Wednesday, June 25, 2014

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST END

Monday I had my last appointment with my wonderful nephrologist, Dr. Ryan Sanford.  Ryan is moving to Greensboro and going into private practice.  All the kidneys in Greensboro be aware!  Dr. Sanford is coming to set you right!!

He was always so supportive and gentle with me as I went through the hell of kidney failure.  But, together, we both feel we have prevented dialysis, reached a stable situation, and plan to keep it right there, God willing.

I owe most of it to Dr. Sanford, who never gave up helping and encouraging me.  Greensboro is lucky to get him!

And Greensboro is not so far away that I couldn't go there to see him if I needed.  Onward!

Monday, June 9, 2014

MONDAY MONDAY - BROADWAY IN CHAPEL HILL

Not a whole lot to say today other than:

GREATEST TONY SHOW EVER!!!  So proud to be part of the theatre community.

Preparing for my October Benefit for Habitat for Humanity at United Church of Chapel Hill, NC.

Featuring the state's finest singers doing what they love the most - BROADWAY SHOW TUNES!

Want to be in the show?  Just contact me at richardcookwall@gmail.com or 
Jenny Anderson at  janderson@unitedchurch.org

Saturday morning rehearsals in September and October - Shows Oct 24 & 25.

Y'all come!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

HERE'S THE LATEST ON MY KIDNEY FUNCTION (OR LACK OF IT!)

My nephrologist decided it was time to have the port put in place
for Peritoneal Dialysis at home.  So he made me an appointment with the surgeon.  I diligently went to Pinehurst (where there is a surgery clinic like unto Mars) and met with the Duke-trained surgeon.  The first thing he says to me is, "You don't need this put in place until you're ready for dialysis."  Whew!!  My kidney function, while low, is stable.  So this is a good thing.
What, you ask, is peritoneal dialysis?:


 So thanks, Nephro.  The surgeon also said I was an excellent candidate for home dialysis because I understand the procedure and what it entails, including the dedication to hygiene.  And it can be done at night while I sleep!

So I am greatly relieved that I will never have to have hemo-dialysis.

God just laid it all out for me yesterday and I walked through the
windows and doors He opened.

Thanks for being there, and understanding.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

TOMATO SHERBET?




From my life-long friend Dick Hudson, by way of the Memphis Country Club

Tomato Sherbet
2 c. tomatoes and juice, pureed
1 c. crushed pineapple

2 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. cottage cheese
1 c. mayonnaise (or "mynase")
salt, pepper and grated onion, to taste
pinch of ginger
dash of tabasco
Mix ingredients and freeze in an ice cream churn.

Monday, April 21, 2014

NO TRANSPLANT FOR RICHARD

Please excuse the informality of this blog, but it is easier for me to blog this information than to write each of you personally.

I went today for Transplant (kidney) workup and, long story short, the doctor convinced me to stop the transplant process.

With my history of mini-strokes, my age, and other physical maladies such as weight, surgery is not an option for me.  The risks of surgery for me are too great, the possibilities of a major stroke.

So, the risks outweigh the benefits.  

My kidneys are stable and if I keep on my eating regimen and other things I have been told to do, maybe in the future I might have to have dialysis.

So the doctor ordered the transplant process to stop.

And I am a happy man today.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

SPRING CONCERT, 1955 - SANDERSVILLE, GEORGIA

MIRIAM COOK WALL AND NEWSOM SUMMERLIN, JR.
(click on the picture to enlarge)

In the spring of 1955, I think it was April, my mother and Newsom Summerlin, Jr. presented a duo-piano recital at the Auditorium of Sandersville High School.

They played Buxtehude, Rachmaninov and Gershwin - and Mama changed dresses for each section of the concert!  The dress in this picture was by Ceil Chapman.  For the Rhapsody in Blue she wore a floor-length chiffon dress which her friends studded with hundreds of blue sequins.  Could it be more 50's?  I ask you?

Regretfully, there are no recordings of either of them playing.  Newsom had studied piano with Mama when he was a teenager.  They are both gone now.  I wonder if they're concertizing in heaven.  There's some good music going on if they are!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

WHY THEY CALL ME RICHWAH




Larry Shue

Back in the 70's, while the earth was cooling and you could really take a valium without an act of congress or getting arrested, I worked at the Harlequin Dinner Theatres in Rockville, Maryland and Atlanta, Georgia.
One of my happiest times of my life: great shows, a full orchestra which was mine all mine and wonderful actors, not the least of which was Larry Shue. Brilliant actor, comedian and author, most notably of "The Foreigner" and "Winceslas Square"

Larry was truly a man of the theatre: actor, author, wit, raconteur, ladies man, - you name it, Larry was it. He told me a story one day backstage about himself, which will explain the name RICHWAH:

It seems that when Larry and a friend of his graduated from University, they planned to teach acting in Chicago. The funny part is that they decided they would teach their students to do everything wrong, so they wouldn't become competition for them, the teachers! And the main thing they were going to teach was to have the students "schwah" the end of every sentence they spoke. Such as Hamlet's soliloquy "To be or not to be" would be (in their method) "To be or not to be-WUH" or "Romeo, wherefore are thou?" would become "Romeo, wherefore are thou-WUH?" (Try it, yourself, and you will see how hysterical it is.) Walk up to a friend and say, "Hello-WUH" and you can't help but laugh.

Any way, we all thought this was very, very funny - and everyone in the theatre company started "schwah-ing" everything: such as "Hello-WUH", etc. Pam Bierly became Pamela-WUH (eventually Pamela-WUH Pythis-Smythe-WUH") Anyway, you get the idea.

And I became "Rich-WUH" or as pronounced today "Richwah" - and by certain very dear friends, just WAH. Endearing to me, strange to others, but there it is.

And it occurred to me that every time we do it, we remember Larry Shue. Larry died in a plane crash in 1985 while preparing the script of "The Foreigner" for a Disney Film that never got made.

We will never forget you, Larry. Ever.
 Love,
 RICHWAH

Ethereal and Magnificent


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014

KIDNEY UPDATE

KIDNEY UPDATE (MINE)

Just got back from my Nephrologist.  My kidneys are still stable, but we are now checking them monthly instead of every 3 months.

We discussed dialysis, most especially peritoneal dialysis, which is done at home and through a port in the stomach during sleep at night.  Here is a picture of what it looks like.


Now, IF and WHEN the time comes, I must prepare for this by having the port put in the front of my stomach.  Then every night when I go to sleep I hook it up and the job gets done.

Preparation for this type of dialysis can't be done overnight.  The port must be in place several weeks in advance.  So we will make this decision WHEN and IF my symptoms occur (I don't have any now.)

I also don't have to remain a vegetarian but am allowed to eat ORGANIC animal protein.  So that's a relief.

Just keeping you updated about my situation.  It doesn't (nor will it ever) ruin my life.  Life is better than the alternative, don't you think?

Friday, March 21, 2014

BAKED CRAB IMPERIAL

BAKED CRAP IMPERIAL
 
4 tablespoons Butter
4 tablespoons Flour
2 cups milk
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
2 Tablespoons sherry
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon minced parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 pound crabmeat, flaked
1 small can mushroom piece
1 small jar pimento
paprika
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
 
Pour sherry over crabmeat to marinate; set aside.  Melt butter, add onions and green peppers; cook until transparent.  Add flour and blend, gradually add milk and seasonings.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.  Add egg yolk and cook 2 minutes.  Remove from heat; add soft crumbs, crabmeat and parsley.  Gently mix and pour into well-greased 1 1/2 quart casserole.  Top with buttered crumbs and sprinkle with paprika.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.  Serves 6.

Friday, March 14, 2014

RICHARD'S PERFECT HOLLANDAISE SAUCE



RICHARD'S PERFECT HOLLANDAISE SAUCE

1 STICK BUTTER (NOT SUBSTITUTES, PLEASE)
2/3 CUP MAYONNAISE (NOT LITE)
2 TEASPOONS FRESH LEMON JUICE (NO SUBSTITUTE)
SALT
PAPRIKA

Melt the butter over very low heat.  Remove from heat.  Add mayonnaise and whip with a WIRE WHISK ONLY until well-blended.  Add more Mayo for a thicker sauce at this point.
Add lemon juice; use more than 2 teaspoons for a more tart sauce.  Do NOT return to heat right after adding lemon juice or sauce will separate.  Add salt and paprika to taste.  Blend well.
Serve warm or at room temperature.  To reheat, warm very slowly in a double boiler and beat with WIRE WHISK.  Delicious with artichokes, eggs benedict, etc.

NOTE:  You can make a batch and keep in covered jar in refrigerator to have on hand.  Will keep indefinitely.
 



 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

SAVORY CHEESE COOKIES

SAVORY CHEESE COOKIES

1 stick BUTTER (not margarine, please)
1 lb. New York Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper
2 cups plain flour
Roasted and salted pecans to top the cookies
Butter flavored cooking spray

Cream butter and cheese until soft.  Sift flour, salt and pepper together.
Blend until smooth.
Using a spoon (or melon baller) make round balls of cheese the size of $.50 piece.
Spray cookie sheet with butter spray and place the balls of cheese about 2 inches
apart on the sheet.  Then gently press a perfect pecan half onto each ball.
Bake in 420-degree oven on the top rack of oven for 8-12 minutes.



Thursday, February 27, 2014

ANGER

The Buddha says:

Let go of anger,
Let go of pride.
When you are bound by nothing
You go beyond sorrow.

Anger is like a chariot careening wildly.
He who cubs his anger is the true charioteer.
Others merely hold the reins.

With gentleness overcome anger.
With generosity overcome meanness.
With truth overcome deceit.

Speak the truth.  
Give whatever you can.
Never be angry.
These three steps will lead you
Into the presence of the gods.


Monday, January 20, 2014

R.I.P., Maestro Claudio Abbado



IT DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

GREAT WISDOM FROM THE BUDDHA ABOUT PLEASURE

THESE DAYS, I TAKE ALL THE WISDOM I CAN GET:  FROM ANY SOURCE

THE BUDDHA SAYS ABOUT PLEASURE:

Do not let pleasure distract you
From meditation, from the way.

Free yourself from pleasure and pain
For in craving pleasure or in nursing pain there is only sorrow.

Like nothing lest you lose it, lest it bring you grief and fear.
Go beyond likes and dislikes.

From passion and desire, Sensuousness and lust,
Arise grief and fear. Free yourself from attachment.

He is pure, and sees, He speaks the truth and lives it.
He does his own work, so he is admired and loved.

With a determined mind and undesiring heart,
He longs for perfection.  He is called "He who goes upstream"

When a traveler at last comes homes from a far journey,
With what gladness his family and his friends receive him!

Even so shall your good deeds welcome you like friends
And with what rejoicing when you pass from this life to the next!

From DHAMMAPADA - The Sayings of the Buddha

Monday, January 13, 2014

WARNING: SELF-DIAGNOSIS AND INTERNET AND BOOKS' ADVICE - CKD AND CAREX WALKERS AT WAL-MART




HELP! I'VE FALLEN AND I CAN'T GET UP!! DO NOT SELF-DIAGNOSE YOURSELF, CHECK ANY CHANGES WITH YOUR NEPHROLOGIST FIRST.

Sounds like a commercial, right? But it true and it happened to me Thursday morning last at 5am. I woke and went to the bathroom with my walker and used the toilet. When I turned to go back to the bed, the walker didn't make the complete turn with me and down I went. Fortunately, I missed the side of the toilet bowl and the sharp-edged corner of the lavatory console. But I was on the floor, with, as it turns out, several severe hematoma's on both knees and on my left hand.

I could not get up. What to do? I tried pushing up against the door frame, no luck; I tried pulling up on the toilet, no luck. So I realized I was going to have to call Michael, my friend who has keys to my locked apartment. I didn't really want to call the EMS because I knew Michael and/or my friend Tom would come. BUT, the phone was beside the bed, 15 feet away. So I crawled on my butt and managed to get the phone and call them both.

They showed up in 30 minutes. But if Tom had come first he didn't have keys. So I crawled again 25 feet to the front door and reached up and unlocked the door, crawled back to the floor beside the bed and waited.

They managed to pull me up and on to the bed. Once in that position, I could navigate with the walker. They stayed, of course. I went to the kitchen and very terribly woozy. which I thought was low blood sugar. So I took some dextrose tablets and the dizziness eased off. They saw me safely in bed and left. I paged my Dr. and she called back around 10 and said, come the office immediately.

So Michael came at 12:30 and we go to the office. They took an EKG and found something irregular with my heart, so I was ordered the the ER for further observation and diagnosis.

Tom took me to the ER where it was discovered that I was completely dehydrated and LOW IN SODIUM. So I was given 2 IV's of Saline. And waited to be admitted to the hospital. That occurred about 8am Friday morning.

I went to a ward that was not Nephrology, but extremely nice. My nephrologist had seen me in the ER the night before, so I knew my “team” was on the case. Plus Dr. Jan had called the ER, and she's my doctor and friend.

Long story story short: The Nephrology Team finally visited me en masse, and said, “Mr. Wall, you are dangerously low in Sodium, and this explains your dizziness and disorientation, NOT blood sugar. YOU ARE NOT EATING ENOUGH FOOD, SPECIFICALLY PROTIEN AND YOU ARE DRINKING TOO MUCH WATER/LIQUIDS.”

At the point, I began explaining that I was following Dr. Walser's book, “12 Steps To Avoid Dialysis”. The head Dr. said, “That works for rats, that does NOT work for humans. AND, has Dr. Walser peronally treated you?”

So I was ordered the eat more Vegetarian choices, and LIMIT ALL FLUIDS TO 1.5 LITRES A DAY.

EXCESSIVE HYDRATION (3-4 LITRES WAS WHAT I WAS DOING per the Walser book's advice) WAS STRESSING THE KIDNEYS AND DEPLETING THE SODIUM IN MY BODY.

THE POINT I AM MAKING HERE: DO NOT DO ANYTHING YOU LEARN ON THE INTERNET OR IN BOOKS WITHOUT FIRST CLEARING IT WITH YOUR NEPHROLOGIST!

I AM LUCKY, SO LUCKY THAT THIS HAPPENED, BECAUSE I WAS KILLING MYSELF.

I am home now and eating about 60 gms of organic vegetarian protein a day, and religiously measuring my LIQUID intake.

DON'T SELF-DIAGNOSE, EVEN IF YOU HAVE 12 MEDICAL DEGREES.

And get “Life Alert ASAP”

Thank you, America! And UNC Nephrology, Dr's Ryan Sanford and Jan Busby-Whitehead.

AND BEWARE OF FLIMSY, CHEAP WALKERS MADE BY CAREX


Thursday, January 2, 2014

2 WEEKS VEGETARIAN AND 3 DAY COUNTING PROTEIN GRAMS - AND THE RESULT

Well, I've been eating a vegetarian regimen for 2 weeks today, and counting protein grams for 3 days.  Here's the result:  I feel like a million dollars!  I know I'm losing weight as well.  And that's always a big plus.

For breakfast, I had my trusty
1 Hard-boiled egg = 7 gms protein
1/2 cup blueberries = 1gm protein

For lunch
1 cup rice cooked without salt = 4 gms protein
1 cup carrots cut like copper  pennies = 1 gm protein
1 cup yellow squash cut into slices = 1 gm protein
1 patty of butter, unsalted = no protein gms
Total for lunch = 6 gms protein
Total for the say so far = 14 gms protein

Will have snack of 4 cups of popcorn made with peanut oil later.  about 4gm

And some  veggies and rice for dinner



Wednesday, January 1, 2014

NEW YEAR'S DAY MENU

OK, now counting protein, here goes:  21 per day is the limit for me

Breakfast
1 hard-boiled egg = 7gms protein
1/2 cup blueberries = 1gm protein

Lunch

1/2 organic cup rice cooked with no salt = 2 gms protein NOT Uncle Ben's!!
1 patty butter = no gms protein!
1/2 cup green beans (snapped) = 1.2 gms protein
1/2 corn = 2.1 gm protein

Total so far for the day = 13.3 gms

Fully satisfied, too!  Here the lunch

 Boil the rice and cook 20 minutes on simmer, covered
add the veggies and 1 patty of unsalted butter
micro cook for 4 minutes
Enjoy!  (I did)

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

SAFE MICROWAVE POPCORN

My pharmacist just told me how to make microwave popcorn.  (All commercial microwave popcorn has TRANS-FAT in excess).  Here goes:

Take a minimal amount of popcorn and place it in a paper bag (lunch bag size or the next size up)  Then drizzle a small amount of the oil of your choice.  Seal the bag with tape and microwave beginning with 2 minutes.  You may have to increase the time.

Good snack, no trans-FAT.

Thank you, America!  And Brandon, RX

CKD QUESTIONS ANSWERED - FINALLY!!

Reading Mackenzie Walser's book "Coping with Kidney Disease: 12 Steps to Avoid Dialysis" I find this information which will answer some of the questions I get asked every day.

Most especially, when I tell friends what I cannot eat, they invariably ask, "Richard, what CAN you eat?"

Protein is a problem for CKD (chronic kidney disease) so I will list the food HIGH in protein -grams per 100 calories) The correct goal for a CKD patient is 21 grams per day, so:

Foods to be avoided:
5 Grams per 100 calories
Celery
Cabbage
Artichokes
Whole Milk
6 Grams per 100 calories
Beans, green
Lima beans
American cheese
Cheddar cheese
7 grams per 100 calories
Lentils
Peas
Swiss Cheese
8 grams per 100 calories
Brussels sprouts
Egg
Yogurt
Cauliflower
Asparagus
Broccoli
Spinach
10 grams per 100 calories
Skim milk
Mushrooms
Buttermilk
11 grams per 100 calories
Veal
Pork
Sardines 12 grams per 100 calories, etc
Oysters 13 grams
Lamb 13 grams
Beef 14 grams
Cottage cheese 15 grams
Chicken 15 grams
Fish 17 grams
Turkey 17 grams
Lobster 18 grams
Scallops 21 grams

So, now you know.  It's up to you, CKD patients and friends to be aware.

Next, I talk about Potassium 

For further information about ingredients, this is an excellent site:  http://caloriecount.about.com/
    
 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

DUCK DYNASTY CONTROVERSY AND HOW I FEEL ABOUT IT.

Here's what I think about the Duck Dynasty controversy.

I think it was engineered and choreographed by the A&E Network to boost their already bloated ratings.  And they certainly have succeeded.  Now will everybody SHUT UP?

I have no problem with their success.  I am happy for them.  It is NOT for me to judge whether what was said was hate speech or not.

I do know that, in this politically correct world, a caring and sensitive person would have said:

"It is not for me to judge what any person's sexual orientation or race is.  That is for a higher diety to decide.   I may not want to do what they do, but they have every right to do whatever they choose.  And I have the right to ignore them and their behavior."

To go any further and try to block what was said, or to punish anyone for what was said borders on facism to me.   There was a time in this world that speech such as the Duck Dynasty father has made would be cheered and also in other parts of this world he would mysteriously DISAPPEAR - such as in Nazi Germany or Peronist Argentina or many other lands.

In America we ALL have the right to say what we want.

And in America we all have the right to change the channel if we don't like what we hear.

Have some brains, America.  Vote with you wallet.  If you don't like what you hear, then don't watch them, don't support their sponsors or their channel.

Personally, I have better things to do with my time and participate in watching trashy reality TV.

Thank you, America!

Friday, December 20, 2013

ONE WEEK A VEGETARIAN - TONIGHT'S DINNER

I've been a vegetarian now for one for a week.  It really isn't so bad. Honest!

Here's tonight's dinner:

2 cups chopped green beans
2 cups cauliflower florets
5 large white mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 uncooked rice

Start with the rice in a casserole dish.
Layer all the other veggies on the rice, ending with the beans
Pour the broth over all

Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes

I added 2 hard-boiled eggs on the side for protein.

It's really good

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

RICHARD'S RECIPES: PERFECT (AND SAFE) EGG NOG




RICHARD'S EGG-NOG

Warning:  this has NOTHING to do with any kind of diet or eating regimen.  But it is perfectly delish and safe from salmonella (so usually associated with "correctly" made eggnog).

One Christmas a friend brought to my house:

1/2 gallon Haagen-Daez French Vanilla Ice Cream
1 Fifth of good Quality Bourbon whiskey

She melted the ice cream to liquid and poured it into the punch bowl.

She followed it with the bourbon.  And sprinkled a little cinnamon on top.

And the rest is history:  A Great Holiday Drink!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

PASTA GETS ADDED

Dr. Said I could have pasta so:

1 cup uncooked rotini
1 1/2 cups chopped cauliflower (use frozen)
2 cups broccoli florets (frozen)
1 1/2 cups organic mushroom broth
1/4 tsp Mrs Dash Lemon Pepper
Red pepper (to taste)

Cook rotini in boiling water WITHOUT SALT
Drain and put in bottom of casserole dish
Cover with cauliflower, then broccoli
Add broth
Cover and cook at 350 for 45 minutes

Monday, December 16, 2013

FIRST FULL DAY - NEW EATING REGIMEN

Ok, here goes another change in my eating regimen.

Vegetarian/Low Phosphorous/Low Sodium

And here's my dinner tonight:

2 cups raw cauliflower
1 cup chopped green beans
1/2 cup plain rice
1 cup Organic mushroom broth
1/2 c white mushrooms, sliced.

Put the rice in the bottom on a medium-size casserole dish (with a lid)

Put the rice on the bottom
Then the cauliflower
Then the green beans
Then the mushrooms
Pour in the broth

Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
And it's yummy.

I will also eat 2 hard-boiled eggs on the side for amino acids - Doc's suggestion.
 
For those who MUST have salt, add it after you taste it first.  Come on, give it a try!

Thanks.