I think 2020 is a year of hope, new beginnings and challenges that are not to be ignored. We need to continue to advocate for ourselves, both politically and for our health and well-being. It is helpful to know what bills are in Congress that can affect us, as well as, what we do or do not do that can impact our quality of life. We need to be active and lifelong learners in both arenas.
Many of us may feel overwhelmed by kidney disease and the stressors and pain that it brings. You may be wondering how to find the energy to be more involved when you are in pain, stressed and preoccupied with your health. Stress, which can be a part of both positive and negative events, can deplete a great deal of our energy. Decreasing stress is necessary. In this issue, you will learn about the “Spoon Theory” that looks at our energy level in another way. We also can reframe how we think about events—by focusing on the facts and not catastrophizing the what ifs and what we can or cannot do. Our energy level does not increase or decrease our self-worth.
If you are living with pain on a regular basis, you may find that it is affecting both your physical and mental health. Pain management may be an important topic to explore to add to your quality of life. Besides medication, you may find counseling and self-management steps to be helpful. Although we may always live with pain, we may find some ways to provide some relief. The DPC Education Center also has a new online course on “Understanding Pain and Effective Ways to Live with It.” I encourage everyone to check it out!
Kidney disease may affect our lives, but it does not define us. Throughout this newsletter, you will read articles that offer tips and suggestions to live your life well. In addition to new booklets for teens with kidney disease, our new online program will continue to add new courses. Also, we will have monthly patient education webinars. Please explore our resources and watch for the announcements of our monthly webinars—we have a lot more to come. What an exciting year for the DPC Education Center!
Nancy L. Scott
DPC Education Center