Happy Healthy Tuesday! Yes, it is even more cold today than yesterday. But, I do feel for all of my family and friends in the Northeast dealing with blizzard conditions.
Today, I want to talk a little bit about the stages of grief specifically in relation to being diagnosed with Kidney Disease or any an chronic illness. The video below goes through the stages in relation to a death, but loss and grief comes in all forms, not just death. Working through these steps and finally getting to acceptance which will help you move on with your life in a healthier and more productive way, is paramount when getting a new diagnosis. I am going to walk through how I dealt with it, and maybe it will help you too. If you are newly diagnosed. I am an AKF Kidney Coach. I do the class online and by appointment. We can work out how to do it via chat, FB, Zoom etc. You can read about that here. It is completely free.
Let’s walk through the stages of grief:
1- Denial. Some people never get past this stage and therefore never can make the changes necessary to live a healthier lifestyle with a chronic disease. I became super sick on Christmas Day 2016. I was officially diagnosed in February of 2017. I moved through this stage very fast, because, I knew for years something was wrong and could never get a diagnosis. Plus, I am a facts person and there was no way to deny the facts. My kidneys were failing, well one was. I have to add a note here. If you have persistent migraines with no explanation offered, ask your doctor to please run a Renal Panel. Had someone done that when I was having a migraine every 10 days failure may have been avoided.
2- Anger- That last part takes me right into the next stage, anger. I revisit this stage sometimes, especially as I learn more about symptoms I had for years that were overlooked or poo pooed. I have had a notion to be mad at my mother, any doctor that ever saw me through the years, myself, God, you name it. Anger can serve a very good purpose. It can put a fire in your britches to get you motivated to learn and make the changes needed. But, it can also take you to dark places and you will get stuck and never move past anger. This is a hard stage, but use it to your benefit not your retraction.
3- Depression- I didn’t spend much time here either. I don’t believe in being depressed and I don’t think I ever was. A little sad, maybe, but not depressed. There are so many things to be depressed about when getting a new diagnosis. Such as loss of a normal life, loss of normal eating, friends, jobs, money, etc. But, you have to consider what you will gain, not what you will lose. Normal is a label we humans put on things to fit ourselves into particular stereotypes or groups. Your normal will be your own unique normal and it may not look like anybody else’s and that is completely fine.
4- Bargaining- I would say this is the stage I spent the most time in and I do visit here sometimes. If I do this then my kidney function will return. That doesn’t mean it won’t, but reversal of Chronic Kidney Disease, because the nephrons are damaged and do not regrow, is most likely not ever going to happen. However, I do read studies that say nephrons can regenerate and that gives me hope and motivates me.
5- Acceptance- This is the stage you need to get to. I am here now. It doesn’t mean I don’t revisit the other stages here and there. But, I fully accept my diagnosis and all that comes with it. Acceptance brings peace and power. What power? I am healthier now than I was in my 30’s. I have learned, and continue to learn, everything I can about Kidney Disease and how the kidneys function. I am knowledgeable, empowered, and persistent. I take all of those things with me to every doctor’s appointment, social event, family event, meals, eating out, exercise, and anything else that can effect me in a negative way. I approach everything through the eyes of my kidney function. Yes, I have Kidney Disease, but it does not mean the end of a normal and fruitful life. It is chronic, but it is not the end of the world, and I refuse to all it that kind of strength over my life.
If you would like to use my Health Coaching services to help you get to acceptance, use the contact form after the video to message me for a free email assessment and then a meet and greet.
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