My Cousin's Journey With Stage 5 Chronic Kidney Disease

There is so much that people don’t know about living with CKD.

My cousin started having issues with her kidneys when she was in her mid-forties. Of course, she was heartbroken and thought, what did I do to myself? She was hoping to get a kidney in the near future. But she wanted everyone to know that you can live a productive life with this illness.

This is her journey and knows that everyone is different. But in the meantime, the doctors worked with her to show her how to manage her kidney disease. She was diagnosed over 26 years ago and has been on dialysis for 24. I know this is unheard of, but she has beat the odds.

How could this have happened?

Of course, she didn’t understand how this could have happened to her. Her healthcare team explained that it was something in her body that caused this to happen. The culprit was likely being extremely overweight which caused her blood pressure to stay high. She was told to get this under control at once.

They put her on lots of medication, but she got worse, and so did her kidneys. At one point the doctor told her this was life-threatening for her. We know there are 5 stages of this illness. She got the diagnosis at stage 3 and was told that she probably won’t be able to stop her kidneys from getting worst. Today she is at stage 5 and on dialysis. She gave up on waiting on a donor a long time ago.

She is a praying woman and many times she has said to me, "when it’s my time, with a good kidney or a bad one, it's my time." Let's just say that she is going to live her life and believes that she has many more years to go. Today, she is 70 years old.

Life moving forward

Of course, her doctors told her they would do all they could to keep her comfortable. They told her she would have all kinds of symptoms, and many medications to take along with dialysis. Her thing is that she doesn't believe that her life was cut short by this illness, God is the decision-maker. But she would do all she could to live. She had to treat what had caused this in the first place, being overweight and having diabetes and high blood pressure.

Of course, she lost weight and changed her whole lifestyle. But she started having inflammation in her body, which made things even worse, along with her poor lifestyle. At this point in her life, she wasn’t able to exercise. She is in a wheelchair at this time in her life. She enjoyed life, but behind the scenes, things were steadily going wrong with her health. The good news is that she did lose a lot of weight, but other things went wrong with her body.

Her advice is to live your life. I know that sounds useless currently her advice is to do it anyway. Tomorrow is not promised to you. She still travels and visits family and friends. Of course, you have to do a lot of planning in advance, but it can be done. If she can live a happy life being in a wheelchair and on dialysis for 26 years. I’m sure we can too.

This or That

In addition to chronic kidney disease, do you also live with diabetes?

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Chronic-Kidney-Disease.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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