Medical History in a glance . . .


I appreciate that you’ve come back. Thank you.

Attached is a photo of a Medical Chronology. This was created as a supporting document for a lecture I spoke at recently at Queen’s University, in Kingston, Ontario in Canada.

Before I continue you should know, I approached this Medical History post like I could explain my health to you in words . . . a singular story that summed everything up. I was wrong.

Once I started writing I realized, this post would have been toooo long. A book, really. (How convenient!!) It just wouldn’t have been constructive to explain everything in one go . Then I remembered this “chronology” and thought . . . that’s it. It’s an overview and a thorough start.

Why do I have a tidy one page chronology of my health?

Since last spring my case has been studied by two pretty amazing physiotherapists/researchers/professors at Queen’s University; Diana Hopkins-Rosseel and Trisha Parsons. (They have become dear friends too.) Our goal, as a team (with the inclusion of my kidney doctor), is to present my case for consideration in the American Journal of Kidney Disease. In this journal I can also present my version of the story, in my words, tandem to the scientific study. It promises to be a great opportunity. This document was created by this team.

The chronology documents my health from age 18 to now . . . age 40. I apologize that it does contain medical jargon. Sorry. The most important points are beginning dialysis, getting a kidney transplant, losing the transplant, starting dialysis again, having heart-related issues, having a cardiac arrest and then working to regain my heart function as well as getting fit despite my chronic illnesses. The page ends with where I am today.

Because I’m giving you such a detailed introduction to my health I am committed to answering every question that anyone reading this post has. I would prefer to answer questions publicly as I’m sure there are particular questions that many people would like to have answered. (You may also contact me privately is this better suits you.)

I am not a doctor, or medically trained, but I do know a lot about my health and will answer questions to the best of my ability.

I also promise, I will begin to share my story, from my perspective, in posts over time. Be forewarned though, there is a lot to tell.

Luckily we do have a year. 

Karen Nicole

P.S. In all honesty, it is a little scary putting my life out there but I am doing this because I hope someone may benefit. And . . . in sharing it makes my struggle worth something. It’s the assurance that what I’ve been through hasn’t been for nothing.Image

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1 Response to Medical History in a glance . . .

  1. kns544 says:


    My first question (ever) is from a fellow dialysis patient who was wondering how I have so much energy. This is the reply I sent her. I thought I’d share it as other people may be curious too.

    My response:
    A few things came together to give me so much energy.

    1. I had a parathyroidectomy. Since then I have better energy than I had before.

    2. My schedule of doing no less than 20 hours of dialysis a week gives me energy. I dialyze a lot so I feel better. I feel closer to how normal people feel and my blood work shows it. Organizing my life so I get those 20 hours in is time-consuming but it’s worth it.

    3. I did a Cardiac Rehabilitation program. It’s basically supervised exercise for cardiac patients. Exercising made me feel good and gave me energy. It’s a combination of good chemicals in my body, better strength and stamina and the general benefits of exercise. I am in the gym 4 to 6 times a week. I do cardio classes, core workouts, free weights and stretching.

    4. Being more active, I am more hungry . . . and I eat more. More fuel in leads to more energy out.

    I have been very lucky to have so many factors come together to improve my quality of life so dramatically. No one at the gym even suspects that I’m a person with renal failure and heart disease.

    As I continue to share my story I will elaborate on some of these points. 🙂

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