Kidney Kare - When it all started (signs, symptoms, diagnosis)

I don’t know why this has taken me so long to do. I mean, this was the sole reason I started this website - to create awareness, to guide, to be there as a friend and to help whoever sitting wherever thinking they are fighting this alone.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

This page will be dedicated to all things ‘Kidney’ - from when I started experiencing symptoms to the diagnosis to life on dialysis to the finding the right hospital to the donor..you get the drift. Apart from this,I will also be updating the other blog page which will house my travels, collaborations, and lifestyle projects. So without further ado..let me begin.

So it started in 2014, I was newly married, had shifted into this large 3BHK apartment in Bangalore, about an hour away from where my parents lived. I was working for this travel agency back then; so managing that plus this large apartment and my new life with my husband was quite stressful. After a while, I decided to call it quits with my job to try and get a handle on my personal life. A few months after quitting, I noticed that my ankle always hurt while walking down a set of stairs. This started to get very painful after a while and so I decided to get a regular blood check - which came out fine. I just thought it was Gout - which occurs if one has excessive meat or beer - well, I was newly married so I thought I had overdone a few things; so I obviously cut down. But the pain persisted. After a few more months I noticed I had a very hard time falling asleep, my back gave me terrible pains and it would keep me up all night which would result in me sleeping during the day.

By this time we had to move out of our apartment and in with the in-laws due to a family emergency. Here too the back ache and the ankle pain didn’t subside. Whenever we went for a walk I would always find it hard to walk and keep up with my husband, this later led to extreme fatigue after walking even for a few minutes. I found that walking up the stairs was getting difficult or even crossing the road felt like I walked a mile.

This got me depressed and confused.

I had people telling me I was feeling this way because I was overweight, because I had no job, because I drank etc etc. But I knew for a fact that I never drank or ate so much. A little while longer, I noticed that when I woke up in the morning my legs used to feel numb, not that I could’t feel them or couldn’t walk, but there was a certain discomfort and numbness about them. My face too on some days would swell up and I had no idea why, when this happened I would take antihistamines to reduce the swelling. By this time I was extremely depressed and knew something terribly was wrong with me.

With the help of my father, we went for another round of blood tests and consulted our regular doctor, who this time recommended that we go see a multi specialty hospital and get my kidneys tested too. When the results of those came we found out that my creatinine level was 12 (0.7 - 1.2 is the range for a normal person). So obviously we didn’t believe the hospital or the doctor, so we went to get a second opinion, but it proved true. I was taken into the emergency that night and put on immediate dialysis.

The doctors couldn’t run a biopsy on my kidneys because they were extremely shrunken in size to even get a sample. So, my case was diagnosed as CKD (chronic kidney disease) where the kidney damage could have happened over the course of many years but, the symptoms never get detected until much later.

I, funny enough was relieved that I was right. That I knew something was wrong.

I was relieved of the stress of not knowing.

I immediately went into my defensive mode and wanted to know how to move forward and make this right.

I find myself reliving those dark times as I write all this. It’s hard not knowing what is wrong with your body and people can get so insensitive and rude. But, if you think something is truly wrong, please get it checked immediately. I hope this post shed some light on some of the symptoms of CKD, if you relate to any of this or know someone who is going through something similar please alert them.

My next post will be on - dialysis, and finding the right hospital.

Excelsior!