I’m a go-getter. I like to soak in and accomplish as much as I can each day. My body does not always allow me to do what my mind wants or thinks it can do. When living with chronic health issues like PKD, fatigue can become a part of our lives. When both of my kidneys were removed, I was on daily dialysis and hospitalized for many months; brushing my teeth was a huge accomplishment for the day.
Fatigue is frustrating. It can make us feel inadequate because we can’t do what we used to be able to do. When we can’t meet goals that we set for ourselves it can be discouraging. As we enter into different phases of our lives and our health, we must learn to accept and adjust. I know this is not easy.
After growing up enduring symptoms of PKD, going through dialysis and a bilateral nephrectomy, my kidney transplant gave me my youthful spirit and my energy back. I worked full-time for 10 years after my transplant and had many hobbies that filled my free time. I rarely sat still and did not deal with fatigue.
Be that as it may, fatigue made its way back into my life with my adult onset of epilepsy, disk herniation and recovering from back surgeries. My fast-paced, fun lifestyle changed, which to this day is not easy to deal with. It is a day-to-day balance of judging how I feel and what I think my body can handle. On days I feel well, I want to do as much as I can. Sometimes I push myself too hard knowing that I will probably pay for it with increased pain and fatigue. However it is nice to feel ‘normal’ even if only for a short while. I yearn for the days, like before my disk herniation, where I could do as much as I wanted and needed without negative health ramifications.
It is hard to accept a slower paced lifestyle and daily fatigue. However, the more we listen to our body, the better we will feel and the more we will enjoy each day. It is all about perspective and mind/body balance. We are in control of our bodies and our minds. I’m thankful my mind wants to push my body and believes in its potential, but we must listen to our body’s response and adjust our decisions accordingly. As we live through the different phases of PKD, our range of daily accomplishments may change. If the only thing we accomplish in a day is brushing our teeth, enduring our dialysis session or maybe overdoing an activity, that is ok. If we need to rest, rest. Our mind and body deserve a break and recognition for all we endure. We are fighting hard every day and should be proud of ourselves.