Fast forward about 5 weeks since I landed up in the hospital. I went for another blood test and by now I have found a new nephrologist (kidney doctor). I’m definitely the type of person that will search for something on Google until I find what I am looking for. In this case, I was looking of the best possible nephrologist in Cape Town, South Africa. I eventually found Dr Stead, who was also recommended to me by quite a few people.
The day before my first appointment with him, I went for another blood test in the hopes that my creatinine levels had gone down a little bit. In my head, I thought that a small improvement in creatinine would mean that my kidney function was improving.
I went to my appointment with Dr Stead with about 15 questions on kidney disease. I left the appointment with all my questions answered and also diagnosed with stage 5 renal failure. So what does that mean exactly? It means that my kidneys are functioning at 10%. It should be functioning at 100% or somewhere close to that. So what is the treatment to get my kidney function back up? Unfortunately the damage that has been done to my kidneys is irreversible at this point. They have no idea what caused the damage so that question was also left unanswered. They couldn’t do a kidney biopsy (which can usually tell what caused the kidney damage) because my kidneys are too small.
So whats the plan?
Step 1: Start dialysis. I need to choose which type of dialysis I want to do and then I will start. I have a choice between at home dialysis (peritoneal dialysis) and in hospital dialysis (hemodialysis). I am currently leaning towards at home dialysis but I will do another blog post on that.
Step 2: Get a new kidney. So this process will be happening while I am on dialysis. My immediate family are all getting tested to see if they can donate a kidney and then the transplant will take place. While I wish I could avoid this step, its the only thing that will actually help me.