Pursuing Passions While on Home Hemodialysis

Natalie Gwin Jones

Natalie Gwin Jones loves to craft. She spends her free time sewing, making jewelry, and selling her crafts online. With home dialysis, Natalie has the free time and flexibility to pursue her hobbies, helping her keep a balance between life and her treatments. Besides her hobbies, Natalie spends as much time as she can with her family. “I feel we’re blessed that we can do so much together,” says Natalie of her family. “It helps keep my mind off dialysis. It makes me feel like it's not the only part of my life.”

Beginning her dialysis journey

After she was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, Natalie worked hard to follow a kidney-friendly diet and improve her health. Because of her lifestyle changes, she was able to postpone the start of her dialysis treatments by five years. Once her kidney function dropped to 15%, Natalie’s nephrologist told her it was time to prepare for dialysis. Although she was scared at first, her Fresenius Kidney Care team was there to help guide her every step of the way. “From the beginning to end, they changed my whole mind about dialysis,” she recalls.

How home hemodialysis helped Natalie

Natalie decided on home hemodialysis (HHD) early on. She wanted to be able to travel and liked the idea of a more flexible treatment schedule. “Home dialysis frees you up and you can choose whenever works best to do your treatment,” says Natalie. “My care team helped me understand the dialysis machine and gave me the confidence to do the treatments on my own.”

Dialysis support from her family

Currently, Natalie dialyzes five days a week, three hours a day. Her husband of 12 years is her care partner and helps her with treatment. They also get lots of encouragement from their 20-year-old son. “They are my greatest support,” Natalie says. “They do so much for me.”

Sharing her story and her talents

Natalie likes to share her HHD experience through her blog to encourage and educate others with chronic kidney disease. “I cannot be private about this!” she says. With extra time on her hands due to the coronavirus pandemic, she also put her sewing talents to work by making masks. “I make them for healthcare workers, family, and friends, and my family helps me find the fabrics,” she says. “Since I’m already in the house, home dialysis gives me more time to sew, and more energy to stay busy while we shelter in place.

August 2020

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