The chronic kidney disease has curbed my enthusiasm for good food since I was diagnosed with it in 2004. Mr. Liong, the urologist at Lam Wah Ee Hospital in Penang, gave me an advice that I remembered till today, that I should take good care of my failing kidneys, which if not, would cause a lot of undue hardship to my family when they fail totally and I need to go for dialysis. I took that advice to heart and have been keeping to a strict renal-friendly low-protein, low-sodium and practically low-everything to keep the decline in check.
I pride myself for adhering to having just two matchbox sized portions of meat daily most of the time. I also scrutinise the mineral contents in the food that I eat. As hard as I try, there have been occasions that I allowed temptation to get the better of me with the notion that I should reward myself with some taboo food for depriving myself for so long. So, I would tuck in the food and savour every mouthful like it was my last meal. Food never tasted so good.
And as always, inevitably, the moment I put down the cutlery, I would ask myself if I over-indulged. Did I eat more meat than I should? Was that gravy a tad too salty? I would regret even more should I start to itch and had to take anti-histamine tablets. I did say I stuck to the low-protein diet most of the time. Those other time I did not, I would be trouble over a period of time wondering if I overloaded my kidneys and tipped them over the edge.
I am writing this post because I have a scheduled blood extraction together with an ultrasound of the kidneys, ureters and bladder on Friday, and I am troubled by the few times I ate more than I was allowed to or did not catheterise as often as I should have. This is the same emotional cycle that I go through every time I have to go for blood tests and ultrasound. It would persist until I get the test result when during the scheduled medical appointment two weeks later.