Kidney School™—a program of Medical Education Institute, Inc.

Module 5—Coping with Kidney Disease

It was Groucho Marx who said, "I've had a wonderful time, but this wasn't it."

Many people with kidney disease could say the same thing. You may learn from kidney disease and you may find meaning in it. But it probably doesn't rank up there with your best life events.

You don't have to like having kidney disease. But you do need to learn to live fully with it—since this is your life. And that part can be a challenge.

One person described the emotional journey with kidney disease this way:

I do pretty well at following my treatment plan and working closely with my health care team. That's the easy part. But my emotions are like a roller coaster that won't stop. If I could make sense out of why I'm feeling like I do on a given day, I could manage my whole life a lot better.

At times you may struggle with anger, fear, confusion, or other feelings—if so, you're not alone. Most, if not all, people who have kidney disease go through a wide range of emotions. Some are mild but others can be paralyzing. They can make it hard to stick to the treatment plan—and that can harm health.

Take the Kidney Quiz!

You'll have a better sense of how much you're learning if you take our quick kidney quiz before you start. It's just 10 questions. How about it?

take quiz

When you can make sense of your emotions, you can use them for your benefit—even the stubborn feelings that don't want to go away. This will help you stay on course with your treatment plan, improve the quality of your life, and keep the relationships that matter most to you.

In this module, we will walk you through the most common feelings that people with kidney disease and their families have. At the end of the module we will sum up the key points in a Personal Plan that you can print and use as a reminder.

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