Kidney School™—a program of Medical Education Institute, Inc.

Module 1—Kidneys: How They Work, How They Fail, What You Can Do :: More Reading

Additional Resources

Besides the free Life Options materials you can find at, the resources below may help you learn more about the topics in this module of Kidney School.


  1. A Delicate Balance: Living Successfully With Chronic Illness, by Susan Milstrey Wells
    (Harper Collins Publishers, July 200, ISBN-13: 978-0738203232)
    The author follows 21 people, including herself, who suffer from chronic and largely invisible illnesses. She addresses such issues as finding a diagnosis, choosing a capable and caring health care provider, traditional or alternative treatments, making sense of powerful emotions, strengthening bonds with the family and friends, making career decisions, and thinking about how illness changes one's life. She also presents research on the mind-body connection and practical advice on topics such as using the internet for advice and support.
  2. Acute Renal Insufficiency Made Ridiculously Simple (MedMaster Series, 2005 Edition), by Carlos Rotellar
    (MedMaster, January 2005, ISBN-13: 978-0940780095)
    A brief, clear, practical, and funny approach to acute renal insufficiency.
  3. Dialysis: An Unanticipated Journey, by David L. Axtmann
    (Tucky Paws Pub, January 2001, ISBN-13: 978-0970705815)
    The author was 26 years old, married, the father of two young children, and going to college when he was told his kidneys were failing. He was given the three choices all people with kidney failure must face: dialysis, transplant, or death. Axtmann shares those days of doubt and fear. He explains how he coped with low blood pressure, sleep problems, lack of energy, and even changes in his sexual needs and desires. He explains his reason for choosing dialysis over a transplant.
  4. Chronically Happy—Joyful Living in Spite of Chronic Illness, by Lori Hartwell
    (Poetic Media Press, October 2002, ISBN-13: 978-0972278300)
    This motivational book helps people living with chronic illness create joyful, fulfilling lives. The author, who developed kidney disease at age two, fills the book with stories about her own experiences, as well as those of others coping with chronic diseases.


  1. A Meditation To Help With Dialysis, by Belleruth Naparstek
    (Health Journeys, UNABRIDGED edition, May 2001, ISBN-13: 978-1881405382)
    Guided imagery designed to be listened to before, during, and after treatment to promote relaxation, ease pain, reduce fear of needles, reinforce optimism and motivation, help stabalize blood pressure, increase energy, counter depression, and support a positive outlook. Positive affirmations on side B. (Running time approx. 60 minutes.)


  1. – Life Options
    Developed by the Medical Education Institute, Inc. to help people live long and live well with kidney disease. Life Options provides free information and a toll-free help line for people with kidney disease/failure, their families, and health care professionals.
  2. – Home Dialysis Central
    Developed by the Medical Education Institute, Inc., this website provides up-to-date, unbiased information about home dialysis—in all its forms—for people with kidney disease, their families, and the health care professionals who provide kidney disease care. Features include information about the types of home dialysis, home dialysis products, finding a home dialysis clinic, and resources.
  3. – American Association of Kidney Patients
    Find a wealth of information about kidney disease, dialysis, and transplant in English and Spanish.
  4. – Kidney Trust
    The "About Kidney Disease" section has information about how to talk to your doctor, a CKD quiz, and the top 10 causes of CKD.
  5. – National Kidney Disease Education Program
    This site has a lot of easy-to-read kidney information.
  6. – National Kidney Foundation
    Calculate your glomerular filtration rate (GFR), find kidney-related news, and check out patient resources in English and Spanish.
  7. – National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse
    U.S. government source of accurate kidney disease information.
  8. – Renal Support Network
    Visit this site to find out about a Patient HopeLine, kidney advocacy, and more.

Please note: Life Options does not endorse these materials. Rather, we believe you are the best person to choose what will meet your needs from these or other resources you find. Please check with your local library, bookstore, or the internet to find these items.

Module 1—Kidneys: How They Work, How They Fail, What You Can Do :: More Reading