We would all like to see the sun shine every day, but on some days we see storm clouds. I always think if you look hard enough, and keep looking, you will see the sun peep through the clouds and things will work out. I am very thankful for dialysis; I did not realize how bad I felt until I started on it and began to feel good. By the grace of God, it has been a lifesaving, life-changing experience, and I embrace it every day with thankfulness.
I retired on September 30, 2016, and went to the hospital on October 5 where I was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease. I was put on dialysis on October 6. At the time all I knew about dialysis was something was wrong with my kidneys and my blood had to be filtered through a machine to be cleaned.
I decided to slow down, take a deep breath, and develop a working motivational meal plan, and learn how to do things in moderation. And I learned how to occasionally enjoy a piece of fried chicken, a baked potato or a slice of watermelon, all in moderation.
I had no idea there were specific limitations to drinking and meal planning. Imagine my surprise when I began to learn the do’s and don’ts of being a dialysis patient.
Family dinners, and birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter celebrations were always held at my house. We rolled out the baked turkey, barbeque, ham, collard greens, potato salad, coleslaw, beans, casseroles, cakes, pies, and banana pudding. Summertime found us cooking ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks, and pork chops on the grill. On the sideline were baked beans, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, and salads loaded with tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots. Chilling in the refrigerator were watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, and home-made ice cream.
At first, I thought I could continue on the eating path I was use too, but that didn’t work. It is especially difficult if you love foods that aren’t good for you. After getting a couple of bad lab reports from the dialysis clinic, and having several conversations with the clinic’s dietician, I combed the internet for information on dialysis, albumin, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, spKt/V, nPCR, iPTH, and fluid intake levels. I was shocked to learn how if your intake of foods and fluid isn’t controlled, it can have a devastating effect on your health and make your dialysis treatments more difficult. At first the information was overwhelming; I decided to slow down, take a deep breath, and develop a working motivational meal plan, and learn how to do things in moderation. It didn’t happen overnight; it was a hard struggle.
I learned about the foods that were either good or bad for me. I learned to read labels on items before I purchased them at the grocery store. It is hard to find foods that don’t have added potassium or some form of phosphorus. Instead of salt, I learned what herbs to use to season the food. I learned to like diet ginger ale and diet 7Up instead of colas. I found a white wheat bread as a substitute to regular wheat bread. When I use can vegetables, I rinse them a couple of times before cooking them and seasoning them with herbs. My meats are baked, broiled, or roasted. I set times for eating meals and I plan them two or three days in advance.
Yes, my eating and drinking habits have definitely changed. It’s all good, and I willingly accept the changes, and enjoy them. I’m thankful that after a few bad lab reports, along with the information I learned, I was motivated to change my habits. And I learned how to occasionally enjoy a piece of fried chicken, a baked potato or a slice of watermelon, all in moderation. I learned how to limit my drinking and not have a high gain reading when I weigh in at the clinic.
I am thankful to the staff at the clinic I attend. They are professional, kind, and caring. They take time to answer my questions; they make me feel comfortable, and they take good care of me.
Some people think dialysis is a death sentence. It is all in how you look at what has happened to you. I like the 90/10 principle, “Life is 10 percent of what happens to you and 90 percent of how you react to what has happened.” I choose to live my life every day in the positive, instead of in the negative, and that’s done by God’s grace and mercy!
Rev. Marjie Dozier I have always enjoyed interacting with people. I find in this world there are lots of hurting, depressed and sad people. I always try to converse with people in a way that leaves them feeling refreshed and renewed. After thirty years of working as a Deputy Register of Deeds, Patient Relations Rep in a mental institution, and retiring from the Wayne County Public Schools System, I learned it is very important how you relate and present yourself to people. Additionally, my service as an Associate Minister, Church Secretary, Choir Director, Asst. Youth Director, and Culinary Staff member at Atkinson Chapel Missionary Baptist Church has brought me great joy and fulfillment.
I also enjoy interacting with the Social Worker, Dietician, Receptionist, Nurses, and Technicians at Fresenius. They always treat me with respect, concern and kindness. I love fellowshipping with the other clients in the reception area. We have fun laughing, talking and sharing about the goodness of the Lord and how He blesses us on a daily basis. Dialysis is a blessing!!!!
Web ID 5041