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My name is Megan Schliesman, I am 28 years old, and I was recently diagnosed with Nephronopthisis, a recessive genetic kidney disorder that causes my kidneys to fail.

When I first felt sick, the doctors told me that it was a urinary tract infection or a kidney infection. At first, I didn’t think much of it, I was also reluctant to see physicians because I was uninsured. I followed the doctor’s orders and then went back to work, but I continued to feel sick. Finally, a doctor listened to my symptoms and ordered blood work; they found that my potassium was so low I could have a stroke and my creatinine was also at a concerningly low level. Once I had bloodwork done and a doctor interpreted it, they realized there was a larger problem at play. I was rushed to the hospital in Sioux Falls where I spent twelve days and nights while doctors worked to figure out what was wrong and why I was so sick. Once I was diagnosed, I had surgery to have a catheter inserted into my peritoneal cavity so I could start dialysis immediately.

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