• Monday, November 05th, 2012

In the area of social discourse, one of the main objectives is to maintain one’s dignity, one’s self-respect. We don’t like to be made fools of.

We will do a lot to maintain our personal dignity in the face of insults, failures, and the like.

Clearly, our dignity is very important to us.

Many of us know what it’s like to a patient in a hospital.

Bye-bye, dignity!

Being exposed to anyone and everyone who happens to walk by while you’re nattily attired in a flimsy hospital smock, when your bodily functions are observable by more than you’d like, when you’re trying to eat with all sorts of stuff stuck in you, there is no room for dignity!



once having gone through such an assault on your self-respect, you experience a shift on the meaning of dignity.

You begin to understand that the dignity of the “work-a-day” world is only one aspect of this vital characteristic.

When you experience the vulnerability that illness provides, and know that the your “humanness” is more than wearing nice clothes, driving a nice car, having the “right” friends, and having the “right” job.


Now, understanding that the vulnerability that serious illness brings is simply the survival instinct being threatened leads, at least from my perspective, to a greater level of compassion for the human condition, which includes everyone, ill or healthy.


For ultimately, there is not very much between life and death for any of us.

Those of us who fully understand this feel a great deal of gratitude for our lives. We don’t take too much for granted.

For PKDers, this is, in spite of everything, a great lesson which is learned.



Many PKD patients are surrounded by family and friends ( and medical professionals!) who may not have learned this lesson.

For such patients, this difference in perspective is often difficult to deal with.

They feel, and probably are, not understood from a “human” point of view.

The patients feel that “they,” the “others,” don’t get it.
And the patients may be right!

Too often, empathetic understanding only comes from those who have “been there, done that.”

Fortunately, social media can provide some level of this empathetic understanding.

I highly recommend PKDers, if not done already, to connect with a Social Media outlet which has “communities’ of PKD patients.

Facebook has several.

But, social media can only go so far.

Too often, participants will not share (and rightly so) the deep hurts and frustrations. It’s just too personal, and the trust level

wouldn’t be as high as would be needed to share the deepest parts.


If you, as a PKD patient, feel misunderstood, or even “un-understood,”

let me invite you to consider having an initial “introductory” Coaching conversation with me,

and together, let’s discover if we can develop the trust that would allow you to feel comfortable

in sharing your vulnerabilities, and determine how to deal with them.

In this way, your self-confidence will increase, and you won’t have the feeling of being

“less than” anybody else!  is my email!

Peace and Blessings!

Coach Richie Perl

Certified Professional Coach

Certified Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming



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One Response

  1. 1
    James Myers 

    Richie, great article!

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