My Failing Kidneys

Pandan Indah Sky
Outside Hospital Pantai Indah, Pandan Indah – 4.15pm.

My kidneys are failing. That is an irrefutable fact. Their condition will only worsen with time. There is no way to determine whether the deterioration will be gradual or sudden. All I can do is to continue to be aware with the dos and don’ts of chronic renal failure and hope that their decline will be arrested.

When I was back in Penang recently, I did not have time to go for my scheduled check-up due this month. Since Wuan is on leave today, we spent almost the whole day at Pandan Indah. In the morning, I got my blood tested and had an ultrasound of my abdomen. In the afternoon, we saw Dr. Lim, the Physician and Nephrologist at Hospital Pantai Indah.

My serum creatinine had risen to 271umol/L from 258umol/U when it was tested in February. Although the calibration of the testing equipment of different laboratories varies, the serum creatinine count still shows an increase. My protein intake has to be further reduced in order not to strain the kidneys further. The three portions of meat that I was allowed is further reduced to two now.

Protein is needed to build, maintain and replace the tissues in the body. Protein provides the body with essential amino acids for such purposes. My low-protein diet, if not properly managed will result in protein depletion. This will cause a host of health problems from anaemia to osteoporosis. Symptoms for both are manifested in my blood tests and rippled finger nails called koilonychia.

Ketosteril was prescribed to supplement my low-protein diet with essential amino acids and Sangobion for my anaemia. Those are expensive drugs. One month’s supply of Ketosteril and Sangobion costs nearly RM600. That is not inclusive of Detrusitol that I am taking to relax my spasmodic bladder which is the cause of my renal failure in the first place. One month’s supply of Detrusitol costs RM170.

To cut down on the expenses for Ketosteril, Dr. Lim has suggested a “drug holiday” where I go without Ketosteril for Saturdays and Sundays. To maintain my protein intake, I have to increase it from 29gms of protein on weekdays to 36gms of protein on weekends. 36gms of protein will allow me three portions of matchbox-sized meat.

This progression is not something that I did not expect. Because of my spinal cord injury, I knew full well that renal failure will be one of the problems that I will have to come face to face with. Nevertheless, the thought that my kidneys may totally fail one day in the future is extremely unsettling. When that day comes, dialysis will be the only solution. That will be an expensive therapy and one that will restrict many aspects of my life. I pray that that day will never come.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

18 thoughts on “My Failing Kidneys”

  1. *hugs*
    we need to feed you some cow

    All that red meat will kill my kidneys off faster than you can say my name.

  2. hmm no meat,fish then?

    can still go for haagen dazs’s chocolate fondue? my treat wor.

    Fish also meat and I have to spread those two portions over lunch and dinner for better utilisation. Ice cream contains protein too. I can only take half a scoop. How?

  3. Am sorry to hear that. Really need to be very strict with your diets. I will remember to pray for you when I am in the temple this weekend.

    Yes, especially the meats. Thanks for your prayers.

  4. Thinking of you .. and counting my blessings..!

    I could not figure out some things that were told to me recently until I read this comment. Thank you Mama Bok.

  5. I will be extra careful to pick where to eat next time we go out.
    Really sad to hear that. Sigh… 🙁

    Wish my prayers help.

    No need to be sad. Life is like that. At least I have great friends like you and Reallybites.

  6. Can’t you substitute the meats with beans/legumes? Hang in there! I need my daily read you know!

    Beans and legumes are protein too. I was advised to eat meat protein over vegetable proteins for several reasons. But this comment made my day. Thank you for putting a smile on my face.

  7. I hope the kidneys get better. I know it’s a longshot, but miracles do happen 🙂 Take care.

    All I dare hope for now is that their condition will maintain at current levels. Thanks.

  8. I am sorry to hear that, Peter. Is kidney transplant an alternative ? If so, you better get yourself on the garmen waiting list. Or get some head honco ala MCA/BN to help you get on the list or ahead of the list… I know this is bad and cheating but…. let’s not debate moral here. Be strong my fren.

    You always have to be the first to put in a worst case scenario huh. But thanks for having me in your thoughts always.

  9. Sorry to hear about your kidneys. I can’t pray for you because I’m not a religious person but I can wish you all the best though.

    That is enough. Thanks.

  10. Dear Peter,

    Thank you for your health update, although i am deeply saddened and worried by the news. I am sorry that you have to go through this. My family will continue to pray for a miracle. Keep posting your updates and maybe the miracle will come from an unexpected place.

    Preserve your energy with as many good thoughts as possible and use your world wide forum to release negative energy, pain and your suffering. It will help you to maintain as good of levels biochemically as possible. — at least that’s my suggestion anyhow. Much reseach done on the postitive effects of not holding in pain —

    My blog is where I release some of my pain. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

  11. Soli loh that I always jump to the worst case scenario one… but I can’t help it one mah. I am sure you know it oso right?

  12. hang in there buddy… My prayers are for you too..:) *BIG GODZILLA HUG

    Thanks. Just don’t crush me with that Godzilla hug. 🙂

  13. Hey buddy just read all your most recent blogs with my wife, ursula. We will offer up Masses for you and rest assured that if God wills, the miracles will happen for His glory. Keep up the fantastic work and let’s see what we can do when you are back in Penang.

    Thank you. Coming from you means a lot to me.

  14. Sorry to hear that. I had acute renal failure last September and my kidneys have fully recovered. I am very fortunate in that I did not dialysis even though my creatinine level got up to 745. My liver failed also. Anyways take care.

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