I am a starting a series of blogs which will be a personal story shared by my friend JR Rendon.
LIVING WITH KIDNEY FAILUR
My whole world was turned upside down on me when I was diagnosed with kidney failure at age 14. My family and I were residing in San Bernadino, California and I was just a young kid barely getting to understand what life was all about. There are times in your life when crisis hits you and you realize that you’re not the only one being affected by the chaos surrounding you; your loved ones are also going through it with you. I look back now and I can see who has really been there for me and has stuck it out with me through thick and thin: My family has been my rock through this whole journey. My dad-Manny, My mom-Sharon and my siblings-Tony, Amanda and Daniel. I want to take the time and thank them for all the support they’ve given me. When tragedy hits some families, they fall apart. My family has seen the ups and down of my illness for 7 years and even though we’ve struggled, we are still strong and I can attribute this to God who has helped all of us to hang in there for each other.
Once I was diagnosed with kidney failure the next logical step was the treatment I had to undergo. Let me tell you everything in me resisted going there. I was a bundle of emotions at first: Anger, sadness, fear, bitterness, resentment and loneliness all became my constant tormentors and companions. My life as I knew it was gone now.
The first day I went for my treatment is still strong in my mind. I had to go to the hospital with my parents by my side; even though I knew they were there for me, fear was overwhelming me; I shook inside and nobody could see it. The nurses hooked my body up to equipment that was foreign to me then; I was poked in so many places by so many needles that I just stopped counting each time it happened. Test after test kept coming and I thought I was back in school because I grew anxious wondering if I’d be able to pass all these tests. Everything went smoothly that first day right up until the end though; that’s when I had horrible cramps that felt like a giant hand was squeezing the very life out of me. Then profuse sweating came and I felt like a cooked bird in the oven. And I couldn’t even breathe right; ‘So this is why my mom told me never to put my head in a plastic bag!’ I thought. I had enough of it when the non-stop vomiting began; I think I emptied out pretty much all my insides that day.
In my next blog I will share how JR soon began to view this illness as a prison…