releasing any negative thoughts by writing them down in a journal is a great way to let go of anything that is not serving you.  

I hope you find these strategies helpful!  And reach out anytime with questions or comments!

Would you like to connect?  Or if you have any questions, you can find me here on social media or book a 15-minute connection call!

krista@kristasamimi.com

https://www.facebook.com/krista.samimi

https://www.linkedin.com/in/krista-samimi/

Krista Samimi

Mental Health Advocate, Mental Health Speaker, Kidney Trails Guest Author.

Unbreakable

When it all falls apart

One day all was going well. I was making my way through my graduate school program, and I was working on lining up a dream internship for the summer. Then COVID-19 happened, and everything changed. As cases in Athens, GA continued to rise, my school chose to offer students the option to either return to campus and finish the semester or complete all coursework and internship hours in a virtual learning format. Being that I was immunosuppressed, I decided to go fully online. Even when this happened, I held out hope that things would get better. In contrast, things got worse. Cases seemed to hit a new record every day. Eventually, any hopes of having a somewhat normal summer vanished into the rearview mirror. There would be no camp Independence, there would be no internship of any kind, there would be no life as normal. It was during this moment that I asked myself a question. That is; how do you rebuild when it all falls apart? 

Gearing Up for A Psychological War

After classes were done for the year, the summer began. This was going to be a summer unlike any other. The hardest thing about it was I had to come to terms that there would be no Camp Independence. I have only ever missed camp one time in my life, and that was when I was sick. The thought of missing camp was extremely saddening and disappointing to say the least. While it was sad that camp was canceled, I could not let this get me down. Whether I liked it or not, summer was going to be quite different. Knowing this, I had a choice to either wallow in disappointment for what I had lost or choose to have a positive attitude and make the best of the situation.  I decided to make the best of the situation. Making this decision was easy. Actually, taking joy in the situation was going to be harder to put into practice. In my mind, I was going to overcome this challenge. In reality, I had no idea how this would look in real life. If I was going to get through the summer and be better for it, I needed a plan. 

Becoming Unbreakable

The first part of my plan to make it through the summer (and ultimately COVID-19) was to become psychologically unbreakable. Yes, I had to quarantine for quite a long time. However, I knew that quarantine and social isolation to be my downfall. To make it through the quarantine, I needed to approach the situation in a completely different way. The way I approached quarantine was as though I was engaged in a form of psychological warfare. Whether we like to admit it or not, we are constantly engaged in psychological warfare. If you are currently battling a chronic health situation, or you have ever battled an injury, you know how important it is to have a good mindset. Your mindset determines so much of your end result. If you let your mindset go, your will to fight and live the joyful life will quickly vanish. How do you prevent this from happening? After all, it is extremely hard to not give in. In this post, I hope to share a few things that helped make me unbreakable. Now, before you read any further, you need to know that you may fall at times. However, there is a difference between falling and completely breaking. It is about how to get back up after you fall. It is about bouncing back and winning the battle of the mind and becoming unbreakable. 

Step 1: Recognize your zone of control

The first step in winning the war of the mind is to recognize that you can’t control everything. This, of course, is one of the most difficult aspects of the human experience. Yet, in this lack of total control, we actually have more power over our lives than we often realize. No matter what happens, you can always control how you react. In controlling how you react, you have to recognize your zone of control (what you can directly affect with your actions and choices). When it came to preparing myself for quarantine, I had to first recognize that no matter how hard I tried or what I did, the situation as it existed was not going away overnight. To assume that I could single-handedly change the course of the virus would be delusional. After recognizing what was controllable and what was not, my perspective shifted towards what I could control. While it may not seem like it, I could control a lot during quarantine. I could control who I was around, the things I did to pass the time, and the music I listened to. To me, these were all big areas of control and in many ways served as protective factors against the virus and the quarantine blues.

Step 2: Create a schedule 

The second step that I took to become psychologically unbreakable was creating a schedule. Anyone who is an athlete or parent understands the importance of following a set schedule. Your schedule may seem like something small, but it is the small things that so often determine how you are with the big things in life. In the case of COVID-19, I knew that what I did with the little things would determine how I managed quarantine and social isolation.

In the case of COVID-19, the hardest thing I faced in creating a schedule was dealing with the dead space. This space was time that I was not sleeping, eating or doing schoolwork. In focusing on the small things, I placed a heavy focus on what I was eating and spending my dead time. Instead of playing video games and doing what I thought would help pass the time, I decided to read books and work out (mostly with a pull up bar and simple workout equipment). For me, I wanted to use the time I was quarantined to make myself better. Over the summer of 2020 I read 17 books, stayed disciplined in what I ate, and I stuck to a consistent workout schedule. Doing all of these things helped me get into shape and come out of the initial quarantine happier and healthier. Since doing this, I have been asked a few times how I managed to make positive health changes in such a short amount of time. My answer is that it all has to do with your mentality. I made a big deal out of the small things and because of that, I was able to create a schedule that worked for me. Finally, in creating a schedule, it is important that you remember that there is no right or wrong way to make a schedule. No matter what your schedule ends up looking like, be sure that it is a schedule that you can actually follow. In short, make it attainable.  At the same time, work something into your schedule that you enjoy or that challenges you. This may include reading a book, writing or creating art. The final element you need is some form of physical exercise. This may include walking, running or going to the gym.

So much of winning the battle of the mind has to do with not allowing your mind the space to go against you (during the dead space). Ever notice how our self-doubt and negative thoughts come to us when we are alone and not focused on something? Ever notice how easily we can go from an emotional high to an emotional low (or even depression). How do we deal with this? I believe one of the many steps we need to take in not letting ourselves fall in the dead space has to do with your schedule and the positive habits you create.  I ask you two questions. (1) what does your schedule currently look like? (2) How can you change your schedule to take control of the dead space? (3) What is one thing you can do that challenges you and contributes to your overall health? 

Step 3: Turn off the news

The third step I took (and that you can take) in becoming unbreakable is turning off the news. Why should you do this?  During a global pandemic, is it not important to be informed? Well, it is significant to be informed,, but I found that the news was not informative. Rather, I found that every news source was negative and seemed more interested in promoting fear and negativity rather than hope and encouragement. It is for this reason I turned off the news. Now, I would follow the COVID-19 numbers as they rose and became a concern for my community. However, my days of constant worry were over.

We have a choice in who we let speak into our lives. 

What voices speak into your life?

For me, turning off the news was the best thing I could ever do for my overall health. Without the news, I found myself refocusing on what mattered most, my own wellbeing. With the time I would usually spend checking the news, I spent reading, writing, and running. In short, turning off the news allowed me to retake control of my own life and my own mind. Yes, the world around me was falling apart. Yet in that, I had a choice. I could focus on the negative aspects of life,, or I could accept that bad things happen in the world and move on. I chose the latter. Life is not always easy. Yet, we have a choice in whom we let speak into our lives. Who will you listen to? Will you listen to the news that does nothing but paint grim views,, or will you listen to voices of hope and encouragement?  

Step 4: Reconnect 

During the early stages of COVID, I had a decision to make. That was to either be bitter about what was lost or look for new ways to appreciate life for what it is. I decided on the second option. In doing this, I started reaching out to friends I had not talked with for quite some time. In doing this, I found that almost all of us were facing our own challenges with quarantine and navigating the pandemic. In connecting with my immunosuppressed friends, I found that we all were having a hard time with the adjustment to quarantine. The biggest challenge we all faced was not seeing many people outside our main family. Some of us were blessed to have family nearby. However, this was not the case for all my immunosuppressed friends. Even for my non immunosuppressed friends, I found that they too faced challenges being in quarantine. Since reconnecting with friends at the start of the pandemic, I have gained a renewed appreciation for the small things in life. Most importantly, these friends helped me become unbreakable during the hardest times of COVID-19. 

Step 5: Find Your Community 

To say the summer of 2020 was a challenge would be a major understatement. This was by far one of the most difficult times in my life. However, I was able to come out of the summer of 2020 better than when the summer began. How did I do this? The answer is simple, I just resolved that I was going to take back my health and be a better version of myself. In many ways, I think having this willpower to never give up and make yourself better is key to helping someone navigate a chronic medical challenge. In the words of Anthony Reed, “it’s 99% in your head” and “when you lose the battle in your mind you will lose it in your heart”. Don’t let this happen to you! Yes, life can be extremely difficult. However, this is no excuse to give up. Rather, this is a reason to fight. If you need help in your fight with chronic illness (or life in general) don’t be afraid to ask for help and find your community. It is in community we will truly become unbreakable.  

The Challenge

So much of winning the battle of the mind has to do with not allowing your mind the space to go against you (during the dead space). Ever notice how our self-doubt and negative thoughts come to us when we are alone and not focused on something? Ever notice how easily we can go from an emotional high to an emotional low (or even depression). How do we deal with this? I believe one of the many steps we need to take in not letting ourselves fall in the dead space has to do with your schedule and the positive habits you create.  I ask you two questions. (1) what does your schedule currently look like? (2) How can you change your schedule to take control of the dead space? (3) What is one thing you can do that challenges you and contributes to your overall health? 

Challenge questions.

(1) what does your schedule currently look like?

(2) How can you change your schedule to take control of the dead space?

(3) What is one thing you can do that challenges you and contributes to your overall health?

Wills Porter

Kidney Trails Author