Tell Them!

Everywhere I look, I find more that other people want to know about my Chronic Kidney Disease.  It’s sort of like thinking of a new word and then noticing it being used several different times each day for the next several days.

A neighbor likes to bake and was, of course, bringing me samples every time she did.  She noticed I was uncomfortable when she did this once I was diagnosed and asked why.  When I told her, she got upset.  Not that I couldn’t eat her baking, but that I was sick and she was making life difficult for me (as she phrased it).  She didn’t know I couldn’t eat cookies, cakes or pastries.  Now she does and we can enjoy a visit without them, although I love the aromas that waft from her open windows to mine when she bakes.  She just doesn’t bring me samples.  She’s not uncomfortable and neither am I.  I’m only sorry I didn’t think to tell her of both my diagnosis and my food restrictions before she had the opportunity to become upset.

It probably seems that most of what our friends and family want to know deals with food.  I think that’s true since we can retard the deterioration of our kidneys by watching what we eat, how much we eat, and how it’s prepared.  Quite a few of their questions dealt with exercise and fatigue since it was made clear these are important issues for CKD patients, too.

Some of them want to know about all those medical tests we take, too.  One buddy who lives across the country from me was curious as to why I was doing a 24 Hour Urine Collection and, more importantly to her (and me), if she could call me that day anyway since it was our usual visit-across-the-miles-via-telephone day.  I explained that I stayed home because it was more convenient to have the refrigerator right there and my collection bottle in it.  I suggested that she could call whenever she wanted to, but she’d just have to understand if I couldn’t answer right then.

That’s when she told me she’d thought I was giving her the bum’s rush when I didn’t answer my phone or immediately call her back when I got her voice mail the last time I’d done the 24 Hour Urine Collection.  This is my good buddy from childhood, so I was especially sorry she’d felt that way.  That’s another reason friends and family need to know.

I genuinely didn’t know that my friends and family wanted to know this about my life as a CKD patient.  I didn’t think to tell them.  What do you need to tell your friends and family so they understand you better?  You can’t tell by looking at us that we have CKD, we just act in a peculiar fashion sometimes.  Maybe you need to explain why, so they’ll be a little more comfortable with this behavior. Patients with terminal issues and their caretakers are urged to ask people for what they need.  Maybe we need to learn to ask for what we need, too, not that we’re anywhere near terminal.

Don’t forget that Friday’s blog will be a review of Dr. Tracey Marks’s book Master Your Sleep: Proven Methods Simplified. I’ve e-mailed her a question about how this book specifically applies to Chronic Kidney Disease patients and hope to have her answer before then.  If you have any questions about your sleep, post them quickly (as a comment for the blog) so I can get them to her and – possibly – have an answer for you on Friday.

Until then,

Keep living your life!

Published in: on February 8, 2011 at 8:26 am  Leave a Comment  

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