This is a time when you've settled into a routine with ESRD and you have been dealing with things for awhile. You realize that there are things happen to you that may have nothing to do with ESRD, but affect your life and your treatment options. As in the other phases of the AAKP Patient Plan, this phase will be broken into parts and so you can read it at our own pace and go tot he information that is most important to you at the time.
Phase 1 is described as being similar to when you're on a road trip and your car's gas tank is getting close to empty...you start looking at the road map and street signs to find a gas station when you need it. Phase 2 is like finding a gas station, stopping to fill up and beginning the trip. Phase 3 is the time when you're on the trip, have a pretty good idea of where you're going and the car is set on cruise control. Just because you're cruising along the highway, however, doesn't mean you don't have to keep reading the signs and checking the map from time to time. As with any trip, there will be some detours and a few traffic jams.
Phase 4 is the time when you know where you are going. You've been cruising along, and successfully worked your way through some detours and traffic jams. You may be bored with the same scenery each time you make the trip, or there may be things that come up that you weren't expecting. You're now looking back at the road map to see if there are alternative routes you can take. Keep reading the signs, looking at your map and talking to other people who have made the same trip. We hope this can be your road map and you continue your journey with ESRD.
Remember, you're not on this trip alone, there are many people who will help you along the way.