Balancing Work, Family, and Other Responsibilities With Chronic Kidney Disease
Last updated: July 2023
As someone living with chronic kidney disease (CKD), I know firsthand how challenging it can be to balance work, family, and other responsibilities while managing my health. When I was first diagnosed, it felt like my whole world was turned upside down. I had to make some lifestyle changes, go to more doctor appointments, and deal with the physical and emotional toll of my illness.
But over time, I've learned some strategies for juggling my responsibilities and keeping my CKD in check. Here are a few tips that have worked for me.
Prioritize your health
This may seem obvious, but it's important to remember that your health comes first. You can't be a good employee, parent, or partner if you're not taking care of yourself. Also, aiming for perfection in every role is practically not possible. Try to keep your human nature in consideration.
This means making time for doctor appointments, taking your medication as prescribed, following a healthy diet and exercise plan, and taking rest as well.
Communicate with your boss and co-workers
If you're working while managing CKD, it's important to communicate with your boss and coworkers about your situation. Let them know if you need to take time off for medical appointments or if you need accommodations.
You will sometimes need this time to help you manage your symptoms at work. You can also tell them if you are having a bad day due to your condition. There will be times you will take a break or possibly an off day.
If you're feeling overwhelmed with work, family, and other obligations, consider delegating some responsibilities to others. This could mean asking your partner to take on more household chores or delegating tasks at work to a coworker.
Take breaks when you need them
It's okay to take breaks when you need them, whether that's a short nap, a walk outside, or just some time to relax and recharge. Don't feel guilty for taking care of yourself.
Having a strong support system is crucial when managing CKD. Lean on your family, friends, and healthcare team for emotional support. Think about and consider joining a support group for people with CKD. Having a chronic disease does not mean you have to always practice hyper-independence. Seeking support or asking for help does not make you any weaker human being.
Try not to become a superhuman who can manage all life aspects perfectly. Tell your doctor if you are feeling pain, fatigue, or just off that day. I know most of us don’t feel comfortable talking to our doctors about our mental health, but this is important.
Balancing everything is hard
A little imperfection, an odd day where you are not that productive or joyful does not take away the right to live from you. So just relax and sit back on such days.
Balancing work, family, and other responsibilities with CKD can be a challenge, but it's not impossible. With the right strategies in place and a supportive network around you, you can continue to live a full and meaningful life despite your diagnosis.
Is exercise an important part of your CKD management?