By Meshia A., Guest Blogger and Patient Ambassador
March 11, 2013
Hello DPC Family! I hope this message finds you all well. World Kidney Days is quickly approaching, how will you help spread the word about kidney disease and educate others? I plan to share my experiences and speak to others about the fear of organ rejection on a webinar and also create additional awareness within my church. In this month’s post I would like to share some of my experiences as a kidney patient speaking with others about the disease.
Over the past month, I had the pleasure in speaking with different people battling kidney disease who are pre-dialysis, dialysis, and transplant recipients. Each of these people have very powerful stories and are experiencing everyday challenges on different levels. When I spoke with them and listened to their story, I not only heard them, I was able to feel every word they said. I can relate to exactly what they have been through and have personally experienced similar situations. I realize that there are a lot of people who are hurting and suffering and need help.
Although one may suffer physically from living with CKD, I think the emotional aspect affects people more significantly. When you feel like you are not in control of your life and your health is deteriorating, it is a lot to deal with.
Moments such as these are when I am reminded that the work I am doing will truly make a difference. I know that this may seem cliché but if telling my story and sharing my experiences is able to help someone then I consider it a step in the right direction. I may be one individual, but with like-minded individuals, I am part of a very powerful movement.
I also volunteered in the beginning of February to help people get screened for kidney disease at a local church. It was a wonderful turn out, we saw over 70 people. There was a young lady who had several risk factors for kidney disease as she had high blood pressure and a family history of kidney disease. She was hesitant to go through the process because she was nervous in learning the results. I tried my best to encourage her and I understood her hesitation. I let her know that whatever choice she made, that it is OK, but it is important to know the status of your health. She opted not to go through the process and although I wanted to chase her down and bring her back, I respected her decision. As someone who has experienced the challenges that kidney disease brings, I cannot stress enough how important it is to be proactive about your health. I have been working hard to help people and give them emotional support. I realize that this is hard work and I cannot do it alone.
As a kidney patient, it is sometimes difficult to separate my personal feelings and look at things impartially. I have realized that sometimes you just can’t. If you feel the desire to be compassionate towards someone or a situation you can empathize with, you have to make the best decision to help that person in that moment.
Let me know what you think or please share your own experiences.