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“Nail Salon Discovery Changed My Life” | Kidney Research UK – Renal.PlatoHealth.ai

Adjusting to a new way of living

In November 2023, Louise’s kidney function dropped to just 6%, meaning that haemodialysis became necessary. This requires her to visit a dialysis ward three times a week, for up to four hours at a time, to receive treatment.

Louise says: “I’ve had to adjust to a new way of living because dialysis is part of my day-to-day life until I can get a transplant. I was just living a normal life before everything happened, working and spending time with family and friends.

“I’m lucky I have a very good support network in my family and some close friends. My sister comes along to dialysis with me at least once a week to give me some company. Kidney disease has a knock-on effect on everyone around you because they have to watch you go through it too.

“I also want to thank all the staff at Colchester Dialysis Unit for all their hard work and support. They are an amazing group of people and have made the transition to life on dialysis less overwhelming.”

Louise had to take more than six months off work, but now she is returning two days a week with the hope that she’ll feel able to take on more again soon.

Although people close to Louise know about her struggles, she finds it harder for others to understand. She says: “When I’ve told people I’ve got kidney disease, some people would look at me and say, ‘there doesn’t look like there’s anything wrong with you’. I might look perfectly fine but inside my body is saying differently.”