Making the decision to remove impaired kidney...

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Making the decision to remove impaired kidney...

Postby Loranna » Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:53 pm

Hi there,

I found out after a lot of back and forth hassle, that my left kidney functions at less than 9% and my right kidney is inflamed from over compensating. I developed a particularly large kidney stone which was found back in September last year and finally surgically removed in February this year. I unfortunately got an infection from that removal and was very ill for a few weeks and in hospital for the first eight days. This has had a particularly large impact on me so far because I had to leave university because of it and am now facing the extremely difficult decision of whether or not to remove this kidney.

My original Urologist said that everything would be absolutely fine and they'll monitor it and not to worry about leaving it in basically but I pushed to see a specialist. The specialist directly and quite abruptly told me to remove it - the size and percentage of function make my left kidney a complete write off and somewhat burden to the fully functioning right kidney.

However this decision is emotionally draining and I don't feel I know enough to make this big of a decision. There is so much to consider and surely if the urologist said it should be okay, then it should be right? I have done a lot of research but essentially no where tells you the implications/risks of leaving a kidney that doesn't function well/at all. I'm suffering very badly from anxiety, tiredness and stress. It feels like my whole life is currently on hold and as much as I know eventually this will all be a very distant memory, I can't help but worry about the what ifs?.. I wonder if I change my diet to an entirely plant based diet would that mean I could leave a full life without any complications? But then I think to myself what kind of a life is that? That's not what I enjoy.

I guess, ultimately, I know exactly what needs to be done for the long term but I can't seem to bring myself to give the doctors the go ahead.. and what do I do in between time? I quit my job because it is way to high pressured for the situation I am in health wise. I find myself crying very often which is so out of character, my positive attitude to everything has drastically weakened and just feels forced now. I am 21 years old and generally very healthy - I went to the gym, I barely drank/drink, I don't smoke or do drugs. And yet I am here?!

I'd really appreciate some people to share their kidney removal experiences.
Whether they removed a kidney earlier on in life and then later developed an issue in the remaining kidney.
How to overcome the overwhelming stress and anxiety and whether to try to get on with life while dealing with this or whether to just take a step back and let it happen until recovery.

Thank you so much for reading this! I hope to hear from someone/people soon.

Kindest regards,
Loranna :)
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Re: Making the decision to remove impaired kidney...

Postby wagolynn » Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:12 pm

Hi Loranna,

Sorry to read about your troubles.

I think, the consensus of opinion among nephrologists is, if a kidney has any function left, and is not infected then leave it alone.

As to University, apply to go back, if university is part of your future. You should function normally on one kidney, a single kidney could be a problem if you became pregnant, it would then have to work for two people. However, should you wish to become pregnant, talk to your nephrologist first.

The worry, and being stressed, look at this way, do you know anyone who has improved there health by worrying, I don't.
Write a list of everything you are worrying about, look at it, and mark any item you can do something about, then do it, after that destroy the list and get on with life.

Diet - a balanced diet is all you need, some protein (meat), and work up to five different fruit and vegetable per day. The only other thing is to eliminate added salt in, and on food, this is to keep your blood pressure down. Take exercise, twenty minuets brisk walk say four days per week will do the trick.

I assume your blood pressure is being monitored along with a blood test say once per year, just see how you, and your kidneys are getting on.
They normally aim at a blood pressure around 120/80, with medication if required.
Thinking about blood tests, how is your red cell count, kidneys are involved in signalling for new red cells to be made. If your red cell count is low you will feel tired.

Best wishes.
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