All right ladies.
You got your smutty-Perez-Hilton-must’ve-had-a-hand-in-this ear on?
‘Cause it’s Ask Me Monday and it’s gonna be a doozy.
I’m making a confession this week.
And something I’ve probably mentioned before, but never really shared about fully.
And yes, there are like two things about me that you still don’t know the full details of.
Like that I can’t stand bananas.
Or the smell of eggs.
The taste I’m fine with, but the smell.
Ew. Just EWWWW!
I breathe through my mouth the ENTIRE time I cook them because if I smell them while I’m cooking them I won’t be able to eat them. And probably, neither will anyone else, unless they happen to like scrambled barf eggs.
But, to get back to the confessional of the day.
No more beating around the bush on this.
It’s time to spill.
“Hello everyone. I’m Dumb Mom, and I have kidney disease.”
Feel free to respond with emphatic hellos and giddy waves.
If you do that monotone “Hi Dumb Mom” thingy I’m pretty sure I’ll cry.
All right, I feel like 18% better now that the truth is out.
And I know you
probably don’t give a care are dying to know what this means.
So I’m gonna tell you all about it and why I decided to share now.
I have a form of kidney disease called IgA Nephropathy (aka Berger’s disease). It is a form of kidney disease known as glomerulonephritis.
I was officially diagnosed with it in 2007.
I was COMPLETELY surprised to learn that I had this disease because
Naturally, because I am an in-denial-glutton-for-punishment, I ignored it and put it off for a bit, convincing myself it was a fluke because I felt FINE. But, then I came down with pink eye (who the crap gets pink eye as a grown up?!) and I had to go to my regular doc to get the eye gunk medicine. He did a urine test (since my sneaky job had forwarded him the results) and found the same stuff: protein and blood in the urine. He referred me to a nephrologist for a check.
A kidney ultrasound, a biopsy, and 2 moths later I was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy that was largely unaggressive at the time which meant that, after a go ahead from the perinatologist, things should be good for a third pregnancy.
#3 was produced shortly thereafter and I was monitored closely for the duration of my pregnancy. All went well (as you’ve seen) and I began my actual treatment (which consists of quarterly blood tests and visits to my nephrologist, and an oral medication) after I weaned #3 about a year or so ago.
That’s it in a nutshell.
Not as juicy of a story as you thought it was gonna be, right?!
It’s a largely silent disease that you can have and not know about for years. But, left undiscovered and untreated you could find yourself in a bad predicament relatively quickly.
Which is why I’ve decided to share my story (and that of many others over the course of the month) right now because…
March is National Kidney Month!
A time when kidney health awareness is focused upon.
Because did you know that…
- One in nine Americans has kidney disease
- You are at increased risk if you have diabetes or hypertension
- Kidney disease is often a “silent” disease which means you could easily have it and have no idea
- It’s super easy to get tested to determine if you may have some form of kidney issue
Doubt it, because I have CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) and I had to Google it to get all of these sa-weet facts!
My hope is that by sharing my experience, and my fears, and how it has changed my family you will be compelled to get yourself screened, to encourage others to do so as well, and to help advance kidney research by making donations of time or money.
You can make donations to me here.
Not for me to like buy milk and cookies and stuff, it’s to support my Kidney Walk fund (which you are also welcome to join me for and I will bribe you with food and drink).
‘Cause I try to participate in it as my way of being helpful to the kidney community (since I’m not able to muster up the energy to help in any other way, raising cash is the least I can do).
But there are tons of other kidney related organizations that would love to have your donations (of time or money or resources) if you aren’t really that keen on helping me specifically.
Like Kidney Kids. An organization that I LOVE because they are “devoted to supporting children with kidney diseases and illnesses as well as their families. We are striving to lessen the physical, emotional and financial impacts of living with a kidney disease or illness for children and families in the Greater D.C. Metropolitan area.”
So very awesome.
But, even if you can’t spare a buck or two for the cause there are other ways you can help.
And you can start by helping yourself.
Get a screening, just to be on the safe side.
Program KEEP (Kidney Early Evaluation Program) can direct you to easy ways to get screened in your local area.
I was a relatively
chunky healthy, 28 year old mom of two small boys when I found out I had IgA.
I didn’t have any of the main risk factors of IgA (check the profile pic people, I’m not a 30ish year old white dude!).
And, I didn’t catch this or inherit it (some debate that IgA is found in families, but not mine).
It’s an autoimmune disease that pretty much “just happens”.
But, as sure as I love trashy reality shows I have this disease and (unless I require a transplant) I’m going to for the rest of my life.
So, I urge you to visit your primary care physician and get a physical.
Or at least watch this video and see why it’s so important that you do exactly as I say.
Because it could save your life.
And, that’s what I really want: to be a life saver.
Honestly. I can’t even imagine where I would be now if I hadn’t found out that I have this disease.
Luckily, my symptoms are mild (mostly just fatigue) and now that I am on my medication even that can really only be blamed on the fact that I’m also a mom to three very
off the chain crazy energetic little boys.
Everyone is not as fortunate as I have been.
Like Luis Sanchez and tons of other people who are waiting to see if their lives are gonna be saved.
Enough of the Debbie Downer business.
How about a GIVEAWAY?!
I actually announced it on Saturday, you know the day I always announce my giveaways?
You didn’t know?
Maybe that’s because you DON’T READ on the weekends like you should?!
Well, since this is a product I absolutely love to death I’m gonna remind you to enter again.
By FRIDAY at MIDNIGHT.
And, don’t forget.
Because if you are an owner of a DSLR camera chances are that it has a pop up flash which means you are not gonna want to miss this: The Light Scoop Giveaway!
Tell me that’s not cool.