This week, in commemoration of World Kidney Day, I spoke to Kidney about his job. He told me how he sees his job as baby sitting human beings, his relationship with Liver, hatred of salt, and fear of Hypertension. There’s something for people that like mixing creams as well.
Hi Kidney, it’s so nice to have you today.
Kidney: The pleasure is mine. Sorry, I came alone. Both of us couldn’t leave at once. You know how you humans can be.
Kidney: You cannot survive for long without a Kidney. So, my twin had to stay back to babysit.
So you see your job as babysitting?
Kidney: Yes now. What else do we do? You, humans, are so careless, always putting anything inside your mouth. Cho cho cho, you don’t stop eating and drinking. And it is not like you eat or drink healthy things o. Don’t even get me started on salt.
You seem angry
Kidney: It is not easy jare. I do my job well, but you people make it so difficult. My main job is to filter your blood. Without me, all the toxins and excess from what you eat will just kill you.
Kidney: Apple! Close your mouth jare. Is it not true? The things we want you to do more of, you won’t. But if it is to drink ogogoro or vodka at 4 am, your mouth will not close. Drink water. For where?
Oya you, Interviewer, it is 4 pm, how many cups of water have you had today?
Kidney: See your mouth like 1? Nonsense. You should drink 4 to 6 cups. Coconut head. (Brings out a bottle of water) Oya drink.
(I collect the bottle)
Kidney: Open your mouth and drink before I woze you. Before you kill me with dehydration, I will deal with you. Later you will go to the hospital and be complaining. (In a whiny voice)
“Doctor, my piss is yellow, I think I have malaria”.
Tha…That’s…not how my voice sounds.
Kidney: Don’t interrupt me, have respect for your elders, you are not even up to the age of my youngest child Nephron… As I was saying, you complain to the doctor, meanwhile, you drink only 3 cups of water, 1 with each meal. That is if you even eat 3 times a day. (eyes me)
I eat 3 times daily.
Kidney: Yen yen yen…You don’t need to lie to me. I know times are hard, so there is no shame if you do 1-0-1, or 0-1-0.
I eat 3 times daily. (insert meme)
Kidney: Okay, okay I have heard you o.
Kidney: Good for yourself.
(I roll my eyes) Back to our conversation.
What else do you do apart from filtering blood?
Kidney: I am a man of many talents. (Indakidney) Without me, ehn, inside your body will just be Jaga Jaga. I don’t tolerate nonsense o. Ask Nephron, once your own is becoming too much or you move mad. I move you to the urine straight. Piss me, and I piss you. The Liver is my closest rival in this venture, but I am bigger than her sha.
Kidney: I am more important to blood production than she is. I also maintain blood pressure, something she can only dream of. I used to enjoy my job o, but these days, you humans will not let me see road because of salt. Any small thing you eat, salt. Ma pa mi now. Some of you will even add salt to your dodo, and after cooking. Terrorist behavior.
Sorry, I am sure we will do better.
Kidney: If you like, don’t do better. Hypertension is waiting for you.
Kidney: Yes o, and if you don’t manage hypertension well, it can lead to serious issues for me.
What kind of issues?
Do you mean Chronic Kidney disease and Kidney failure?
Kidney: Are you ok? I am not a failure. I am a success.
Kidney: Apology accepted.
Can you explain more about what can happen if hypertension isn’t managed well?
Kidney: Hypertension gives me wahala o. Especially when people don’t take their drugs and follow the doctor’s instructions. It can cause that thing you said before.
Kidney: I cannot use my mouth to call myself a failure. Anyway, when that happens, you may end up depending on machine to filter your blood like I usually do free of charge. And that machine is expensive o. That is why I always say that prevention is better than cure.
You are right, dialysis is really expensive.
Kidney: Exactly, it is not just hypertension o. All those creams you are mixing up and down and rubbing on your body. It can give me problems too. Stop bleaching, stop drinking agbo. The chemicals in these things can cause me to shut down too. I have said my own.
Kidney, you’ve said a lot today.
Kidney: So, I talk too much. You don’t have respect o.
No no, what I mean is can you recap?
Kidney: Okay. The important thing is this.
Stop killing me with your bleaching cream.
Reduce salt in your life. Even Lot left his wife after she turned to salt. Nobody likes too much salt.
I don’t think that is exactly what happened.
Kidney: Shut up.
The last thing, try to drink water, problem no dey finish.
4 -6 cups every day is ok.
By Dr. Okonkwor Oyor C.