Sheree was 34 years old when she started experiencing blurry vision. She never expected to be diagnosed with kidney disease.
I was 34-years-old when I was diagnosed with kidney disease. When I was putting makeup one day, I covered one eye and noticed it was quite blurry. I thought it was an eye infection but it wasn’t. It was confronting being admitted to hospital. They put me in the renal ward and I kept thinking, “I’m not as sick as these people.” When the doctor told me I had kidney disease I said, “am I gonna die? Is this the end for me?”
Since my diagnosis, I feel isolated because no one else can relate to what I’m going through. Everything is on hold. I would like to have children, but I can’t do that now. Before being diagnosed, I didn’t even know what my kidneys did and no one in my family has had the disease. People need to let go of the “it won’t happen to me” mentality. Everyone should take the test and get tested early. You might not stop the end stage, but you could delay it.
Sheree's story was the inspiration for the theme of Kidney Health Week in 2019. She bravely shared her story with Australia and her beautiful poem about living with kidney disease.
I didn’t know I could loose 90% of kidney function without any serious symptoms.
I didn’t know I could look and feel fine while my organs were failing.
I didn’t know that this could happen to me and I would have no control.
I didn’t know I would have to connect up to a machine every night to stay alive.
I didn’t know my life would change until it did...
Now I know all the things I do know and I want everyone else to know.