August 29th, 2007 04:01 EST
Judyth Piazza chats with Dr. Daniel Offer, Author of Dialysis without Fear
According to the National Kidney Foundation, one out of every nine people in the United States is affected by kidney disease. DIALYSIS WITHOUT FEAR (Oxford University Press, July 2007) is the first-ever family guide for dialysis patients who suffer from kidney/renal failure and who wish to simplify their lives and dispel the misconception that one must be tied down " to their dialysis machine for the duration of their treatment, whether it be for a brief stint or for life.
We decided to write a book that we wished had existed when my dad first started dialysis. My dad, Dr. Offer, was totally unprepared and uneducated about the realities of this life transition, " says co-author and daughter Susan Offer Szafir. Because he was a physician, it is possible that other medical professionals assumed he "knew if all.` But the truth was, he knew nothing. "
Dialysis is the artificial replacement for lost kidney function, designed to remove impurities and wastes from the blood when the kidneys are unable to do so. More than 400,000 people in the United States undergo kidney dialysis; and for many, the prospect of a regular appointment with a dialysis machine seems like the end of life itself. But that reaction could not be more wrong.
DIALYSIS WITHOUT FEAR provides a true-to-life account of what being on dialysis is like and what one can do to maintain as normal a life as possible during treatment, written by this family who knows first-hand. While DIALYSIS WITHOUT FEAR acknowledges the difficulties of being on dialysis, it does so to realistically assess how a dialysis patient can travel, work, and continue to partake in life`s joys and celebrations with as little hindrance as possible. DIALYSIS WITHOUT FEAR provides up-to-date information on:
" Choosing the best dialysis method
" The impact of dialysis on professional and personal relationships
" The financial implications of dialysis
" Pursuing a kidney transplant
" Eating and drinking for optimum health
" Traveling on dialysis
DIALYSIS WITHOUT FEAR is authored by Dr. Daniel Offer, whose seven plus years on dialysis (since 1999), in combination with his life-long career as a psychiatrist, make him well-qualified to lend advice on how to cope with the fears and hardships associated with dialysis. Co-authored by his wife, Marjorie Offer, and daughter, Susan Szafir Offer, these women bring to bear their experience and wisdom on the subject as they helped Dr. Offer along with his initial trials and tribulations with dialysis and have been helping him along since.
DIALYSIS WITHOUT FEAR also shares helpful anecdotes and lessons learned from veteran patients, staff, and doctors.
DIALYSIS WITHOUT FEAR both inspires and provides a realistic view of life on dialysis, offering a wide range of practical tips and useful tools to cope with what is deemed a difficult, but not an impossible situation. DIALYSIS WITHOUT FEAR ultimately serves as a how to " guide to living life on dialysis.
DANIEL OFFER, M.D., is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavior Sciences at Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. The author of 16 books and 200 scientific articles, he has been on dialysis since 1999.
MARJORIE KAIZ OFFER is a Research Assistant in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavior Sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine, and is married to Daniel Offer.
SUSAN OFFER SZAFIR is a freelance writer, and is the daughter of Daniel and Marjorie.