Explaining Kidney Disease

Explaining kidney failure to people can become very overwhelming, especially if they haven’t experienced it themselves. Sometimes you can be criticized, judged, or not supported. Sometimes people will never understand or care what you have been through.

I have experienced all different reactions when it comes to explaining my kidney failure to others. When I first started educating people about my condition, I had a difficult time understanding other's reactions. Some people are just not considerate when it comes to other's health conditions.

Explaining to my family was easy

When explaining kidney failure to my family, it was as easy as ever. How? Because my mother has an autoimmune disease as well. Actually, the same one as me, but her condition impacts different organs than mine does. She was adamant every time I went to the hospital to understand why I was going through what I was going through and what was the course of treatment was going to be.

My sisters and my husband were my biggest supporters. They made it to most of my hospital visits and my husband never left my side. It took my husband's family some time to understand. They didn’t think my condition was all that serious until they experienced my first kidney failure. They didn’t understand that an autoimmune disease can affect not just one area of my body, but my entire body. Through chemo sessions, my family were my biggest supporters and I appreciate them never leaving my side.

Some friends couldn't understand

When explaining my kidney failures to my friends, I lost some friends who couldn't understand, but I also gained many. There were many friends that never came to the hospital to see me or checked in to see if I was alright. I met so many beautiful people through this journey that losing those friends didn’t impact me as much.

However, since then, I do find it hard to let others get close to me. I use to hope some of my friends would walk through my door when I was admitted into the hospital, and some never did. When I went through chemotherapy and my lifestyle had to change, friends did not understand that I could not go outside because my skin would be affected. I could not do certain things because of the chemo.

It became hard to be consistent at work

When explaining kidney failure to my job, it became worse. My job would always place the company ahead of their workers. I tell every job when I get hired that I have lupus.

With my first kidney failure, it was hard to be consistent at work because during that time, the manager that I had was very judgmental towards my condition. I realized that I could have reported her because of the way I was treated. Some jobs hired me back once I came back with the paperwork showing that I was not lying about the severity of my condition and was telling the truth. Its all paperwork and approval with your job, but when you get denied, where does that leave you? Most times laid off.

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