Keeping fit wasn't good for Kellie's health!
AT 26, Kellie Barnett was a poster girl for fitness and good health.
Not only was she a professional dancer and fitness instructor, she also was a triathlete, running in events like the Great North Run and the Hi-Tec Adventure Race.
All she'd ever known "was to be active" - but ironically, it would be keeping in such good shape that would lead to an unexpected health problem.
Kellie, now 34, recalled, "At 26, I was training for triathlons and adventure racing.
"I was at the Sandhurst Triathlon when I started to get pains in my lower back.
"It turned out to be my kidneys but I didn't know that at the time.
"I just collapsed and was down on my knees. I continued the race but only after having a lot of water.
"Because I was so fit, I thought it was muscular, but later I thought, no, there's something really wrong here."
After getting home that evening, Kellie, of Kilbagie Street, Kincardine, took ill.
She said, "My temperature was off the radar and I went into rigor and started to convulse.
"My parents took me to A&E at Stirling Royal Infirmary and it was found I had pyelonephritis (a form of inflammation of the kidneys).
"I was put on a drip and given seriously high doses of morphine.
"I was checked for kidney stones and was in and out of hospital for two weeks.
"It turned out I was dehydrated and was probably not drinking enough water because of training."
She added, "At the time, I had been going out quite a lot with my friends and having drinks and with training hard Monday to Friday, it was just too hard on the body.
"Because I was so fit and was young, I took it for granted that my body was going to get me through.
"I was probably not listening to it - I felt invincible.
"I wasn't smoking or abusing myself and thought I was doing something positive.
"I didn't know I was going to push myself to the max."
She stopped exercise for two years "to allow my body to rest" and has not done any racing since, concentrating on dance, pilates and zumba.
Luckily, she didn't suffer any kidney damage but she now keeps a close watch on her fluid intake.
And when Diane Campbell, Lyn Rae and Kirsteen Wright, of Dalgety Bay, asked her in October if she'd help organise a 'Zumbathon' fund-raiser for Kidney Research UK, Kellie, who teaches zumba at Dunfermline's JKS Dojo, was only too willing to oblige.
Diane, Lyn and Kirsteen knew family and friends with kidney problems but Kellie said it only "hit home" then that she had had the same trouble.
She explained, "I'd been ill and got better and never really thought about it.
"It was only when the people from Kidney Research talked about it that I realised, 'This is what people raise money for. This a common problem - it happened to me!'
"When you get older, you take stock, and it's always going to be a charity close to my heart."
The Zumbathon, held on 6th March at Dalgety Bay sports and leisure centre, was hosted by Still Game star Ford Kiernan.
It saw Kellie and fellow instructor Amy Buchanan Salmond, who had also had a kidney infection, lead the crowds in shimmying and shaking to Latin rhythms and has raised almost £2700 to date.
Kellie said, "It was so easy to put together and an absolutely fantastic way to raise money.
"It was electric, raised people's spirits and a lot of people said they had never been involved in something with so much energy.
"They're asking if we can do it again!"
Donations are welcome and can be made at www.kidneyresearchukevents.org/zumbaevent6march11.
This article appeared in Dunfermline Press 16 Mar 11
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Mar 23, 13:13
This comment has been removed by a moderator