At the age of 31, I was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure, and I underwent dialysis for more than two years before finally making it through the transplant list. Throughout this journey, I learned how to adapt to blindness and navigate both my personal and professional life. However, most of the people in my family, friends circle, and professional acquaintances never truly understood what it is like to live with CKD and undergo dialysis. As a patient, I didn’t fully understand everything about the disease and how it affected my physical and mental health. My doctors reassured me that we learn as we go on this journey and treat what can be treated.
After successfully getting through the transplant, my journey continues. I have to visit the hospital for regular doctor visits, manage post-transplant complications, and keep track of my medical data each day. In the midst of all this, my professional life requires a lot of balance and flexibility. And by flexibility, I don’t just mean working from home; it also means empathy.
No one plans or takes courses on how to handle chronic health challenges. While those of us who are figuring out how to deal with these health challenges strive to adapt, it is the duty of those around us to be more empathetic and understanding.
It is important to recognize that living with chronic health challenges is an ongoing process. The journey doesn’t end after a successful transplant or any other medical intervention. It’s a continuous effort to manage one’s health, adapt to new circumstances, and cope with the emotional and physical toll that chronic conditions can take.
Support from family, friends, and colleagues is crucial during this ongoing journey. Simple acts of empathy, such as actively listening, educating themselves about the condition, and offering a helping hand, can make a significant difference in someone’s life. Building a strong support network can provide the necessary encouragement and understanding for individuals navigating the complexities of chronic health challenges.
Moreover, fostering a culture of empathy and understanding within society as a whole is essential. By promoting awareness and education about chronic conditions, we can help break down barriers and reduce the stigma associated with these health challenges. This can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for individuals facing such difficulties, allowing them to thrive personally and professionally.
Ultimately, empathy and understanding go a long way in improving the lives of those living with chronic health challenges. By embracing these qualities, we can create a more compassionate and inclusive society for everyone.