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CASE STUDY - HOW I LIVE WITH CKD
    ❝                                                         he would need dialysis or a kidney transplant.
                                                                 Peter was told that at 10 per cent kidney function,
        When Peter was diagnosed with having only 25 per
        cent kidney function in 2007, he was initially
                                                                 He wanted to find out why he had reduced kidney
        despondent. But after he came to terms with his CKD,
                                                              function in case it was anything hereditary he could
        he decided to take whatever action he could to hold
                                                              pass on to his three children. He was told it was
        on to the kidney function he still had.
           Peter, who is 60 and from Dublin, first became
                                                              the time he was stressed due to his father’s sudden
        aware that he had kidney problems in 1993.
                                                              death.
           “My dad died the day after his 62nd birthday – he  probably due to an infection he had in 1993, around
        had been diagnosed with rapid cancer and he died six     In the run up to 2007, Peter had been feeling tired.
        weeks after he was diagnosed,” says Peter. “That was     “My only symptom was tiredness – I was extremely
        a big shock. He was my business partner, my friend    tired. I was heavily involved in testing computer
        and my dad. To watch him go so quickly – it was the   systems at work and I put it down to burning the
        end of my world in a way.”                            candle at both ends.”
           As well as grieving for his father, Peter took on the  He was told that his blood pressure was too high
        responsibility of making sure his mother was coping   (BP 160-90 mm/Hg), he was obese (Body mass index
        okay.                                                 35) and that he needed to adopt some important
           “I went into automatic pilot for a few months. Then  lifestyle changes along with medication for blood
        in September, I collapsed. I could not do anymore. I  pressure. Peter’s new consultant said he wanted to
        went down to the GP who                                                        see him again in a month’s
        sent me for blood tests.                                                       time and he was to bring
        There was blood in my                                                          his wife along with him.
        urine so my GP said it could                                                      “He probably thought I
        be problems with my                                                            had not taken in a lot of
        kidneys and referred me to                                                     what he had said but I was
        a specialist.”                                                                 able to relate it back to her
           Peter went to see the                                                       when I got home. I was
        consultant    every     six                                                    devastated by the news
        months but felt he was not                                                     and went into a depression
        given much guidance on                                                         for about two months.
        how to preserve his kidney                                                        “I was angry that my
        function.                                                                      kidneys had got worse over
           In 2007, he brought his                                                     time and that if I had gone
        daughter to the GP. The doctor noticed that Peter did  to this other consultant earlier, something might have
        not look well and made an appointment for him to see  been done about it. But then I started to think, hang
        another kidney specialist.                            on, I am going to fight for the little kidney function I
           “I got an appointment within three weeks and in    have left. I’m going to try to improve it or hold on to
        the meantime I got my blood tested. When I went to    it. I have got to try and do something.”
        see the consultant, he said it is not good news – you    Peter was told to lose two stone and he managed
        have only 25 per cent kidney function left.           to do this within three months by using portion
           “Our first grandchild had been born a month before  control and changing his diet. He was advised to avoid
        that so my first thought was, ‘Oh my God, I’ll never see  using salt on the table and adhere to a low salt diet
        her growing up’. He explained to me that at 10 per    and to walk every day for at least 30-40 minutes to
        cent kidney function, I could not survive on my own   boost physical activity levels.
        and he told me that you cannot reverse kidney            “I joined the IKA and they sent me out booklets.
        problems.”                                                                                          contd ➝

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