Doing dialysis on your own terms can be liberating, but often comes with a little unease at first. If the thought of using needles yourself for home dialysis treatments makes you nervous, you are definitely not alone. But with proper instruction, practice, and coping strategies, inserting needles can become just another part of your routine.
Work with Your Care Technician
An experienced dialysis professional will train you on how to use all of your home dialysis equipment properly, including needles. This individual will teach you tips and tricks to be gentle with the needle and how to get an effective stick on the first try to minimize or eliminate pain. Your care technician can also help you with strategies to reduce your needle anxiety and connect you to local and online communities where other patients are sharing their best practices for reducing their fear of needles.
It may take some time to find what best calms your fears, but try playing your favorite music in the background, putting on a TV show you enjoy, or repeating a calming mantra while working with the needle. Remind yourself that starting dialysis only takes a few minutes, and after that you have the whole day ahead of you.
Have a Reward
When you’ve finished your home dialysis treatment and are done with needles for the day, indulge in a small snack you enjoy or do a fun, relaxing activity. Having something to look forward to after your home treatments can help ease your anxiety during dialysis.
When you’re just starting home dialysis, there’s a lot of new technology and processes to manage, and getting a comfortable routine down takes time. Try to be patient with yourself as you learn what practices are most relaxing for you during treatment.
Our care team at Cincinnati Home Dialysis is here to guide you through home dialysis and all the comes with it. Contact us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.