Kidney patients talk about food a lot. It is quite the preoccupation with us. You have to eat even if you don’t feel like it. Even if your appetite is gone and all food tastes metallic because of toxins you can no longer excrete. You have to eat to stay alive. There’s nothing quite as dispiriting as forcing yourself to eat three times a day every day as I did for years. And there is nothing as wonderful as that first taste of lettuce when those toxins are finally cleared.
The renal diet is better than it used to be when I was a kid. It’s a lot less restrictive because we understand more about how the body processes food and what the different types of food actually do. I believe these days you can eat avocado and eggs, for instance.
Food is a life and death issue for us. You have to eat to live, but food can kill us too in so many ways. I am afraid you will hear a fair amount about food from us.
By the way, I was just about to eat when I wrote this. Not my normal routine, but I guess the aromas squeezed creative juices out of me. I like drinking something before I eat. My uncle used to go to the loo before he takes on his supper, my granny prays and my aunt just attacks it like it was going to escape.
She always finishes up first then says she didn’t want to feel filled before it was done and leave the food to dry overnight because she would not eat it. She tells us the same thing every time that her doctor doesn’t recommend this kind of eating and the worst thing about it now is that I have also started eating like she does too. My excuse is that I don’t want the food to go cold before me. The stereotype that has been around for ages in my community is that people who can’t clean up after themselves are the best cooks, but what if she can’t clean up and she still can’t cook?
Now I am addicted to Spar’s pears because they keep them chilled, ideal for passing time waiting for dialysis sisters to say we can come in. I also got myself a 200ml cranberry juice yesterday and drank it just before we went in fast enough for the sisters not to see or I would get such a lecture.
I understand that medicine professionals know about this illness, but until one experiences it first hand, I won’t say they thoroughly know. We long for a drink after a meal and being shouted at because you had been tempted to drink only registers in the brain as “go back and drink more”. I wish I would get through to medical professionals and make them really understand.
Perhaps the fact that they are professionals makes it hard to deal with them because I would sarcastically tell my sister she is not a medical professional and that she knows nothing about renal failure. I do not think I had mentioned the fact that I have a sister. She is a year older than me and is such a great cook. I mean I am a chef, but I know she makes better stew than I do myself.
Or does she? My cousin is pig headed and won’t listen when I tell him not to add lots of salt. We are not fans of each other. All because of food. How dare he make a harmful thing out of one thing that I love most?