People form a set of beliefs and feelings about themselves known as self-perception. This includes feelings about their physical image and as well as their inner personal self.

Physical image and its changes are important factors in kidney disease, particularly with respect to dialysis access.

Which means how patients are connected to the dialysis machine. In terms of hemodialysis, the most common dialysis access is called a fistula, a connection between a vein and an artery in the arm , which allows for blood to flow through the dialysis machine. Sometimes, fistulas may increase in size, become swollen, or bruise as a result of the dialysis needles. This could lead patients to feel self-conscious and even embarrassed in public, which could alter their body image and self-perception. During peritoneal dialysis, a small plastic catheter is embedded under the skin, with the end extruding. This may also leave patients feeling confused and upset, living with and depending on plastic “body” parts. It is important to remember, however, that the dialysis access serves as a lifeline and is essential to receiving life-saving dialysis treatments. After a while, these body alterations become more accepted, although never feeling as natural as one’s own body parts. parts. Other changes are more subtle, such as darkening of the skin.

In the context of social relationships, self-perception occurs through “occupying” a specific role – be that of parent, child, sibling, or friend.

When a person becomes ill with chronic kidney disease, these roles often change, with the patient taking on the role of the “sick” or “ill” individual. These changes require a new understanding of our place within our society, in addition to accepting our dependence on family or doctors and nurses for our care. At times this leads to conflicts with the very people we are dependent upon.

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