Why The Book?

Some of you are already aware of the severe, non-renal, medical emergencies which have occurred in my family during the last two weeks.  For those of you who aren’t, one of the emergencies deals with diabetes-hypertension-possible cancer-mental health.  The other is purely mental health. Before I got the chance to try to calm my loved ones a little by reminding each of them that everything happens for a reason, whether or not we know the reason, they reminded me. And, as usual, that got me to thinking….

I have been asked repeatedly why I wrote What Is It And How Did I Get It? Early Stage Chronic. Kidney Disease. You’d expect that question on the radio health shows I guested on and it was there.  You’d also expect that question at the renal symposium, book signings and book talks I was involved with and, yes, it was there too. But when I most often hear the question is when I’m just chatting with friends, theirs friends, someone’s family – you know, ordinary, everyday people like you or me.

I’ve carefully explained each time I’m asked. Then I happened upon an article at DaVita that said the same thing with more authority than I could ever muster. I know we usually think of DaVita in association with End Stage Renal Disease, but they have a wonderfully comforting educational unit to their website as well. It’s Your Kidneys.com. I kept running into this article whenever I was researching. Since I do believe everything happens for a reason, whether or not we know the reason, I figured that I was meant to share it with you via the blog.

These are the parts of the article that hit home for me as far as why I wrote the book.

“It can be overwhelming to discover you have chronic kidney disease. Sometimes the amount of new information seems mind-boggling, but it’s important for you to remain calm. You may feel like you’re losing control, but in fact, you are the key to maintaining your health. You, above any doctor, nurse or dietitian, are the head of your kidney disease health care team. {Me: The book was written from my feeling overwhelmed and not wanting any other CKD patient to feel that way.}

The one person who has been an intimate part of your health care since day one is you. You know how you feel when you get the flu, you know how your body responds to medicine, you know if you’re allergic to something, and you’ve known yourself your whole life. Now that you are dealing with kidney disease, your job has become even more important. {Me again: To abdicate that job because you are overwhelmed is to give up control over your own life as I see it. You are wise as the owl, you know, especially when it comes to your own body.}


If you feel confident being your own kidney disease health care advocate, be sure to cover all your questions and concerns by making a checklist. The best way to tackle issues is to keep a pad of paper handy and when you think of things you want to discuss with your doctor, jot them down. On your next doctor’s visit take out your pad and cross each item off after you address it. Your medical team will be impressed, and you will also get more out of your visit. {Me: Sorry for another interruption: I’m not at all sure it’s necessary to impress your medical team, but it is to get those answers. The book will help you formulate the questions.  That was my problem.  I wanted answers, but I didn’t know the questions to ask.}

If you have a pressing concern that won’t wait until your next doctor’s appointment, feel free to call your doctor, nurse practitioner or renal dietitian. You can also start researching your question on www.davita.com. DaVita offers a comprehensive and easy to use website that specializes in renal (kidney) education.


It’s always a good idea to follow your kidney doctor’s advice. {Me: Last interruption, I promise – But ask WHY they’ve given you this advice and make sure you understand it rather than blindly doing as you’re told.  It’s quite an unfair burden on your doctor, too, when you do as you’re told without taking any responsibility.} They have gone to medical school, seen many patients and chosen a career to help people with kidney disease. While doctors are loaded with medical information, they are people first. Doctors may assume you understand everything when you don’t, they may not be aware of personal situations, and sometimes they don’t have all the answers. {Me: Bingo! There’s my reason in a nutshell – even though I promised no more interruptions.}

That’s why you need to be the head of your kidney disease health care team. The kidney doctors, nurses and renal dietitians are on your health care team, and you are a key player in that team. If something’s not right, you must consult your health care team to find a solution. If you’re unclear on anything regarding your treatment or kidney disease care, ask again. Your health is the priority of your team and when you succeed, so do they.”

It’s worth reading the entire article at: http://www.yourkidneys.com/kidney-education/Treatments/Heading-your-kidney-disease-health-care-team/2944. Take a look at the others they have to offer, too. Sure it’s scary to take responsibility for something you don’t understand, but you can do it and look at all the help you have.  Now that’s why I wrote the book.

I don’t exactly know why (Could it be the flier campaign headed by AKDHC’s Tamara Jansen? But how could that explain the England sales?), but sales are spiking as are the likes and comments on the Facebook page. Thank you all. If you want to order the book, but haven’t yet, here are the direct links to Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/What-How-Did-Get-Chronic/dp/1457502143/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1321474094&sr=8-1  and     

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-is-it-and-how-did-i-get-it-gail-rae/1103363592?ean=9781457502149&itm=1&usri=what2bis2bit2band2bhow2bdid2bi2bget2bit253f#CustomerReviews   where the book is available in both print and digital.  By the way, thank you for all the reviews I’ve discovered on both sites.

If you’d rather have a personalized, discounted (love that word) copy of the book, email me at: myckdexperience@gmail.com and that can be arranged.

Until next week,

Keep living your life!


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