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Looking at the Bright Side

Not everything about chronic illness is negative. Don't get me wrong, there are so many negatives. Today I'd like to tell you a little bit about some positive things I've encountered. Being on dialysis can be pretty horrible but one way to look at it positively is that I don't have to urinate. Because my kidney function is extremely minimal, I make almost no urine. I sometimes miss having the urge but mostly it has been really helpful. Who really wants to take so many bathroom breaks? I've probably avoided some nasty public bathroom situations as well. I know it's a sign of my health issues but at least I can reap the benefits of never having to find a toilet for the more frequent number one that people typically have. Another positive negative is that my menstrual cycle seems to have ceased for quite some time. This can happen with dialysis patients and from what google has told me irregularity (or cessation) is normal in this situation. I view it positively only because that removes something extra to deal with. I wouldn't mind it but it's kind of nice to have a break. Again, I acknowledge that it is a sign of my condition and not healthy, but I think I've earned the ability to enjoy it. Also these things are definitely more specific to me and not a general statement about chronic illness. Here is a more general positive: Having a chronic illness helps you learn things you wouldn't otherwise know. While it is not great to be or feel sick, having serious health issues tends to make you stronger and more intelligent when it comes to the needs of your body. I've learned so much about myself as well as learning about the nutrients that my body requires. I can also perform peritoneal dialysis, which is probably an unusual skill. Another thing I feel positive about is all the technology that keeps me going. I'm really grateful for the opportunity to be alive and have a semi-normal life. I live in an apartment in the city with my sister and my boyfriend. I get to go out and do things and attempt to "live my best life". I even camped in a tent the other day! Shout out to manual dialysis. I try my best to be optimistic even when it's really difficult. Tomorrow I'm having a cardiac catheterization done. It'll probably be easier to talk about once it's done but UGH. Not exactly nervous (dealt with many a tube, including the one sticking out of my abdomen) but it's a big deal because the results are very important. Hoping for the best (obviously)! Why do people even say that? Doesn't everyone hope for the best in every situation? Writing this post felt funny because it's weird to talk about the positives of my situation, but I wanted to preface future posts with this more positive post because future posts might be more negative. I'll try my best to include a little bit of both good and bad. I have to wake up super early because I have to be at the hospital at 6am tomorrow and the hospital is almost an hour and a half away from me. Do I bother to sleep? Also, fyi, I'm writing from the east coast USA. Greetings!

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