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Dialysis is a subject cloaked in alarming myths and misconceptions. The public mind tends to envision dialysis patients as huddled in seedy clinics, hooked up to machines like iron lungs and knocking weakly at death's door.
Fortunately, that perception is utterly false in every respect. That's the central message of Dr. Daniel Offer's remarkably readable book on dialysis: Life goes on, just as full and rewarding as it was before dialysis.
In fact, going on dialysis is a lot like getting a part-time job. It does require time and attention, but once you get the routine down, you can work, travel, and enjoy your social life just as you did before dialysis.
And by the way, the clinics aren't seedy: Dr. Offer, a dialysis patient himself, has undergone dialysis at over forty different clinics in his travels, and not a one was less than clean, professional, and downright comfortable.
Dr. Offer is a psychiatrist by trade, and he thoroughly explains how to work through the usual psychological responses to going on dialysis, on the part of both the patient and the patient's family.
He also describes all the physical implications of dialysis, the dietary changes, and precisely how the whole thing works. Numerous engaging interviews with both patients and professionals weave into the narrative, and the exhaustive factual information is as pertinent to clinic workers as it is to patients.
This little book leaves no stone unturned: Once you've read it, you pretty much know the whole dialysis story, and it's a very heartening story at that. If you or a family member is facing the possibility of dialysis in the future, the book will arm you with the facts and the mindset to adjust well and live long with dialysis.
Dialysis Without Fear is published by Oxford University Press (www.oup.com) and costs $15.95.
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.