Covid W/ No Kidneys
A lovely little guide for people who want to know what it’s like to get Covid when your kidney function has drained down to 8 percent, you’ve had two jabs, a baby, and live with your girlfriend (How long until you start calling someone a partner? It makes me think of cowboy films, “howdy”, but girlfriend is very year 8 and 9ct Gold Dolphin necklaces from Argos. Tangled up in your backpack, sweaty palms etc.
The day I knew I had Covid was a Wednesday. Head cold and dull aching feeling that death was on the way.
Worse cold but no fever or cough or any of the other symptoms you’re told Covid is all about. Also thoughts about what people would say at my funeral generally increasing. Go through several vigils led by friends and family and nail down which song to play as the coffin goes through the chapel. Nose is completely blocked so I can’t sleep. End up going downstairs onto the sofa. Up all night. Highlight is letting the dog out at 2am. She refuses to come back in so I look up at the stars. It’s cloudy and there are no stars. Half a pack of cheese later and I’ve captured the dog in the conservatory. Nightmares all round.
Virtually no symptoms at all. Wondering if I should be studied for god-like immune response and taken to a top secret lab. Buy Vicks Nasal spray just in case and enjoy the feeling of squirting it up my nose. Kind of similar to chugging half a pint of 7up or jumping in the sea.
Genuinely brutal stomach cramps and sickness. At one point I’m in the garden puking with my hands on my knees. I stand up and standing up, then being bent over by stomach cramps and then puking again like a This twisted repetition continues though the night. Zero sleep. By 6am I remember I have Buscopan (muscle relaxants) tablets from when I had my PD tube (Perinatal Dialysis) fitted. Take two tablets, feel happy, then proceed to puke them up. Reminded by the dry retching that I haven’t eaten for about 36 hours. Decide I don’t like Covid.
Stomach cramps persist and nothing will get rid of them. They swirl around across my stomach. The 111 doctors want to call an ambulance but I say no. We drive to the A&E on the advice of a doctor. There is an eight to nine hour waiting time and people crying and talking gibberish, sitting on the plastic chairs like gremlins on churches. I call my girlfriend/partner and tell her about the waiting time and can she please come back and save me. We drive home and decide to grin and bear it. Baby starts showing symptoms and, that evening, projectile vomits a few times onto her comfy little rug. Her room is soft pink and full of cuddly woodland animals. Its feels like the wrong kind of place to have Covid. This is the first time we have seen the baby really ill and it’s terrible. Aren’t babies not supposed to get it? Also, my dialysis bags are coming out Irn Bru orange. Usually they are more like white wine spritzers. No idea what this means but kind of ignore it.
Cramps kind of easing off now the Buscopan will stay down. The renal team say “If your breathing gets bad or you get a fever give us a call. If not then we think you should be fine.” There is a bit of a worry that I have a peritonitis infection, which is common in PD patients. However, my dialysis bags are coming out with clear liquid, despite the orangeness. Peritonitis generally makes the bags cloudy. My chest is feeling tighter but we are binging on Succession which distracts me and kind of gets me through the day. The baby has a cold but the exorcist style puking from the night before hasn’t returned.
Strange tightness in the chest. Similar to waking up after ‘accidentally’ smoking roll ups all night drunk. The fingers of something holding on but no real body to put them onto. When I think about my breathing I can feel myself catching my breath. Seems like a mental thing though so manage to stay calm and just watch more Succession. Baby still has some redness in her eyes, is sleeping a lot but definitely improving. Girlfriend/howdy partner now has mild symptoms. The dog, as yet unmentioned, has a huge nose that remains untouched by Covid. I sit there wondering that if I ate my own poo I would also be immune. The dog looks at me with a blank stare. She is a Cane Corso Mastiff and seems to enjoy having everyone in the house lying on the sofa all day. Covid is something she could get used to, I think she thinks.
Still feel the tobacco chest but no other symptoms to speak of. Feeling tired and just hoping Covid will go away. Dialysis bags are now much clearer which gives me some kind of hope that the Covid is packing up and going home. The baby is happier and acting much more like herself. I love her immune system and tell it that. The dog is still licking us when she gets a chance. Probably not advised under NHS guidelines, but then I doubt eating your own faeces is either and she still gets into that pretty regularly. Never eats it cold though, has to be warm. The bitch has standards, at least. Girlfriend is not feeling great and the avalanche of Covid just feels never ending at this point. It has levelled our little family.
Still the tight chest but no other symptoms. Girlfriend. Her name is Kate, by the way. Is feeling tired and has a cold. No fever or cough, really. My dialysis bag is clear and the only issue I have is the exit site (Where they slide the tube into your abdomen) is feeling really sore. It might be just from lying down for more than a week straight. I take off the big white plaster and it looks fine. Give it a clean with sterile wipes and put a new huge plaster on it. You have to wash your hands for a minute with bright pink scrub and dry your hands with kitchen towels, then hand gel, then hand gel again after touching anything. It’s a kind of similar process for each dialysis session, which lasts about 30 minutes a pop. Kind of like an extreme version of brushing your teeth every morning and night. Then also once in the daytime. Three in total each day. Covid never really impacted my dialysis although the stomach cramps did make it a bit harder to sit up straight for long periods.
Still tight chest but no other symptoms. Covid pretty much gone although in the back of your mind you are always slightly thinking about how it could change at any minute. It’s a varied little disease that likes to throw you around a bit like the ferry to Ireland.
Just to be clear, I am on PD dialysis and various medications for blood pressure (Candesartan, Amlodipine and a statin). IGA is my own particular auto-immune disease that has decided to kill my kidneys. Apart from that no health issues. LOL. My kidney function is below 8 percent but hasn’t been checked in a while. I have had two Astra Zeneca jabs. This was my experiance with Covid. I hope if you are reading this and have a slightly similar roll call of issues that your mind can be put at ease. It wasn’t great fun but I never felt ‘extremely vulnerable’ to it either.
There is more info about Kidney Disease and Covid here from people who are actually qualified.