As a pwd for 37 years, I have struggled daily not to give "the numbers" more power than they deserve. The numbers simply tell us what to do next.
As a dialysis patient, there are at least four new numbers that need to be monitored - blood levels of calcium, phosphorous, protein and potassium. Too much or not enough of any of these can lead to significant health problems.
The values are printed out on a "report card" (boy do I hate that term) and given to the patient to be discussed with the nutritionist. Up until this month, my values have been good, and I silently sat there with a smug grin on my face as we went over the data.
This month, my phosphorous was out of whack.
I told Carol that nothing had changed in my diet - that I was avoiding all the things I should - cola, nuts, chocolate and whole grains. I started to get very upset and was crying quite dramatically. She seemed startled that I would get so upset about a little piece of information.
She patted my shoulder and walked away.
So, once again, the body responds in unpredictable ways. What's a person to do? I guess the best advice would be to chill out and take a nap.
Dialysis patients are supposed to eat 10 ounces of animal protein a day. There are some people at the unit who cannot afford to buy that amount of meat, and my heart breaks for them. Low levels of protein in the blood make one vulnerable to infections and an overall feeling of muscle weakness and fatigue.
I have not been testing my blood more that 1-2 times per day. But eating such large amounts of meat leaves little room for carbs. My last AlC, without even trying, came back at 6.3% - lowest ever. My primary said "oh, it's just like the Aitkins diet". I guess so. Go figure.
I once again would like to thank all of the many DOC'ers who expressed concern and emailed me well wishes. It sure makes the journey easier to know others are rooting for you. Thanks.