You’ve taken an important step with your willingness to learn about late stage chronic kidney disease. If you have been told that you are at Stage 4 or 5 CKD, you will soon make treatment choices. Perhaps you are about to begin dialysis, or have already started this treatment. Maybe you’re thinking about kidney transplant. There is a great deal you can do to support your health and the quality of your life. 

The system you’ll learn about here is called Take Control – Make a Plan – Stay Your Course. Being an active partner in your health care and sharing concerns with your doctor, your family, clergy, and your friends, will help you to take control of your CKD treatment for a better today and future.

Take control by learning as much as you are comfortable with, one step at a time. There is a great deal of information to absorb, and many decisions to be made in the coming months. Ask questions of your health care team, and don’t hesitate to ask again, if you find yourself puzzled or worried about information or instructions you’ve been given.

Use this online education program, but also attend classes. You might consider joining a support group in your area – talking with other people with CKD can go a long way to setting your mind at ease, and getting your questions answered. Stay organized  -- write down questions, note symptoms, set out your medication schedule, and place copies of your lab work and other test results in a health diary. That way you’ll easily be able to talk with your health care team about them when you have your next visit.