Hello, my name is Michael Harris and I am one of the Mentors with the ReMend Mentoring Program for End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients in the San Diego County area.
KIDNEY PATIENT EXPERIENCE
I was a 20 year old college student when I first started having health problems. My legs started to swell and I was leaving impressions in my skin like Silly Putty. I was misdiagnosed and was given a high dose of Prednisone. Swelling went away, and I thought I was invincible. Fast forward 6 years, after I got a job and got married I decided I should start taking care of myself. I went to the dentist. They took my blood pressure and it was 180/120. I went to the doctor and they told me my kidneys were not functioning. I was a 26 year old with 80 year old kidneys. That is the moment my life changed.
From 2006 – 2010 I fought like a lion against any kind of dialysis. That is until I started passing out for hours on end. I chose to do peritoneal dialysis. A year later I was in the hospital with a fungal infection in my peritoneum. 2 weeks later I was signed up for my first hemo dialysis session. August 2013 I received my 1st transplant. My journey in 7 years has made me who I am today. As I think about those years, I am amazed that through all of the uncertainty, I am still here feeling positive, mentally and spiritually as the day I was diagnosed. Sometimes the journey seems lonely, because you are so focused on your path. But it doesn’t have to be. There are people like you walking in the same direction feeling lonely on their own journey. Isn’t it better to walk with a friend?
A positive thought is so powerful, it can change a curse into a blessing.
I live in North County San Diego and I am willing to travel anywhere to provide mentoring support for those that want/need a mentor.
Language spoken is English