Quick and Easy Thirst Quencher
By Dale Ester
ESRD treatment comes with many restrictions, but with creative thinking, you can deal with them. One of the most important restrictions is to limit fluid intake so it won't interfere with dialysis treatment. It can be tough at times.
I found a quick and easy way to help control my daily fluid intake. I buy small, plastic-coated freezer balls filled with gel. They come in various bright colors, six per package, approximately one inch in diameter, for about $2.00 in US money. You can get these at grocery stores or at party store outlets. They're targeted for kids to enjoy as a colorful drink enhancer, but I find they serve a function a dialysis patient can really benefit from—helping with the fluid intake dilemma.
Try this tip to quench your thirst: Freeze the miniature party balls. When you're thirsty or your mouth is dry, take one out of the freezer and run water over it before putting it into your mouth. This will keep it from freezing to your tongue and other areas. Pop it in your mouth, then sit back and enjoy a scrumptious pleasure of sheer delight. The thin icy coating on the freezer ball melts, dripping frozen coolness into your mouth and "fools" you into believing you're savoring a truly wet ice cube—but not really. The gel inside the cube melts, too, but the plastic cover keeps it contained inside the ball. Almost no fluid is swallowed, except for the saliva you work up while sucking on the cube. Yet the icy cold treat is satisfying and safe, too.
A dialysis patient's dry mouth can be relieved from this simple kid's toy. As always, make sure you're sitting up when you're enjoying this treat, to prevent choking.
It's no wonder children enjoy the freezer balls. Who said kids can't teach adults a thing or two? Try it—you'll like it!
Permission received to post the following information:
Name: Dale Ester
Cause of renal failure: Juvenile Insulin-dependent Diabetes
Time on dialysis: 7 months
Treatments used: In-center hemodialysis, transplant
Work/other activities: Dialysis Support Mailing List owner/manager (Dialysis Support Mailing List); ESRD patient advocate; Past Chapter President of the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP); Past Member of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Scientific Advisory Committee; Former foreign car automotive technician/shop owner
Date: March 2000