Maneuvering the changes that come with dialysis
Ms. Sheryll Wyman, Kidney Center of the Rockies
Sheryll Wyman was 65 years old when she was diagnosed with kidney disease as a result of high blood pressure. She worked closely with her nephrologist to manage it, but six years later at the age of 71, she needed to start dialysis.
She decided to pursue Peritoneal Dialysis (PD), which allowed her to continue to take her dog for walks and occasionally play golf. In the summer of 2016, however, she suffered a seizure that required her to change modalities. She began in-center hemodialysis shortly thereafter.
A resident of one of the ski areas in Colorado near Vail Valley, the beautiful terrain, combined with the unpredictable weather, presented a unique challenge. The closest dialysis center for Ms. Wyman to receive her treatment was in Denver, CO, a commute that varied from 90-minutes to 2-hours one way. And with bad weather, it was easy to get stuck. The four-hour treatment and up to four hours spent in the car to get to and from treatment three times per week became too much.
“Going to my dialysis treatments required an entire day,” said Ms. Wyman. “My husband drives me to and from every treatment, and the days were just too long for both of us.”
In late 2016, she heard about a new facility opening in Avon, CO. The Kidney Center of the Rockies opened in January 2017 and she transferred immediately. She was the first patient admitted to the new facility.
Ms. Wyman admits that the dialysis treatments haven’t been a challenge; instead, it’s the changes that accompany it.
“I’m supposed to eat 80 grams of protein and that’s a lot, especially since my cooking leaves much to be desired,” she said. “But I meet with the dietitian and she helps me find ways to stick to a renal-friendly diet. She actually told me about a protein-rich Jell-O which I really enjoy.”
Dialysis is a life change that impacts your entire routine, from how you spend your time each day to your diet to your hobbies. It hasn’t stopped Ms. Wyman from staying active, though, both mentally and physically. She still goes shopping, stays active through physical therapy sessions and, as an avid reader, keeps her mind sharp. She visits her library a few times each month to select a variety of books from the “new arrivals” section, and she reads them all.
“I’ve been really happy since moving to the Kidney Center of the Rockies,” said Ms. Wyman. “The staff are great; they’re easy to talk to. And it’s a really nice facility. I have a mountain view right from my treatment chair and my commute is so much better. I actually have time to enjoy being home again.”