Let me give you an example.
Remember when you learned to walk? Well, probably not, but think about when your children learned to walk. Did you get impatient with them for not trying hard enough? Could you see it in their eyes that they wanted to walk so bad that even falling down 100+ times would not stop them? I bet you could. And they didn't stop – no matter how long it took them. Did you ever think, well, it's ok if they never learn
to walk? I didn't think so. [if your child has a disability that prevented them from walking, do you do whatever it takes to make it so that they can meet their potential, no matter what?]
Yet, so many times we say that very thing to ourselves, about things that are very important to us. Like our health. Of course, you know what I am talking about – and you might be thinking – it's different. Sure it's different, because…
Whatever excuse you can think of, I am waiting to hear. It's different because I'm older, it's not as important, it's hard…
Really? [As my daughter would say, really, mom, really?]
What is different because you are older? I thought we were supposed to be wiser when we grew up? So we should have the wherewithall to make the changes that we need to make. Today should be the beginning of your new life, right, and people can see it in your eyes how hard you are working on controlling your kidney disease and not letting it control you. But it's not because it's different. Let me guess, you don't think that you deserve it? You are not that important? Look into the eyes of your significant other or your children or your parents and tell them you are not important enough to be healthy. I think they will tell you a different story!
I want you to take this opportunity to see how each day you wake up with a new opportunity to move forward to make a small step for a big step towards having a healthier diet or controlling your kidney disease a little better or making someone else's life a little better. I know that there are many times that you are frustrated but remember just like a child it's not going to come easy the first time you do it or the second time you do it or even the 50th time sometimes that you do it. But each time you get a little better at it.
You should see how much you value your life has to those around you, whether it's the people you work with or your family every day, and take the steps you need to take the time and understand the kidney disease that's going on in your body. Reducing the stress that you have can go a long way towards reducing your blood pressure which helps with any kidney problems. Managing your blood sugar by checking it as often as you need to so that you learn and understand what your values are. You can associate the foods that you ate with the blood sugar that results so you know how your body reacts to different types of food.
I'm saying all of this because so many times people feel like if they failed once or if they don't do well with their kidney diet that it's somehow something that they should have a choice to not do it anymore. And I agree is an adult we all have a choice whether we learn to do things differently and change our lives. But I want to remind you for a moment that change is never easy and things that are worthwhile don't necessarily come easily. But you can find stories of lots of people who have made it through kidney disease, through getting a fistula, through dialysis and just worked out a little bit more every day. What I'm asking you to do today is to not give up on you.