The Adventures of Kidney Boy

A Journal About Living With End Stage Renal Disease. Dialysis. Transplants. Love. Family. Friends. The Unsung Donor. This is my life, from the end of a needle to the bottom of a pill bottle.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Living in trying times with all this hanging over your head....

Living with kidney failure is a hard thing.  I'm not going to lie; I'm also not going to lie and say that it doesn't lead to some kind of depression, either.  I'd venture to say that most people out there with ESRD (and on dialysis) suffer from some kind of depression - I'd venture to say that a lot of people out there suffer from crippling depression.

I know I do - or I can have bouts of it, for sure.  It's hard to keep your head above water about life when you feel so awful all the time.  The mental weight of feeling "bad" can really bring you down, even when other things in your life are great.  In my case, my life outside of my disease is great - I've a great wife, family, hobbies and job opportunities.  I've got a lot to be thankful for, especially in these trying times.   But the sense of futility about my condition, and the level of exhaustion, frustration and devestation I feel from day to day will just put me in the crapper. 

You just have to do the best you can - and really make efforts to keep your head above water.  I think a little amount of depression about the condition is normal - and good!  You'd have to be inhuman to not be sad or upset about not having kidney function and feeling bad all the time.  There's just nothing good about that.  But I don't think sitting around and having a giant pity party is a good thing, either.  I know some patients who just wallow in the misery, and succumb to the darkness totally - cursing the disease, cursing everyone around them for not understanding the disease, cursing the doctors who try to treat them, cursing the nurses who care for them.   I'm glad I'm not like that - I don't know how anyone considers that living, let alone surviving.  They probably don't, which is why they're so angry and sad.  The truth is, though, you're still in charge of how you live, even if everything isn't working right, and everything sucks. 

So, yeah, I know I'm going to have days, hell I'll have weeks, where I'm a grumpy gus and kind of a downer.  But I look at the big picture, and I think that overall, I handle it all pretty well.  I've got hope for the future, and that's what keeps me going.  My family is amazingly supportive, and I'm lucky as hell for that.

~Steve

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