Confidence and CKD
Confidence can come in many forms when you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), like advocating for yourself, setting boundaries with others, talking about your disease and how it effects you, or accepting that you have to live with a disease. All of these I have not excelled in or mastered what-so-ever, but I have learned to build confidence in each aspect day by day.
Confidence isn't something I thought even slightly related to living with CKD, but when you look at how many aspects of your life can be impacted by kidney disease, it can make a massive difference on your perception of your disease.
Advocating for yourself and setting boundaries
Advocating for yourself is learning when you need to draw the line with other people. I was born with CKD and I have had a lot of time to learn this, but it is not something I have mastered what so ever. Occasionally with CKD there are going to be things others can do and you can't. I used to try and push my boundaries in the past when really it would make me feel worse about myself because I knew I'd done something I shouldn't have done.
When you start putting in boundaries and you have confidence in yourself, it can take away the guilt you might have felt setting them. Setting and sticking to my boundaries made me feel like I was putting myself first, which feels really good.
Talking about your disease
This was something tricky to overcome. A few years ago, I did not like talking about having CKD at all. I felt embarrassed, different, and I didn't want others to think I was trying to get attention or bother them with my issues. Years later, I worked on talking about this disease more openly. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that it was important to talk about this. It was tiring putting my feelings aside so that I felt I could fit in.
I decided to create an instagram page called Miss__ckd and share my story about living with chronic kidney disease. I went to support groups and told my story there and I actually inspired others to start sharing their story as well. Slowly, I was and still am turning my weakness into my strength.
Advocating for yourself with doctors
Not going to lie this is also a VERY tough element to living CKD. Yes, doctors know right from wrong most of the time, but kidney disease can be so intricate with many aspects to make it super confusing. I went into a deep dive learning about the disease, learning how to read my blood tests, and how to care for myself in the best way possible.
Sometimes, not always but sometimes if I knew I was better off with or without the advice the doctor was giving me, I would need to share that with my doctor and do what was best for me. I wouldn't do anything drastic without their input, but the bottom line was that I have lived with this disease and know my body I have occasionally had to express what I felt was right for me.
Overall, researching everything I could and learning to openly share my story is what helped me to build my confidence having CKD in many aspects of my life.
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