Bonni: The Woman Behind the Words

MEandG12242013My name is Bonni, and I live in Central New Jersey with my furry child, Belle. My life has taken on a whole set of changes after my husband Mark passed away on January 17th, 2013.

As many of you knew, Mark suffered from Type I Diabetes, Hypertension (high blood pressure), and High Cholesterol. To add insult to injury, he was diagnosed with Stage 5 Kidney Failure, also known as End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or Chronic Kidney Disease. He began dialysis in May of 2009.

Initially this blog told the struggles, triumphs, facts and survival of living with someone who had a chronic illness.

After Mark died, I almost decided to end this blog, but a friend of mine convinced me to keep writing. I took his advice, and I am glad that I did. Now this blog chronicles my struggles of the early stages of widowhood to meeting and falling in love with a new man. I have no idea where my life will take me. No one really does, but every day is a new beginning for me. I am loving life for the first time in a very long time.

Yes it can be scary and frustrating, but in the long run, I’ve set fire to the broken parts of my life and started anew.

This is my life. You are welcome to come along for the ride.

Keep in mind that nothing on this blog is a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

  1. blogfrogger
    June 8, 2009 at 10:54 PM

    Bonni

    Great blog!! I wish you all the best and prayers are out to you and Mark and the rest of the family. The more information about CKD the better. May I add your link to our blog.

    Thank you

    Ross Fine

    LifeAlysis
    http://www.lifealysis.com

    • June 8, 2009 at 11:02 PM

      Hi Ross! Thanks for the compliment and the prayers!! I agree that the more information about CKD the better, and I would welcome a link!! I will also visit your site tomorrow…. when I am more awake!!!

      Thanks again,
      Bonni

  2. Rudi
    June 9, 2009 at 10:21 AM

    Bonni

    With your technical acumen and energy, and Mark’s youth, it sounds like you two would be perfect candidates to dialyze at home. Health outcomes are way better and so is quality of life. Davita has a program called not surprisingly “Davita at Home” which does all the training and the like. There is a new machine that is much tinier than the clinic machines (size of a small TV), so it is a workable option for lots of folks.

    You can learn a lot about it here:

    http://www.homedialysis.org/

    and here:

    http://forums.homedialysis.org/forumdisplay.php?f=10

    and this is the link to Davita at Home site.

    http://www.davita.com/home/?source=google_dah&s_kwcid=davita%20at%20home|2709339074&gclid=CNv4mpOw_ZoCFYJM5QodeHEZew

    Hope that helps and good luck…

    R

  3. Rudi
    June 12, 2009 at 1:34 PM

    Bonni
    Why not do dialysis at home? Davita has a program to train you and your husband – it’s on their website. It will improve his quality of life (can do dialysis more frequently, whenever he wants) and yours as well (less travel, make your own schedule). Hope that helps.

  4. Rebecca
    July 21, 2009 at 1:31 PM

    Bonni- I am a nursing professor at a Community College, and a renal nurse at a large hospital in Baltimore MD. I am so glad to see that you have chosen this outlet for expressing your emotions and frustrations over this long journey you have begun with your husband. So often, in my profession we forget the caregivers. We forget that they too need education and explanation. They too need time to vent frustrations and they too have a voice in the plan of care for the patient. In my class room I teach nursing students how to care for patients with end stage renal disease. I touch on impact that ESRD has on the patient’s lifestyle and family, but noting can say it like a story. With that being said, may I refer my students to your blog? I think it would give them insight into the world of dialysis and the daily fears, frustrations and joys your family has faced and will face in the future. I would be extremely grateful for the use of your family’s story to broaden the knowledge and skills set of my students.

    Warm Regards, Rebecca

    • August 29, 2009 at 2:36 PM

      Hi Rebecca,

      Thank you so much for your comment on my blog! I guess it is easy to forget the family members and caregivers because we are often not the ones who are seem on a regular basis. We are the ones in the background supporting the patient…. or at least trying to do so.

      I would certainly welcome you to use my family’s story to broaden the knowledge and skills of your students. I think the more information and knowledge that is available to people (patients, family members, caregivers, and medical professionals), the better off we will all be!!

      Thanks again Rebecca!

  5. dancefordonors
    October 25, 2009 at 1:13 AM

    Bonni,
    My sister, Laura Amador, and myself were recently involved in a paired kidney exchange program at UCSF Medical Center. Since then we have created a blog and would appreciate it if you could add our website to your website list. Currently we have your website listed and we have commented on your postings.

    Greatly appreciated,
    Paul and Laura Amador
    http://www.dancefordonors.org

  6. December 17, 2010 at 11:28 PM

    Hello and my name is Amy. I am currently on dialysis and also have a family. I am quite new to the life as a kidney patient (since March 2010) and I couldn’t understnad why there wasn’t more support out there. I am so glad you created a blog for people to read and understand the illness. I also created a blog a few weeks ago in order to reach out to young adults, their parents, and teenager to help spread awareness. Please vist my blog when you get a chance kidneypatient.wordpress.com.. God Bless you and Your family!!

    “Science can only go so far then there is God”

    • March 8, 2011 at 10:54 AM

      Hi Amy,

      Thank you for reading my blog. I understand the struggles of dialysis, even though it is not first hand. But I understand how the fear and anxiety can be overwhelming.

      I feel for anyone who is on dialysis, because it is so not conducive to a productive life! My husband’s kidneys failed because of his lifelong battle with obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. It’s really scary when I think too much about the whole kidney failure and dialysis lifestyle.

      Are you on the transplant list? Mark has been on it, and it’s hard to believe that he has been on dialysis for NEARLY two years! Some days it seems like forever… and other times it seem like yesterday.

      If you need some support, I would be happy to talk to you… just feel free to contact me!!

      Best to you,
      Bonni

  7. Jennifer
    November 11, 2011 at 1:31 AM

    Dear Bonni, I found your blog while I was up in the middle of the night searching the web for information on dialysis because I was finding it impossible to sleep. You and I have a lot in common.
    I am also in New Jersey (a little south of you) and I also have a husband who is a type 1 diabetic on dialysis. He had progressing kidney issues for years (but refused to see the nephrologist – arrrgh!) and finally went on dialysis in June of 2010 after suffering a stroke (high blood pressure).
    I am terrified and obsessed with the idea that he is going to die (not outwardly obsessed – on the outside I have it all together… but I am not that strong.) The stress and anxiety of his disease has caused me to seek psychiatric help, which was definitely a good choice. But I still find it so very difficult, and I just feel so alone. Sometimes it is overwhelming.
    Blogs like yours help me through some of the hard times because I know that there are others going through the same thing. So thanks for that. And best of luck.

    Jennifer

    • November 11, 2011 at 6:50 PM

      Hi Jennifer,

      Thank you for your comment. I sent you a private email.

      Best,
      Bonni

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