Whatever Happened To Integrity?

I have been thinking a lot about integrity – or the lack thereof – in today’s society.  I run into it constantly.

Bear spent part of his morning grumbling about it in his shop.  His machinery is well kept and maintained.  However, one of the machines is out of calibration for no apparent reason.  I didn’t understand it all, but it seems to be related to the shoddy way it was made.

I ran into a professional situation that reeks of lack of integrity.  We all know there are procedures to be followed in any job. In this situation, the people involved not only acted as if those procedures didn’t exist, they also caused great discomfort to others who were not part of the situation.

Then there are the people who are always telling you what they are going to do for you… and don’t.  Why bother?  If you’re not going to do it, why say you are?

Since this is a blog about chronic kidney disease, you’re probably asking yourself, “Okay, so what does this have to do with me?” You, or someone you know and love, just might be out of integrity with themselves about taking care of their ckd and keeping that GFR on the rise.    Book Cover

For example, both my nephrologist and my primary care doctor have been telling me for months that my A1c is too high. That’s the blood test that lets you know how your body is handling glucose over a three month period.  I politely nodded and said I’d work on it.

But I didn’t.  I was out of integrity with myself and, if I didn’t get right with myself, I was in for trouble in the form of diabetes. We all know how the combination of ckd and diabetes heightens your chances for some kind of cardiovascular event.

This time, I immediately transformed by ceasing to eat any sweets and cutting down my daily carbohydrate intake to between four and six units a day.  Think of a unit as a slice of bread or 1/3 cup of spaghetti.

Easy enough for her, you say?  Not so!  What I haven’t told you yet is that Bear has an incredible sweet tooth.  While he offered not to bring sweets into the house, I didn’t think that was fair.  He lives here too, and he doesn’t have chronic kidney disease.

The transforming part is that I don’t crave his sweets, even if he’s eating them right in front of me. I don’t think I’ve ever been like this before.

My downfall is usually the carbohydrates (I am the grand-daughter of a miller, you know!).  I have not gone over my limit once since I decided to become in integrity with myself. I’ve thought about it and decided it’s just not worth it. By the way, I got a little reward for this transformation: my weight dropped immediately and continues to drop.

exercisingMaybe it’s exercise for you.  Are you telling yourself that you’ll exercise tomorrow?  To borrow a line from Arthur Miller’s Waiting for Lefty  (which I was in a long, long time ago), “Tomorrow never comes for you.”  Is there some guilt in not doing what you need to for your health?  We don’t just need exercise because we’re human, we especially need exercise because we have chronic kidney disease.

Ah, maybe you’re one of those people who tell yourself you’ll get a good night’s sleep tomorrow night, or after you finish that good book, or another project.  Doesn’t work that way, folks.  You can’t make up for sleep you missed and we, as those who have ckd, need that sleep.

Or stress?  How about stress? I just gave my notice at a job I took because I loved it.  Thank goodness, I didn’t need the money, but I wasn’t ready to retire from this field yet.  The last month or so has been so stressful that even I noticed the black rings under my eyes and my inability to remember things clearly enough.

I had to make this right with myself.  Once I ascertained that another person could slip right into my place and made arrangements to give her the material she needed, I resigned.  Yes, I loved that job but my health is more important.  My supervisor is a person of integrity and completely understood the reasons for my resignation.

It may seem that I am making myself out to be a paragon of integrity, but all I’m really doing is providing you with examples from my life of how you can be in integrity with yourself in dealing with your chronic kidney disease.

On the book front, I remember writing that I had almost recouped the initial outlay to print the book but I forgot something.  This something came to my attention as I prepared my taxes.  I have donated over $1000 worth of books last year alone to doctors’ offices, clinics, nephrology associations, and kidney organizations.

Bear and I are marrying on April 6th of this year. Yay us! I’m going to ask each of you for a wedding present.  2012-12-12 19.41.37-1Buy a book and give it to someone you know can use the information in it or donate it to an organization that needs it. Digital copies are available on both Amazon.com and B&N.com.  Print copies are available on Amazon.com or via an email to me at myckdexperience.com.

What a day!  It’s almost 11 p.m. and the blog is still not finished.

Until next week,

Keep living your life!