Posts Tagged ‘kidney disease’

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.

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.




Hi there, I am really sorry that I haven’t posted a blog for nearly a year now. This is because it has been a really tough year as I have had a kidney transplant (more on that later) and also my health has not been good and thus I have not felt like writing anything. In addition, because of my ill-health I have also had to stop doing the kidney45challenge (See my kidney45challenge Australian adventure) which is a shame. Although I did manage to complete 35 challenges which is an amazing achievement in itself. I might do something similar in the future, health permitting, I don’t know.

Anyway, as I was saying I had a kidney transplant in January 2016.  I was diagnosed with stage 5 kidney failure in 2013 and placed on the transplant list in December 2014 (See Kidney failure, what it all means and my journey so far).

On the 31st January 2016 I was at home with my wife and we had just finished a Chinese take away when my mobile rang. I looked at it and wondered who on earth could be ringing at 11 o’clock at night. The number was withheld so I ignored it and let it ring off. 10 seconds later my wife’s mobile rang.  At that moment I sort of suspected that it was the transplant unit in Manchester. She answered it and yes it was the call. A kidney had been found and we had to get to Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI) as fast as we possibly can.

I was shocked. I really did not want to go as I was shit scared. But my lovely wife said don’t worry it will be ok so we put project kidney into motion. Well to be honest we didn’t really have a plan. Anyway I packed some overnight stuff. We woke up Oscar and dropped him off at the in-laws and made our way to Manchester. It was so unreal as we drove in the dark towards Manchester. Everything seamed to be in slow motion.

We finally arrived at the Manchester Royal Infirmary hospital at around midnight and I was booked onto ward 9.  As I sat in bed waiting for the nurse to do all the pre-transplant checks I was petrified. Which showed as my blood pressure and heard rate were sky-high. My wife and the nurse kept saying you need to calm down so we can get your heart rate down. Well that’s easily said than done. I had a chest X-ray done and blood test done in preparation for the operation. My lovely wife stayed with me till about 5 in the morning whilst I was waiting to be taken down to theatre. As nothing seamed to be happening I told her to go home so she could get some sleep.

I tried to sleep myself but it was useless. I just sat in bed wondering and worrying about the day ahead. I was not even allowed any food or drink because of the upcoming operation. Eventually after hours of waiting, at around 9am, I was taken down to surgery on the trolley. I remember speaking to the transplant surgeon about something, And then talking to the anaesthetist who told me to count back from 10. I started counting and then I remember nothing. The next thing I remember is being woken up by one of the surgeons and the transplant had been done. I was in a lot of pain and very groggy from the operation. I was taken back to ward 9 and I asked the nurses to contact my wife to let her know I was ok. I don’t really remember much else except being in a lot of pain.

I was in hospital for about 3 weeks. I don’t really remember much in hospital, its all a bit of a daze. Unfortunately the transplant did not work as expected. The new kidney did not wake up. I was told by various doctors it may take up to 3 months to wake up. I hated being in hospital. It was so depressing. Plus it was very hard on my family who had to travel an hour each way to see me. We live in Crewe and the hospital is in Manchester. They tried to see me every day at first but it was too much for them, so in the end they reluctantly reduced it to 2 or 3 times a week. I was so looking forward to going home and getting away from hospital food.  Even though I had stabilised from the operation the new kidney still had not woken up, but the doctors agreed that I could be let out :). I was so happy when I was told I could finally go home.

But after leaving the hospital I still had to go back 2 or 3 times a week for regular blood tests for the first couple of months. I was pretty ill when I got first home as, on top of the new kidney not working properly, I was in a lot of pain from the operation and unwell because of the side effects from all the drugs I was taking. The doctors kept saying the new kidney will wake up eventually.  The doctors tried even me on steroids and different doses of anti-rejection drug but they did not work.  I have had loads of blood tests and scans done and there were no indications of infection or rejection.  But then they did eventually find out what was wrong when they did a biopsy of the kidney. The biopsy showed that new kidney had vascular disease. So the reason why the transplant hadn’t worked was that the donor kidney was diseased. This was very upsetting and frustrating news for me. I could not believe I had received a diseased kidney.


Picture of me after operation


My Kidney Scar










When I left hospital I was on so many different drugs I lost count. Here is a picture of some of the drugs I was on.


My Selection of Drugs







Unfortunately around 3% of transplanted kidneys from deceased donors just do not work for one reason or another. I guess it’s just the luck of draw me receiving a diseased kidney from a donor. Which is why there is a much better chance of the kidney working from a live donor, as the donor has to have numerous tests themselves. So any problems with a potential donor kidney will be picked up.  

Although I have more or less recovered from the operation I now have contend with the continued side effects of the concoction of anti rejection drugs I am taking. Mood swings, depression, extreme nausea and tremors being the worse of them (which I wouldn’t have minded if the new kidney actually worked). And on top of that I have now have anemia, magnesium deficiency, potassium deficiency and am on the verge of being diabetic. Fortunately I was pre-dialysis before the transplant as my kidney function ranged from 12 to 15%, and now it is the same. The transplant made no difference to my kidney function at all, except that I feel worse now than I did before the transplant.

The doctors have more or resigned to the fact that the transplant hasn’t worked and now gradually reducing my anti-rejection medication with a view to putting me back on the transplant list.  They will probably leave the new kidney in unless it becomes medically necessary to remove it.  Some people have 2 or 3 transplants before they find one that works.

I have now been transferred from the MRI to North Staffordshire hospital to be cared under them. I have a check up every couple of weeks now. And they are in the process of reactivating me onto the transplant list. I must admit the care and organisation at North Staffordshire is a lot better than it was in Manchester. The nurses and doctors at North Staffordshire Transplant Unit have been brilliant. I have to say I was very disappointed with the after care at the MRI.

So as you can imagine it has been a terrible 9 months. with endless trips to one hospital or another. And then the stress and anguish of finding out that I received a diseased kidney.  I have tried to remain positive but it has been very hard for me. And my lovely wife Simone Derbyshire and son have been brilliant in their support of me. And I am sure it has been hard for them as well watching me go through this. There is a small part of me keeping my fingers crossed that the new kidney may heal itself and wake up eventually but I have accepted that it will never work.

I have felt so down and depressed now because the new kidney didn’t work. And even though I am going back on the transplant list soon I am in two minds whether I want another transplant from a deceased donor. I don’t think I want another year like that and I have had enough of being prodded and poked by doctors.

But on a final important note. Even though the transplant hasn’t worked, I am very thankful for the donor and their family. As without donors, and their decision to use their organs after their death, life saving transplants can never take place. More than 10,000 people need an organ transplant in the UK.  So donation is extremely important. And even though I have had problems, most people can have transplants which are very successful and have improved their lives enormously.

I cannot think of anything else to say at the moment so thanks for reading this, and have a nice day. Hopefully it wont take me another year to write my next blog :).

Sorry this update is a bit late. October and November was a good month of challenges. As you maybe aware  the family and I went on holiday to Western Australia with the mother in law and father in law (who kindly paid for the holiday).  I want to thank them for treating us to the holiday, as we would not have been able to afford it ourselves. Anyway, we arrived in Australia on the 15th October and stayed for about a month. First we stayed in a hotel in Perth for a couple of days and then we shared a villa in a place called Minderie.  Minderie is a small harbour on the coast about 22 miles north of Perth. We had an amazing time and I attempted a few challenges whilst I was away.

They were as follows:-

27. Eat Crocodile and Kangaroo

I did this challenge instead of a bush tucker challenge as I found it difficult find a place that offered bush tucker. So in the end I went to a restaurant that did kangaroo and crocodile instead. I tried kangaroo kebabs, Crocodile kebabs and crocodile ribs. I must admit they were very nice indeed.

28. Climb the leaning tower of Gingin (222 steps high)

We took a trip to a place called the gravity discovery centre near Gingin.  The centre was amazing. It had an interactive science museum, a cosmology gallery which had art from different background depicting science and the stars and the leaning tower of Gingin. Which is tower than leans at 15 degrees and consisted of 222 steps. I climbed the leaning tower  and standing at 45 metres high it was a huge challenge getting to the top. But I did it.

29. Eat jelly fish and century eggs (Chinese delicacy)

One evening we visited a Chinese restaurant in Perth . I had a Chinese delicacy called jelly fish and century eggs, which is basically pickled jelly fish with fermented rotten eggs. It was an acquired taste and I was almost sick. But I ate it and completed the challenge.

30. 10km Bush Walk

We took a trip to the John Forrest national park which is a huge national park near Perth. And I did a 10 km Bush walk around the park. I went along an old railway trail and saw waterfalls and very pretty landscape. It was very very very hard work as it was very hot (above 30C). It was so hard that there was a point that I did not think I would make it back to the car. But I did. I was very exhausted and hot at the end of it.

31. Take a picture of a whale whilst whale watching.

One day we went whale watching from Hillary’s harbour. The boat set off from Hillary’s harbour at about 9 am and we cruised between Rottnest island and Fremantle looking for whales. We were out for about 4 hours and we saw plenty of whales but it was very difficult trying to take a picture of them with my phone.

32. Get a selfie with a Kangaroo

We saw plenty of Kangaroos whilst we were away. We saw a few when we visited Yanchep National Park. It was very difficult getting close to them to get a salfie but I managed a quick picture in the end.

33. Play the didgeridoo

Whilst we were at Yanchep National Park we went to an aboriginal talk experience where we learnt loads about their culture and way of life. And whilst I was there I attempted the didgeridoo. Although it did sound like a damp fart :).

The biggest challenge though was…. 34)  Spending a month with my in-laws. Yes, I spent a month in the same villa with my mother in law and although their was the odd disagreement I survived, just :).

However, I think I did way too much whilst I was away as I have not been that well since we arrived back in the uk. Which is why its taken me so long to write this blog. And so as a result I will only be attempting 1 challenge in December and that’s to write a poem about my condition 45 words in length. As I have about 10 challenges left I will be continuing my challenges into next year.

As you know I am doing 45 challenges to raise awareness for kidney disease, organ donation  and raise money for the British Kidney Patient Association (BKPA). So far I have raised about £350. So come on every body, please sponsor me,

By the way, if you are not on the organ donation register, sign up below. Organ Donation Save Lives

Sorry this challenge update is a bit late, but I have been taking a break from doing challenges.

Anyway in September I am afraid I only completed 1 challenge which was very tiring. I did a 5 mile walk and as a result I was not very well for a couple of days and so I decided to have a break from doing any challenges for a bit. As a result I have not done any challenges since beginning of September.

I am going on holiday to Australia soon with my in-laws who have kindly paid for it.  I hope to attempt some challenges whilst I am away but spending time with my in-laws could be considered a challenge in itself :).

So while I am away I plan to attempt the following challenges:-

27. Write a poem about my condition 45 words in length

28. Bush tucker challenge

29. Have a selfie taken with some kangaroos 

30. Get an upgrade on the flight

As you know I am doing 45 challenges to raise awareness for kidney disease, organ donation  and raise money for the British Kidney Patient Association (BKPA). So far I have raised about £350. So come on every body, please sponsor me,

By the way, if you are not on the organ donation register, sign up below. Organ Donation Save Lives

Sorry this challenge update is a bit late, but I have not been all that well for the past couple of days.

Anyway, August was a busy month of challenges.

At the beginning of the month I completed Challenge 20 (Dress up as a clown) and Challenge 21 (Run a tombola stall at a charity event). We were at the Big day out in Nantwich and raised £70 on the tombola for the British Kidney Patient Association.

Then I completed Challenge 22, mow the lawn naked. Here are the pictures which have been censored so as not to offend anyone.

And over the bank holiday weekend I  completed 3 challenges. They were challenge 23 (3 mile walk), Challenge 24 (wear pants on outside of trousers) and Challenge 25 (ice bath challenge).

And here is the video for the ice bath challenge.

For September I have a couple of challenges planned.

They are a 5 mile walk, hold a tarantula and  a snake.  I was wondering if any one knew of any body that has a snake or tarantula that I could use for my challenges. If you do, please let me know.

As you know I am doing 45 challenges to raise awareness for kidney disease, organ donation  and raise money for the British Kidney Patient Association (BKPA). So far I have raised about £300. Some come on every body, please sponsor me,

Catch you next time :).

By the way, if you are not on the organ donation register, sign up below. Organ Donation Save Lives

Sorry this challenge update is a bit late, its been a busy couple of days.

Anyway in July I am afraid I only completed 1 challenge due to health reasons and the bad weather. So the other challenges have been postponed to later in the year.

But I have completed challenge 19, wear a badly fitted toupee for 3 days. I looked really silly but my lovely wife Simone Derbyshire really hate it. Here are the pictures :).

In August I plan to attempt the following challenges:-

20. Dress up as a clown

21. Run a tombola stall at a charity event

22. Mow the lawn naked.

23. Malkins Bank Circular Walk (6 miles).

24. Wear Pants on outside of trousers for a day

25. Ice bath challenge

As you know I am doing 45 challenges to raise awareness for kidney disease, organ donation  and raise money for the British Kidney Patient Association (BKPA). So far I have raised about £330. So come on every body, please sponsor me,

By the way, if you are not on the organ donation register, sign up below. Organ Donation Save Lives

June was a busy month of challenges.

I combined challenge 15, dress up as a women for the day, and challenge 17, the brereten heath 1 mile walk .  It was a fun day dressing up as women but rather embarrassing walking around brereten heath in my dress. I even took a trip to visit the in-laws who thought I looked really good. But by the end of the day I was sure glad to take off the bra. I don’t know how you ladies manage :).

Challenge 18 was to write a blog about my condition and share it with as many people as possible. Read the blog here. I shared it on social media and it had a lot of readers.

My last challenge for the month was challenge 16, shave my head. I picked the hottest day of the year and my wife chopped all my off. It felt very weird indeed.

My planned challenges for July are:-

19. Wear a badly fitted toupee for 3 days

20. Mow the lawn naked (providing I don’t get arrested lol)

21. Pet a snake (does any body have a snake I can pet)

22. Malkins Bank Circular Walk (2.6 miles).

As you know I am doing 45 challenges to raise awareness for kidney disease, organ donation  and raise money for the British Kidney Patient Association (BKPA). So if you want sponsor me, it would be very much appreciated.

Catch you next time :).

By the way, if you are not on the organ donation register, sign up below. Organ Donation Save Lives

I know I don’t look Sick but…… I have a chronic illness.

I bet when most people hear the phrase “chronic illness,” it likely conjures up images of an old granny in a nursing home.

The thing is, chronic illness isn’t limited to just the elderly. Chronic Disease is defined as “a long-lasting condition that can be controlled but not cured,” and includes things like arthritis, kidney disease, depression, lupus, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, inflammatory bowel diseases and many more. Many of these illnesses are also invisible, meaning that you can’t tell someone has one unless they explicitly tell you so.

As you know I have stage 5 Chronic kidney disease (also known as end stage kidney failure) and am waiting for a kidney transplant. With Chronic kidney disease there is a progressive loss in renal function over a period of months or years until the kidneys do not work any more (and you die). Chronic kidney disease is common, affecting over 3 million people in the UK. However, it can go undetected as people often have no symptoms until stage 4 or 5.   I probably had it many years before I was diagnosed.  I only went to the Doctors because my lovely wife persuaded me as I was getting more and more tired all the time and feeling generally unwell.

Kidneys are essential to our health. They get rid of excess water and toxins, regulate blood pressure and make red blood cells. They filter your blood up to 30 times a day. They help keep your bones strong and healthy by activating vitamin D. And they are responsible for keeping the components of your blood in balance.

Every year over 55,000 people in the UK are being treated for end stage kidney failure.  Around 6,000 people are waiting for a kidney and less than 3,000 transplants are carried out each year with one person dying every day in the UK waiting for a kidney.  As I have mentioned before there is no magic cure, there are just different ways of living/coping with it.

The symptoms can vary wildly from person to person.

For me.  I feel exhausted all the time. It is really hard to describe how tired and exhausted I feel. But its like living with an intense deep exhaustion that makes every movement feel like I am walking at the bottom of the ocean with a huge ten ton weight on top of me. And it doesn’t matter if I have had 3 or 10 hours of sleep I feel the same.

When the weather is cold I suffer from cold intolerance and find it very difficult to keep myself warm. My legs often become week and feel like jelly. My bones ache all over. I often feel nausea and have headaches. My skin itches often. The simplest tasks take me 5 times longer and take 5 times as much more energy than a “normal” person.

I have little patience and suffer from mood swings, paranoia and intense depression. In turn I suffer really badly from stress.  I feel insecure and I get stressed and worried really easily. And if I do get stressed or worried about anything my body rebels and my other symptoms flare up even worse.

I find it very difficult to concentrate on anything and as a result my memory suffers drastically. And so I get confused and frustrated very easily. My mind feels very fuzzy and foggy. People with Chronic Kidney Disease usually call this having a “foggy brain”.

I can be ok for three hours one moment and curled up in my bed nauseated, dizzy and weak for the next six hours. I can be on the go for 1 or 2 days and lying in a bed the week after. My body rebels without warning.

As you may know I am trying to something positive and I am attempting 45 challenges in order to raise awareness for organ donation and to raise money for the British Kidney Patient Association (See And as you can imagine this is not easy for me to do. Because of the reasons above I find it incredibly difficult.

Most people start the day with unlimited amount of possibilities, and energy to do whatever they desire. I don’t have that luxury. I read a blog recently which explains what I mean, it’s called the spoon theory. It’s a simple analogy to explain what it’s like to live with a chronic illness or disability.

The basic premise is that when you have a chronic illness or disability, you wake up each day with a certain number of spoons. Every time you exert effort — by getting out of bed, making tea, showering, eating, all those little things — you lose a spoon. When you run out of spoons, that’s it, the day’s done and you can’t physically do any more.  Lets say I start each day with 10 spoons. Then you can understand that very quickly I can run out of spoons and not be able to do anything else as I am spent. It’s an analogy that demonstrates the loss of control someone experiences when they’re living with a chronic condition. Read the full explanation in the blog below.

Another way of explaining it is each day is like the day you had the worst hangover of your life. After you’ve gotten over the initial sickness and killer headache, you’ve had some breakfast and feel a bit better. However for the rest of the day, you feel not quite right, all fuzzy and sleepy and not very with it. Now imagine having that every day from when you wake up to when you go to sleep, and that’s as good as your days get.

I hate it. I hate being ill all the time. It is really hard being tired and ill all the time and this gets me down. Especially when I can’t play with 7 year old son because I am too tired. It breaks my heart every time I say no I can’t play with him. My wife and son do try their best to be supportive but it can’t be easy for them either watching me go through this.

People with Chronic kidney disease usually have to take a concoction of drugs to help our body cope with the various conditions that we suffer from because the kidneys can not maintain the blood chemistry.  I am no different, I take numerous medications because I also have Hypokalaemia, impaired glucose tolerance, Hypocitraturia, Secondary Hyperparathyroidism and Dyslipidemia. And on top of the different medications I have to take there is the endless blood tests, other tests and hospital visits that I have to endure to remain active on the Transplant List.

On top of this is the hassle of having deal with others who do not believe you are ill. Dealing with somebody who does not believe your are ill is not something that anyone should have to deal with on top of the stress of their illness. So how should you deal with somebody that doesn’t believe that you are sick.  Here are some ways that I have come across to deal with these people in your life that question your illness.

1. Think of yourself.

This is a simple tip. Think of yourself. When you cancel or don’t do much as you use to, do so with the utmost love for yourself and with self-care. Lose the guilt and especially lose the worry of what others will think when you can not or are unable to do things because of your illness. Set expectations for yourself, and other people, that are realistic. Be upfront with your friends and family that because your health is unpredictable, you typically may not be able to do some activities.

2. Be confident in talking about your illness.

When someone says, “You don’t even look sick,” you should respond kindly: “Thank you, but I am and it’s a daily challenge. If you want to learn more about my health condition, please just ask’.” Don’t waste valuable time and effort convincing them otherwise. And don’t waste energy defending or justifying yourself.

3. Don’t Waste energy Getting Mad

Before getting mad at those that question you, ask yourself if you have thoroughly explained what you’re going through. If people continue to question you, then it is best to distance yourself or remove them from your life.

4. Surround yourself with positive people.

Instead, surrounding yourself with positive people who will help you cope with your illness. Joining a support group is also going to aid in buoying you.

Unfortunately I have been the recipient of this attitude from my brother. He claimed that I was exaggerating my condition and being melodramatic when I told him about my illness and he said  “you will be ok as your condition isn’t life threatening as you can get dialysis to make you better”.  He said a lot of other hurtful things to me which I wont go into here. He will never comprehend what I (and my family) have to go through or understand how hurt he made me feel. He just did not know how hard it is for somebody, both physically and emotionally, to live with a chronic illness. I tried to explain my situation to the best of my ability and that dialysis was not a cure but he refused to listen. He just didn’t know what all the fuss was about. Instead he took advantage of my weakened/confused state and left me depressed, frustrated, sad and even guilty that I had this condition. I did not even get any support from him for me attempting the kidney45challenge and he even used that against me to attack me further. But I didn’t want his pity I just wanted respect and his understanding of my circumstances. So I have now removed him from my life as you just don’t expect that sort of betrayal from a family member. But maybe one day if he has the maturity and humility to apologise to me I may let him back into my life, I don’t know. Anyway, I wont say any more on the matter, it’s not worth the stress.

My life is better and more positive without an ignorant negative judgmental poison influencing and upsetting me. I just do not need the added stress of dealing with a selfish individual who refuses to believe that I suffer from a chronic illness and refuses to listen to me.  Unfortunately, I am not alone as people with chronic illness have had to face the same as me. And as a result they lose friends and family because of this. It’s very sad reading about the various stories on social media. There are number of cases where family members have turned their back on the person with chronic kidney disease because they say that their disease is an embarrassment to the family. Another example was a partner of 15 years who walked out saying he did not want to live with an invalid. And there is the problem of friends backing off because of fear of being called upon to help the ill person. And so as a result it can be very lonely adjusting to life living with a chronic illness.

But the behaviour of strangers can be just as bad. Although this has not happened to me, yet! I have heard of people with chronic conditions parking in a disabled spot (because quite rightly they have a blue badge) having to put up with evil stares, verbal abuse and arguments by other persons because they don’t think anything is wrong with them. For example there was a case where a kidney patient was at the hospital seeing his kidney specialist when an old lady asked them why a fit man like him was parking in a space for people with a serious illness and she said she bet he was the sort who parked in disabled bays!! Another example is of a mother with a child with a chronic condition having an argument with an elderly person because they were disputing the fact that she had parked in a disabled spot in a supermarket car park.

I could go on and on with different examples as it very common. Especially from the elderly who think that it is only their “right” to have blue badge and be able to park in a disabled space. You would have thought that some people should know better but again some people judge people by what they see. In this instance there is not a lot you can do except smile, calmly explain you have a chronic condition (using step 1 above) and continue on your way. Having an argument is more hassle than its worth.

Doctors, nurses and health professionals can be just as bad due to their ignorance of chronic conditions. Some just do not understand the ramifications of chronic illnesses. And there is the indignity of facing bureaucratic medical professionals when trying to get financial assistance from the government. The hurdles that people with chronic conditions have to go through when trying to get PIP (Personal Independence Payment) or ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) is mind-boggling and soul-destroying. I have heard of sufferers with chronic conditions being turned down because the medical professionals who have examined them have found them ‘fit for work’ as they have ignored everything the patient has told them because they look healthy.

It’s really hard living with an invisible illness because you often don’t look sick and it is hard describing what you are going through. That’s why chronic illnesses are often referred to as an invisible illness. I hear it all the time when people say to me  “but you don’t look sick” or “you look really well” but little do they realise how I am feeling inside.

The other day I was speaking to somebody whose husband had the same condition as me and he was on dialysis. He was in a “worse condition” than me and she said that even though her husband was extremely sick he still looked well on the outside. And this is common amongst people with chronic illness. You just don’t what is going on beneath the surface.

And since many chronic diseases don’t have a cure this is something that person has to live with forever. So if you meet some body with a chronic illness. Please don’t be ignorant and call your friend or family member a hypochondriac or, worse, imply that they’re imagining or making up their symptoms for attention. And if you see somebody park in a disabled spot but they don’t look disabled, don’t judge them and please don’t assume that some one is ok just because they don’t look ill. Their illness is a very real thing. As I said before we don’t want pity, we just want respect and understanding of our circumstances.

And for those that have been the recipient of this attitude, don’t blame yourself. It’s actually their ignorance and their problem not yours. Think positive and follow my tips. As some people will never understand.

This blog was written to complete challenge 18 from kidney45challenge. Challenge 18 was to write a blog about my condition and share it online with as many people as possible. So please share it if you can.

Thank you for reading and have a nice day :).

In May I have completed challenge 13, the hot curry challenge. I made an extremely hot tuna curry with 4 scotch bonnet chilies, 6 finger chillies, 1 tablespoon of hot curry powder and 1 tablespoon of hot chilli powder….. It blew my mind but was rather nice.

Unfortunately I have not done any other challenges in May. But in June I plan to attempt the following challenges:-

14. Learn to dance the Samba (year challenge)

15. Dress up as a women for a day

16. Shave head.

17. Bereten Heath 1 mile walk

18. Write a blog about my condition and share it online with as many people as possible

As you know I am doing 45 challenges to raise awareness for kidney disease, organ donation  and raise money for the British Kidney Patient Association (BKPA). So far I have raised about £290. Some come on every body, please sponsor me,

My challenges have been going really well and the BKPA have been very positive about my campaign. I feel extremely positive and happy that the kidney45challenge is having an impact. But what made me smile the most was a comment made on a post I made on Facebook the other day. They said “Wow Darren what an inspiration you truly are. I’m also waiting on a transplant so I completely understand your health situation. God I thought I’m a positive person. You blow me out the water. If only everyone in life had your enthusiasm. Very well done. Incredible. I will try and think up some challenges lol.” This has made me realise that maybe I am making a difference.  

Catch you next time :).

By the way, if you are not on the organ donation register, sign up below. Organ Donation Save Lives

Hi every one.

This is an update on the kidney45challenge. Well, I have completed 3 challenges for march. But due to health reasons (not been well for a week or so) I have had to postpone 2 challenges till later in the year.

The challenges were:-

Challenge 7) Not to drink tea , coffee, coke or any caffeine drinks for a month.

I thought this was going to be extremely difficult for me as I do love a cup of tea in the morning but I have found this relatively easy and not missed tea, coffee or coke.

Challenge 8) Learn to speak Spanish (year challenge).

I have started this challenge and will learn to speak Spanish with my son.

Challenge 9) Dye hair red or pink.

I chose pink. The first attempt to dye my hair was unsuccessful as my hair is too dark. So we decided it was best if we bleached my hair first and dye it blonde before trying to dyeing it pink.

The challenges for April are:-

Challenge 10. Don’t drink alcohol for a month

Challenge 11. Don’t speak for the whole day.

Challenge 12. Complete 25 push ups and 50 sit ups in one go

I am still looking for more ideas. So if you have any challenge ideas please let me know.

Why am I doing this? Well to raise awareness for kidney disease and organ transplantation.

 •More than 10,000 people need an organ transplant in the UK.

•3,000 people a year die while on dialysis and more than 350 people a year die while waiting for a kidney transplant, that’s one person every day. The average waiting time for a kidney on the transplant list is about 1,000 days.

•Around 6000 people are on the waiting list for a kidney transplant

•Only 2500 kidney transplantations take place each year.

Organ Donation Save Lives

As well as raising awareness it is my intention to raise money for the British Kidney Patient Association who do wonderful work for those affected by kidney disease by providing grants to those that need it. And without their help last year I would not have been able to go on holiday to Mexico with my family.

Some come on every body, please sponsor me and put yourself on the donor list.

Catch you next time :).