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Chapter 4









                        Emotional impact of



           choosing conservative care



                         or stopping dialysis





                                                                                Whether it is your own decision,
                                                                                or the recommendation of your
                                                                                doctor and healthcare team to
                                                                                decline or stop treatment, you
                                                                                and your family may experience
                                                                                a range of emotions. These are
                                                                                all perfectly normal and to be
                                                                                expected. They include:

                                                                                  Confusion
                                                                                  Shock
                                                                                  Sadness
                                                                                  Anger
                                                                                  Fear
                             Emotional responses                                  Depression
                                                                                  Anxiety
        Knowing that you face kidney        someone you trust and who
                                                                                  Relief
        failure can trigger a range of      makes you feel comfortable.
                                                                                  Acceptance
        emotions and feelings. You and
                                                                                  Peace
        your family may experience a        Although you may find it hard,
        variety of responses at different   the best approach is to discuss     Reaching a decision can be very
        times throughout the course of      your thoughts and feelings          difficult, especially if you are
        your kidney disease.                openly with your family and         uncertain about what to do, or if
                                            loved ones. It will become easier   family members are struggling
        You may find it difficult to talk   if you can all be honest and        to accept your point of view or
        to loved ones about refusing or     acknowledge and accept each         the opinion of your renal doctor.
        stopping dialysis treatment and     other’s opinions and feelings.      It can be an emotionally
        worry about how they will feel      If you wish, a family meeting,      overwhelming and draining time
        and react. Your doctor, nurse or    with your doctor and nurse          for you and your loved ones. Yet
        spiritual advisor can help you to   present, can be arranged to give    for many people, making the
        begin this discussion. It is often  all of you an opportunity to hear   decision to refuse or stop
        easier to speak first with          and discuss each other's            treatment can bring a great deal
                                            opinions.                           of relief and peace of mind.




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