My kidney disease diagnosis four years ago meant a lot of things, including the beginning of many doctor appointments, dialysis treatments, and medications. While these changes keep me alive and well, there are certain areas of care for dialysis patients that are lacking.
For starters, I have found myself navigating between doctors to communicate my needs and make sure all of my prescriptions are working together, especially when I first started dialysis. Patients need a coordinated care system to make it easier for their doctors to communicate their prescribed health plans.
Dialysis patients also require frequent visits to centers for their treatments. Oftentimes, patients lack transportation to the centers, which makes it hard for them to get there and receive the care they need to stay alive. Dental care is also crucial to dialysis patients, but many can’t currently get it. These are pivotal issues that need to be addressed.
The lifestyle shift to being on dialysis is hard to cope with emotionally and mentally. Outside of one’s family, patients often don’t have anyone to talk to about what they’re going through. Patients need someone they can speak with about their experiences with the disease.
The good thing is that we can fix some of these problems for dialysis patients. The BETTER Kidney Care Act provides coordinated care and solutions to other problems patients face, such as dental and transportation. We are counting on Congressman Mike Johnson and Louisiana’s other representatives to support this legislation and help dialysis patients.
Yazzie Bishop, Shreveport, Louisiana