A Fulfilling Life is Still Achievable with Chronic Kidney Disease

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It may surprise you that how happy or miserable people with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)  are does not depend on how painful or debilitating their symptoms are. This is not to suggest that there is no correlation between your illness and your happiness. Most people who have CKD have good days and bad days, and they usually feel better on their good days than the bad ones. But there are people with relatively minor symptoms who are constantly miserable, and many others with very serious symptoms who are seldom miserable, and are actually happy.

If whether a person is happy or miserable does not depend on how bad their illness is, then what does it depend on? Enjoying life starts with acceptance of your illness. You say to yourself that "I am sick and unsure about the future, but I will make the best out of every single day that is given to me. I will strive to be happy!"

There must have been numerous times that you have thought to yourself, "Why me? Why am I the one who has to have my dreams and goals crushed because of a stupid illness?"  Despite these struggles, you can still enjoy life. Just because you have CKD does not mean that you have to live under a rock.  Go out and enjoy the things you love and do not constantly focus on the past because thinking about all the great things you used to do will only make you depressed.  Focus on the now and on enjoying your life at this exact moment. Instead say to yourself, "What things CAN I do?" 

You have to focus on the little things in life. While other people are rushing through their lives without stopping to notice the little things, you have an amazing opportunity to enjoy life from a different perspective.  You can offer compassion and a helping hand to those in need, even if it is in the simple form of a smile.  You can watch the sunset and admire the true beauty of nature.  You can listen to the rain patter on your roof in a rhythmic pattern.  You can enjoy a friend’s face light up as they laugh at a joke.  You can take the time to listen to music and become one with the notes.  There are so many beautiful things in the world and the fact that you are taking time to notice them makes you a remarkable and wise person.  You can truly realize how precious your life is after all, which is something that many people never discover.

Remember to love the people in your life.  Love every second and every moment you have with them. You still have amazing gifts and talents to share with the world and people are just waiting for you to open up. When you open up and love the world, the world will love you back!

While it is incredibly difficult to cope with this illness, in the end everything will be okay if you love, cherish, and live your life to the fullest. You have to believe and hope that things will get better in order for there to be light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t lose sight of who you are because you must not let CKD define you.

"Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."  - Poem: Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

Reference: "With a Side of Salt: POTS Support: How Do I Enjoy Life with a Chronic Illness?" - by Crista Procopio

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