Each morning I wake up knowing that the demon inside of me is active and if I’m not careful, diligent and awake he will take over well before he should.
My demon is chronic kidney disease, and in my case, it’s a protein leak that threatens to deteriorate over the years to a point where I am dependent on dialysis if life as I know it is to be enjoyed.
The onus is on me to delay this as far as possible. Mine is a genetic condition which means it can’t be cured but it can be controlled and this is where my life gets interesting.
To do this, I need a combination of drugs, diet and a lot of self-determination and focus on staying on top.
Every six months I go through a series of urine and blood tests to determine where I am at and where best to go to from where my Doctors determine I am at.
Kidney disease is a sneaky thing. Because your kidneys are an important part of your overall well-being, they impact on so much of you.
As a result, the drugs I take have side effects that have to be monitored. One side effect is a rise in potassium levels. You have no idea that your potassium level may be elevated. Though if you drop dead that is a pretty good indicator. The trick, of course, is to try and stay ahead of it. So, you are advised to go on a low potassium diet. Easy done, you give up eating all the good things in life and push ahead.
Then our doctor says you need to lose weight as your weight could push you into a diabetic state and we don’t want that.
I haven’t mentioned that another factor of kidney disease is controlling your salt intake as well.
So, the demon inside of me is laughing because he knows he has got me in a fix.
A low potassium diet contains foods like bread for example which is weight inducing so, on the one hand, you are encouraged to eat low potassium foods, lose weight and watch your salt intake.
You see the dilemma in all of this?
It would be easy to say it’s all too much and throw up my hands and say enough; I can’t do it. The stakes are too high. I have a family I love to see around me, grandkids I’d like to see grow up and love I would like to kindle.
So, each day I start with a determination to win one over the demon. At least that is my intention, and if I stick to the guidelines I have been given, there is every chance I can succeed and realise the things I most want in life.
Do you or someone you know battle a similar demon?
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