Stayin’ alive

A kidney dialysis/transplant diary

Ice is nice

Yes, it is. The longer I’m on dialysis the more adamant I am about ice. I want it.

If I’m limited in the amount of fluid I can have, I want it so icy it’s steaming from the cold, so icy I can feel it slide all the way down my throat. And once the liquid’s gone, you can bet your sweet icy-cold tea I’m gonna crunch and munch the ice. Cube by cube by cube.

Frigid as it was yesterday, I still asked for that lovely cup of ice at dialysis. It’s wonderful ice for chewing: Five or six cubes can sit comfortably in a plastic spoon that’s just the right amount to keep your mouth moist and cool.

I don’t think I’m suffering Pagophagia, and I don’t think it’s Pica. I think it’s a way to assuage part of my thirst or at least trick my mind into thinking I’m ingesting more fluid than I am.

They say chewing ice — and I certainly do chew it, can’t wait for it to melt — is bad for your teeth. Lucky for me I only have four teeth remaining and they aren’t the molars I use to grind my ice. Somehow the cold grinding process is as soothing psychologically as the trickle of icy fluid.

Chewing ice, it seems, isn’t a peculiarity exclusive to dialysis patients. They’re are many cube munchers out there and they’re making their voices heard. Take a look at this article from The Wall Street Journal.

Fistula postponement

Nurse Sue, who will be helping to produce what we hope will become buttonhole accesses for my fistula, did examine it yesterday. She marked the target area for the first needle (it will be a combination of using the catheter and one needle to begin) and told me to apply the numbing cream about an hour before my Thursday treatment.

I drive a manual four on the floor shift car. (No, it’s not a jazzy foreign sports car nor is it a truck. It’s a 1993 turquoise Topaz. Stop laughing right now. It serves my purposes and my Mom can get in the passenger side even with her fused right knee.)

This is not such an abrupt shift of topics when I tell you that the other day while I was driving, I put my hand on the shift gear and thought, “Wow, that vibration feels almost exactly like the ‘thrill’ in my fistula.” It’s really strong and noticeable since it’s in the crook of my elbow. Sometimes I watch it surge and wonder if an alien is going to burst from its confines.

Anywho …

Thursday appears to be THE day. I did find a St. Ficare medal and have been wearing it for about 10 days now.


January 30, 2008 - Posted by | diabetes, dialysis, fistula, health, kidney, renal diet, renal recipes, transplant, weight loss


  1. A friend of mine loved to chew ice, and she found out at a doc’s appt that she was actually anemic, and some people crave ice as anemics. Not sure if that applies to you, or if it’s the low-water diet for your kidneys’ sake, but thought I just might mention it in case your iron was a tad low.


    Comment by womantowomancbe | January 30, 2008 | Reply

  2. I read that in the Wall Street Journal article. Fascinating, but I don’t think it applies to me since anemia and iron levels are something they test for every lab day (at least once a month). Thanks for the concern, though.


    Comment by iowakitkat | January 30, 2008 | Reply

  3. Another way to quench thirst while keeping to your fluid targets is to eat frozen grapes. Wash and dry the grapes (make sure they are good and dry) and pop then in the freezer. Maybe not right now in the midst of an Iowa cold snap but in the summer they’re great! And they do seem to quench thirst better than drinking fluid.

    Comment by Billp | January 30, 2008 | Reply

  4. I haven’t tried that one yet, but I will when the Iowa cold abates and when the price of grapes comes down from $4.99 a pound. Yikes!
    Squeezing fresh lemon on the ice seems to brighten things up, too

    Comment by iowakitkat | January 31, 2008 | Reply

  5. BTW Angie has a video up on YouTube showing how she applies Emla cream – is that the numbing agent you’ll use? I have the video embedded here or watch it direct from YouTube here

    Comment by Billp | February 1, 2008 | Reply

  6. Mine appears to be a generic form of emla … it’s lidocaine plus something else (don’t have the tube in front of me). It seems to work quite well, though I don’t apply as much as Angie.

    Comment by iowakitkat | February 3, 2008 | Reply

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