You don’t look sick

People are saying how well I look which is great. I can’t say I feel it but I am glad I look well. I am starting to notice a slight difference since starting dialysis. I have a bit more colour in my cheeks and I’m not falling asleep everytime I sit down on the sofa.

I feel like my head is clearer, don’t get me wrong I am still forgetting things but I feel less confused and have less of a ‘fog’ over me.   Im still struggling with walking, I get breathless and my legs feel like led, like they could go from underneath me at anytime.   This is all to do with the Haemoglobin levels in my blood and my red cell count being low (which hasn’t been helped by the loss of blood in the machine that I mentioned in the previous post.) Your red cells carry oxygen around your body and so if this is low, obviously the oxygen levels will also be low which will explain the ‘heavy’ leg feeling.

Now this next bit if you are offended by bodily functions I would stop reading here. I am noticing I am weeing less, which happens with dialysis. The kidneys control your fluid balance in the body and so usually you wee out what you would drink, but as my transplanted kidney is working at 7-9per cent it can no longer do this job. I am retaining fluid which means I have to be careful with how much I drink. I haven’t been set a strict fluid restriction but I am aware that I need to watch my intake and limit what I have. This is so hard after being told when you first get your kidney about how important it is to drink lots, its hard to unlearn a habit you have become so used to. I also wasn’t expecting this to happen so soon into dialysis – only 4 weeks.

I also have to stick to a strict diet from now on, low phosphate, low salt and low potassium.   Im not being too strict with myself just yet as no one has mentioned that these levels in my blood are raised and I think im dealing with enough at the minute without having to be super strict on what I eat. Food is definitely where I find comfort. Dont get me wrong Im not eating tonnes of bananas and tomatoes but I am not skipping eating out to be strict on the renal diet. I find that I can’t tolerate foods that are high in salt anymore, I notice it on foods a lot more and obviously when food is salty you tend to drink more which ends up being a vicious circle.

So back to the beginning of the blog, although I may look alright, looks can be deceiving. Makeup continues to work wonders as does dressing to cover up scars and the graft with its plasters from the dialysis sessions, which look like this:

 I am currently working on a project with a local photographer that will depict the above concept of looks being deceiving and not to judge a book by its cover. I have had the first of two photo shoots and I am really pleased with the outcome. I can’t wait to share the finished project with you but until then here is a sneak peak:

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