When I was about 15 years old I remember my mother coming to me and mentioning that one day we could have kidney issues, but not to worry because it’s still a long way off. Then the next I remember hearing about it was when I was 19 and my sister went into hospital with a severe kidney infection, she was tested and it came out negative for Polycystic Kidney Disease. I had absolutely no idea what this disease was but I was sure soon to find out.
Mum sat us down and told us the genetic history, that her mother had the disease and she had pretty much watched her die with little to no knowledge of what this disease was. Of course me being the #YOLO chick I am took the ‘i don’t give a shit, I don’t want to know about it’ approach because hey I was heading into uni life and I wanted to party it up without feeling guilty. So that is exactly what I did.
Little did I know that in those few years of doing the standard college lifestyle and having an awesome time, both my sisters had been tested negative for Polycystic Kidney Disease. I would get a call every few months from mum saying “please make sure you are not doing drugs, because you could have this kidney disease.” Once again I embraced the #YOLO approach and told mum I didn’t want to hear about it, because I was young and having a good time.
After my college years had finished up, I moved into a share house with two of my best friends where the party lifestyle was still there but I was beginning to grow up and realise that there was more to life than the college craziness.
It wasn’t until September 2012 that everything all came to a head. I had fainted and hit my head in the shower, and naturally went straight to the hospital where I thought it was just one of those accidental things but Mum saw it as an opportunity to jump on the Polycystic Kidney Disease bandwagon and had me tested straight away.
If two out of three siblings didn’t have it.. then it was pretty much a guarantee that I would. There it was as clear as day in the scans.. I had been diagnosed with PKD and I was about to embark on a huge life change.
That’s life though, there is no cure. At least I can be thankful for the fact that I have two older sisters with perfect kidneys that I have shotgunned.
I love my mum more than anything in this world, and know how hard it was for her to sit next to me when the doctor told me that I had it- as if I didn’t have enough of a connection with her before, I definitely have it now. She is amazing and I want her to know that I do not hold any resentment towards her, only to shitty kidneys- but we can hate them together. Love you mum- let’s kick PKD’s butt!