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What Do You Do When People Ask You Too Many Personal Questions About Your Health?

I have been invited to many events over the years. Many remember years ago, there was one lady whom I had known for a while. For some reason, she always wanted to degrade me around people. We were invited to the same event a few months ago. The first words out of her mouth were, I follow you on social media, I see now you have kidney disease. I'm so surprised to see you out and around people, you looked okay to me.

Educating people about CKD

In my head I’m screaming – please go away. Just to let you know, I didn’t want this to go on every time I encountered someone like her. I knew I had to take matters into my own hands. This person was making me very uncomfortable.

My anxiety level was out of control. But instead, I took the time to educate her on my condition and some of the things I have been through over the years. I did let her know that CKD is a long-term illness, and it could take years for my kidneys to stop working properly. And that having high blood pressure and diabetes probably caused my CKD. The explanation I gave was short and to the point.  Because I had early detection and a treatment plan, kidney failure could be slowed down.

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You don't have to answer any questions you don't want to

If people are just asking you too much about your health, you really don’t have to answer. You can always laugh it off and say, I’m doing just as good as you are. Sometimes you can just talk about something else or just excuse yourself from the conversation. People can ask way too many questions. But do they know that sometimes these things can be very personal?

Let’s make this very clear, you don’t have to talk to anyone about your health, but your doctor. It’s nobody’s business, but yours. There was a time when I felt I had to be accommodating to everyone. I don’t have to stand still and have anyone look down or belittle me and neither do you. We as patients have the right to our personal life and share what we feel comfortable sharing.

Wondering why people ask invasive questions

Sometimes I wonder why people are like this. I have encountered a few in my walks of life. It could be a cultural thing; we are all different. Or maybe you have people who really don’t know any better. It’s like someone asking me as a person of color, 'is that your real hair?' That is none of your business. And the other thing is that a person might not realize that they are being invasive, maybe they grew up in a different generation.

I do want to say, I don’t mind answering questions from anyone. I want my voice to be heard. This is how I communicate and advocate for myself and others. Sometimes you just don’t want to feel degraded by anyone. Yes, I do have several chronic illnesses, and I share my experiences with the community. I’m only saying that questions shouldn’t be intrusive or embarrassing. Just show a little respect for a person’s privacy.

We are all in this together.

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

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