About Tracie

Treatment Type
Peritoneal Dialysis
Marital Status
Work Status
Poor Vision

Tracie has many passions in her life: her young son, her husband, her family, singing, and shopping. She also has a passion for two foods that can cause problems for those with kidney disease. "I would love to eat French fries and chocolate all day!" she admits. But for peritoneal dialysis (PD) patient Tracie, choosing what she eats is a part of taking control of her life with kidney disease.

Tracie's kidney failure was due to FSGS (focal segmental glomerulosclerosis). She did hemodialysis (HD) while pregnant, but there were challenges. "I am a tiny person to begin with. Before I was pregnant, I only weighed 86 pounds," Tracie says. "When I was on HD, my weight dropped. That's when I knew I needed to take control over my life and my health."

Making the change to PD

A member of her care team suggested that Tracie try PD. After meeting with a renal dietitian who worked with people on PD, Tracie learned about her limits and requirements, including getting enough protein. She was pleased to learn that her PD diet would have few changes. "When they told me I could drink more and eat more things, that really made me decide to try it," Tracie recalls. "PD gives me a lot of freedom."

Because her PD diet is flexible, following a PD meal plan was not hard for Tracie. In fact, she hasn't really changed what she cooks. "I do watch what I eat. If I'm going to a family picnic, I don't eat that many barbecued beans," she explains. "I might try a little taste of the beans, but I don't make anyone cook something special for me."

A flexible diet

When she first started HD, Tracie did find herself depressed about her food choices. "So many things were 'off-limits.' My family would say, 'You can't eat this or you can't eat that,'" Tracie recalls. Now, Tracie has a more flexible PD diet—and a more flexible attitude.

Tracie believes that many people would be less depressed about their kidney disease if they took more control over their treatment. "Some people just remove favorite foods from their diet," she says. "I can't do that because I love certain things too much. I watch myself and don't over-do. But, there are some things, like chocolate and potatoes, that I just cannot give up. I limit myself to small amounts and make trade-offs." Like many successful dialysis patients, Tracie knows that moderation makes sense.

For Tracie, PD has made all the difference in her life with kidney disease. "I would encourage PD for anyone who can do it," she declares. "It's less wear and tear on the body and it makes me feel good. Whoever invented PD had a good idea!"

This patient has granted Baxter International Inc. permission to use this story to help educate others about PD.