158) Hamburger ala Dialysis con Binders

September 1, 2007

El Milagro: Today is the day that the Patient Advisory Committee (PAC) came to feed the center. This plan was made at the last PAC meeting, which I missed through forgetfulness. From my perspective as the PAC member who wasn’t there, it was a less-than well organized activity, and yet it is happening out there in front of the center as I write this. So, who am I to complain? Ms Chavez called me last night and left a message for me to bring sodas, so I did. Other PAC members got the other hamburger and hot dog fixings donated or bought them and the Chavez's led the barbecue duties. Shayna and Liz came over at some point and we all ate hamburgers around my chair (a new experience). Then Liz and Shayna volunteered with the passing out of food and broiling for awhile before moving on to other Saturday chores. As I sat in my chair observing these events I thought that this is a great fun thing for our committee to do, and that many of these folks probably don’t have their binders with them.

I asked Herman the Nurse if he could contact one of the dieticians to come over and hand out binders to patients to swallow after their meals, and he replied that that was really not a thing that El Milagro could do legally. He and I agreed that it would be a good thing to do, and that the closest we can come to this is to ensure that the next time we have a food thing we ask folks to bring extra binders to gobble along with their food. I had had Herman call Liz to bring my binders, so I did take mine after eating. So here we have a great little event that encourages people to eat dialysis friendly food and not take their binders afterwards…. a diametrically opposed message from the t-shirts staff regularly wear to remind people to take their binders.

Here is the deal with binders ~ When people are on dialysis the process doesn’t adequately remove phosphorous from the person’s system and high phosphorous stimulates overproduction of parathyroid hormone which leads to bone brittleness and itching (first sign of overproduction). Phosphate binders are taken during or right after eating to attach (bind) to the phosphorus in the food and allow it to move into the large intestine rather than be absorbed into the bloodsteam. People on binders poop more. We can reduce phosphorous in our food intake, but since phosphorous is in almost all foods to some extent, usually people on dialysis have to use these binders to help lower it in the system. When I started on binders, Moritz prescribed Renagel and Phoslo and they didn’t work sufficiently for me. So, finally he changed me to Fosrenol and Phoslo and that was the combo that rocked for me. Since I started using Fosrenol I am a clean machine and my phosphorous is usually within the appropriate limits. Hooray for Fosrenol.

So, today when I arrived I told Debbie the Tech congrats for her recent marriage and that the sodas are out in my truck in an ice chest. The staff seemed quite animated today… excited about having a cookout at work… but I couldn’t really tell if the patients were excited… and, of course, I have a chair that faces the back wall (so I can’t see most of the goings-on). Matt cannulates me and we catch up, since I haven’t seen him in ages. Jo the Nurse is here and she thinks that the PAC doing this hamburger thing is a GREAT idea and says how she appreciates it. Rosie the Tech (and PAC member) is here too and all happy about the cookout actually happening, cause she too was unsure about its coming together. Jason the Tech came in late but will eat a hamburger, I predict.

Before Liz and Shayna got here, I read on my Venkatesh book and when they arrived, started watching MSU smear Alabama, thinking, “Wow, it’s college football season again!” A few of the folks here (and Liz) are wearing UT orange in preparation for tonight’s game. So, we have Saturday football, our own tailgate party in the parking lot, and hamburgers without binders before Labor Day! Is the world going too fast or what?

That’s the report for today here in dialy-world.

Notes: In at 72.9 and out at 73.8 kgs.
Heard on NPR: 25% of us U.S. workers took no time off this past summer!
New Readers: For A Welcome Post, click August 2006 on the Sidebar.

No comments: