Nima’s Side of The Equation

You’ve probably read my mentioning that my older daughter is also a writer. Nima had an intriguing  idea: in honor of National Kidney Month, she wanted to write a guest blog about being someone who loves someone else (lucky me!) with Chronic Kidney Disease. I was touched by the thought.

The Other Side of the CKD Equation

                                         By Nima Beckie

                      (also known as the daughter of Gail Rae)

In honor of National Kidney Month (for more info on that: http://www.nkdep.nih.gov/kidneymonth/), I asked my mother if she would let me write a guest blog on what it’s like to be on the other side of The CKD Equation, and where family members and loved ones of people living with CKD could find resources aimed for them. And now, without further ado, I bring you my side of the equation.

I have to admit when my mother first told me she had CKD I freaked out ever so slightly. My knowledge of CKD was minimal, if that, and it took more than a few times of Ma telling me that CKD was in fact manageable and not a death sentence to calm down.

After I’d wrapped my brain around that, I started doing my own research about what exactly CKD was, and how I could be supportive as a family member.

I knew of the walks that took place nationally to raise money for Kidney Awareness since a friend had started organizing a team locally for an annual New York walk. (For more information about how to get involved with a walk in your neck of the woods, you can head here: http://donate.kidney.org/site/PageServer?pagename=WALK_homepage)

That started to spark my interest in regard to other ways I could be supportive of CKD awareness. I soon learned that green was the color of the Kidney Awareness ribbon. While I’ve seen many various Kidney Ribbon items sold (i.e. jewelry, magnets, mugs, pencils, etc.), I’ve yet to find a real ribbon that wasn’t sold in bulk.

One thing I had to get used to was reminding myself to mention at doctor visits that a parent has CKD, and to please take blood work to keep an eye on my own GFR levels. Every now and then I’d also get a helpful reminder from Ma right before a doctor visit.

I then started to look for resources for families of CKD patients. I found quite a few groups for those living with CKD and their family members, but, only a few just for family members. I still would encourage you to take a look at both Yahoo Groups and Google Groups for support forums.

Quite a lot of the information that I did find came from a bunch of the websites that are listed on this blog.

I also have another resource that not everyone else has: I have a mother who is also writing a very detailed book about her experiences with discovering she had CKD. Getting a chance to read the manuscript of her upcoming book was probably where I got the meat and potatoes of my CKD education.

So, in the end, my education of CKD went from minimal to far beyond what you’d learn in a high school, or even in some cases, college biology class.

For those out there that have a loved one that was recently diagnosed with CKD, I’m not going to tell you not to freak out, but I am going to tell you to educate yourself about CKD. Believe me, you’ll freak out far less.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions about what you can do to help and what you should know about how CKD affects your family member or loved one. I was always worried about tiring my mother out until she finally explained to me that as long as she gets a chance to lay down/nap before we go out, she’s usually fine.

I’m blessed I have a great mother who’s been there for me through thick and thin, now I have a chance to be there for her.

Now you know one of the reasons I’m so proud of my daughter.

Until Tuesday,

Keep living your life!

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Published in: on March 11, 2011 at 10:20 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thank you..really informative!!

    • I never know whether to be pleased that people are reading my blog while they’re at work or guilty that they’re reading it on company time. I think I’ll go with the former, in which case, I’m glad you enjoyed reading my daughter’s take on having a mom (or Ma, as she calls me) with CKD.


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