An adult woman standing in front of giant research tools in order to educate herself about kidney disease

Why Educating Yourself About Chronic Kidney Disease Is Important

Last updated: January 2023

I am the caregiver for my father who has chronic kidney disease. He is now 88 years old. When I first heard those words, I automatically went into panic mode. My father had beat two cancers, had a stroke, COPD, and was still driving. He worked until he was eighty-two.

Of course, I went straight to the internet and started doing my research. I needed to learn more for myself. There was a whole lot out there. It was overwhelming. I knew that I had to do this for myself, how was I going to be a caregiver to an illness I knew little about.

Feeling overwhelmed

Did you know there are classes out there for us "beginners?" I didn’t and was very impressed by all the information and knowledge that is given to you for free. The one thing that kept popping up was that you had to take it one day at a time. That goes for the patient and the caregiver. I also know that at his age and health that we all had to enjoy what time we can with him.

I want to be honest here. There were times and still I have those days where I feel so overwhelmed. I scheduled all his doctor appointments and took him to all of them. Like I said, he is eighty-eight and recently just started losing momentum. I can see the slow transition happening in him.

We both had to learn together

When my father started getting more sick recently, I was lost. He couldn’t walk on his own or live alone any longer. I’m not a nurse or aide, didn’t have any experience or understanding what being a caregiver role involved. I’m just recently understanding that I have to talk to my father differently now. He is a very calm person, so when he yells or seems confused, I know that I must understand this.

I soon realized that we both had to lean together. I had no up-to-date caregiving techniques, guides, websites, products, courses, and workshops available. It was not an easy road to travel. Unfortunately, I’m getting older too. Now, I have to have a team to help that I put together. I can’t be there for my father 24/7, so I have had to educate the caregiver, his other family members, and his two close friends to step in when I can’t.

Educating myself, so I can educate others

When you finally do get your support, seek out organizations and nonprofits connected with a loved one’s specific diagnosis. These groups often offer a wealth of resources, with much information available online. Check out Chronic-Kidney-Disease.net.

I have been a caregiver for my mom who passed in August 22, a son who is now 45 (emotional support) and a father who is 88. This has been my life for a few years now. I don’t take caregiving lightly at all. I have realized that I need everyone around me for help. Believe me, this allows me more time to educate myself, so I can educate others.

I have come to realize we can’t do it all by ourselves and we do get burned out. Thumbs up to all caregivers, we are trustworthy, dependable, and we are all in this together.

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