Learning From Someone With Chronic Kidney Disease

I am a mother to my youngest son who was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease at age forty. He is forty-five now with a wife and three beautiful kids. I was and still proud of him. Before his diagnosis, he had bought his family their dream home, had a great job (which he still does) - he was just on top of the world. He was taking his family on these lavish trips to other countries that I haven’t been to yet.

When I first heard the words incurable and progressive, it actually left me clueless and lost. My only thought was that his life would never be the same. What kind of quality of life could he have after this? How was he going to take care of himself? My mind had a thousand thoughts at once.

I started learning, too

Well, I started learning things too. My son would call me every day, always has. This was nothing new, but he started sharing so much of his with me. He knew I didn’t understand this illness and that I was thinking the worst.

Even after the diagnosis and doing dialysis at home, he was always so upbeat. He always seemed at peace, but I wasn’t. I felt he didn’t want me to worry. One day on his visits, he said mom, we should never give up and I’m going to get better. I will be okay.

My mindset has changed

His kidneys did fail, and I was heartbroken. He does dialysis every day, but he is so strong. He just got a big promotion at his job and he’s living life to the fullest. He taught me to pay close attention to ingredients in food. This was also good for me, since I had type 2 diabetes. Of course, I knew about salt, but didn’t know that foods with phosphorus were bad. To be honest, never even knew what that was.

The one thing that keeps me going every day is knowing he will get better. Do you know why? He tells me he is. He has never lied to me. In my little mind, I would have thought that getting better was keeping your kidneys. My mindset has changed, better means learning to accept things as they are. My son knows he can’t change anything, but he knows that he can live the best life he can, while he can.

We are never too old to learn

If we are honest with ourselves, we will all have to face some sort of adversity at some point in our lives. I don’t know who said this statement – the years in your life do not matter, it’s the life in your years. Do you know how much truth is in that statement?

When my baby calls me every day, he is always confident, upbeat with a positive attitude. Trust me, I know that he’s not having good days every day. He has shared with me the pain and cramps that he has had. I’m glad he can live with an illness each day with positivity, humor, and hopes that tomorrow will be a better day.

Right now, he is sharing this journey with family and friends. We will all be by his side each and every day. Remember, you are never too old to learn.

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