World kidney day 2013 – 14th March

I promised this post almost a week ago but for various reasons including flares and college work I haven’t been able to do this post till today.

So what is world kidney day you may be asking? Well it basically is what it says… It is a day to raise awareness about kidney conditions. So last Thursday I wore my kidney research UK T-shirt in support of world kidney day. Like many illnesses, Kidney conditions have a particular awareness colour which is purple (FYI Lupus awareness is also purple).

It still isn’t very clear why I am supporting kidney research UK other than the fact that it is an awareness day for chronic conditions, but Kidney Awareness is important to me because I was born with one Kidney. Now from the outside I don’t look any different and I guess the only reason a person would know that I only have one kidney would be if I told them but that still doesn’t change the fact that I’m a kidney down.

I was born with a condition called Multi-cystic Dysplastic Kidney which effectively means that one of my kidneys stopped working when I was in the womb and so my body focused all it’s attention on my other kidney. So in the absence of my left kidney I have quite a large right kidney which does the work for two kidneys (brilliant right). Well it turns out that by having one larger kidney isn’t so good after all, because even though I am normal and my kidney function is good, having one larger kidney means that I have a greater risk for acute kidney injury. Basically this means that if I take part in contact sports such as football (soccer), horse riding, rugby, hockey and any other contact sports I have a greater risk for kidney injury because my kidney is larger.

Now I am really lucky that my condition only affected one kidney… If it affected two I wouldn’t be hear today because missing two kidneys when your born is pretty much incompatible with life.

Having one kidney doesn’t really affect me too much… I just have to be careful that if I do get a kidney infection or symptoms of a Kidney infection that I have to go to the doctor ASAP. And I also have to take care during sport because even though it’s quite hard to get a kidney injury I really wouldn’t like to be careless and end up damaging my only kidney.

So that was a quick summary of why World Kidney Day is more than an awareness day to me. 🙂

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