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Ode to the Potato

During the five years I was on peritoneal dialysis and the three-plus years dialysing in-centre, there were many dietary and fluid restrictions. All the foods that might be considered healthy – whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, dairy, oranges, bananas and other fruits –were limited on the renal diet. For me the most difficult was potassium, particularly the potato.

On the rare occasion that the food police (a.k.a. the wife) would allow spuds near my plate, they barely resembled the vegetable I knew and loved. It was peeled, boiled twice, with the potato water dumped down the drain, mashed, then disguised with a lame mask of condiments in an attempt to restore the flavour. The result was wallpaper paste. Even dressed up with blobs of yogurt, butter, salt and pepper, it was not all that appealing. But I ae it because that was as good as it got.

Now that I’m dialyzing frequently and for longer runs on home hemodialysis, I appreciate each delicious bite of the heaven-sent potato. I still don’t binge on potatoes, but I do, occasionally, have a potato in the jacket with all the trimmings or a shepherd’s pie topped with a flavourful, creamy cloud. There’s no question: life is good. 

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