Juggling My Education With CKD and The Barriers I’ve Faced Along The Way

I received the call for my first kidney transplant in May of 2012. I was in class getting all of my coursework in for my university application. I didn't expect a call as I wasn't on dialysis that long and was told the wait for my blood type could be five to ten years. I felt blessed, grateful, and happy, but scared of all these emotions.

Taking control of what I can

My teacher told me good luck, but not to be disappointed if it doesn't work out. I went through all the procedures and was successful with a new transplant, but I didn't know much about hospitals and I found it very difficult to be there for a month. This meant missing classes and different group projects I started before I left.

I had to take action with what I could control. I got my sister to get my laptop from home and I sat outside the ward on an empty reception desk and finished my class work from there. Group projects were challenging but I was determined not to let my health affect my dreams or anything I was trying to achieve. I was young and resilient, I didn't know my breaking point at the time. I passed my classes and was accepted into university. I gave myself a timeline in the summer to speak to my doctors about my higher education plans for the next three years and my health.

My treatment was interfering with university

I was getting treatment for having too many infections while I was in university. I was in and out of the hospital for sometimes up to three weeks.

I had to request for extensions for my essays, time off, and have lecture materials sent to me while I was out. Even with these arrangements, I was still behind on class assignments. The hospital stays were often unexpected, which meant I couldn't get a higher grade than a C, no matter how hard I tried.

I was determined to graduate

I found myself going through that for my entire time in university. I experienced so many ups and down. I learned that I couldn't plan much for the future, with my health always having to take a turn for the worst with kidney infections. However, I was still very determined to graduate. I was told my kidney function was decreasing and I returned to dialysis after four years.

I told myself after this was over, I needed a good vacation so I took a week off and booked a girls trip to New York City in May of 2016 and then graduated from university in July 2016. I was rushed to have a emergency removal of my kidney transplant due to becoming septic in August of 2016, spending the following summer recovering and being back on dialysis and having to rethink my plans for my career and future. I knew it was time to focus on recovery and my dialysis treatment but I also knew that this was just another step in my journey of CKD.

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