Patient Stories

Sandra’s Story: Taking Control of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

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Even with 40 years of experience as a registered nurse, Sandra was not prepared for her own diagnosis with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Her experience is not uncommon —  about 90 percent of people with kidney disease do not know they are living with the condition. Since her diagnosis was a shock, she felt overwhelmed and not quite certain where to start managing CKD, and, ultimately, she delayed addressing the disease. 

Fifteen years later, with her CKD diagnosis always in the back of her mind, Sandra received information from her insurance provider about Cricket Health. It made managing kidney disease seem easy and even routine. She decided to enroll with the goal of being more proactive about CKD.  

Right away, Sandra was assigned a Cricket care team, including a nurse, dietitian, pharmacist, and social worker who worked in tandem with her nephrologist. Before joining Cricket Health, Sandra was responsible for managing care among her many providers, having to pass along information between her various providers to keep everyone informed. This was a frustrating role that often fell to the backburner for her. 

With Cricket Health, Sandra’s team is cohesive and works directly with her providers, allowing Sandra to focus on what matters most. They make sure that Sandra is focused on improving her diet and lifestyle, not on passing lab results down the medical grapevine. She loves the on-demand care team features of Cricket, which allow her to reach her care team and receive support at any time, virtually, by phone, or in-person.

With her care team communication running smoothly, Sandra has had more time to take real ownership of her health, improving her daily life and prolonging dialysis. Sandra especially loves working with her dietician, Mayra, who has helped her transition to a Mediterranean-based diet and learn new ways to season her food. She has replaced salt and pepper with fresh herbs like parsley and basil and loves the way her food is tasting and her body feels. 

“Since I’ve started the Cricket program, I haven’t had a single potato chip and haven’t missed it one bit,” Sandra said. 

Sandra and her team have also worked to integrate daily exercise and movement into her routine. Sandra wanted to find exercise that she would enjoy and stick with — she settled on biking. Despite the familiar adage, Sandra had forgotten how to ride a bike. But that didn’t stop her. Armed with support from her integrated care team, she and her sister took a lesson. They loved it! Now they bike daily together. 

“Now that I have the Cricket team, they are telling me all the things that I can do to make my life better and probably prolong going on dialysis,” Sandra said.

Along with their care team, Sandra was assigned a peer mentor through Cricket to help her navigate some of the emotions she experienced during dialysis and care. Already on dialysis, her peer mentor understands what Sandra is going through and what is ahead. He had shared his own journey and lessons, and helped Sandra mentally and emotionally prepare for dialysis on her own terms. Though Sandra hopes to prolong dialysis through adjustments to her lifestyle and diet, when dialysis is ultimately needed, she knows that she will be educated about her options, thanks to Cricket. 

“I am prepared,” Sandra said. “I don’t have to wait until I’m in an emergency room with someone else making decisions for me.”

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