Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the highlight of the night
Introducing in the Blue Corner, WJ fighting for his life
Introducing in the Red Corner, Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
Hoping to make WJ beg for mercy bent double to his knees
CKD throws the first punch with daily fluid restriction
WJ resists and adheres with whole hearted conviction
CKD comes back with restrictions on favourite foods
WJ just laughs as he knows this can only do him good
WJ refuses to buckle and is determined not to be beat
He goes swimming, stays fit, CKD begins to feel the heat
But CKD attacks WJs mental strength to grind him into the ground
Those promised compatible donors are no longer to be found
Wounded and stunned WJ searches for new tactics from his corner
Home dialysis programme is introduced and WJ begins to feel so much stronger
CKD failed to realise that new technology will allow WJ to constantly attack
No matter what CKD throws, the resilient WJ will keep on bouncing back
“So bring it on, CKD” you hear WJ proudly shout
“Do your very worst as you will never knock me out”
“I am one patient who will never live in fear”
“As I am determined to keep fighting CKD for many more a year”
Covid 19 arrived in the UK 2020. Nobody knew much about him, only that he originated from the Far East with the goal of world domination and nobody or country would be safe or stand in his way. I had just turned 54 years old and celebrated the 7th anniversary of my Big Fight victory over CKD. Life was OK and I had my championship belt securely fastened around my waist. I had spent the last five years training, supporting and assisting other renal fighters pre and post their Big Fights with CKD. I say life was OK, however post Big Fight presented new challenges which I had not perceived or been prepared for.
There were new mental challenges of managing expectations of how much winning my battle with CKD was truly going to transform my life. I had won a battle, but the war is ever present for the body and mind. I had knowledge and experienced first-hand the effects of the medications especially the steroids – the moon face, weight gain, hair loss etc however I had not anticipated the psychological side effects of the steroids taken to preserve my new kidney, bequeathing mood swings, depression and anxiety.
Consequently, I stopped physical training, put weight on and started eating and drinking things that I had been deprieved for so many years previously whilst training for my Big Fight against CKD. Unfortunately, with no fluid or diet restriction, I returned to the bad habits of a new normalized lifestyle.
Therefore, in 2020 when this new challenger appeared from nowhere, I was neither psychologically or physically ready for this new gauntlet thrown down by Covid 19 who made it clear he did not only want to take my belt but most definitely also my life.My confidence shattered and under the instruction of the UK renal management team, I reluctantly retired to hide at home until Covid could be fully understood and new tactics developed to hopefully beat him
This was devastating as I was no longer able to visit my renal fighters at their training centres where I could give advice and support. I felt I had deserted them at their time of need. My job satisfaction stemmed from supporting my fellow renal fighters but for this to be forbidden affected my overall feeling of well-being and mental health. I felt I was failing my renal fighters, my wife, my family, my work colleagues, my dogs because I no longer had the freedom, appetite or strength to confront this new challenger.
To this date, Covid is still undefeated, toying with the nation’s physical and mental health. Over 17 years on dialysis, I had always been use to fighting any challengers which came my way, but it is hard to fight an invisible enemy which moves like lightening and has no respect for the Queensbury rules. Covid is sneaky and cowardly and goes after the oldest, weakest and most vulnerable fighters first. I tick every box for Covid. I am the ideal opponent for him to fight. A middle-aged man, overweight, immune system severely compromised due to seventeen years of fighting CKD. But I am trapped at home with no access to physical fitness resources which only breeds psychological stress and drains my ability to fight.
CKD has softened me up for Covid. Covid relishes playing mind games and is a master at psychological warfare. Doubt and fear are his principle weapons. In addition, and most worrying, he has now bought his brother and sisters to the UK who too are eager to fight and destroy all those who stand in their way. So, even if I avoid Covid 19, there will always be one of his brothers and sisters hiding secretly to attack me when I am least prepared.
I am angry and scared because if Covid does achieve his wish of confronting me, in all probabilities, I will end up in a hospital ICU fighting to breathe through a ventilator where CKD will joyfully unite with Covid to finally be victorious over me and take my life away. The UK management are hoping the new tactic of a vaccine will assist in fighting Covid and build my immune system back up. Even if this new tactic is successful and Covid is at least controlled, it is re-discovering the nation’s strength, resilience and confidence again which will be the new challenges.
What do you think? Nope! No! Absolutely not!
Covid you under-estimate the fighting qualities of renal warriors. All you have done is really annoy me or to put it crudely – f**ked me off! I am more determined than ever to fight you, your brothers, sisters and CKD for as long as it takes.You will get weaker as I get stronger.
“So Covid, Bring it all on, you hear me proudly shout Do your very best as you will never knock me out” Life is precious. My life is precious. I will always fight for my right to live. Covid, you may have won the first few rounds, but be ready for a storm of retaliation as I will be victorious and I will retain my belt and I will be the winner AGAIN!