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The Kidneys Are Fine, Thank You

May 5th, 2009

The latest update on my husband’s health quest is below, but since writing is the raison d’etre for this blog, I thought I might mention that I’ve been reading Donald Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel, which is something of a bible for novelists, and it’s really been helpful in getting me to work on my current book-in-progress. At least I sit in front of my computer for an hour or two a day and type. Whether what I’m typing makes any sense is still a question, but at least I’m doing it.

Don had an appointment with the kidney doctor yesterday. He said Don’s kidney function is okay, so there wasn’t any permanent damage done. They do their job, they just have no good outlet. We told him about the stuck stone problem and the scheduled operation, and asked if he had any bright ideas, but he said that the urologist is the get-the-stones-out expert. His job is to keep Don from ever getting stones again, and he was going to do it, too, by gum. It’s nice to be reassured.

Remember the 24 hour urine collection Don did back in March? We got the results while we were there. Seems that his stones are the common calcium sort, and that his system is too acidic. So, the doc gave him a prescription for bicarbonate of soda tablets, which should help him alkalize his system. The doctor also told him to cut way down on salt and to be judicious about eating high oxalate food, of which he gave us a list. Here’s what that means: don’t eat much spinach or other very dark leafy greens. Cut back on beans. Rhubarb is bad. Not so many tomatoes or cucumbers. White flour is better than whole wheat (!). Celery is problematic, as are berries and nuts. Meat is bad.

The doctor said not to cut the high oxalate foods out entirely, just eat less. Potatoes, eggs, and dairy are fine, and bunches of other fruits and veggies. I say that from now on, we live on pasta Alfredo, asparagus quiche, and custard pie. Peach and apple pie are good, too. Oooh – pancakes.

By the way, Don has gained over 20 pounds since he went into the hospital in January. He weighed 144 when the nurse weighed him at the doctor’s office yesterday. We won’t discuss what has happened to my weight over the last four months. I don’t anticipate a diet in my immediate future, either (see above).

And now I’m off to attempt fiction again.

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