An elderly mother embraces her adult son as she hands him an envelope.

Emotional Wellness With Chronic Kidney Disease

Last updated: April 2023

If you are a mom of a child living with CKD, the emotional weight feels like we have it too. Oh, by the way, he is 44, but still my baby. I talk to him every day and want to know where his mindset is.

He shared that getting a diagnosis for a chronic disease is a lot to take in. It’s just not about the loss of physical health, but it also brings a toll on our mental health and well-being. As caregivers, we ignore this in most cases. We take physical existence and mental existence as separate entities, but it’s not.

The fear of the unknown

Thinking that only medicines will be able to heal your body is not okay. Medicines alone are not enough to take the whole burden when the way you think about yourself, your condition, and your way of dealing with it is not compatible with medical treatment.

My son was unable to sleep with fear of the unknown and the fear of his future. He would wake up in the morning and have zero energy or any intention of leaving his bed. He had almost given up. It was like dying before his time, without any will to live. Everything seemed meaningless and without a purpose.

Don't cry alone

One day, I sent a letter to my son telling him I know how difficult this must be for him, all the pain and I know he feels overwhelmed. I let him know that he didn’t have to carry all his emotions all by himself. I told him that he was trying to shield me, but I knew that he was in more pain than he shared with me. I wanted him to know that we laugh together every day, but we can also cry together. Please don’t cry alone.

When he received the letter, he said it shattered something inside his heart. He drove to my home and gave me the biggest hug I had from him in 20 years. He was able to cry enough to let go of all the pain and misery his brain and body were experiencing.

Healing his mental health

That day he no longer felt broken. More than that, he stepped outside to live for himself and more importantly his family. Life is a blessing that cannot be ignored, so he knows he has to make the best of it.

I talked him into going to counseling to untangle and talked about any fears he was having. His body was not taking it well and it was making him feel more tired. His emotional health needed healing for his family and friends. We need a counselor to put all of this together.

Emotional well-being is important

Emotional well-being is as important as physical health in any chronic condition that you have. That is the time when your support system must be strong and help you get through any kind of adversity. We all are going to have bad days at these times, but we also need that boost to our self-confidence at times.

This disease has made us stronger and wiser as mothers and sons. There have been time times when dialysis has been so painful for him, but he said to me that he knows that he was better off for having lived through this experience. And living is what he is doing.

Stay healthy and fight!

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