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Paula’s story

MY JOURNEY THROUGH RENAL FAILURE

 . . .  .And what a journey it has been!

Hi there, my name is Paula, and I am 51 years old.  I first became unwell in 1981, when it was thought that I had Glandular Fever, with symptoms of a constant high temperature, lethargy and muscle weakness.

At that time glandular fever was left to exit your system of its own accord, so I received no treatment.  After 10 months I had become very unwell and was referred to a consultant at the QMC in Nottingham where I was eventually diagnosed with Sarcoidosis; an inflammation of the white blood cells.

This affected my eyes, muscles and enlarged my liver and scarred my kidneys. I had to take very high doses of steroids over long periods. 

I was told that at some point in my life my kidney function would reduce substantially.

In 1990 something that I thought would never be possible with my medical condition happened. I became pregnant and had a daughter in February 1990, the strain on my kidney was always a concern, so I had to have a caesarean, and she was born nearly 2 months premature weighing 3lbs!  She is fit and well now and at 25 is nearly 6ft tall!!

By now I had moved to Derby and I spent years under the care of the renal consultants at the now Derby Royal.

Anyway over the years my kidney function dwindled, and eventually in 2002 I had to begin peritoneal dialysis.

After a year another miracle happened, and my kidneys started to work again!  Unfortunately this only lasted for 12 months, after which I had to revert to haemodialysis, of which I always dreaded, would happen as I have a severe needle phobia.After over 6 years on ‘haemo’, miracle number 3! I got ‘that’ call on the way to dialysis, yes I got a kidney!

15March 2010, day after Mother’s Day, I felt truly blessed.

Things never went completely smoothly, and my precious gift only lasted for 3 years 6 months.  To say I was devastated was an understatement, but had to come to terms that there was always a chance that this can happen.

So it was back to haemodialysis.

The rejection of the kidney and the effects of the immune suppressants made me very, very ill, and it was decided that I had to have the donated kidney removed. An operation that is just as serious as having a transplant.

I can’t deny that I went through a very hard time, but with the expertise care of all at Derby RDU, I pulled through.

And here we are at the latest part of my journey.

For however long, Mr Chris Swan from the home dialysis team as always tried to convince me that I can carry out my own treatment, but my reply was always the same, “you must be mad Chris, what about the needles!”

He always tried to convince me that it would be much less painful me doing it my self, but I was never convinced.

Then it was the New Year, 2015 had arrived. It had been a horrendous past 18 months for me, and I just decided that I needed to do something really positive for myself this year.  To see Chris’s face when I told him I was ready was a picture.  Don’t think he quite believed me.

And this is where I am now; I have been cannulating myself for the past 3 months, I have undertaken training on the new NxStage home dialysis machine, and began home treatment on Monday 16 March, Yes the Monday after Mother’s Day. . . .Life is such a funny thing.

I decided to write my story to encourage others that if I can do it, anyone can.  Home dialysis is almost as good as having a kidney.  The home training team are second to none, and are always there for all your needs.

So I hope that my story, my journey,  will inspire as many people as possible, and please do not be put off from going onto the transplant list, believe me there are more success stories than failures,my 3 1/2 years of freedom I will treasure always,  and be forever grateful to my donor, and one day I hope to go back on the list.

This is my story, my journey, so far. . . . . . . . . . .

God Bless


Afternoon Tea 


Just to let everyone know we are having a christmas afternoon tea at swarkestone nursery 

on the 9th of December at 1pm.

It costs £7.50 per person 

Hope to see you there.