This is something I have been wanting to write about for a while but I struggled to put what I was feeling into words.
For over a year (pre-diagnoses) I had kidney failure symptoms which I never knew were symptoms. I had a very stressful job and I honestly thought all my symptoms were related to work anxiety. I never went to my doctor to deal with it because I thought this came with the territory of being in a high pressure job. I pushed through and didn’t take a single day of sick leave until I was hospitalised. I don’t like to think about the “what ifs”. EG: What if I had gone to the doctor earlier and we could have caught this at stage 1-4.
Everything happens for a reason and we just have to trust that there is a plan out there for all of us.
Here are a list of symptoms I had and an update since diagnoses and starting PD.
Nausea and Vomiting
I would throw up once a week or every second week. I honestly thought this was my nerves and anxiety about my job acting up. I had no idea that throwing up that often was a symptom of my kidney failure. To make things worse, I would throw up and not rest. I would carry on working.
The vomiting stopped when I quit my job. So it was slightly work related but the nausea was still there. Since starting PD it is a lot better but sometimes I still feel quite nauseas immediately after doing PD.
I would constantly get migraines. It would get so bad that I did not want to be outdoors and this usually lead to me throwing up.
These come and go now. They’re not as common as they were before but when they do occur, its quite bad.
I found that I couldn’t concentrate on something for too long before my mind would wonder off. Not only that, but if I was doing something I would go into a daze. Sometimes when I was reading, text would go blurry. I thought all of this was due to the fact that I work on a laptop all day (I work in digital marketing).
I am actually going to the optician tomorrow because my blurred vision is becoming a lot worse. My memory is terrible too and I tend to leave myself notes so that I do not forget to do things.
This is probably the worst symptom I ignored and tried to “self medicate” and I am not proud of it. My fatigue levels were insane. I was constantly sleeping whenever I could. I would go home during my lunch break, take a nap and go back to work. I napped every day after work too. It didn’t help that I still pushed myself quite hard in the gym, making me even more tired. As for the self medication… I became quite addicted to caffeine. If I wasn’t drinking coffee I was drinking Redbull or whatever energy drink that I could find. I went for Vitamin B12 injections regularly. I guess I should have known that something was wrong because even though I used all these things, I was still tired.
Since starting peritoneal dialysis, I am happy to report that the fatigue is no longer an issue. Sure I don’t have as much energy as I would like but I am definitely not napping all day anymore.
For as long as I can remember, I have had lower back pain. I went for massages frequently and used heating pads to alleviate the pain. I thought the back pain was due to bad posture (sitting at a desk all day and night would do that to you).
The back pain is still an issue. I have massages every two weeks now and I always have a heat pad or a hot water bottle to help with the pain.