Over the last several weeks, I’ve been asked certain questions about my upcoming kidney transplant. I thought I’d answer some of the more frequently asked ones here. As a person with kidney failure, I see it as my responsibility to share the knowledge I’ve acquired.
Q: What caused your kidney failure?
A: According to the kidney biopsy I had in 2012, I have Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis, or FSGS. Due to the widespread damage the doctors saw (14 of the 16 glomeruli taken were completely scarred as to be rendered useless) they’re unsure if it’s primary or secondary FSGS. A year later I was diagnosed with lupus. My rheumatologist wondered if I have lupus nephritis, but my regular nephrologist doesn’t think I do. I do know that when the lupus is under control, my kidney function stabilizes, and when I flare, my kidney function tanks. Continue reading “FAQ About Kidney Transplant”
When I worked, I dropped the kids off at the school’s before care. I noticed by the sign in sheet is a small metal bucket filled with mints. A note on the front reads “CHOOSE HAPPY.”
Every time I’d pop a mint after signing in the kids and head to my car, a smile on my face.
It really is a choice, isn’t it?
Every day I wake up I have a choice.
- I can be pissy that I hurt and that it takes a good 20 minutes for all my joints to warm up.
- I can be glad that I woke up to another day.
Either way, I still have the pain and stiffness. The only thing I can change is my attitude and my outlook. I’ve done the “pissy” bit. Not fun. It’s also exhausting, and I really couldn’t stand myself that way.
From now on I’m choosing happy. Continue reading “Choose Happy”
Last week I finally made a tough decision: I gave notice at work.
Lately my pain and exhaustion have both gotten out of hand. Despite changing jobs yet again, all my diagnoses caught up with me. While I could give it my all at work at the vet clinic (cats are a hell of a lot easier on a broken bodied vet tech) for a little over half of a shift, but then I had nothing left for my family. Continue reading “On Work, School, and Generally Being a BAMF”
For years I had a skewed idea of the path I should follow in life. I thought I had to accomplish big things and make monumental changes to the world around me in order for my life to matter.
This was a recipe for massive discontent and frustration. As my health situation changed and my ability to make the kind of contributions I wanted waned, I grew increasingly anxious and depressed. When my self worth is tied into my perceived output and career goals, I feel like a failure when I “underachieve.”
Why so much pressure? Continue reading “Finding and Cultivating Joy”
What a drag, it is getting old. Over the last several weeks, my smile slipped. Scratch that, it expatriated to a foreign shore with no return date. I realized I needed help when the anxiety overran my life and I had full blown panic attacks.
Not this, not now. Since medical cannabis isn’t legal in my state (and forbidden for transplant hopefuls even in legal states) it was time to talk prescription pills.
Continue reading “Mother’s Little Helper”
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had some great conversations in person and online with other spoonies about illness, particularly invisible illness, and interacting in public. What’s normal?
I’ve noticed the reactions when I go out since I’ve had the broken foot. I feel like I take up a considerable amount of space and time Continue reading “Making it “Normal””
It’s finally spring, and my lawn (particularly the front lawn) is about half dead. It’s particularly jarring since I live right in the middle of several retired gardeners with lush green everywhere.
The crappy lawn really got to me last week. I’ve become That Neighbor. I remember living next to That Neighbor. Yuck. Despite friends telling me not to worry, I couldn’t get it out of my mind. It took me a few days to figure out why this bothered me so.
The lawn is a visual reminder of how drastically my life has changed in the last year. Continue reading “Lessons from The Dead Lawn”