Hi Kidney Peeps!

By Lori Hartwell

It has been brought to my attention that there have been a few incidences of people who require dialysis expressing how upset they are by the new policies put in place by dialysis facilities and enforced by their staff. Please know that the policies of wearing mask etc. are designed to protect both people who need dialysis and staff during this Covid-19 outbreak.

Your dialysis staff is there to help you with life-saving dialysis. Refusing to comply with their policies is not fair to your peers, to the staff, or to you because you may be putting your life, and the lives of others, at risk.

It’s understandable if you’re having a hard time dealing with anxiety, stress, depression, and/or personal finances. The entire country is dealing with many of the same issues, even those who do not have to do dialysis three times a week. Since your provider is not going to bend on this issue, you need to find the tools to help you cope. Contact your social worker and ask for help.  I have had anxiety, and I have found that music and mediation help me. Think about how you can help yourself calm down. Perhaps this is the time to inquire about home dialysis, where you will have more control over your treatment.

These are unprecedented times. The kidney community is working tirelessly to provide care for all patients, while also worrying about their own health and how it may impact their family. Staff shortages, disruptions in schedules, and more cause lots of stress for everyone involved.

Life is tough right now, not just for you but for everyone, and so we all must do our part to adapt to the challenges brought on by this current crisis. The best we can do is to breathe, and be as kind to one another as possible. We will get through this, but it is going to take a team effort.

Sending everyone a Covid-free hug,

Lori Hartwell
Founder and President
Renal Support Network


  1. If you think there is an issue that is causing you physical harm, call your local ESRD network. Find the Network that services your area.

Lori hartwell - Renal Support Network - PresidentLori Hartwell is the Founder & President of Renal Support Network (RSN) and the host of KidneyTalk™, a radio podcast show. Lori was diagnosed with kidney disease at the age of two. In 1993 she founded RSN to instill “health, happiness and hope” into the lives of those affected by chronic kidney disease. Lori is also the author of the inspirational book Chronically Happy: Joyful Living in Spite of Chronic Illness and is a four-time kidney transplant recipient.

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