I have penned so many stories recently (in my head) which have never come to light. As a stage 5 CKD patient with 2 young children and a work abroad husband, I’ve had to step up. It breaks my heart to see my children especially my daughter, at 11, acting as my carer most of the time. When I think back to what brought me to where I am today, I wonder if I am the only one to have suffered such misfortune (if I can call it that).
I’m a tall, black, (some say pretty) verrrry attractive woman (ex-model, ex-actress, ex-singer, ex-activist etc you name it but I’ll never be referred to as ‘ex-mother’ because I intend to be around for a very long time yet). I’ve lived life to the fullest and thought that there was nothing more to experience out there. Then it hit me!!! And it hit really hard.
That day in 2009( serious illness in November 2008), I was told I had renal failure and had to undergo Haemodialysis, I cried my eyes out; within a few days, I had a neckline. I was in and out of the Salford Royal, 3 times a week. I hated every minute of it because of how I felt afterwards. I was lucky to have my older sister with me, who prepared all my food and ensured the children were cared for. I was also lucky to have 2 friends who also took me to and for the hospital on the days I had to go in for dialysis. I went through a period when I was told I would need to be mapped for a fistula. Imagine the fright I went through, thinking of how I would look with the fistula on my arm (oh yes, I know, I’m vain). After about 3 months, I was told that my renal function had improved and no longer needed dialysis. I immediately went back to work.
In 2010, the same illness struck again, this time, I thought it was the last time I was ever going to see my family again especially my kids and I fought to stay here, for them especially my daughter. I’m happy I did fight to be here despite all the trials I’m having to go through, it’s been worth it.
I have not allowed this to dictate how I live my life. I still get up in the morning and feel like screaming but that’s only temporary moment. I can still turn heads when I walk into a room (that’s why the fistula couldn’t have worked for me:Vanity? I agree).
When I was told to come in for the first PD insertion, my friend came to pick me up from home. I was told to come at 7am for the procedure. I think my friend was the most scared of both of us because she came to pick me up looking panicked and dishevelled. When we got to the hospital, the doctor came to do the pre-op assessment, he must have thought she was the patient because I was all dressed up, calm and collected, he turned to her and addressed her as myself. We told him I was the patient. It was hilarious!
I have always looked at the bright side of things and I think, you as a new CKD patient can do it too. You just need to focus on what is good in your life and be grateful for getting a second chance of righting any wrongs or rebuilding any bridges previously burnt. There’s nothing more rewarding than waking up every morning and seeing the sun.
My story doesn’t start and end with CKD and I’ve been asked, cajoled to write my story because a lot of people will benefit from it but the time isn’t right yet. There are more interesting chapters to be added and they are yet to come.
In the mean time, I will share my CKD experiences and other funny stories with all of you. This is only just the beginning. I hope you can all come on this amazing journey with me.