So if you’ve been following my story (and for the sake of this article I’m going to assume you have), you know that over the summer of 2019 I was diagnosed with IgA Nephropathy, a disease that while considered rare compared to some of the sexier diseases, is also the third leading cause of Chronic Kidney Disease (after Diabetes and High Blood Pressure).
Having been diagnosed with a disease I knew little about, yet knowing it can and often does have serious implications for the patient long-term, my first reaction was, well, paralysis. This was my first time being faced with a life altering – and potentially life threatening – disease. This was the sort of thing that only happens to other people, not me. I always assumed I was going to go out the same way I had lived – in a blaze of stupidity. Like falling down an exposed manhole in busy downtown Haverhill. Or being attacked by a hungry black bear (also in busy downtown Haverhill for some odd reason). Getting taken out by a disease? That’s for other people.