National Kidney Month is Over, But You Still Need to Be Aware

All this National Kidney Month activity has only served to make me – and hopefully you – just how very aware of our kidneys we need to be.  I found that reminding myself of what they do and how they do it only renewed my passion to get the book into the hands of every newly diagnosed CKD patient and/or their friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, doctors, nurses and nutritionists.

So, I came up with an idea.  You know the book is already available at http://www.myckdexperience.com, www. Amazon.com & www. B&N.com. It’s in digital form on the two bookstore sites.  Now I’m going to make it available here.

I’m a writer, not a business person but I have figured out that I can send you the book directly. All you need to do is send your mailing information to:  myckdexperience@gmail.com and deposit $12.00 in my PayPal account: Peckolick. Yep, you’re right: that is a savings off the usual $12.95 price. Consider it a reward for helping me get the book out there.

I’ve been in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for an entire week. The Renal Symposium only took one day, but why fly through three time zones for just one day? So, I stayed to site see. I’ve been to the aquarium, Ruby Falls, The Lookout Mountain Incline, Rock City, St. Elmo, The Hunter Museum, a Moon Pie factory distributor’s and so many more attractions…. and I’ve discovered that I know quite a bit about traveling with early stage CKD.

I purposely chose a hotel with an exercise room, but haven’t used it once.  This is one of those manageable cities so I’ve walked for miles each day instead.  I’m getting older now, so I only walk two or three miles but with all the site seeing I’m barely aware of  how much I’m walking.

Most hotel rooms have microwaves and small refrigerators these days, as well as coffee machines. The first day I was here, besides setting up my table for the symposium, I walked 1/2 mile each way to stock up on bottled water, fresh fruit and some vegetables that were already cleaned and cut.  My breakfast each day was a cup of my beloved coffee, 15 grapes, half a banana and half a cup of celery.  No rushing to get out for breakfast, no ordering food I wasn’t comfortable eating and no searching for a restaurant.

What thrills me is that I no longer have to work at knowing what I can eat; it’s been long enough that I just know.  Menus don’t confuse me anymore.  If I can’t get a child sized portion or a senior citizen sized portion (They simply don’t exist here. Congratulations, Arizona on being sensitive to your senior citizens in this respect), I can eat as much as I’m permitted to on the renal diet and put the rest in the refrigerator for tomorrow’s dinner.

That’s another thing.  Since the renal diet is so restrictive and I’m already eating some fruit (actually two thirds of my daily fruit allotment) and vegetables at my improvised in-room breakfast, I only eat one full meal out.  By the way, that’s also saves you money you can use for the site seeing and trinkets for the folks back home (Wait until you see your Moon Pie tee shirt, Bear.) I try to eat my protein and starch allotments at this meal since it’s so easy to find restaurant meals consisting of this kind of food. Notice I’ve still got a fruit and two vegetables left.  That allowed me to try a local treat: zucchini with onions baked in cheese with bread crumbs on top.  I doubt the cheese was low fat or low sodium – oh well, I know it wasn’t because I asked – but I used my option to break the diet every once in a great while. Yummy.

I heard about another local favorite: peanuts dipped in Coca Cola.  Hmmmm, maybe I’m glad neither peanuts nor Coca Cola is on the renal diet.  In case you didn’t know, Coca Cola was first distributed in Chattanooga.

I used whatever food units I had left over for late in the evening snacks: animal crackers, ice cream, even a salt-less pretzel.  This was the most difficult part of the eating day.  It was severely tempting to fall into the I’m-on-vacation-and-I-can-break-the-renal-diet mentality.  I did once or twice and was sorry I did.  I’m not used to rich cakes or gooey candy anymore and paid for it.  That time spent in the bathroom could have been spent seeing more of this surprisingly beautiful city.  I didn’t expect the headache (and no aspirin permitted, of course), but experiencing this once or twice convinced me all over again that I just wasn’t that person who could eat whatever she wanted any more.

You also have to be careful about the bottled water you buy.  Dansani adds minerals, the very ones we don’t need as CKDers, to theirs.  Apparently, they’ve got the contract for all the local sites here, but I found an acceptable substitute for when I couldn’t get any other kind: unsweetened lemonade. I also learned to keep extra bottled water in my room and take a bottle of it WITH me to the sites so I wasn’t stuck with something I couldn’t be comfortable drinking.

I’ve not only learned everything I ever wanted to and more about the Civil War battles and natural wonders of Chattanooga, but also that I’m pretty comfortable traveling with CKD. Here’s hoping this week’s post has been inspiration for you to get yourself psyched about that vacation you were wondering if you could take.

Until next week,

Keep living your life!

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