Dialysis is a subject cloaked in alarming myths and misconceptions.The public mind tends to envision dialysis patients as huddled inseedy clinics, hooked up to machines like iron lungs and knockingweakly at death's door.
Fortunately, that perception is utterlyfalse in every respect. That's the central message of Dr. DanielOffer's remarkably readable book on dialysis: Life goes on, just asfull and rewarding as it was before dialysis.
In fact, going ondialysis is a lot like getting a part-time job. It does require timeand 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 dialysispatient himself, has undergone dialysis at over forty differentclinics 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 howto work through the usual psychological responses to going ondialysis, on the part of both the patient and the patient's family.
He also describes all the physical implications of dialysis, thedietary changes, and precisely how the whole thing works. Numerousengaging interviews with both patients and professionals weave intothe narrative, and the exhaustive factual information is aspertinent to clinic workers as it is to patients.
This little book leaves no stone unturned: Once you've read it, youpretty much know the whole dialysis story, and it's a veryheartening story at that. If you or a family member is facing thepossibility of dialysis in the future, the book will arm you withthe facts and the mindset to adjust well and live long withdialysis.
Dialysis Without Fear is published by Oxford University Press(www.oup.com) and costs $15.95.