A-Z

Royston Y

Age at interview: 82
Brief Outline: Royston Y has been having regular blood and urine tests for many years but the first time his kidney function came up was when he received an invitation to help with research into kidney health. His blood pressure and cholesterol levels are controlled by medication.
Background: Royston Y is single and a retired chartered accountant. Ethnic background: White British.

More about me...

Royston Y has been taking tablets to control his blood pressure and cholesterol for at least fifteen years. During that time he has had his blood pressure checked twice a year, and blood and urine samples tested once a year but has not been told what was being measured or what the results meant. He phones up the practice a few days after each test and is told, ‘Everything is all right’. He feels encouraged to know that all is well and is happy with the service being provided by his GPs.

As far as Royston Y can recall, the subject of his kidney function first came up when he received an invitation to take part in a research study about kidney health. He was surprised, since he was unaware of any problem with his kidneys, but was happy to help doctors gain more knowledge. As part of the study he had a long session with a practice nurse who did lots of checks and asked him questions. When he asked why they were interested in his kidney health he felt reassured to be told he had nothing to worry about and it didn’t mean there was anything wrong with his kidneys. However, he would appreciate a bit more information from his GPs and would expect to be told if there was a problem.

In addition to his blood pressure and cholesterol tablets, Royston Y also takes dispersible aspirin for his cardiovascular system. He has arthritis, which he attributes to his age, and finds he needs more frequent breaks than in the past when gardening. He has had a procedure done on his prostate gland and recently had a urine infection treated with antibiotics. He considers himself to be relatively fit and healthy for his age. He reduced the fat content of his diet some years ago on the advice of a nurse, and lost a little weight as a result. He likes to eat fish and white meat with vegetables, followed by fruit, and does his own cooking. He gave up smoking 31 years ago.
 

Royston Y was reassured by a nurse that just because he was taking part in research about kidney health didn’t mean there was anything ‘wrong’ with his kidneys. He suggests that other people should not worry about kidney monitoring either unless there was

Royston Y was reassured by a nurse that just because he was taking part in research about kidney health didn’t mean there was anything ‘wrong’ with his kidneys. He suggests that other people should not worry about kidney monitoring either unless there was

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But I was rather assured when I went for the renal one that it, it didn’t follow that there was a kidney problem. It was the, it was more the age and whether the kidneys were still functioning reasonably well.

[mhm]

Yes.

[mhm]

Because I did raise that point with the nurse at the, at, when I had that session.

And what was her response? Can you remember?

Well her response was, “It d-, it doesn’t imply that there is anything wrong with your kidneys. It was the question of because of your age it was useful to get some information about your general well-being”, and that sort of thing. And presumably from that they can come to some conclusions.

Okay, fine.

Do you have any message to other people who are having their kidney function monitored?

I would have said that it’s something that I don’t think anybody should really worry about too much because I think it’s to a person’s interest to know what the situation is and to find out if there might be a problem. And if there, is it treatable, can it be dealt with? But I don’t think people should be unduly worried. I was slightly concerned but I was reassured when I went and said that it, it doesn’t necessarily follow that because you’re being [clears throat] looked at or asked for an opinion that there is necessarily anything wrong.
 
 

Royston Y cut down on cheese after being advised by a nurse that his cholesterol level was raised. He was also given written information about healthy eating and is careful to stick to this.

Royston Y cut down on cheese after being advised by a nurse that his cholesterol level was raised. He was also given written information about healthy eating and is careful to stick to this.

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Have any of your doctors talked to you about changing your lifestyle at all as regards kind of diet or exercise or anything like that?

Not recently, no.

But a while ago?

Yes, yes, I was given, before I moved here actually I was given a diet, you know, a diet sheet by a nurse who was about twice the size of me. But, [laugh] which rather amused me. But still. And I have tried to be careful what I eat.

Yes.

All right, I might go over the top occasionally, but basically I do try to be careful.

So what sorts of things do you eat?

Well, I mean I’m very partial to fish and white meat. I know I said I had sausages today but that, that’s, I don’t have that every day by any means. And usually with vegetables, and w-, sometimes fruit after, afterwards.

Sounds healthy enough to me.

Yes, yes, yes.

Yes. Do you cook for yourself?

Yes.

Good.

Well, unless I’m going out somewhere. But even if I go out, generally speaking I’ll, I’m usually quite careful what I choose, nothing too rich. And I don’t normally have puddings.

Oh, that’s very restrained of you.

Yes, as I say, I don’t normally [laugh].

[Laugh] You have to treat yourself sometimes.

Well, oh, yes, yes, just occasionally, yes.

Yes, yes. So why was this nurse worrying about your diet?

I can’t actually remember. I suppose I might have had a blood test and it might have been a bit high or something like, oh, the cholesterol, that’s what it was. The cholesterol was a bit high and I should, I shouldn’t eat so much cheese and this, that and the other.

So did you change your diet?

Yes, I did.

Oh.

I did.

Well done.

[mhm]

You’re a compliant sort of a chap?

Yes. I still like a bit of cheese.

Yes.

But, yes, no, but again, not to the level that I was. I was eating cheese every day.

Oh.

Which I don’t now.

Right. And did you lose any weight as a result?

Yes, a bit, yes.

 [mhm] Good, well done.

Yes, yes.
 
 

Royston Y puts a week’s supply of all his pills into a wooden box and can tell by the size and shape of the tablets whether he has taken them all or not.

Royston Y puts a week’s supply of all his pills into a wooden box and can tell by the size and shape of the tablets whether he has taken them all or not.

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So how easy is it to take your medication as it’s prescribed?

Very simple.

How many pills is it a day?

Four. Three in the morning, one at night.

And you don’t mind --

No.

-- four pills?

I’ve got it well organised [laugh].

Good.

Yes.

Do you ever forget? Is it easy to -

No, no, I’ve got my own little system which works very well.

Can you describe your system?

Yes, yes, I’ve got a box, a wooden box and I put a week’s supply in there of my tablets. And I can check each day just to see that if, whether I’ve m-, they’re all different shapes, so I can see that if I’ve missed one, which has,  has happened very occasionally, then, okay, according to the things you shouldn’t take two in-, instead of, instead of one. So if you miss one, so what?

Neither here nor there.

Yes, so you know, as I said, my, my own system works well.
 
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