Sunday, November 25, 2007

Book Review - A Novel for Dialysis Patients

That Damn Dialysis – A Book Review

For patients undergoing dialysis and waiting for a possible kidney transplant, That Damn Dialysis, a dramatic, sometimes comical, account of the emotional gauntlet through which a dialysis patient passes, offers a shared experience for those suffering from the disease. . Nephrologists may want to recommend That Damn Dialysis for patients seeking information, empathy, and hope.

The author is Cindy Barclay. She is a RN and critical care nurse with 20 years in the dialysis field and 14 years as owner and CEO of Quality Dialysis, Inc, a Houston, Texas based company with 50 employees. She noted early on the nephrology industry tended to treat patients in a vacuum, leaving patients and families in a dark and confused state about their disease’s implications.

To clear up the confusion, she first wrote a manual for dialysis patients. The manual evolved into That Damn Dialysis (Claybar Publishing, Inc, 2007, $19.95, $10 for dialysis patients). It took two years to write. It’s a tale about the trials and tribulations of Cledus Washington, a 50 year cabinet maker after he learns he has chronic kidney disease and needs dialysis. Mrs. Barclay is now at work on a sequel to That Damn Dialysis about Cledus’ life once he receives a kidney transplant.

I asked Ms. Barclay, “Why a novel?” And she responded, “ Because people like drama, and it’s an effective way to explore relationships and tell a story.” In the story, Cletus loses his girl friend and fears he will lose his job because of the time required for three times a week dialysis treatment.

In writing the book, Ms. Barclay realized 20.6 million Americans diagnosed with chronic kidney disease had little access to understandable information about their disease. Most information on bookshelves is written for medical professionals, rather than patients. This leaves a void for patients trying to understand their own debilitating illness.
This novel describes one man’s struggle with kidney disease and dialysis. It carefully explains the medical terms, options, and what Medicare for dialysis patients is all about.

When the news is broken to Cledus that he will need a machine to keep him alive, his life turns upside down. Not only does he lose his kidney function, he loses his girl friend, too. He feels his job may be in jeopardy. He contemplates the possibility of a kidney transplant. Ultimately, Cledus reaches into his soul and survives.

In the book . patients will find new hope and understanding about this devastating disease. After reading it, dialysis patients will learn that can live with their disease and still enjoy life without letting dialysis completely control their destiny.

According to Charles Crumb, MD, a Houston nephologist with 35 years experience. “I look forward to finding out how Cledus deals with his kidney transplant. Excellent reading material; a great story, combined with easy to read medical knowledge.”

That Damn Dialysis
is available at:,

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