Tim's Journey - Living with Kidney Disease
Just over 10 years ago I was diagnosed with IgA, a rare chronic kidney disease...
Kidney research UK is a very special charity for all the staff here at Voyager Software – particularly Tim who has lived with kidney disease for just over 10 years. Join Tim as he shares his first-hand experience with kidney disease to raise more awareness on how it impacts lives, and why it’s so important to donate.
Just over 10 years ago I was diagnosed with IgA, a rare chronic kidney disease. Over the last 10 years my health declined to the extent that I could hardly make it through the day without sleeping - I couldn't eat, drink or wee.
Eventually my Kidney function reached a low of just 3%! and I had to start dialysis. This helped, but it too took its own toll on my body, leaving me exhausted and washed out after each session. The logistics of the sessions wasn’t straight forward either, what with each one being 4 hours on the actual machine along with the logistics of getting to and from the clinic.
I couldn’t drive there and back as I was too washed out afterwards, so I always had to rely on lifts or use the NHS patient transport service.
After a year of dialysis at the local clinic I switched to doing dialysis myself at home, which I did with the help of my family. This was 3 hours every evening for 6 days a week. Sometimes this was a very stressful 3 hours when things didn’t go as planned, plus I had to insert the large needles into my arm myself!
That small part of the process sometimes took up to 10-15 minutes as I gathered the courage to do it. Dialysing at home gave me the flexibility of doing it when I want and choosing what day to have off. As with all dialysis though, it was like having a part time job that you couldn’t take a holiday from or even have a day off sick.
On 8th August 2017, I had THE CALL, they had a kidney for me!
My life changed from that point on, from the selfless act of someone special and their family. However life changing this has been, at some point the kidney will fail, as all kidney transplants do, and I will be back in the same boat. Hopefully not for a while though...
For more information on how you can support people living with Kidney Disease, head here.