It’s been awhile since I have had the urge to write, but I am broaching new ground. Today I had a home hemodialysis assessment. This is not something that you are really keen to do or have to do, but there really isn’t much choice now is there? Either you do dialysis or you wait to die in a uremic coma or of a heart attack due to metabolic acidosis. So, being a RN, and being human, being a mother, a wife, and being relatively young…there is no choice for me. I want to live! So, while dialysis is the only choice other than praying for a transplant in a country/province with a dismal donation rate, I’m not holding my breath.
Comedic irony or a blessing: I am involved at work with helping those with all kinds of chronic diseases. As a RN my job includes managing and help people with living a healthy and meaningful life. However, the irony is that I dealing with a few chronic diseases. In many ways it is a blessing as I can REALLY relate to my patients that struggle with the same things I do or any that are similar in terms of effects on quality of life. It wasn’t until a year or so ago that I discovered the concept of grieving in chronic diseases: the loss of the many things or activities that you may be unable to continue with or are limited. It really does change your views on many things in life, love, work, family & friends. Many days you are just happy to get through a day or be happy that you can still manage to work. I think this aspect or managing chronic disease is huge. Just listening to the patients and for myself, try to be reasonable with my expectations and planning so as not to get into that downward spiral into depression. Then there are the days of wondering “why am I still trying to do everything, be everything & everywhere”, when inside you just want to be at home curled up with a warm blanket & your warm bean bag. The disease(s) is one thing but the person, is more than that. Everyone has their snake to kill.
Hope continues for each person in their struggles, even if that hope is something simple and/or comforting. Cuddling with a loved one, have a great visit or coffee date with a friend, managing to get out of bed!!! Hope for a better day, hour, or result. Hope to have more time with family and close friends, hope for better connections with people: meaningful and genuine.
Blessings: yes, with chronic diseases can come blessings and positive outcomes. Like it’s been said so many times, attitude IS everything. It does no good whatsoever sitting around feeling sorry for yourself. There can be so much joy and happiness by continuing to be social, to be involved with other causes or hobbies. As a RN it is a blessing to be able to really relate and be able to articulate accurately a patient’s experience when they are struggling or unaware of the real impact on their psychological and emotional being. Being genuine as a RN is very rewarding and at times I think it is more valuable than all the other nursing tasks and knowledge. Connecting at a human level and connecting at the heart and soul of another is an extraordinary feeling and privilege.