"Kidney Care UK supported me with my dream of becoming an Environmental Health Consultant specialising in Food Safety, by allowing me some funding in order to complete a master’s degree in Environmental Health. I achieved this year from the University of the West of England (Bristol) and was optimistic about what 2020 would bring, that was until coronavirus hit us all.
Due to health conditions and my kidney transplant I remained extra cautious. I did my best in shielding and being separate to my mother, as it’s just us in our household. However, my mother works in the prison sector and unfortunately she caught it. Whilst she was in hospital, I did my extreme best to clean my living space, but unfortunately, I eventually caught the symptoms and worsened over the next couple of days.
Testing positive for Covid-19
I was admitted to hospital and stayed in for a week after testing positive. Having Covid-19 was like having someone’s foot pushing down on me with while I was trying to get up. I felt like I could not do anything and had no strength whatsoever; I started feeling nauseous and then came down with a fever. Shortness of breath and fatigue appeared but the muscle aches were the worst.
I wanted to write a blog to let other kidney patients know what it was like but to also reassure them that you can get through this. With us being in the most vulnerable group there is a lot of information out there about how bad it is and there is almost a feeling that if you get Covid then that’s it, it will be impossible to recover. But that isn’t true and I’ve seen a few cases now of kidney patients who have gone through it and come out the other side. We all just need to do our best to be as safe as possible and hope that others in society will support us too. If you think you have any symptoms make sure you follow advice and get tested.
Loss of appetite
I didn’t get this symptom at the start of my diagnosis, I was eating and drinking less than I normally would, but I was very intrigued to know this is could be an affect at all. In the midst of it all I was definitely struggling to finish was cereal and drinking hot beverages; I tried to get as many fluids in as I can possible, but I was forcing them down! Now I’m drinking plenty of fluids (mainly water) and hot beverages now which seems bizarre as I couldn’t drink them back in early April!
At my worst I felt really tired just when standing up and undertaking house chores and activities, and day by day I was doing was less and less. I was struggling to get up the stairs at one point and even getting changed seemed like a huge task for me to complete. Once I was admitted to hospital I was thinking about my health quite a lot as I wanted to lose weight, I needed to have determination and positivity to help me get through this. Now recovered, my exercise routine has improved significantly and energy is back up and running all thanks to my loving partner Kirstie and family.
Mental health aspects
My mental health suffered as an result as I didn’t want to hear about the local areas being affected and it brought severe anxiety. I did my best to not listen to the news every day and clear my thoughts by listening to favourite music and keeping up to date on series on Netflix. When I was diagnosed my main concern at the time was: “I have it now, if I recover, can I get it again?”
My anxiety is less triggered now and I am looking towards to the future in a positive mindset moving forward, there is talk on local lockdowns and rising coronavirus symptoms, but I can only follow the government guidelines. I am wearing a mask and I’m fully stocked on hand gel and I head out in the evenings to clear my thoughts to block out the negativity in the world. I’m feeling lot happier and positive about the future; I am focusing on my life ahead and optimistic about what I can achieve now."
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