Published on May 10th, 2016 | by Michaelw1
Life of J
For the past few days, Jonathan was restless, and despite his obvious fatigue, sleep was eluding him.
Still, he soldiered on, guzzling cups of coffee before work. More coffee through the morning and some energy drinks in the afternoon were just enough to propel him through his day at the office.
Jonathan wasn’t all that hungry either, but wasn’t particularly worried about it, writing it off as the effect of all the caffeine he was consuming.
He knew this wasn’t the best way to go about things, especially for someone with high blood pressure and what his doctor called a very early stage of chronic kidney disease, but that diagnosis was over a year ago, and he hadn’t had any issues since.
So Jonathan continued to imbibe on caffeinated drinks to combat his drowsiness and go to lunch with his co-workers at whatever fast food joint was closes to the office.
Jonathan continued this routine until waking up one morning after a precious few hours of sleep to notice his legs had swollen, looking less like human limbs and more like filled water balloons.
A creeping pain in his back had also become more noticeable. Suddenly alarmed, he headed back to the doctor.
Jonathan had always liked Dr. Sutton’s relatively laid-back personality, friendly tone, and the ease of which he explained what could be complicated subjects.
Dr. Sutton started off the exam by asking Jonathan some basic questions.
Diet? Jonathan admitted that he did not always maintain the healthiest eating habits. And sure, he went out drinking with his buddies on the weekend from time to time.
Exercise? Jonathan explained that he didn’t really have time for that, and even if he did, was far too tired to do so anyway.
More questions followed, as did some tests. Dr. Sutton told Jonathan he’d get back to him with the results in a day or two.
The two days Jonathan spent waiting to hear back from Dr. Sutton were some of the most anxiety-filled Jonathan had ever had. He reflected back on the choices he made, and what the potential consequences were. Finally, the phone rang. Dr. Sutton didn’t deliver the news in his typical, familiar manner.
Instead, the doctor’s tone had a harder edge to it as he explained that Jonathan’s kidney disease had worsened. Changes had to be made immediately.
The doctor’s sharp tone hit home even more than his words, and Jonathan knew it was time to take this issue far more seriously.
Do what the doctor says
The kidney disease treatment I’m recommending to my patients has zero side effects, he said. And there is a documented history of patients getting better after just few months of therapy.
He began by simply following the therapy prescribed.
First step was moving more. Jonathan was never going to be a triathlete, nor was he training to be one. Just some walks after work, bike rides on the weekends, and maybe some yoga. That wasn’t the biggest challenge, though.
Exercise only took physical effort, but changing how he ate took mental resolve.
Jonathan managed to do it in incremental steps, getting rid of more and more foods with too much sodium and fat.
Eventually, he didn’t even miss the diet of greasy grub he had long adhered to. Six months later, Jonathan made a return visit to Dr. Sutton. Jonathan went into detail about never failing to take his medication and sticking with his exercise and diet plan.
Dr. Sutton’s familiar friendly grin returned.