I have been a Dialysis patient since August 2014 as a result of acquiring polymyositis an auto-immune disease in September 2012. Polymyositis affects the major muscle groups in the body and is treated with various steroids, primarily prednisone. This debilitating disease left me unable to talk, walk or swallow for 4 months. I literally had to relearn basic everyday body functions, standing, walking and talking all over again. After months of Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy I slowly begin to regain some since of normalcy in my life. Then in February 2013, I was informed that my kidneys were failing. In a matter of 6 months I had gone from regularly participating in athletic events and running 5 an 10K marathons to becoming completely sedentary.
Through it all I never lost my desire to be an active participant in life. I take my “new lifestyle” very seriously and am now on Peritoneal Dialysis. While as an in-center patient I read everything I could on managing my new lifestyle and attended many workshops and seminars on nutrition and managing lab results. I frequently shared this new information with other dialysis patients who were struggling with managing some aspect of their care. Eventually I was able returned to work as Senior Level Operations Manager in the Washington, DC area.
I am excited to be a member of Dialysis Patient Citizens Board because it allows me advocate for dialysis patients across the country and to speak for those who cannot. I intend to provide a physical presence among legislatures and others committed to assisting Dialysis patients everywhere.