I believe it is never to late to LEARN.

Mary - Uniontown, Ohio
Entered on March 7, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65

I believe it is never to late to LEARN:

In October of 1994, at the age of 42, I was diagnosed with kidney failure. At that time I did not even know what that meant. I thought that maybe the doctors would just give me a pill and everything would correct itself. Well, I was wrong. I ended up in full blown chronic kidney failure.

I endured 9 years on dialysis , both peritoneal and hemodialysis.

On April 6, 2004 I received a heroic, selfless gift of a kidney from my son. My“new adopted kidney” is functioning great! How did I get through all this? Well:—I believe that every life experience we have on this earth is a learning encounter and a life lesson. Now you may ask what did I learn?

The first and foremost lesson I learned was PATIENCE. I learned that not everything had to be done my way or at the exact time I thought it should be done.

I learned TOLERENCE. I learned to allow dialysis to come into my life.

I learned ACCEPTANCE. I learned to accept the situation I was in. I learned acceptance of people and situations of which I had no control of.

I learned to EDUCATE myself on my illness so that I could overcome my fears and understand what was happening to me and how to deal with it.

I became my own ADVOCATE. I studied everything I could get my hands on so that I knew the most about my chronic illness.

I learned to question my doctors if I did not understand something. Not with an attitude but with an aptitude to learn more.

I learned HUMILITY. Having an illness and having to depend on someone or something else for your very life makes you very humble. Ordinary, daily activities that you take for granted and were a thoughtless daily routine, now become major difficulties .

I learned that DIGNITY does not go far when you have a chronic illness. There is not much dignity when you are in the hospital in one of those peeper gowns with your fancy derriere exposed to all!

I learned that I could not CONTROL everything in my life. I learned NOT TO GIVE UP AND NOT TO GIVE IN!

I learned to be STUBBORN, although I really did not need this lesson for it comes very naturally for me. But, I learned to be stubborn in a positive way.

I learned to be to be COMPLIANT, to follow my doctor’s orders.

I learned that STRESS was not a friend but one of the worst enemies a person can inflect upon themselves.

Most of all I learned that this disease did not happen only to me. I learned not to feel sorry for myself but to go on and live life as normally as possible. For this was my truest gift out of this experience, to LEARN and know that whatever you go through in life you are truly NEVER ALONE!