Unit 3: Promoting good health AO1-Section D (This paper got the full 3 marks) Quality of life is how satisfied we are with our lives and whether there are parts of our health that affect this or inhibit this. For example if there was a lack of money in a family due to little financial support then their quality of life would not be good. This is because they would not be able to afford the necessities of life and other recreational activities.
The job of a kidney is to filter the blood and get rid of waste products; it also balances levels of electrolyte in the body, it controlling blood pressure, and stimulates the production of red blood cells. Your kidneys filter wastes and excess fluids from your blood, which then exit your body in your urine. When the kidney fails, these things are not done efficiently and so therefore can cause serious harm to your body. The signs and symptoms of kidney failure develop slowly over time if the kidneys function continues to progress inadequately.
Rachel Warren, daughter, sister and mother of 2 has Kidney failure. She is 33 years old and is currently paying the mortgage of her 3 bedroomed home. She is in full time work and works from 7am till 3pm and has been working here for 13 years this has affected her whole life in many different ways. However her physical health and social health are the major things that have been affected by this illness. She began showing signs of kidney failure when she was out on a walk with her family in the countryside walking up a steep hill.
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This is where Rachel started to feel weak and light headed, so therefore did not feel physically able to carry on with the hike. It was then that it was recommended to her that she got tested as it ran in the family. The first signs of kidney failure in Rachel were, swelling of the legs and hands and puffiness around the eyes, high blood pressure, increased urination at night and pale skin. Kidney failure has affected her quality of life ever since. PHYSICAL HEALTH Rachel’s physical health has been strongly affected by her kidney failure.
One physical effect of kidney failure is that she gets worn out and feels weak so cannot do physical activities for long periods, therefore she has little energy to do the things she enjoys most in life: For example: Dog walking with her friends and close family every Sunday. She has felt out of breath and so cannot do this for a long time without feeling the need to rest at frequent periods. This is caused by Anemia which means there is less blood flow to the brain. Anaemia is something that occurs when one has kidney failure.
This can cause a build-up of fluid in the lungs; a low oxygen count in your body can be the main symptom of this. As a result of this it meant that Rachel was feeling cold all of the time and often burnt herself in the bath or on a hot water bottle. This has affected her quality of life because it caused her pain and discomfort which should not occur on an everyday basis. Three days before being called for her kidney transplant, Rachel was put on dialysis which uses an artificial device to clean and filter the blood of waste products.
This caused her major pain and distress, Rachel says that this was ‘one of the most painful experiences she’s ever been through’. She said the pain was mainly in her shoulder and it felt like she was being ‘dragged down to the floor’, this affected her quality of life as for those three days she had a dependence on medicinal substances and medical aids. After the transplant Rachel still has to take drugs each day prescribed to her by her doctor, this affects her physically as if she did not take them then her body would reject the kidney.
However after the surgery Rachel felt more active and so could go on long day walks again with her friends without getting out of breath. Her skin also looked noticeably healthier which brought out a new confidence within her. Once more she is now able to feel different temperatures and so no longer burns herself and feels discomfort through this. This surgery has improved her quality of life greatly and without it she would not be the person she is today, as without surgery or dialysis the kidney disease could have been fatal.
After the surgery Rachel felt more active and so took up a new hobby of zumba which even a year on she still enjoys. She also is participating in a great swim to raise money for chronic kidney disease research, which has shown she is physically up to the challenge and so her quality of life is the best it could be for someone with her condition. SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS Rachel’s social health was affecting her quality of life in many ways. Due to her kidney failure she was unable to go out and meet her friends because she would get worn out very easily, even if it was just walking to the shops.
This meant meeting her friends was very difficult unless they visited her. Due to this she felt tired all the time and so spent a lot of her time sleeping and sitting down, this affected her social life within the family as she was unable to join in with the activities her children were doing. This meant her family and friendship relationships were altered and slowed down causing her to feel stressed due to lack of connections. Rachel had to visit the hospital in Cambridge once or twice per week to have a check-up. This was 63. 5 miles away and took her 2 hours to drive it each way.
Not only did this mean that she had a financial strain due to petrol costs, but she had less time to visit her friends and family so personal relationships were affected. When Rachel was on Dialysis she didn’t feel up to meeting people as she felt stressed and depressed for a little while. This affected her quality of life because the medicine given to her made her lack confidence within herself and so therefore didn’t feel like going out and meeting new people. Therefore she did not have full social support from friends and work colleagues.
After Rachel had the surgery she was confined to bed for 3? days after the transplant. Due to her appearance she didn’t want people to see her and make them worried so her social life halted for that time. This meant she didn’t have all the support she could have had and so made her quality of life low because of her lack of social and emotional support. She also did not go back to work for 1 ? months after the surgery so she could recover, this meant all her work colleagues were unable to support her and she was unable to help them in with the workload.
This made her feel useless and annoyed to not be able to keep herself busy, this meant her quality of life was lessened as she had not been able to work and so was unable to complete her daily activities. After the transplant she felt much more active and was able to carry on with all she had done previously. This included visiting her family and friends therefore she felt less stressed and a rise in support from her personal relationships throughout this experience. She was able to enjoy her life and had full support from her friends, family and colleagues.
In conclusion Rachel’s physical and social health has been greatly affected by kidney failure. If she did not have the kidney transplant and the drugs to prevent her body from rejecting the new kidney, she would not be able to enjoy the high quality of life she has today or even be able to live it. This is because if she had not had the surgery or dialysis her condition could have been fatal. Her physical health and social health are the main factors that affect this, however she was also affected by her level of independence and her psychological health (the ways someone thinks, learns and concentrates).
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