The paradox of life is a phenomenon that the greatest minds are still trying to unpack. Tell a drunkard that his bottle will be his undoing and he’ll probably scoff at you.
Yesterday there was an electrical maintenance situation which a new neighbor needed to be looked into. Having lately adopted a friendly attitude towards my neighbors, – normal etiquette of greeting someone on the stairway, or standing a little longer on the gate to allow a stranded neighbor who probably left their key to pass before I lock the gate. – You get what I am talking about… Something that I have taken a whole year to learn- Disclaimer (I am not usually that slow)
I remembered the time I was in such a situation (electrical maintenance need), and the person who helped me solve it. He was a fairly nice guy, who was heavily built and knew his way around the wires. He solved my electrical problem in less than thirty minutes, gave me a bargain and even left his number in case of future incidences. Baddy Electrician was the number I dialed- it’s good to know people.
Fast forward six months later…. I called him yesterday to assist my new neighbor. Seeing him this time, he was different. His was leaner and I could have passed him had I not asked him to wait for me at a strategic point.
He entered the house and finished with the pleasantries then asked for a seat. As I was moving the clutter to create room for him to sit, he explained that he has not been feeling well lately. His kidneys are shutting down. He cannot stand for long and he has been going for dialysis twice a week, and spending 17,000 shillings a week. He experiences shortness of breath and pains all over the body.
Baddy then started his diagnosis of the problem at hand, something that he did with the same precision he had six months earlier. He did not even ask us to turn the main switch off. As he was working, my new neighbor- pastor- was engaging him in small talk. Pastor also happens to be immobilized due to multiple knee fractures in their healing process- a story that I think I might share some day. I decided to just listen as the pastor asked him about his health.
Our electrical doctor tells us that he had been enjoying his beer, and spirits as normal people do. “When I was repairing your electricity, I was completely normal.” He responds to my enquiry about his condition. He occasionally Stops to catch his breath as he continues his work.
Another lady good neighbor enters the house to bring our pastor his lunch. She immediately recognizes Baddy and comments on how good he looks with the new weight. Baddy informs her that he has been unwell. I learn in their conversation that Baddy is a proud father of two. The youngest is a month old. The lady reassures him that all shall be well, and advises him to keep to his newly acquired weight.
As he finishes his work, he declines to have lunch explaining that he has been put on special diets. He mentions that he needs to go lie down because he suddenly feels cold. The immobilized pastor prays for him, assuring him that he will get better. I escort him to the gate, carrying on with the get well soon chat. As I open the gate, I cannot help but think about how we take for granted the things we have.
Dialysis is a treatment that does some of the things done by healthy kidneys. It is needed when your own kidneys can no longer take care of your body’s needs.
When is dialysis needed?
You need dialysis when you develop end stage kidney failure –usually by the time you lose about 85 to 90 percent of your kidney function and have a GFR of <15. Click here to learn more about the stages of Chronic Kidney Disease and GFR.
What does dialysis do?
When your kidneys fail, dialysis keeps your body in balance by:
-removing waste, salt and extra water to prevent them from building up in the body
-keeping a safe level of certain chemicals in your blood, such as potassium, sodium and bicarbonate
-helping to control blood pressure
Is kidney failure permanent?
Usually, but not always. Some kinds of acute kidney failure get better after treatment. In some cases of acute kidney failure, dialysis may only be needed for a short time until the kidneys get better.
In chronic or end stage kidney failure, your kidneys do not get better and you will need dialysis for the rest of your life. If your doctor says you are a candidate, you may choose to be placed on a waiting list for a new kidney.