Glasgow addiction worker forced to cut career short backing charity – Glasgow Times

AN ADDICTION worker who was forced to cut her career short due to kidney disease is determined to stop others from suffering.
Angela Riley’s health took a downward turn just as Scotland went into lockdown in 2020.
Concerned that there might be something wrong with her heart, Angela’s GP referred the 51-year-old for an echocardiogram, but it soon became clear there was an issue with her kidneys.
Angela, from Glasgow’s East End, said: “I was sent to my local hospital for lots of tests and was told I had a problem with my kidneys, but nobody mentioned chronic kidney disease (CKD) to me until the second or third appointment when I told them I needed to tell my employers what was wrong with me.
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“In April 2022, my eGFR [kidney function] rate dropped rapidly, and my blood pressure was sky high. It was then that my consultant told me it was no longer a case of if I will need dialysis but when.
“I don’t really think I took it all onboard at first. I remember telling my husband ‘they kept talking about a transplant list today but I’m not going to need a transplant – I’ll be fine with dialysis’.
“But then it hit me that dialysis isn’t a cure, it’s a treatment. So, unless I do get a transplant I’ll be on dialysis for the rest of my life. That realisation hit me as if someone had slapped me. It hadn’t sunk in until then.”
Forced to take ill health retirement from her job, in which she helped people with alcohol and drug problems, Angela was keen to find another way to support her local community and joined Kidney Research UK as a volunteer.
Glasgow Times:
Despite being about to start dialysis treatment, she has put her own problems aside to join the charity’s campaign calling for the Scottish Government to implement a national strategy to tackle kidney disease.
The ‘Ken Yer Kidneys’ campaign launched this week to show Scotland’s policymakers there is an urgent need to prevent and treat CKD.
With a focus on early diagnosis of at-risk individuals, Kidney Research UK is determined to prevent further patients from falling through the net.
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The charity is asking the Government to develop and deploy a set of standardised care practices for kidney patients in Scotland that focus on early diagnosis and prevention.
The strategy should also make use of Scotland’s data networks to share patient information and distribute new and updated guidance and protocols across regional healthcare teams to enable high-quality, joined-up care and management.
Although 40% of people with diabetes go on to develop CKD, the news came as a nasty surprise to Angela, who has Type 2 diabetes.
She said: “It came as a total shock. I knew that diabetes could affect your kidneys, but I didn’t really know how, and I had never even heard of CKD.

“I had no idea that CKD was more prevalent than cancer in Scotland. Despite this, there is no unified system to tackle kidney disease.
“If we had standardised guidelines that everyone could follow, people would be better educated about kidney disease and patients would be able to get help sooner. And this should include educating people with diabetes to help them reduce their risks of developing CKD.”
To take Kidney Research UK’s e-action and support the campaign, click here.
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