Moving Forward with Hope

We have talked about adjustment and coping with chronic kidney disease and with the need for dialysis. We have discussed risks of experiencing anxiety, sadness, anger, and feeling overwhelmed; however, there is hope in moving forward. If you are struggling with adjusting to your changing health, please share your struggles with a member of your team. We can partner with you to help you move forward.

A life changed by illness and struggle can be transformed and rebuilt. Rebuilding is a long, slow, and sometimes painful process. With time and perseverance, a new life takes shape that looks like the old, but is stronger, wiser, and more fully human. Kidney disease has taken you down a path you would have preferred not to travel. It has caused changes you don’t like. It has put pressures on you and your family that seem, at times, too heavy to bear.

Whether your life stays in this shape or becomes something new is in your hands. You can build a new life that is full and meaningful, if you want to. Your tools to do this are emotional. One tool you can use is to embrace your life changes—such as diet and fluid limits, drugs, and dialysis or transplant— as being good for you because they keep your body healthy. When you embrace these changes, you affirm your value as a person by saying you are worth taking care of.

In contrast, people who fight these changes take poorer care of themselves. As their quality of life declines, so does their hope. As you embrace change, it affirms your worth and helps you practice healthy physical and emotional self-care. The better you feel, the more hopeful you become about your life and how it can be good.

Embracing change means trying to do better, not to be perfect. No one can be consistent 100 percent of the time. A better target to aim for is growth. When you shoot for growth, you not only embrace change, but you take it one step further. You actively look for ways to improve your health, avoid isolation, express your feelings, handle conflict, and so on.