Mr Subhan Ali heads to the market in the mornings on certain days of the week to get the fresh ingredients that he needs to do his cooking at home, which is something that he is very passionate about. And this 53-year-old enterprising man has turned the cooking skills he has acquired into a part-time home business to earn a living.
He cooks a variety of local Malay cuisines like beef rendang, ayam masak merah (spicy tangy chicken), cucur ikan bilis (anchovy fritters) and serunding (spicy coconut floss), just to name a few, to fulfil the orders that he gets regularly. He used to hold cooking sessions for relatives, friends and anyone interested in learning to cook until he had to stop doing so due to the prolonged Covid pandemic. He hopes to resume these sessions now that it is over.
Other than cooking, Subhan enjoys travelling. He has been to places like Indonesia, Australia, Japan, Turkey and the United States.
“PD allows me to have greater flexibility. I’m able to pursue my passion for cooking and travelling. I find these activities therapeutic, relaxing and calming. They also keep me busy and take my mind off my sickness.”
– Mr Subhan Ali, who is coping well on peritoneal dialysis
Afflicted with kidney failure
Subhan, who has been suffering from diabetes and hypertension since he was a youth, was diagnosed with kidney failure about four years ago and needed dialysis to sustain his life. He was worried about how dialysis would affect his lifestyle.
His doctor told him about the benefits of the two dialysis treatment modalities that he was medically-suited for – home-based peritoneal dialysis (PD) and in-centre haemodialysis (HD), carried out in-centre at a community-based dialysis centre.
Weighing up his treatment options
After weighing the pros and cons and doing his own fact-finding on the two treatments, he decided to take up PD as it fits well into his lifestyle, The type of PD he undertakes is called Automated Peritoneal Dialysis, where he does it daily during the night for 10 hours while he sleeps. This enables him to do his cooking during the day without much disruption.
“If I had taken up HD, I would have to spend time travelling to and fro between my home and dialysis centre thrice weekly, and spend four hours each time for treatment,” said Subhan. “I cannot afford the time to do so during the day and will feel tired from the travelling. I also hate needles poked into me, which is needed for HD sessions. PD is needle-free.”
PD also gives him the opportunity to continue with his travel adventures. The PD solution which he needs for his treatment, is delivered to his hotel room for his convenience.
“PD allows me to have greater flexibility,” added Subhan. “I’m able to pursue my passion for cooking and travelling. I find these activities therapeutic, relaxing and calming. They also keep me busy and take my mind off my sickness.”
PD support readily available
An NKF PD nurse makes visits to his home to check on his condition, gives advice on coping strategies and ensures he is managing his treatment well. This gives him peace of mind and a sense of assurance that there is always support readily available.
Subhan has opened his home to newly diagnosed kidney failure patients who are deciding on which treatment option to take up. He shares with these pre-dialysis patients on overcoming issues encountered when doing PD at home, demonstrates the use of the PD belt, which helps to secure the catheter (dialysis tube), and shows them how to arrange and store consumables safely and neatly.
Subhan is a member of NKF’s PD Support Group that call themselves the PD Warriors, as they keep the fighting spirit in them strong to overcome the many challenges they face. They share their personal experiences and feelings, as well as encourage each other. This helps them in their journey towards healing.
For Subhan, he continues to keep a positive mindset and strives to live his life to the fullest.