March 4, 2004 – Several weeks before Ash Wednesday, which was Feb. 25, Rex Wilburn, minister at Bruce First United Methodist Church, announced that the church
had decided to “fast during Lent.”
He got my attention, for fasting for Lent, to me, suggested giving up food.
Now food hasn’t been a priority for me during the past 12-months. I usually have a good breakfast of Eggos and syrup and fake milk, a light lunch of cheese nabs and bottled Starbuck's Frappuccino Mocha and a very light supper or an occasional weekend binge.
I was hoping that if he was about to get food specific it would be something high in phosphorus, which I am trying to minimize in my diet due to dialysis. The dialysis machines do not remove phosphorus and it builds up causing skin and other problems.
The preacher’s girth should have reassured me, for it is very close to what mine was 12 months ago, before losing more than 30 lbs.
I began to realize this as he said that what we were to sacrifice was the flowers on Sunday, usually provided by individual members. The donations would go, instead, to the church’s piano fund.
We enjoy the floral arrangements every Sunday, but this sounded much more doable than giving up food. And it will only be until Easter on April 11.
I should have known he would have never suggested a real fasting of real food.
•My daughter Lisa suggested that when I bring up another topic, like the itch plague, that I list my home phone number. But she has been very faithful in passing all suggestions on to me.
I was planning to announce a near end to my itching problems, having found a lot of relief in a sample of AmLactin AP they gave me at the dialysis center. It has significantly reduced the itching, which now only becomes unbearable during dialysis.
With Dr. Jon Massey’s permission, the nurses had changed the kind of “kidney” used in dialysis. The kidney is a filter about 6 inches in diameter and a foot high through which our blood is backwashed against a solution of bicarbonate of soda and some sort of mild acid to cleanse the impurities ordinarily removed by healthy kidneys.
This didn’t seem to have much effect, but fellow dialysis-mate Frank Nelson of Oxford relayed to me from a family member that even the tubing had to be changed to relive the itching of a friend.
Itching now begins in the first hour of dialysis and even Benadryl IV fails to stop it. A couple of Tylenol helps, but as soon as dialysis is over it immediately gets better, anyway.
Plans are to pursue a solution, by trial and error.
Another reason I am shortening the outside search is the most recent suggestion by Jo Turner of Bruce.
She bumped into Lisa in the grocery and told her an itching solution “that never fails” is having a cow lick the affected area, which in my case would be all over.
I asked Lisa how I would go about getting a cow to lick me all over, noting that it might be easier than me having to lick a cow all over.
“She said that what was really a sure cure, was to have a deer lick you,” Lisa continued.
Therefore, I opted to continue with the AmLactin and experimenting with the material on the machine tubing and the material in the “kidney filter.”
I can remember what it feels like for a cow to lick your hand from early days in the dairy business. It’s kind of like being rubbed softly by a wet rasp.
•We celebrated my birthday on Feb. 23, by baby-sitting with our young grandchildren in Tupelo. I suppose it goes along with turning 68, but I couldn’t think of anything I would rather do. We picked up dinner at Pepper’s and then I went to a Scout meeting with 9-year old Zachary, while Jo Ann watched over Eli, 3, and Samantha, 5.
Earlier at noon we had attended the Bruce Chamber of Commerce and to finish off the celebration that night I drove through a car wash on the way out of Tupelo.
Can you think of a better way to spend the day?