“I finally feel better”

Adapting to dialysis

One of the biggest challenges of dialysis clearly is adapting to it. After all, it’s a big change in life, and it can be quite a struggle. Read how Agnieszka Jeznach from Poland got through this phase – and what helped her to finally feel better.

Yes, it was difficult at the beginning. When Agnieszka Jeznach found out that she had kidney disease 11 years ago, it was a complete surprise to her. And she was pregnant, making her worried twice as much (the pregnancy went well, as you will find out in a moment). For almost 10 years doctors managed to keep her kidneys working with medication and she was under constant specialist care. Still, the day came when she was told that she would need dialysis. Two years ago, in the middle of the Corona pandemic, she had a fistula prepared and started haemodialysis at the Fresenius Dialysis Centre in Sochaczew

Difficult beginnings

The clinic did everything to prepare Agnieszka – but of course it was a big change in her life.

She recalls that she tried to keep an optimistic attitude, but there were many things she had to get used to. The biggest change was fluid restriction. She went from the 3 litres she had been recommended to drink during her treatment before dialysis, to less than 1.5 litres a day. What a change…

Agnieszka admits that she was surprised how painful the insertion was, and how much time dialysis therapy takes. She would often feel weak and have a headache after dialysis, usually going to sleep straight away when she returned home.

In these difficult beginnings she was sad that the improvement of her well-being didn’t set in as quickly as she had hoped.

The turnaround

Agnieszka had to be patient. It simply took time to adjust to the dialysis. But after a while, a change was noticeable. With a sigh of relief, she admits: “Suddenly, after a year, I clearly felt that I recovered, and now I can see a big change. I have more energy and desire to live.”

Agnieszka says that she basically went through the entire disease with her son. She even says that it is for him that she tries her hardest. The relentless support of her family is very important to her as well. Her husband and sister are always by her side, so she can count on their help and understanding.

Back to life

Keeping a positive mindset is very important to her. “Dialysis is hard” she admits, “and yes, there are moments of breakdown.” But then she always turns this thought around: if it wasn’t for the treatment, she wouldn’t be alive, and it’s important to be optimistic about life.

Agnieszka knows that it’s essential to spend time with the family. Dialysis takes time and it’s important to her that she has time to be active and social on the weekends, sometimes even going on small trips. She started dialysis in the pandemic and has not yet had the opportunity to benefit from longer trips and holiday dialysis. But last year she and her family spent a weekend at the seaside and in the mountains.

Keep learning

Agnieszka says she appreciates advice from other patients with whom she spends time on dialysis. She is listening closely when they tell her how to deal with phosphorus or what to watch out for in her diet.

Another great source of information are the brochures and materials she receives at the dialysis centre, and of course the doctors.

And there’s her old challenge – the thirst. She keeps working on it. Like eating less spicy and salty things to reduce the need to drink. She tries to drink in small sips and exercises her willpower all the time. She uses the information and dietary tables she was given at the dialysis station.

Agnieszka is a great example how an optimistic approach, consistently following recommendations and enjoying the support of friends and relatives are key to living with dialysis.

Today, Agnieszka is doing better and better on dialysis – her results and her well-being show it clearly, and her family is happy for her. So are we!