Why are we battling so ferociously to live? Chronic Kidney Disease/End Stage Renal Failure (ESRD) is a game changer of monumental proportion. So disruptive to our lives is this insidious disease that some people upon hearing their diagnosis become depressed and begin withdrawing from life. The fight's not in them! While others hear their diagnosis and begin strategizing of ways in which they can live longer. We choose to fight!
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Illness such as this tends to focus the mind and crystallize the battle. While not all fighters are fully equipped to prevail immediately, over time we begin researching data for best practices for success; building a team of competent professionals including a general practitioner, nephrologist, dietitian, social worker and nurse; all of whom understand that they are part of our TEAM of which we are the coach. And while their recommendations are highly valued and favorably received, we will ultimately make the final decisions about which treatment plan makes most sense because it is our life in the end. At some point before "the end," but after the diagnosis, inevitably we'll draw upon timeless lessons to fuel our unbridled boldness to fight and win.
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Just when we thought we had life figured out chronic kidney disease came along and knocked us off your feet, forcing us to come to terms with the fragility of our humanity. When asked, many CKD sufferers say that their condition has caused them to slow down and take stock of the lessons they've learned through the experience. Some lessons previously forgotten in the day-to-day living, include:
LOVE IN ALL FORMS- Love of self, love for the living, love of life.
COURAGE- Our courage is strengthened by having an internal conversation to remind ourselves of how small we are in the great scheme of things, and yet how powerful we can be in spite of this fact.
KNOWLEDGE-It's liberating!! Find out all you can about your illness(es) to benefit yourself and remain healthy.
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Life is meant for living! Go out and experience every day. There is nothing worse than reaching the end of ones life and experiencing a deep feeling of regret due to a life of missed opportunities. Find an outlet that will give you a degree of joy even when you are feeling depressed or tired or unwell. After all, JOY OF LIFE is why we are battling so ferociously to live.
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By: Alicia Jarvis, "Things You Should Hope to Learn" - The Advocate