What am I doing here?

Posted in Odds And Ends

Yes, I’m wondering indeed what I’m doing. And wondering on a daily basis. This whole kidney failure thing is stressing me out to the proverbial “nth degree”.  Yep – second time around is no easier than the previous and is just as difficult 20+ years later.  I’m once again struggling with high Potassium (K)/Phosphorous (Ph) and low Sodium (Na).  It seems that my “rental” kidney was performing a huge role in maintaining that balance for me.  Seems to be moreso than for many other dialysis patients.  While we are all on restrictions for these minerals, I’m having to go further in restricting the K and Ph than anybody should have to!  Less than about 700mg of K and less than 1500mg of Ph.  What this means, dear reader, is that I’m on a virtual white bread and water diet.  Almost everything natural has substantial amounts of K or Ph.  It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t love a fruit and veggie heavy diet before the kidney failure.  I rarely ate fast food or processed foods – my cupboards have precious few boxed or canned items in them – so the severe change in my diet is torture.  I’m also finding it hard to balance the need for extra protein with the K/Ph issue.  Every form of protein has K in substantial amounts so that means that I have to allocate the large majority of my meager K budget to the protein needs. Ugh.  I never claimed to be a vegetarian before but meat products are something that I normally enjoyed in smaller quantities.  I preferred to trade quantity for quality and splurge on better quality proteins when I do have them.  So yet another torture to add:  eating way more meat products than I really enjoy.  You guys that are on dialysis know what I’m talking about. We get the monthly going over by the care team and it inevitably includes a chat with the nutritionist to go over those numbers. It’s become the part of that visit I dread the most thanks to my body’s unwillingness to cooperate.  The only saving grace for me is that I’m experiencing the same thing as 20+ years ago so that I know it’s not what I’m eating. At my last hospitalization, the docs there thought it may likely be  hormonal issue but finding out what will be a task indeed.  Guess I better start researching myself.