Swimming on Peritoneal Dialysis: Roger’s Story

From LifeLines at Home newsletter

Swimming while on peritoneal (PD)?

“Why not?” asks Roger Olivares, a 76-year-old novelist from Maryland. He swims every other day in a well-maintained indoor swimming pool or in the ocean.

“Swimming is great for people on PD because it is gentle exercise, and the coolness of the water keeps one refreshed the whole day,” he says. Roger is careful to avoid lakes or polluted areas of the ocean, as they increase the danger for infection. While swimming, he wears a rubber stomach protector to hold the catheter tube in place so it does not move or flap as he swims.

Roger is a former reporter for a Hong Kong travel newspaper and had his own column in a newspaper in the Philippines. He still loves to travel, something he says is easier with PD.

“Since I do three or four exchanges a day, it is a matter of incorporating them with my daily routine activity. It works pretty well,” he says. “I can be pretty independent.”

Roger was on the swim team in school, so his favorite exercise comes naturally.

“To be able to enjoy the outdoors, the sun and the beach is a big blessing,” he says. “It seems to me that I have more energy now than before I got sick.”

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