Ever gone for a routine check up and walked out of there with a portable blood pressure machine? Well, at the age of 23, no one expects that to happen to them. This is how I found out I have kidney disease in the beginning of October.
I visited my GP for a routine check-up. I had been feeling tired lately and all I wanted to do was sleep all the time. My sister googled my symptoms and decided that she thinks that I have diabetes (because Dr Google told her so) and that it was time for me to visit my doctor. Being in a stressful work environment and working overtime everyday made me ignore my initial symptoms as I thought I was suffering from anxiety and fatigue due to my workload. But this was not the case. My GP checked my blood pressure and it was quite high. My reading showed 190/110. A normal person as a reading of 140/80. He gave me a letter to take to the pathologist so they could run some tests (which I would do on Saturday) and he gave me a 24 hour BP monitor to wear at all times so that he could see if the BP was spiking or if it was constantly high (spoiler alert: it was constantly high).
Wearing a 24 hour BP machine is truly an experience. It goes off every half an hour and you have to ensure you’re sitting when it happens. There was a lot of admin involved while wearing this device all day.
I returned my BP monitor and headed to Vincent Palotti Hospital for my blood test. This went quite smoothly and I didn’t even think about it.
I went about my day as I would any other day. I visited my nephew and then went to a bridal shower of a work colleague. I then received a phone call from my doctor telling me that I needed to go to the hospital immediately. Fast forward a few hours, factor in another blood test and a lot of patience while waiting for the emergency doctor come and see me. Eventually he came and told me that a nephrologist (kidney doctor) would be coming to see me as my creatinine (the evil little thing that makes me so tired) is 490, whereas it should be +-50.
After waiting an entire day for the nephrologist to come and see me, I finally had some answers. I was told that my creatinine levels were incredibly high due to my kidneys failing and that I would need to be a lot more careful with what I eat going forward. Words were thrown around like kidney biopsy (which never happened because my kidneys were too small) and other scary words such dialysis. I was told to change my diet and to come back in two months.
And in a nutshell, that is how I found out I had kidney disease. I don’t think at this point the severity of the condition had set in. I was freaking out a little bit but the thought of a transplant hadn’t even popped into my mind. In the mean time my sister decided that she would like a second opinion and that is truly how my kidney disease journey began.