Stayin’ alive

A kidney dialysis/transplant diary

Friday update

Friday night update: 

Just about bed time. My calorie total for the day is just short of 1600. That’s a little more than I’d like (about 200 calories), but I feel I need a snack tonight so it’s going to be a tangerine and a half cup of 1% cottage cheese.

Besides, with the 2 hours of grocery shopping I did this afternoon, I expended 615 calories on top of the daily stuff.

Did get a big, beautiful poinsettia for the living room, too, so things look a little more festive here.  I kinda want that this year since it’s the first Christmas since I came back to life, so to speak.  Whoooo, I feel a Tim Burton moment coming on.

Gotta work tomorrow morning, so I’ll say goodnight.


OK, it’s a little before noon. I’ve walked 5 minutes (woo hoo!) on the treadmill at 1.5 mph, the week’s worth of menus is done (check under pages in the right hand column), the grocery shopping list is ready.  Time to make the Chicken Chili. It’s a CKD non-dialysis, dialysis and diabetes friendly recipe.  That’s good stuff. Now we hope it’s good eats, too.

And here’s the links to
Eggplant Seafood Stew good for CKD, dialysis and diabetes.
Barley and Beef Stew, it only lists dialysis — probably because of the protein —  but it looks good to me as far as diabetes, too.


November 30, 2007 Posted by | diabetes, dialysis, health, kidney, renal diet, renal recipes, transplant | Leave a comment

Not so freaky Friday

Other than the fact that I’m up and motivating before 8.  I don’t have to be in Rochester and my day is pretty free: No dialysis, no appointments, no trips out of town specifically. I do have quite a bit to accomplish, though. Excuse the typing. the neuropathy is pretty strong in my right hand at the moment so stray letters may appear in the words here.

Daily report for Thursday:

Calories: 1401

Activity: Nothing other than daily

Fluid intake: 30 oz. pre-dialysis; 16 oz. post

Dialysis: Met target of 5.6 kilos removed but had to ask for 100cc saline back at the very last — literally — minutes because I was starting to cramp.

Goals for today: Make out weekly menu and shopping list; grocery shop; put up a few holiday decorations; get on the treadmill for at least 7 minutes.

A little catch up:

Received a letter from Mayo this week saying my mammogram was fine. That’s a relief since there is so much cancer in my mom’s family.  It’s a wonder the entire world isn’t hypocondriacal considering all the medical information we have to “worry” about.  For some reason, though, cancer has never been my great worry.  Arthritis and sight loss always topped my list.  Who woulda thunk kidneys would sneak in there.

Sue looked at my fistula site last night during dialysis and wants to have Dr. V take a look at it next week to determine if we should do a fistulagram before we try to use it.  Sue’s going to do her best to see if the buttonhole accesses can be placed so I can still knit while on dialysis.

I appreciate that effort since knitting, believe it or not, is important to the quality of my life. I use it as meditation, creative release, and a way to feel productive even when sitting still.  Besides, it results in beautiful, wearable art.  What could be a better hobby and how better to fill the time tethered to the dialysis machine?

Hmmm, tethered made me flash mental pictures of ponies hobbled to keep them from straying.  Maybe that feeling is why so many of us on dialysis chafe at the time we’re tied to the machine.  I don’t know that ponies haver quite as great a reward — life — as we do for our time being hobbled.

I talked with Donna and Dennis last night.  Donna has been diabetic since childhood and is now on dialysis.  She’s in the midst of transplant assessment at University of Iowa Hospitals and will know by late December when her actual transplant journey will start.  I say when because she was gleeful to admit last night that her sister, Linda, is a blood type match, the first step in becoming a live donor.

It leaves me awestruck to know that people are willing to give an organ to another. Donna feels the same, she said, and is so grateful her sister is willing to go through the process.  I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that Linda is a good match and the transplant can proceed.

Donna and Dennis are, I’m not sure what the correct word is maybe admirable.  Donna’s attitude is so good, though she admits to days when she can “barely smile” because things seem so tough. I think we all have days like that whether we’re in kidney failure or not.

Dennis is right by her side, even during dialysis.  I first noticed them this summer.  Donna was in the recliner doing her treatment and crocheting. Dennis was sitting in a straight back chair facing her, chatting and doing cross-stitch embroidery at the same time.  That takes a mighty secure male and a dollop of chutzpah.

Curiosity killed the Kat and I had to ask Dennis, as he passed by my station one evening, what he was working on.  He retrieved his cross stitching to show me and said Donna had taught him when her eyesight began to fail and she could no longer work the projects.  He does beautiful work.

He and Donna, he said, try to look at dialysis as an opportunity to spend quality time together.  Talk about turning lemons into lemomade.

So, on to the day at hand.  I’ll try to get back here later to let you know what the menu for the week will be.  Feel free to use it or any part of it for your own meal planning, if you choose.

November 30, 2007 Posted by | diabetes, dialysis, health, kidney, renal diet, renal recipes, transplant | Leave a comment

Diet day 1

Who’d think that a kidney dialysis/transplant blog would turn into a dieting blog? Well, me, I guess, because I was certain the surgeons would recommend my losing weight before any transplant takes place.

Yesterday was the start of the “strict” eating plan (going to try not to call it a diet). It’s going to prove somewhat sticky wicket to apply weight loss, diabetic and renal restrictions to my eating and still retain good nutrition, but it can be done. 

My challenge is to do it so I don’t get totally bored or ravenous and to change my eating habits as I do. Saying these things is much easier than doing them. Like I said yesterday: Losing and keeping weight off is the hardest thing I’ve NEVER done.

I started yesterday with a Spartan breakfast followed by a Healthy Choice low cal lunch, a sandwich before dialysis and another Healthy Choice frozen entree for a late supper/snack.  I also plodded (1.5 mph) on the treadmill for seven minutes and grocery shopped for 35.

The important numbers:

Calories: 1363

Calories expended in exercise: 203

Weight lost: ?

I did find a couple of helpful sites for logging food and between the two I think I’ll be able to watch my phosphorous, potassium, sodium and carbs. In case you’re in a similar predicament, let me refer you to: 

A way to log your daily food intake and see calorie counts quickly.  There’s lots of brand items in their database. I haven’t poked around in other areas much yet, though.

This is a food log designed for kidney patients in stage 4 or 5 of renal disease.  It gives you all the goodies on nutrition info for potassium, phosphorus, sodium, etc. but doesn’t seem to have as extensive a database.

I’m certain I’ll be leaning on frozen entrees for lunch fairly heavily since working full time and dialysis take up a great deal of my week, but the meal planning — thimking ahead —  has got to become a priority for me again. 

I find I’m extremely hungry after dialysis so I have to start planning how to take care of that on D days.  I need to leave enough calories free for a generous snack after dialysis.

You’ll see me mentioning Healthy Choice frozen foods often because that particular brand seems the most conscientious about keeping sodium levels low. Even though the obesity specialist recommended Weight Watchers, you have to be careful when you select Weight Watcher (or other diet programs for that matter) frozen foods if you’re trying to limit your sodium.

I foresee a Friday morning juggling menu plans and shopping to make sure the necessitites are in the house. Sheesh, it takes a lot of work to work toward being healthy.

I think I’m going to have to work on some mental/spiritual counseling, too, to see if for once I can change my life attitudes.

November 29, 2007 Posted by | diabetes, dialysis, health, kidney, renal diet, renal recipes | Leave a comment

An interesting conversation

Sunday was one of the more difficult days I spent in Rochester not because of any testing or medical problems but because of the waiting.  I had to be out of the hotel room by noonish and the sleep test did not take place until 7 p.m.

The library was closed.  I tried to find what sounded like a nice knitting shop, but it had moved or closed. I had eaten a late breakfast so it was too early for lunch.  I thought about just parking close to the entrance of the Eisenberg Building (where the test was to take place) and waiting in the lobby and I did circle the building oh, I don’t know, about 20 times and could never snag a space.

I finally ended up going back to the hotel and sneaking back into their parking lot (after all, I had been a guest for a couple of days), picked up my knitting and went to a soft chair in the lobby and started working on my idiot knitting.  I do quite a bit of idiot knitting these days, a simple something that takes little or no thought, produces something useful like a scarf or a stocking cap, and can be put down in the middle of a row without causing knitting catastrophe.

This was a simpled seed stitch scarf in a very striking yarn, one black ply and one ply in vibrant varigated colors.  I wanted something cheerful since the last two idiot projects I finished at Mayo’s the week before were in more somber colors, a woodsy brown and olive drab.

Knitting, as I mentioned before, has proven quite a conversation starter and Sunday was no different.  Though the lobby was fairly empty, a young woman noticed the scarf and commented on what beautiful colors were in the yarn then asked what I was making. I told her it was a scarf for our local Coats for Kids project in Cedar Rapids. She made the appropriate “ah, isn’t that nice” comments and I smiled and thanked her.  She soon left with a large group of what appeared family members to have lunch at a nearby restaurant.

I continued knitting, my companion changing from the TV broadcast of the Vikings or the Browns football games depending on who wandered through the lobby wanting to know the score.

About 15 inches later (the nice thing about knitting is you can measure by rows or inches when you’re tired of measuring by the clock hands that seem to stand still), the young woman and her lunch companions returned to the lobby.

A lean man who appeared to be in his mid-40s was standing near the arm of my chair watching the game on the TV.  He looked at the knitting and said, “that’s pretty. You think we’re gonna need that scarf today?”

I told him probably not today, but soon. He asked where I was from and when I answered I said to him, “and it sounds like you’re Canadian.”

“Jeese,” he said, “is my accent that strong?” I told him I love accents so maybe it wasn’t that his was so strong but maybe I listened awfully close.

The conversation turned to why we were both in Rochester. His is an interesting story and one that perhaps, in these days when we’re considering socialized medicine, we should all hear.

He’s from Saskatchewan, a little town near Saskatoon. About 3 years ago he started having terrific headaches. The doctors there determined he had a brain tumor, not cancerous, but serious enough to require surgery.  He had the surgery done and everything seemed all right, he said, until relatively recently when he began having problems hearing with his right ear, the side of the brain where the surgery was performed.

He had meningitis earlier, he said, but his doctors in Canada couldn’t figure out what was wrong and were more or less dismissive about his problems. In Canada, he said, patients are on a 6-month waiting list to get an MRI and a 3-month waiting list to see a specialist.

“I have a young family to support,” he said, and didn’t feel he could or should wait that amount of time to be cared for by physicians he felt were only putting in their time and more interested in the number of patients they could push through in a day’s time than the quality of care they were dispensing.

He maxed out his credit cards and flew himself and his family to Rochester to go through Mayo’s.  He would, he said, find out Monday if an operation was necessary to stem the leak of spinal fluid — yes, spinal fluid — that was now spilling into his right ear from something that had gone awry from the first operation.

Spinal fluid is not supposed to go sloshing about your body and exposing it is serious, serious infection waiting to happen. If it were you, would you want to wait 3 to 6 months to get an answer?

He’s a farmer who has no insurance other than what his wife has from her work, didn’t and wouldn’t ask his parents or other family for help. “The money will come from somewhere,” he said.

He didn’t seem depressed about the situation and when I had to leave, he offered to help me with anything I might need done. “I’ve got a big, strong son here with me.”

Food for thought.

November 28, 2007 Posted by | diabetes, dialysis, health, kidney, transplant | Leave a comment

Sleepy time gal

The sleep apnea test was conducted last night.  Talk about being wired, I don’t know if I’ve ever felt more like Medusa with all the wires coming out of my hair and head…all through my scalp, behind my ears, on my forehead, my chin (3), my chest, my legs. 

 The glue smelled like a cross between crazy glue and spirit gum (it has a little ether in it). Once everything was stuck in place, the tech went back through and kind of scratched each connection site with a blunt needle to assure good contact. It took nearly 45 minutes just to set everything in place, then the wires were attached and plugged into a board (it looked kind of like a small electric dart board) that was hung around my neck.

It was about 10 p.m., pretty much my normal bedtime, so I went into the little room.  I was tired and yawning, but it took me quite awhile to fall asleep.  No where to turn was the thought of the day because it felt as if there was no comfortable position.  Add to that discomfort the restless leg thing and sleep didn’t come until exhaustion was close.  I finally had them turn the thermostat down to about 66, too, because I was sweating in bed.  I tend to do that at night.

They woke me at about 3:30 to place a CPAP (Constant Positive Air Pressure) device in my nose and then a bit later to replace it with a nose mask because I was leaking too much air through my mouth. Yeah, I’m pretty much of a mouth breather at night…ain’t it sexy???

The test was complete at 6 a.m. when they woke me and removed all the wires and connections.  They rubbed the sites with acetone (fingernail polish remover) but little bits of glue were still embedded in my scalp and on my face, so I wanted to take a shower but luck wasn’t with me: No hand-held attachment on the shower.  I can’t take a regular shower with my perma-cath so I did the old spit and polish with a washcloth, got dressed, went to the cafeteria for breakfast and to wait until 9 a.m. for my appointment with the doctor to go over the results.

The good news: My obstructive apnea is about 75% better than when it was tested in 2004.  The doctor attributes that to my being over 20 pounds lighter now.  The not-so-good news: The restless legs interrupted my sleep nearly as often as the apnea.

The doctor recommends I try CPAP on a nightly basis again and since the pressure would be reduced from 13 to 7, I think I might be better able to handle it now. Part of the reason he suggested a return to CPAP was because my oxygen levels tend to dip during the night and CPAP should help that.

I was going to fill the script for a machine here in Rochester, but hearing a nurse talking with another patient saying they recommended getting the machines in a patient’s hometown because it makes it easier to get adjustments or repairs done made great sense so I’ll fill the script in C.R.

My appointment with the obesity specialist went about as I thought it would: She recommends I start on a weight loss regimin of 1200 to 1400 calories a day now and think about whether I want to do bariatric surgery or not. Either way, it should take about a year to get the weight off (55-77 pounds).

The best way to boost the weight loss will be activity and she suggests I try to work up to 30 minutes a day on the treadmill, not necessarily at one time. Weight Watchers would be a viable option, she said, because it is a proven program and having a support group can be very good.

She also will recommend to the committee that they put me on the transplant list as temporary inactive so I can accrue time while I’m working on the weight issue.

Weight loss should also help the sleep apnea, the arthritis, the diabetes, etc.  I’ve successfully lost weight before, but my downfall is keeping it off.  Of course, there’s no guarantee that bariatric surgery would make that any easier.

She wants me to keep a food jounal, too, so that may become an addendum to this blog.

It’s nearing noon here in Rochester and I have “miles to go before I sleep” in Cedar Rapids tonight, so I’ll sign off for today.

Oh, by the way, I checked my INR with the thrombophilia nurse the last thing this morning and it’s now within the correct range so we’re going to keep the coumadin level at 12.5 at least until I can get a protime done at home.

It’s off I go to hit the road.

November 26, 2007 Posted by | diabetes, dialysis, kidney, transplant | 2 Comments

Another bump

I’m here at Mayo in “real time.” The appointment with the obesity specialist has been postponed until Monday following the appointment with the sleep disorder specialist.  Another bump in the road.

I just finished my  check-in at the thrombophilia center. We’re adjusting my coumidin again because my INR taken Wednesday was high (4.1, they’d like it somewhere around 2 to 3). 

I think I may have caused my own problem and, yes, I did tell the nurse.  I think when I sorted my pills into the pill organizer the last week I only put one warafin tab in each compartment instead of two.  The more I thought about that, the more I’m certain that’s what happened.  So tonight and Saturday, the nurse said, I’m to go back to 10 mg of warafin (the generic of coumidin) and 12.5 Sunday. 

 I’ll check in with thrombo again Monday after the appointment with the obesity specialist. If my INR is back in the range we’re looking for, we’ll discuss adjusting the warafin again.

That’s about all I have for the moment.  No more appointments for the day and though my mind would like to wander around Rochester awhile, I think I’ll just go back to the hotel and read.  I’m battling a bit of a cold right now. I’m taking zinc and hope it will foil the cold germs by Sunday evening.  I’d rather not have congestion fouling up the sleep disorders test.

The drive up was uneventful and the weather cooperated though I did run into a few light snow flurries.  Actually, there was more snow on the ground in Cedar Rapids when I left this morning than there is in Rochester.

I’ll try to catch you up Monday at the latest.

November 23, 2007 Posted by | diabetes, dialysis, health, kidney, transplant | 2 Comments

My joy list

A year or so ago on a day at work when I was particularly stressed and depressed, someone suggested I make a joy list and tack it to the cubicle wall. I did. It makes me smile when I glance up to see it and I somehow feel good knowing that it’s there for others to see, too.

This Thanksgiving I’d add a few more items to my joy list:

My life

My family


Those are the biggies, the little things are important, too:

Curious dogs with velvety ears and muzzles

Clear sailing on secondary highways

A good clutch in the car

Weather that allowed me to go get my kid for Thanksgiving

Smiles and hugs

Feeling support from so many people

Having a warm, comfortable place to live

There are others on the list at work:

Driving fast with music playing too loud

Hearing my mother laugh at a joke

The twinkle in a handsome man’s eyes

You get the picture.  If you haven’t thought about your personal joys today, it’s a good day to do so.

May your Thanksgiving be filled with the people and things you love.

November 22, 2007 Posted by | diabetes, dialysis, health, kidney, transplant | Leave a comment

Thank you, Melissa


Thank you for commenting. The blog seems to help me and, I’m finding, other dialysis/transplant patients through giving a voice to some of the things we experience in common.

I can understand your husband’s depression and frustration.  The wait has to be miserable, I realize that though I haven’t even started that wait yet. I’m certainly no Pollyanna, but when I do get frustrated and depressed and angry, I try to remember that I couldn’t/wouldn’t even have those feelings if the machines weren’t keeping me alive.

Right now, after two weeks mostly in Rochester and mostly eating out, I’m fighting an excess 2.5 kilos of fluid probably retained because of the increased sodium in my diet from eating out.  It feels defeatist because I need to lose weight before I can think about transplant and I can’t tell if this is adding to my dry weight or not.

Mayo dialysis sent me out the door the 2.5 kilos heavy because they were certain I couldn’t take off 5 kilos in a single treatment, something I do pretty routinely at the Mercy Outpatient Center. So, it will take me some time to be able to pull that extra off.  Try as I might, I cannot go for long without drinking fluid and though I try my best to keep it within the 48-ounce restriction, I seem to gain a lot of fluid between treatments.

I certainly am no expert in depression and sometimes wonder “why me,” though I try not to dwell on that aspect.  No matter what the reasons why, it is me and I have to deal with it. 

My brother recently sent me a couple of cards of encouragement that kind of sum up my philosophy about the whole thing since one was humorous and the other sincere. 

The first highlighted my never-ending attempt to laugh at myself and the situation: It pokes fun at my first colonoscopy, an obivous rite of passage.

The second brought tears to the corner of my eyes because it reflected his belief in my inner strength and my ability to  cope with the difficulties I face.

Forty-seven is much too young to be facing this horrid thing. Sixty is, too, or 75 or 90. But truthfully, modern science is what allows us to face it.  Were it not for dialysis, I would be long dead and celebrating Thanksgiving with my mother and son from the other side. 

For me, the quality of my life outside dialysis and this disease is still worth my living it.  I think each dialysis patient who is sentient has to decide that for him or herself. We do have the choice of not accepting dialysis and at some times, knowing that choice is mine makes what I’m tolerating more tolerable.

I noticed you commented on my tribute to Henry Morgan’s family.  I saw his wife just before my first Mayo appointments.  Henry had been fighting kidney disease for over 30 years and that last night, she said, after the doctor told her “I’m losing him” she went into his room and told him, “You can go, Henry. It’s all right. I’ll be all right.” He cried, she said, when she spoke, and she’s positive her telling him it was all right to let go made his passage easier.

If your husband — or you — have not discussed his depression with the medical staff, please do so.  There are medications that can help lift that veil of sorrow.  The disease and its treatments and its side effects ripple through your whole family and friends and I’m sure his depression is, too.

Encourage him to talk about it, if he doesn’t.  I’ve found just expressing my fears, grumps and grumbles helps me to make it through the day and to laugh at myself.  The nurses and techs at dialysis, I find, are great sounding boards as long as you don’t lash out in anger at them.  They may not know exactly what you’re going through on a personal level, but they are unusually empathetic and know the venting isn’t aimed directly at them.

It may actually be more difficult for you to vent since you’re trying to support and be strong for him.  Make sure you find some time for yourself. It sounds selfish, I know, but you need it and you need private time to deal with your own emotions, thoughts and fears.  If you live where you can find a transplant support group for caregivers, go.  It will make you feel less alone, I’m sure.

Actually, I’m going to post this reply to you as part of my blog because I’m sure others will relate and I want them to know that this blog is a place they can come and share their thoughts, fears and laughs, too.

If I could, I’d hug you for real. Since I can’t, please accept my virtual hugs to both you and your husband.


November 22, 2007 Posted by | diabetes, dialysis, health, kidney, transplant | Leave a comment


My phone rang here at work about 9 a.m. I was in the middle of an impromptu meeting with my supervisor so after the woman gave me her name I asked her if I could call her back in a few minutes. “Of course,” she said, and gave me her number.

A few minutes later I called the number. J (she’d rather her name not be used) answered and asked if I was the person who had had a page 1 story about kidney dialysis and transplants in The Gazette a few weeks back.

I was, I said.

She then said that she had had her blood typed for consideration as a kidney donor for a friend’s son and though that match didn’t work, she had read my story “with fascination” and would be willing “down the road when you get closer” to transplant to be considered as a donor for me.

Out of the blue. On a Tuesday morning and even after I’d had to say, “I’ll get back to you…”

Tears came to my eyes and I was nearly speechless. My thoughts raced and I fumbled for words I couldn’t find. How do you express your thanks to someone who is willing to save your life? A stranger reaching out to help in such an enormous way, it’s incredible.

We talked a short while and she said, “You have my name and number and I am serious about this.”

I told her I still had testing to complete and some side issues to address but that I would call her and let her know how the testing was going.

I’m still stunned. I have to process this some before my thoughts settle. I’ll write more later but for now wanted to share this woman’s incredible generosity with others.

November 20, 2007 Posted by | diabetes, dialysis, health, kidney, transplant | 1 Comment

Where the dear and the antelope roam

I don’t know about the antelope here in Cedar Rapids, but most of my dears roam around this area and I’m home again for a few days.

My dialysis in Rochester started about 8:30 Saturday morning. Snow was swirling outside and the nurses were all chattering about whether they were happy or not to see the flaky weather.

I dozed through about two hours of the treatment — the restless leg medicine seems to make me sleepy — listened to a little classical music and then watched the Food Network. Time drags when you have some place to be, which for me was Wabasha.

The treatment should have been over about 1:30 at the latest, but my blood pressure went fairly low (we took off 5.5 kilos in an effort to get me closer to my actual dry weight) and it took about a half hour to get it above 100 so it was 2 p.m. before I left the dialysis unit.  I opted for a patient escort to the Charlton lobby since I didn’t want to chance a literal crash to the floor.

I made it across the street safely and stopped in the sandwich shop just off the hotel lobby for a quick lunch and soda. Then for my first R&R of the last two weeks, I got in the car and stumbled into the exact area where a nice little knitting/quilt shop sits.  Kismet, right?

So I spent about 45 minutes in the shop and came out with a pattern for felted clogs and a couple of skeins of wool, some wool and bamboo sock yarn and a skein of cotton sock yarn.

I’d been carrying knitting with me for most of the appointments (a small plastic bag with a single skein of yarn, a 16-inch circular needle, and an in-progress simple stocking cap).  It proved to be a real conversation starter several times with both the Mayo staff and patients.

Once I finished there, I took out on Broadway to 63 North then turned onto 21 and, I thought, on my way to Wabasha.  It ended up being a scenic route. I somehow made the same mistake — in reverse — that I made coming to Rochester Thursday morning: A wrong turn leading me to the middle of Whitewater State Park and a tiny hamlet called Elba Valley.

I still don’t know how I did it.  If it happens one more time, I’m going to assume the fates are telling me I need to stop and poke around the hamlet to find why it’s calling to me.

It was, of course, a beautiful drive even though the leaves are gone and the park in a state of semi-devastation from a recent flood.  The stark, dark tree trunks were laced with snow, the foliage like muted Pendleton Plaid colors.

The twist in the route took me a hour out of my way and once again I found myself 22 miles from Winona.  Hmmm, maybe that would be a good title for a book or story: “22 Miles From Winona” or going where life takes you.

Friday’s appointment at the Sleep Disorders clinic led to another appointment for a sleep apnea test next Sunday. Now I’ll be driving to Rochester Friday morning, see the obesity specialist midmorning and report to the thrombophilia center at 1 p.m.  I’ll stay overnight again because I have to dialyze Saturday at 1:05 p.m. (the earliest time they have), drive to Wabasha (unfortunately in the dark ever vigilant for rutting deer), return to Rochester to report to the sleep disorders clinic by 7 p.m. Sunday, overnight there wired to the hilt, see the sleep disorders doc at 9 a.m. Monday and return home to Cedar Rapids Monday afternoon.

I’ve learned something tangential from all of this: I would not like being a traveling salesperson.

Oh, yeah, and I need to get a map of Southern Minnesota.

Back to the Sleep Disorders doc. He requested a sleep apnea test to ascertain where we stand at the moment.  I’m 25 or so pounds lighter than when the test was taken at St. Luke’s in 2004.  At that time, my apnea was  “severe,” he said, since I stopped breathing an average of 83 times an hour. No fooling.

With apnea that severe, the best choice of treatment is CPAP and though I have a CPAP machine, I don’t use it because — irony of ironies — I can’t breathe with it on. That, the doctor said, will be adjusted by these further studies. He also recommends I consider bariatric surgery to help the apnea problem.

So, I’ll be home on Thanksgiving. Aaron called Saturday and will be joining us. That’s a good thing. We’ll hope for good weather Friday for the drive to Rochester and I’ll try to get a Minnesota map by that time (and a denture bath since that seems to be the one thing I left in the hotel room).

And now for something totally different: A Thanksgiving recipe from Dick Logue’s Low Sodium cooking site:

Pumpkin Pie Filling 2

This is the creamiest, best flavored pumpkin pie filling I’ve
ever tried. You can also bake this as a pumpkin custard  and
skip the fat and carbohydrates in the crust.  Just pour it into
oven proof custard cups or soup bowls that have been sprayed
with vegetable oil spray.  No custard cups? What about oven
proof coffee mugs and serve it right in the mug.

   1 3/4 c  Pumpkin,Cooked And Pureed
   1/2 c  Brown Sugar
   1/2 c  Sugar
     2 T  Maple Syrup
   1/2 c  Sour Cream
   1/2 c  Half & Half
   1/2 c  Egg Substitute
     1 t  Cinnamon
   1/2 t  Ground Ginger
   1/8 t  Ground Cloves

Preheat oven to 425. Dump all the ingredients into a blender and pulse until thoroughly combined.  Pour the mixture into greased
custard cups or ovenproof soup bowls, or unbaked pie shell. Bake
for 15 minutes at 425, then reduce heat to 350 and bake for 45
minutes, or until set. Allow to cool for 1 hour before serving.
Top each portion with whipped cream or Cool Whip, if desired.

Yield: 8 Servings

Per Serving:
   196 Calories
   3 g Protein
   5 g Total Fat
   3 g Saturated Fat
   0 g Polyunsaturated Fat
   2 g Monounsaturated Fat
   35 g Carbohydrates
   1.7 g Fiber
   48 mg Sodium
   264 mg Potassium
   12 mg Cholesterol
Diabetic Exchanges
   0 Starch
   0 Fruit
   0.5 Milk
   1 Other Carbohydrates
   0 Vegetable
   0 Lean Meat
   0 Very Lean Meat
   1 Fat


This recipe and other Thanksgiving recipes are also available online in Microsoft Word format at It’s a great site and includes extensive nutrition info on each recipe


November 19, 2007 Posted by | diabetes, dialysis, health, kidney, renal diet, renal recipes, transplant | Leave a comment