A Health Scare Was Her Wake-Up Call: “I Was in Denial”
This article was sponsored by Bayer
Facing several severe diagnoses simultaneously can be challenging to accept, especially when you stay on top of your health. When this happens, how do you push yourself out of the initial denial phase that many people go through?
In Mildred Parker’s case, her family history served as a reminder of the complications she didn’t want to face. With this in mind, and with the help of her medical team and support system, she pushed herself out of denial and down the path of advocating for herself and those around her.
While out to lunch with a friend, Parker began to feel dry and experience trouble breathing. Not sure what was going on, she asked her friend to take her to the doctor.
While there, her doctor performed lab work, which revealed an elevated blood test and an issue with her creatinine levels. She was diagnosed with stage 3 chronic kidney disease and referred to a renal specialist for follow-up.
Parker says this diagnosis rocked her world. However, this wasn’t her first experience with hearing unpleasant news from her doctor.
Around May of 2000, right after finishing school, the California resident discovered she had diabetes, which is what would ultimately lead to the chronic kidney disease diagnosis years later.
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“I was in denial for a while that I couldn’t make it through without any help or complications,” Parker recalls.
However, as time wore on, Parker realized that wasn’t the case. In order to lead a healthy life, she would need to make a sacrifice. Her wake-up call came when she began experiencing eye problems, including a near-detached retina and bleeding behind her eyes.
“That was quite scary for me to deal with because I said ‘Well how would I deal with it if I didn’t have my eyesight?’ That was the one thing that really bothered me because I had an uncle that was a truck driver and he got to a point where he couldn’t see. So not only did it impact his livelihood, he got depressed,” Parker shares. “I wanted to make sure I did all I could to not get in that window.”
Parker also recalls a diabetes educator telling her that if she didn’t get a hold of it, she would fall victim to complications.
“Every now and then, I think back to her voice and what she was telling me. It is important that you