Changes, Challenges and Choices

By Nicole Soileau

Six years and two months ago, I was introduced to a new way of living and to a new treatment that would save my life.   After hearing so many comments like “your color looks so much better,” and “you lost weight and it looks so good,” I wanted to keep up the improvements.  Being compliant with my diet, keeping my fluid intake down and having a positive attitude were the keys to improving my healthcare.

Learning a new diet was not difficult, but, at first, it was hard having to give up foods that I loved so much.  I soon learned from experience that I could eat those foods, I just had to take phosphorus binders whenever I ate them.  Anything that is unfamiliar to me is a challenge, and I love a challenge.   Finding new ways to prepare foods so that they are healthier for my body was one of those challenges that I enjoyed.

A second way that I continue to maintain a healthy lifestyle is by regulating my liquids. This was not as difficult as the changes in food, because I was never a big drinker anyway. My bottle of Root Beer, or whatever I was drinking that day, went in the refrigerator.  A quote that helps me to control my drinking is “out of sight, out of mind.”  Eating ice is another way that I keep from surpassing my one-liter-a-day allowance.

When I am speaking to others about dialysis, the word compliance comes up, and that also means going to all treatments.  I always make it a point to make it to Dialysis.  When my transportation is late, I call them to see where they are. Sometimes, this ends up with me having to call a friend.  If all of those efforts are exhausted, I resort to calling Uber or Lyft.  Whatever it takes, I will always get to Dialysis.

In conclusion, following a diet, limiting my liquid intake, being compliant, and having a good attitude are things I do in making a positive change to my healthcare.  I never thought that I would be so health conscious, but there sometimes comes a time in your life when you just have to make a change.  My life and health are better, and I will make a promise to myself that it will stay that way as long as Dialysis keeps me alive and going.


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