31 May 4 Things I Learned From My Reach Kidney Care Coordinator


4 things I learned from my Reach Kidney Care Coordinator

An interview with Grisel Burgos, Reach Kidney Care of Middle TN patient

Grisel Burgos has been a Reach Kidney Care patient since 2014. With a family history of polycystic kidney disease and hypertension, she knew end stage renal disease could be a possibility. However, after meeting her local Reach team, she began working with them to delay dialysis for more than a year and a half.

“When we first met Ms. Burgos, she was really frightened and worried about end stage renal disease.   As she continued to come to Reach Kidney Care, it was apparent that after several visits with our chronic kidney disease coordinator and dietitian, she was able to take hold of the tools necessary for her to make the changes in her life to slow her kidney disease progression.  Through this process, we were able to witness Ms. Burgos’ change in demeanor and watch her enjoy life to the fullest,” said Ed Dennis, NP, Reach Kidney Care coordinator.

Here are some of the things Grisel shared with us that she learned through her experience with Reach Kidney Care:  

Talking about kidney disease makes it less scary

“Reach Kidney Care helped me out of a dark depression,” Grisel said. “It got that right out of my system. Talking with Ed Dennis made me realize I had to face the facts. Going through every detail of my kidney disease with a kidney specialist helped me understand it in a new light.”

I can delay dialysis

“I found out I had kidney disease when I was sixteen. I was scared of dialysis. But, Ed said if I stick to a certain diet and lifestyle choices, I can continue to delay dialysis. I followed the tips, like cutting out food with high salt, using phosphorous binders, and limiting how much I drink, and I was able to put dialysis off for nearly two years.”

I can work toward qualifying for a kidney transplant

Sometimes when people hear that they don’t qualify for a transplant, they don’t realize they can work toward it. “I am working now toward a kidney transplant,” Grisel said. “I am getting information and learning more about it. It is definitely an option I want to pursue.”

Education is an important aspect of my care

It is difficult to try and teach yourself about a complex chronic disease. Having someone guide you through the process and answer all of your questions can be a huge relief. Grisel shared, “At Reach Kidney Care, I was allowed to take it easy there. I was taught the steps I needed to prolong my kidney health. It started with the changes in my diet I needed to make.  I was educated step by step.”