Coming To Terms With CKD
Last updated: July 2023
Accepting chronic kidney disease can be hard to do. Especially if you think it is going to be a one time thing. I used to think that kidney failure would come from drinking too much or it was cancer related. But then I realized it can be autoimmune related as well. Having lupus at such a young age and not being educated on the topic brought me a lot of pain and suffering in the long run.
In the mist of eight years, I suffered two kidney failures. Each time, I had to be placed on chemotherapy and high dosage of steroids, but never dialysis. Going through chemo was really hard on my body. My entire lifestyle changed: low sodium diets, more resting, more exercising, less friends, less work (but I was able to go to school online), and also added spousal support plays a big part if you have a significant other, which I do.
I didn't educate myself on CKD
I was really stupid at a young age and it showed. I did not take my time to educate myself on all things CKD, like, if I didn’t have health insurance, how could I get the resources to afford my medications and continue going to the doctor until I received proper care? I would always use the excuse of, "well, I can’t go to the doctor because I don't have health insurance or I have nothing to cover my meds, so I am not going to get them."
I didn't know anything about prescription discounts, so I was hurting myself in the long run. When I decided to inform myself and get my medications, I still was not taking the medication either on time or sometimes even at all. I was still doing things that had put me into kidney failure and on the medication in the first place.
Starting to accept my reality
It took the kidney failure and drugs to impact my life before I started really taking care of myself. Why? Because the chemo affected my appearance in a way I didn’t expect and it humbled me very fast. I no longer looked at life like it could be taken for granted. I started to place more love into myself while trying to heal. Going through a kidney failure and having lupus will had me in and out of depression.
I never could understand why my doctors would say that it might get worse before it gets better, because I felt "worse" all of the time. It took almost half a year to get my body back to normal and to its normal levels. Being diagnosed with stage 4/5 kidney failure twice and then the scar tissue that is placed on your body after you heal can be overwhelming.
So now that it is almost eight or nine years since first kidney failure, is a blessing, and it has been six years since the last one. I have learned to better handle my condition by taking constructive criticism and to listen to my medical professionals, because the doctors are there to help.
Is exercise an important part of your CKD management?