29 Mar

3 Lessons From 2 Kidney Stones And 1 Wake-Up Call

My wake-up call? It happened recently at the Hospital Emergency Department when a CT scan showed kidney stones in both kidneys.  That began a journey of care, learning and gratitude.   Excellent care at the hospital, learning about stones, stents and water, and grateful it was fixable.

I also learned that I can be disciplined (no chocolate) and resourceful (butterscotch pudding is o.k.).

My 3 Lessons…

Lesson #1 – Drink More Water

The “no wiggle room” advice from my doctor was to drink 8 to 10 cups of water daily. My reaction of “What?!!” made no impression on him. Either kidney stones or drink water.  My choice but really no choice…

The good news? It can be done and it’s now part of my daily routine.  If I can do it, you can too.

Here’s how…

First, acknowledge any stumbling blocks and figure out a “work-around”. I struggled with drinking cold glasses of water.  But drinking a hot cup of water (flavoured) was easier as it reminds me of a soothing cup of tea.

I mix it up throughout the day – herbal tea, hot water and fresh lemon juice, hot water and honey, or a little of both. I add a glass of water with each meal and before I know it – 9 cups.

You may not suffer from kidney stones but most health experts recommend drinking more water.

What if you added an extra cup of water (hot or cold) to your daily intake?

Lesson #2 – Pay Attention To Cues From Your Body

Our body has ways of letting us know when it’s out of sorts but we don’t always listen. I had my first kidney stone 10 years ago and I naively hoped it would be a one-time thing.  With each reoccurrence I thought, “That’s it.  The last time ever.”  I’m an optimist (or an ostrich).  I needed to pay attention.

We get cues from our body all the time. Food intolerances and food allergies can be serious but cues that we are thirsty, full, hungry, or tired should be listened to as well.

What cues do you need to pay attention to?

Lesson #3 – Small Change – Big Difference

When it comes to changing eating habits, it’s easy to resist, especially if it means giving up favourite foods or spending more time on food prep. That’s why it’s worth starting with a small change.  It gives you a sense of accomplishment, makes an immediate difference and spurs you on.

Drinking a glass of water with each of my meals was a small change and an easy way to add 3 cups to my daily intake.

What small change can you make to your daily eating habits to nurture a healthy lifestyle?

Here’s to good health,

In service,