Mental Health During Stage 5 CKD
Last updated: October 2023
For those that have read previous articles of mine or follow my Instagram account miss__ckd, you know that I am currently sitting at stage 5 CKD with a GFR of 9.
My function isn't low enough for dialysis, so I am in the awkward stage of being semi-symptomatic which includes being fatigued, having a lowered appetite, itchy skin, and not thinking very clearly. The instructions from my doctors were, if anything gets worse to go to the hospital and start dialysis straight away.
I'm also experiencing normal symptoms of other issues which has been hard to convince myself that it's not my kidneys getting worse. For example, I ate something bad the other day and I woke up in the night feeling violently ill and I thought that the time had come and it was time to start dialysis. Little did I know, the next morning I found out my dad was also feeling ill as we had both eaten the same thing. I spent that whole night in paranoia that it was my last night without dialysis when in fact it had nothing to do with my kidneys.
The unknown is the scariest part
Being on the cusp of stage 5 is an interesting and draining place to be. There are a lot of emotions and symptoms to deal with and I think the unknown is what is that scariest part about it.
I've heard from many people that dialysis isn't as bad as you think it is going to be, but I also think that for anyone who hasn't been through it, it is going to be scary as it is something you need to go through to be able to understand completely.
It is so important to have a support system around you who are willing to hear you out and support you during this time. I've been super thankful to have my mum who will listen to me cry and talk about my thoughts day in and day out in regards to living with chronic kidney disease.
Seeing a little bit of light
I've also had to go down to part time work instead of a full time role as by body was extremely tired and it was interfering with how I was thinking in regards to my health and I just didn't feel mentally strong. The thought of how tired I was, was more present and it was making it hard for me to focus on anything other than that.
Recently, I have been able to rest as much as I can on my days off, which has also helped me to have more energy and more of my positive and motivating thoughts back in my head.
This has helped for me not the feel that it is such a weight having chronic kidney disease and allowed some space my head to see a bit of light. It is a work in progress and isn't something that stays consistent, but it is so important to keep your mental health in check while going through the tough times.
This or That
In addition to chronic kidney disease, do you also live with diabetes?
Do you have chronic kidney disease without any symptoms?