For some of us, PKD is not our only health issue. In addition to living with PKD and being a kidney transplant recipient, I have epilepsy and serious back issues. I did not have any health hiccups last month, but even during a quiet month I have routine health responsibilities. This is what September was like for me:
- I had two check-ups at my family doctor’s office.
- I went to therapeutic Pilates twice a week.
- I heated and stretched my legs and heated and iced my back daily for my back problems.
- Depending on how I felt, I did light cardio a couple times a week.
- I went for monthly blood work for my kidney transplant.
- As a result of the immunosuppressant medicine I take as a kidney transplant recipient, I’m at a higher risk of getting skin cancer. Therefore, I had my 6-month check-up with my dermatologist.
- During this appointment, my doctor checked on the incision where she removed skin cancer four months ago and removed another suspicious mole.
- I also had an appointment with my neurologist for my seizure disorder.
- I take 20 pills every day, totaling 600 pills each month to keep me healthy and alive.
For me, September was a quiet month.
While this may seem overwhelming to a healthy person, this lifestyle has become routine to me. However, it is very time consuming. Mix in fatigue and not feeling well on top of daily health responsibilities – our health can become a part-time to full-time job. Balancing work/life and health issues can be challenging as we try to lead a fulfilling life.
I thought of the PKD community while at my neurology appointment last month. It was an “information overload” doctor appointment, which made me think of newly diagnosed PKD patients and how overwhelming it can be. We are all of a sudden bombarded with the diagnosis, information on the disease and what may occur in our future.
Even with all of the health issues and responsibilities that I have juggled since the age of five, I left the neurology appointment slightly overwhelmed with information and new things I should do and incorporate into my daily health regimen. I took a moment to remind myself that there is only so much we can do as patients and that we should not put too much pressure on ourselves. If we incorporate positive change into our daily health routine – one change at a time – then we are headed in the right direction. If we think we can do everything all at once, we become overwhelmed and unbalanced in our lives. When we try to balance life and our health issues, we must be realistic and give ourselves credit for all we endure and accomplish. I believe our health should come first, but it should not consume us. We all deserve a break; to be happy and live a rewarding life.
How do you find balance as you juggle life and health issues?