Archive for July, 2017


Hi there,

Here is another short update of coping with kidney failure. Today I want to talk about a touchy subject and that’s depression and other emotional symptoms that go along with my illness. Depression is extremely horrible to have.  And people with chronic illness also have to endure depression and other emotional problems as well as their main illness.  But some people think that depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. They’re wrong – it is a real illness with real symptoms.

I find it very difficult to talk about but I thought I would write a blog about it.

I am sorry to admit but because of my illness I find it very difficult to cope. As a result I feel extremely depressed at times.

It is really difficult to explain how I feel. I have mood swings, paranoia, depression. Some days I feel isolated and angry, others days I feel insecure and stressed. I over analyse and over think things. I get worried very easily and have very little patience. As a result I get irritated and lose my temper quickly. My memory is bad.  I struggle to remember simple things. Sometimes I struggle to get my words out and become very frustrated. Some days I feel like I am spinning out of control. And sometimes it feels like I am being sucked into a black hole. Other times it feels like I need to cry and scream and kick and shout. Then other times I go quiet and just want to be left alone.

I feel angry, guilty and alone. I guess this is due to a number of reasons. For example that I cannot be the bread-winner of the family or the father/husband I want/use to be. And also I feel guilty and angry that the transplant did not work. I blame myself. I also think I feel this way because I was disowned and betrayed by my own brother who thought I was imagining my chronic illness and exaggerating my horrible symptoms. I don’t think I ever got over being stabbed in the back by him or understand why he did it (but that’s another story), which I guess has torn me up inside.

The symptoms seemed to have progressively got worse over the past year. For a while now I have ignored the fact that I have these emotional problems. But it has got so bad that I cannot ignore it anymore and so decided to do something about it. I have decided to seek counselling. unfortunately my transplant clinic do not offer counselling so I have had to be refered by my GP. But there is a long waiting list to be seen by a counsellor on the NHS. I was told it could take from 4 to 6 months.  So in the mean time I have decided to take advantage of the free telephone service offered by Kidney Care UK.

http://www.kidneycareuk.org

I found out about the service by accident. One day I put a posting on the kidney care Facebook site asking about counselling and somebody from Kidney Care UK mentioned that they offer a free phone counselling service. So I rang them up and started my phone counselling sessions last week.

Hopefully these sessions will help. But it has helped me a lot recognising I have depression and talking about it with some body impartial. By sharing my problems it feels as though a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. So I would encourage anyone who thinks that they are suffering from a mental health problem to seek out some sort of counselling.

Anyway, I think that is it for now.

Thanks for reading.

P.S Please remember more than 10,000 people need and organ transplant in the UK. So donation is extremely important.

http://www.organdonation.nhs.uk

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Hi there,

I have not done an update on my health for a while so I thought I would give you a short update.

Its been over a year and half since I have had my transplant. Unfortunately the new kidney has never worked properly.

This week I had my 3 monthly appointment with the Kidney transplant specialists at North Staffordshire hospital. My bloods results were as expected with my kidney function hovering around the 18 mark. The Doctors did not really say anything else except confirming that the donor kidney is only providing a little bit of kidney function. Although the new kidney has not worked as I expected I guess it has helped keep me off dialysis for the time being.  I have not been put back on the transplant list as the threshold to be put on the transplant list is 15% kidney function. But even though I still feel crap they cannot do anything for me. And they will not remove the kidney or reduce the anti-rejection medication.

Since my transplant I have been up and down. Some days I have been ok but most days I feel terrible. I try to do as much as I can and I try to keep my mind active. But it is getting more and difficult. I don’t know if it is the effects of all the anti-rejection medication I am on but the fatigue and tiredness seems to have worsened over the year. Most days I cannot do anything. So I take each day as it comes. If it is a good day I try to do as much as I can. If it is a bad day I do nothing.

In February I was admitted to hospital with a severe stomach bug.  I remember it was a Tuesday morning (well it was Shrove Tuesday to be exact) and I had just come down for breakfast. I was in the middle of making pancakes with poached eggs when I felt incredibly unwell. I felt extremely dizzy and light-headed. The room was spinning and the last thing I remember is thinking I needed to sit down before I collapse. Then the next thing I remember is coming round on the floor with my wife standing over me. She was on the phone to the ambulance. I told her I was fine and persuaded her not to continue with calling an ambulance. She then wanted to call the kidney unit but again I persuaded her not to.

I felt extremely unwell and had severe diarrhea but I did not want go into hospital as I thought I just had a bug and I will get over it. It took 3 days for my wife to eventually persuade me ring the kidney unit and go into hospital. I was incredibly stupid and stubborn. The hospital ran tests and determined I was severely dehydrated and that my kidney function, Potassium and Magnesium levels were dangerously low. They immediately put me on a drip. Further blood tests revealed that I had Camplyobacter (which is a common cause of food poisoning). They did not give me any antibiotics as it was just a matter of riding it out until it had all got out of my system.

After a few days (most of it spent on the toilet) and several drips I had recovered enough to go home. But this event taught me a valuable lesson. Don’t be so stubborn in the future. Listen to your body and more importantly always listen to your wife :).

I have to remember that I am not as healthy as I used to be and I cannot fight illnesses like I use to.  They are dangerous to me and I need to go to hospital if needed.

Anyway, that’s about it for now. thanks for reading.

Remember more than 10,000 people need and organ transplant in the UK. So donation is extremely important.

http://www.organdonation.nhs.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 


Here is my review of Spider-Man:Homecoming (Released at Cinema in July 2017) which my family and I saw at the cinema recently.

I was not really sure whether I would like as the previous Spider-Man film (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) had let the franchise down. But I had high hopes because it was a joint enterprise with Marvel and his brief appearance in Captain America: Civil War was brilliant.

Spider-Man Homecoming is the first of its franchise but thankfully, it was not an origins story.  We pick up the story with an already powered up Peter Parker, played by Tom Holland, living with his Aunt May in Queens, living the life of a teenage school kid in high school with super powers.  I really like the fact that they didn’t go through the whole origin story again. As every Spider-Man fan knows Peter gets bit by a spider, he gets powers and he figures out his life as a hero.  You can only re-tell the same story so many times. We didn’t really need that story for a 3rd time.

Anyway, This film starts following the Battle of New York (from avengers assemble) as Adrian Toomes (played by the brilliant Michael Keaton) and his salvage company are contracted to clean up the city, but their operation is taken over by Tony Stark’s U.S. Department of Damage Control (D.O.D.C.). Enraged at being driven out of business, Toomes persuades his employees to keep the Chitauri technology they have already scavenged and use it to create and sell advanced weapons.

We then pick up the story 8 Years later where he is thriving in the city as a crime boss/arms dealer called, The Vulture and providing for his family and friends. At the same time Peter Parker (Spider-Man) has been drafted into the Avengers by Stark to help with an internal dispute (Captain America:Civil War), but resumes his studies at the Midtown School of Science and Technology when Stark tells him he is not yet ready to become a full Avenger.

But Peter continues his crime-fighting activities as Spider-Man. One night, after preventing criminals from robbing an ATM with their advanced weapons from Toomes, Parker returns to his Queens apartment where his best friend Ned discovers his secret identity. Peter and Ned then continue their investigation into Toomes with the disapproval of Tony Stark.  I won’t reveal much else as I do not want to spoil it for every body.

This is not a usual superhero focussed film, it’s more like a teen movie. As it focuses on the day-to-day troubles of a typical 15-year-old geeky teenager in high school as he tries to balance school with being a crime fighter at the same time. So if anything, it is more a Peter Parker focussed story than a Spider-Man one.  Tom Holland is brilliant as Peter Parker and Spider-Man.  He owns every scene he’s in, never getting blown off the screen by his co-stars, which include such formidable personalities as Robert Downey Jr. and Michael Keaton. Tom Hollands intelligence and good-natured manner perfectly captures Peter Parker’s youthfulness, earnestness and moral center. And throughout the film Peter screws up a lot, I mean a lot, but he’s a good kid who knows when he has to set things right and Holland sells all of that.

But I have to say Ned played by Jacob Batalon just about manages to steal the show for me as he has some particularly funny moments as Peter’s side kick.

In summary I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I felt it had the perfect combination of action, special effects and humour.

Marvel and Sony have succeeded to produce a great Spider-Man film in the marvel universe franchise. And yes there are a couple of post-credit scenes, so don’t leave too early.