My Story - Stage 5

My Story 

Cytokine Storm 

Since early 2020 I've been living amidst a Cytokine Storm of 76 symptoms. Each day is a roll of the dice, never knowing which symptoms will surface, nor when, or for how long. Extreme fatigue and an overall unwell feeling grew worse from early 2020 to summer 2022 when I lost my remote job due to illness. Except for family, doctors, hospitals, clinics, and labs, I've been living in isolation because my immune system no longer fights off infections. I was getting sick every time I left the house, and often when I didn't.

Summer 2020 I was taken to the ER by ambulance and later told that I had pneumonia, 2 partially collapsed lungs, dyspnea, tachycardia, 2 stressed kidneys and liver, mmHg 220/120 and higher, headache, fever, chest pain, arm pain, tinnitus, and more. I was in a bed in Triage marked "Caution: contagious droplets" which was confirmed in positive Serology tests Feb-2023 while in the ER.

Months later I received a call from the provincial health authority saying that my Covid-19 test in the ER in 2020 was compromised, so doctors had no concrete proof until almost 3 years later via a Serology test—that I have been suffering with Long Covid symptoms for 3+ years. I was as a result gaslighted by every doctor I saw, until a Long Covid Clinic ran tests early 2023 and confirmed that I previously had Covid-19. 

Fatigue is a major symptom of chronic kidney disease and long covid

Chronic Fatigue is a prominent symptom of Kidney Disease and Long Covid—so for me it's a double whammy—add more symptoms from Chronic Autoimmune Disease, and you have a Cytokine Storm. Sometimes it takes days to save up energy for one medical appointment, never-mind several back-to-back for weeks or months consecutively.

After my first COVID-19 infection in 2020, Vertigo and breathlessness (Dyspnea) were so severe when showering that I had to rest in bed for at least 30 minutes—in-between shampooing and conditioning my hair. It took 1/2 a day just to get ready for medical and work/family events. Then it took days to recover afterward. Turns out my T-Cells and Mitochondria were also compromised.

Functional Medicine to the Rescue

With the guidance of an amazing doctor who is also a certified nutritionist, I went on an Enhanced Mitochondria Protocol (pumped up vitamins, minerals and supplements) and many of my symptoms began to dissipate in less than 6 weeks—without antibiotics and other prescription drugs. I highly recommend that you follow @LoriShemek for excellent nutritional health insights!

Meanwhile, my family doctor told me the natural products I was taking were all garbage and a waste of money, and that I should be taking prescription drugs. That's what many medical professionals are taught apparently in some countries, and sadly Canada is one of them.

Three Years Later

Diagnosed with 3 chronic illnessesall within weeks of one another: 


I t   a l l   s e e m e d   s o   s u r r e a l

It all seemed so surreal. I was in a state of shock.

Still in shock going from no chronic illnesses to three

My Nephrologist showed me a 5 year historical graph of my kidney health decline. My family doctor told me after the kidney biopsy that she knew I had chronic kidney disease in 2019, possibly latter 2018.

My burning question? Why did my family doctor not tell me when I was in Stage-1 Kidney Disease? When my chances of doing something about it were much greater.

How could this be?

Doctors told me that multiple sugeries to prepare for dialysis and kidney transplant(s) are my only option. In the months that followed, extreme fatigue, medical appointments and a plethora of tests took over my life.

I've always been fit, followed a fairly healthy diet, walked often, golfed, exercised, meditated, never been overweight or fatigued. Now due to chronic autoimmune disease, my odds are lower on dialysis and kidney transplant(s). My Nephrologist said if they treat me for Immunoglobulin Deficiency, my symptoms will multiply and I'll be even more ill, so we mutually decided to forgo that immunoglobulin therapy.

What now?

I had to quickly learn more about what I was up against. Hundreds of hours reading and research followed. My first goal was to begin healing my immune system naturally, so I would have more strength to stop the kidney disease from progressing further.

While researching special diets and my now 3 chronic illnesses above, I stumbled on testimonials from people who have stopped their kidney disease—some delaying dialysis for many years. Based on extensive scientific and clinical research, and testimonials from thousands of clients who have succeeded in delaying dialysis—apparently it is possible!

To my surprise, there are alternatives in the Functional Medicine industry that are proven to delay chronic illness, to some degree—thousands of cases in fact. I have since talked in great length with Kidney Doctors and Naturopaths in Canada, USA, Australia, India and other.

I am now in the process of strengthening my immune system naturally with diet, vitamins, minerals, and herbs—some which you may see here. You can follow my progress here.

Complacent with the status quo?

Why are some countries stuck in 1943 when 80-year old technology to treat end-stage renal disease was invented? Many doctors are still trained to believe that kidney disease is not stoppable—the industry default is prescription drugs, approx 20 pills per day for years, dialysis 3-5 days weekly, and kidney transplant(s) 4-6 years later—IF a compatible donor kidney is available. Not one of these conventional band-aid solutions is a cure, nor guaranteed to work. In fact, many patients require two kidney transplants after years of dialysis. Often the first transplant fails—and after all that, their body often rejects the transplant(s) and they die from infections and other complications.

This is the reality: Myth: Transplants are a permanent cure for CKD.

A glimmer of hope?

While researching my 3 chronic illnesses I found several alternatives to stop kidney disease. Then the real homework began—checking for clinical research. Based on extensive scientific research and testimonials from many clients who have succeeded in stopping their kidney disease from progressing further, apparently it is possible!

Thousands of people have successfully stopped their kidney disease or slowed it down. I'll be happy with any progress at this stage—a very strict health regimen beats dialysis+medications+surgeries any day in my opinion as it allows me to live a full life without being plugged into tubes and machines.

Chronic kidney disease may not be the life sentence it once was

I've been taking prescription drugs for high blood pressure prescribed by my Nephrologist since shortly after the kidney biopsy in spring. My pharmacist told me that all hypertension medications, calcium blockers, water pills, and other cause further kidney failure. Already noticing some of the many side effects.

How ironic, medication that was created by pharmaceutical companies to help ones kidneys, actually harms them further—but the medications are the lesser of two evils—one being cardiac arrest.

Half of antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary

Functional vs. Conventional

Neither offers a guarantee—but the conventional method is 80-year old technology and results in endless negative side effects which leads to prescription medications, multiple surgeries including kidney transplant—and a life of being plugged into tubes and machines. What kind of life is that?


Functional Medicine Past, Present, and Future
An esteemed 19th century physician named Dr. Willoughby Wade had published a clinical lecture in Lancet in 1871 in which asked his equally esteemed colleagues of that era to consider the concept of Functional Medicine using the language of that era.2 He stated: “The advances of medical science have tended to produce an estrangement between scientific cultivators and the simple practice of medicine… The ideas that blend science and art may be summed up in the term ’Functional Medicine’ … "Because every symptom arises from the imperfect discharge of some function, hence it requires a slightly higher order of thought from that which is commonly in vogue in medicine.” What’s so remarkable is that the conceptual framework Dr. Wade conceived for Functional Medicine 150 years ago is as viable today as it was then. Across the centuries, the objective of Functional Medicine has steadfastly been linked to finding the root cause of alterations in physical, metabolic, cognitive, and behavioral function that later are codified as disease states. This model provides a platform from which many concerns—including planetary health—can be logically connected to personal health through a systems biological perspective. READ MORE


I will be sharing more information regarding my progress here in the months ahead.

Until this year, I did not know what Creatinine and eGFR are—and doctors did not bother to tell me that I had chronic kidney disease until I was already at Stage-5. They told me only because my positional headache lasted for 2 months non-stop and I ended up in the ER. I saw my family doctor Early Dec-2022 and still had the headache early Feb-2023—two months later. She told me to keep taking Tylenol 500. She did nothing to find out what was causing my headache. I went to the ER—could not bear the 24x7 pain anymore.

I also did not know until this year that approximately 1 in 3 people may have kidney disease—and don't even know.

Chronic kidney disease is a non-communicable disease that continues to increase in prevalence. Consequently, the global burden of chronic kidney disease is becoming a major public health problem in the form of an epidemic in many countries across the world. READ MORE

My Nephrologist believes that my chronic kidney disease may have been caused by my autoimmune disease (Immunoglobulin Deficiency). Historical data concludes that inflammation and excessive prescription antibiotics are also partially responsible. 

My burning question? Are family doctors not legally required to tell patients when they have CKD while under their care? Isn't that why they take an Oath in the first place?

Progress—albeit in baby steps

Happy to say that my blood pressure is slowly returning to normal after four months and a further modified diet and health regimen. Focused on strengthening my immune system and stopping my kidney disease from progressing further—and who knows, maybe improving enough to avoid multiple surgeries, dialysis, and kidney transplant(s).  

Meanwhile, I hope the information on this website will help you and loved ones.

Leaving you with 2 very important tips that could save a life:

  1. Get tested for kidney disease
  2. Learn to interpret your own blood test results
  3. Understand the stages of kidney disease