When I was three years old, I started to refuse to eat, and I would throw up everything I was given. At first my parents just thought I was being naughty, but soon my feet and face began to swell. They took me to the doctor and the doctors shrugged it off. I just got worse so my parents took me to a different doctor and he recognized it as Nephrotic Syndrome.
Nephrotic Syndrome is a disease that causes your kidneys to filter protein out of your blood and get rid of it, instead of keeping it. This disease has no cure and no one knows the cause. I was started on steroids right away, which is the standard treatment for nephrotic syndrome, but they didn’t work. Several other medications were tried but to no avail, I was in and out of the hospital every other week, finally they found the right one.I took it for about a year and I went into remission. Doctors told us to come back once a year to make sure everything was okay but other than that I could get back to my life. They said if I made it until I was 16 without relapsing then I would most likely be okay for the rest of my life.
I was 15 1/2 when it came back. I was getting ready for school and my mom told me my eyes looked really swollen. Knowing what this meant, we quickly went to the hospital. I had relapsed. They started me back on the same medication that had worked before, and sent me home in hopes it would be a quick fix. It wasn’t, I got a little better, but not really. Through this I also had to restrict both my salt intake and fluid intake. I had to cut nearly everything that was at all preserved out of my diet.
Through this I really struggled with who I was with my sickness. Even though they didn’t mean to, my friends treated me differently like I was weak. When I would meet people I would hide my sickness so people didn’t judge me. I questioned God a lot. It was a long struggle, but I’ve found who I am in spite of this.
Nephrotic Syndrome is a part of me, but it does not define me.
I am now 17 and I haven’t had any relief. However they say I might be close to another remmision. I am on five different medications and have strict dietary restrictions but I’ve learned to not just live with it but thrive with it.
My name is Rachel and I’m a fighter.Image Credits: Yayimages