Regaining One’s Appetite Not Easy

June 3, 2004 – Regaining one’s appetite is not an easy task. It began slowly a few
weeks ago with the aid of some kind of bottled high protein drink like
you see in all the health food sections of grocery stores—Boost,
Ensure, etc.


June 3, 2004 — Regaining one’s appetite is not an easy task. It began slowly a few weeks ago with the aid of some kind of bottled high protein drink like you see in all the health food sections of grocery stores—Boost, Ensure, etc.
For some reason we decided on Boost, probably because it claimed to have more protein and was on special—eight bottles for the price of six, or something like that. For a few days it was my only source of nourishment. Then I began having it with a small bowl of grits for breakfast.
Lunch on dialysis days was a couple of Boosts with a bottle of cranberry and a package of cheese crackers. The crackers are a “no-no” for dialysis due to high phosphorus content, but nothing else tasted palatable. The cranberry is an acquired taste from some 15 years ago when strong antibiotics damaged my kidneys and I read that cranberry juice might help.
I attribute going 15 years without kidney failure, rather than the predicted five, to gallons of cranberry juice for which I also developed a taste.
Anyway lunch on non-dialysis days includes small portions at Rotary on Wednesdays and usually a half-tuna sandwich and small lemonade at Jeffery’s on Mondays and Fridays.
Night meals varied, but were generally sparse, and interspersed with Boost, but there were exceptions.
On a recent week on Thursday Jo Ann and I attended the monthly meeting of the Tupelo Sanctuary Hospice House board at the Tupelo Country Club. There was a fine salad, which I picked at because I am not supposed to eat green leafy vegetables which tend to counteract the blood thinner I have to take to accommodate a metal heart valve.
The dinner itself was wonderful—baked chicken with Irish potato medallions in tarragon cream sauce and steamed green beans.
Dessert was irresistable. It was small chocolate brownies and ice cream, with a liberal dousing of chocolate syrup, nuts and whipped cream, none of which is suggested as a part of my dialysis diet.
After a few bites I asked my dining partner on the right, Tupelo Attorney Jim Hugh Ray, if it would be impolite to drop my fork. He smiled and continued to dig away.
It was announced at the meeting that construction had began on the plumbing for the hospice house which is on Highway 6 near the west city limits in the
corner of the Hancock property. After a quick visit with our Tupelo grandchildren, we made the hour trip back to Bruce and I set the clock for earlier than usual for Friday due to a board meeting at Wood College.
We had a light lunch of pasta, after deciding to try to keep the college board intact as an endowment fund for scholarships.
That night we accepted an invitation for dinner in Oxford with daughter and son-in-law, Lisa and Joel McNeece. Not yet feeling up to a large piece of beef, I opted for three of Doe’s tamales and a cup of seafood gumbo. It was well seasoned and very good. Jo Ann had sautéed shrimp which I gave her some assistance with, and made a note to order next trip.
Saturday night Deanna and her family from Tupelo arrived soon after I came in from dialysis, ready to try out Bruce’s new Mexican restaurant, which proved to be a real hit. I had my usual three-enchilada dinner—one cheese, one ground beef and one spinach. I know the spinach is off limits, but it sure is good.
Anyway, we finished in time to catch the first movie at Bruce’s Cinema 22, the opening week of “Shrek 2.” I was never sure of the story line, but it seemed the king’s daughter had fallen in love with an ogre, rather than the young prince the fairy godmother had selected for her.
I may have missed a clue or two during a short nap, but it all seemed to work out in the end—the ogre and his bride who had been changed into a princess and a prince, were changed back into ogres and lived happily ever after.
After a quiet weekend of church and lots of Boost, things were back to normal. And at dialysis I got the best report on nutrition and other vitals I have received to date.

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