I took the Christmas tree down today, so it seemed fitting to write my first blog post of 2018. It has been hard for me to sit down and write in the last month or so; not because I have been so busy, but because I just haven’t been able to put into words all the changes/adjustments that have taken place. So I don’t forget, let me itemize them:
- The gallery
This is probably what bothered me the most. I did write about it (in detail) and then deleted it. However, long story short, I unintentionally missed an appointment at the Kidney Clinic by about 30 minutes, F-bombed the 2 curt women behind the desk, cried my way to the elevator, down the hall, out the door and to my car, felt utterly devastated and berated myself most of the way home. I think my emotions were running a wee bit high that day. I had driven to the hospital in a pissin’-down rain, thinking I was early, but had somehow read the appointment time wrong. One of my own personal pet peeves? Not being “with it” or on top of things. Being disorganized. And I don’t mean the kind where the laundry isn’t folded and put away. I mean the kind where you thought you had done your best, but messed up anyway.
Once your kidneys are below 20% function, you are introduced to the Renal Diet. This diet is intended to teach you how to avoid foods that will cause further damage to the kidneys as well as cause other health problems considering the deterioration of the kidney’s function in handling waste products.
The Renal Diet is low in sodium, potassium and phosphates. I don’t eat a lot of salt anyway, but I can tell you that it doesn’t matter how much herbs, spices or Mrs. Dash you add to a recipe, it does NOT replace the flavour that salt gives to food. I told my hubby that he was welcome to add salt to anything I put on the table if it tasted too bland, but he’s a good sport and says, “No, I’ll eat what you eat.” Bless his little heart for being so supportive.
Potassium is in many foods. Many good foods. Many of my favourite foods! Even those tasty little cherry tomatoes I grew in my garden this past summer are high in potassium. Other foods on my naughty list are potatoes (however, I can get away with having one if it is double-boiled), french fries or potato chips, sweet potatoes, winter squash, avocados, bananas, kiwi, oranges, pomegranate and chocolate, to name a few. I also have to eat white bread and white rice as the whole grain varieties are higher in potassium. It’s not all bad though. I can eat asparagus, eggplant, peas, corn, couscous, apples, cranberries, grapes, lemons, raspberries, watermelon. chicken, eggs, fish… You have to think of the positives. And as for my garden this year, I’ll grow cucumbers, radishes and carrots.
Phosphorous is in everything processed. So I can’t/don’t/try not to eat anything from a box, fast food or anything processed. Naughty items include bacon (ugh!), wieners, sausages and pizza. I can, however, make my own pizza with a light coating of olive oil (no tomato sauce), some red onion, sweet peppers, some fresh herbs and maybe a wee bit of feta cheese, but not too much ’cause of the salt.
Overall, the diet is not terrible. But it can be challenging sometimes. Plus I’m up another notch in my belt. I’m probably the only person who lost weight over Christmas. I told Santa to not put any chocolate in my stocking. He was great and put a package of dried cranberries instead. Good Santa! And although I can’t have it everyday, I did have a feed of lobster. Gumdrop cake was enjoyed by me as well. Hubby can’t have all the goodies for himself.
I spent the better part of December working towards closing the gallery. I am still offering passport photos and framing services. However, my goal is to move home full time. I will still be doing some things at the gallery until it is rented to someone else. But, I am sad to be closing the gallery part. I ran that little gallery for 4.5 years, and I’m sad to have local artists’ artwork removed from that space. And it’s important to me that people know I’m not closing the gallery because it failed. It didn’t. But I need to look after me and be prepared for how this kidney situation plays out. I do wish that someone would start another gallery. Shelburne has so much talent. And there are a lot of artists that need to be coaxed out of hiding, nurtured and/or celebrated.
So those things are what have been taking up my time. I’m looking forward to this new year. I may have some challenges, but my goal is to not think about the elephant in the room. And, besides…he’s a small elephant. I want to enjoy my time at home, enjoy time with my family, maybe take a trip somewhere with my hubby and just live each day as it comes. That’s all we should be aiming for anyway. All we have is right now, so why worry about what hasn’t happened yet. Eat the gumdrop cake and enjoy today.