Dealing With Chronic Kidney Disease and Relationships
Last updated: July 2023
How ya’ll doing? Recently, I was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD). I really didn’t know I would have to handle many important problems and changes in my life that I didn’t see coming. I had to do all of this while potentially managing my own condition. I have had to analyze my support system which includes my social, romantic, yes, I said romantic – there’s still fire in the furnace, and professional networks, are developing gradually.
Although this is part of my life now, CKD does not define who I am. I feel that I’m not required to tell people about my diagnosis immediately. I don’t think that anyone can force us to open up about the intimate details of my life unless I am willing and ready to do so.
Dealing with CKD
Here are some ways that I wisely deal with my CKD so that it doesn't hamper my friendships and relationships after I received my diagnosis. I emphasize my strongest traits and contemplate how I see myself. I consider myself a man’s man and always take the initiative by showcasing my greatest qualities. Do you consider yourself to be independent? Resilient? Sick? Although it's acceptable to have multiple perspectives on who you are, start by emphasizing your strongest traits, just as you would in a job interview.
It was a little hard at first, but be open with your partner. Discuss the sexual implications of CKD with your spouse. With or without CKD, anyone can experience sexual issues. It's true that these topics are never simple to talk about with your partner, but it's crucial that you do so. You can also discuss issues you are having with your medical team, there might be a solution.
Your energy levels will change, so be sure to watch out for changes. Remember your treatment regimen when you usually feel the most energetic. Plan your dates for when you're at your most energetic and avoid overdoing it with activities that will take a lot out of you. My wife and I loved doing things together but if we are feeling sleepy rather than taking a walk, we just looked at a movie.
Remember to be patient
Be patient with your loved ones. They are not going to understand at first. They must absorb what this diagnosis means for them, particularly their partner, as change can be unsettling. Be open and sincere with your feelings and motivate your partner to do the same. I find myself wanting to shield the people I love and care about from painful emotions. I found that this made me feel alone.
Dialysis and CKD are terms that many people are unfamiliar with. They might hold some false beliefs that could arouse uneasiness. Have an open-door policy that people can ask you whatever they want, especially your partner. Help your partner understand what living with CKD is like and what it implies for them and then let them express their thoughts and feelings around it. Don’t brush things under the carpet.
Diet is very important in this stage of our life now. You will discover foods that are compatible with your CKD diet in this way. Start making meal modifications for each meal. It will be hard at first, but it can be done.
We are all in this together
Like your friends and family, most romantic partners will want to help you, but they may not always understand how. We have all experienced difficulties in life. I have found that my wife and I after 26 years can get closer and experience more intimacy by talking about difficult times or experiences. My wife has a saying that she has used for years – we are all in this together.
A kind word goes a long way!
Is exercise an important part of your CKD management?