Being diagnosed with PKD has, in many ways, been a blessing. Not all the ways, but many of them.
For a long time, I felt like I wasn’t giving my body what it needed nutritionally speaking. Feelings of lethargy and general slothiness were common. Sure, I’d go to the doctor from time to time and mention it…but the answers I got were usually along the lines of “you probably aren’t getting enough sleep”, or “eat more fruits and veggie.” These answers missed the mark.
With the diagnosis came a turn to Google to learn the “do’s and don’t’s” relative to kidney health. I plan on engaging a nutritionist to really dial this in – but with the basic knowledge that my kidneys do well with some foods and not so well with others has been a game changer.
Until Friday. We were in Seattle for a couple of days, and eating out is something we enjoy doing while on the road.
Friday, I decided it would be a cheat day of sorts. My uber supportive wife, Theresa, said she felt like Cheesecake Factory. I thought I’d get a salad, and all would be well. Then the menu came. Nobody gets a salad at Cheesecake Factory.
I had all the things. Buffalo wings for apps, baja tacos, and a few bites of Mrs. Williams’ chicken tenders. And the cheesecake. Ermegersh.
Friday afternoon, as the sodium, sugar and protein worked its way through my little kidneys that could…I wanted to curl into a ball and croak. Energy was completely gone, patience had evaporated, reason in thought was a thing of the past.
Fast forward to Saturday. Home. And the Jack LaLane power juicer (which has become a staple in my daily walk with this). A cucumber, carrot, celery, apple and lemon juice was the first thing I made. I could literally feel my body come into normalcy as I threw this thing back the way a college kid shotguns a Keystone Light.
I recently celebrated my 38th birthday. With a little seasoning has come a maturity and desire to think beyond a couple days from now – particularly relative to my health. And now more than ever I’m realizing that if I put junk in, I can’t expect to get anything less than junk out.
I guess the moral to the story is this: eat good stuff. All the time. Listen to your body’s cues and follow its lead.