Wayne Kidd turns on the kidney dialysis machine at his North Nechako Road home on Wednesday. It is something he does every day. The 75-pound machine with its digital readout allows Kidd to cleanse his blood during the night, as he sleeps.
The nine-hour treatment gives him four exchanges, a fifth remains in his body until the next evening. “At 5 o’clock I do a twin bag exchange. That’s really the first time during the day that I have to think about it (treatments).”
The process cleanses his system of toxins. And it allows him freedom during the day to go about his life. Kidd’s diagnosis three years ago came as an unpleasant surprise. But he’s never let kidney disease stand in the way of his fun. Or his passion for travel.
“I’ve done dialysis in airplanes, trains, buses and even caves in Turkey. I toured Turkey for one week followed by a two week cruise. I’ve gone across Canada by train. I have not done anything different. I do all the same things – I just don’t do them as well. For instance, I can’t lift things because of the tube in my abdomen (allowing a tube to be connected to the machine for exchanges).
As a kidney patient, Kidd does suffer from symptoms. “I get tired quicker and I get cold more easily than I used to.” The former saw mill executive retired last July. He knows the importance of regular medical check ups – his kidney problems were found during a routine exam when he was 62.
“My blood was haywire. My doctor did further tests and found my creatinine levels were out of whack. So I was sent to a renal clinic and they diagnosed me.”
From his research, Kidd found out that most kidney failure is caused by high blood pressure and diabetes. “People with those problems should be checked out,” he said. For kidney patients, diet is very important. “You have to really watch your diet. I have a whole list of foods I have to avoid or I will get sick.”
For now, Kidd will continue to undergo dialysis. He may one day have a kidney transplant. “My two sisters have volunteered a kidney. Right now they are being tested to see if they are compatible. The best donors are family members because you stand to have a better match.”
Kidd is optimistic that the transplant may improve his life, but so far he feels fortunate. “It is by the grace of God and my great medical team, that I’m doing as well as I am.”
An educational event, Living Well with Kidney Disease forum is at the Ramada Hotel on Saturday, November 5 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Phone The Kidney Foundation of Canada at 1-800-567-8112 for more information.