Staying healthy after kidney failure
23 December 2019
Name : LT Khaw
Age : 41
Medical history : Renal Failure (Haemodialysis Patient), Kidney tumor stage 1.
One of the most down-to-earth people we’ve ever met, Khaw was all smiles when we spoke to her and keeps a very light-hearted view of life. It would be impossible to imagine that behind the broad smile that her challenges faced in life are very real as she copes with renal failure and in more recent times, discovering a tumor in her kidney.
“I was not conscious of my health at all, cutting down on (my) sleep to play online games and indulged in unhealthy foods without any restriction” quipped Khaw as she related her younger days to us.
She added that during her teenage years, greasy food was a staple and there were late night suppers almost every day. Overeating was a real issue and because there were no medical issues that were discovered, she assumed it was a lifestyle that could carry on indefinitely.
Although she enjoyed a carefree life where she could eat and do anything she wanted, life would soon take a turn when she suffered from renal failure in 2009.
Her treatment consists of three times a week haemodialysis where blood is transfused into her via a machine to treat her kidneys due to their improper function.
Due to this, she is also required to take medication to treat her malfunctioning parathyroid hormone because of phosphate and calcium imbalances. In 2016, a tumor was discovered in her kidneys and she underwent a major operation to have it removed.
The Turning Point
“I realised that in order to continue live a meaningful life and for the sake of my family members that I had to make lasting changes to my life by creating and sustaining new and better habits” The doctors advised me to watch my diet and to adhere to their nutrition plan prescribed to me which I have now been able to do so. Although she does lapse at times, she believes that it is about the small positive steps taken that are more important than being perfect.
She focuses on turning up every day and doing what she can while understanding how she can develop herself physically and mentally stronger than before. All of this is exemplified in her current routine of swimming, walking more where possible doing basic physical activities to increase her activity level. She also attributes her courage to stay the fight to her family and friends who have stood by her relentlessly despite her difficulties, especially when the pain and severe agony from treatments would impact her daily life.
“Watch your diet and exercise regularly to maintain your body in good condition as it might be too late when irreversible damage has been inflicted on your body due to chronic neglect and abuse” she advises those who have lost their way or are looking to re-discover their active journey again.
“Understand the benefits of good health and that it can’t be achieved immediately. All of it takes time and it starts with the small steps of incorporating exercise and better nutrition in our everyday life.”
In the next 5 years, Khaw is hoping to receive a kidney transplant so that she can renew her lease of life with more flexibility.
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