A post shared by noted Facebook kidney disease advocate James Myers caught my attention regarding Ideal Body Weight. Many dialysis patients such as myself take a serious approach to keeping our scale weight into the close vicinity of our dry weight. I know that I do on a daily basis.
My actual height is 5-feet, 8 1/2-inches. My scale weight has fluctuated between 164 pounds to 168 pounds over the past seven to eight months, ever since I was placed on dialysis on February 1 (2017).
The Ideal Body Weight chart has me, a male, using a midway point between 5-foot 8 and 5-foot 9, which would set my Ideal Body Weight at 157 pounds or 71.2 kilos.
My dry weight has been established by my treatment clinic doctors and staff at 76.5.
On many treatment day weigh-ins the scale reflects figures below the dry weight level; therefore, on many occasions Count Dracula (the dialysis machine) has little or no excess fluid to draw on. That leaves my three and one-half hours of treatment relegated to only circulating my blood in removing those bad-boy toxins.
On several occasions, nurses and technicians have suggested lowering the dry weight level, which likely would call for more frequent drawing of excessive liquids. I balk at that notion. Why? I perceive myself as being too skinny as it is. With the exception of the first six weeks of dialysis, when my scale weight of more than 200 pounds was brought down to 163 pounds, I have come to dialysis feeling good, and I leave dialysis feeling good. My monthly lab work consistently falls within the parameters desired by my dietician and by the Kidney School’s charts that provide an understanding of lab results. Even my heart doctor has encouragingly cleared me to resume playing tennis, when and if we ever enjoy much better outdoor weather.
So far, even the doctors at Premier Dialysis where I receive treatments three days a week, the lowering of my dry weight has become a mute topic. Since my stamina remains constant, evidenced by my wife (Maureen, the chauffeur) and I on occasion leaving my treatment center for a restaurant meal, or to walk the aisles at a grocery store for a basket full of sustenance.
Hopefully, I will discover that my stubbornness over lowering my dry weight is just a matter of splitting hairs. Or maybe I just need to grow a couple of inches while maintaining my current weight fluctuation.