Na Na pinches her pennies

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

Kidney stones

I was in bed with a horrible painful backache for several days. I thought it was from a fall I had a couple days before. But then it had dawned on me I was having another episode of kidney stones and infection. I have horrible nightmares from the last time I had the stone blasting surgery. No way will I agree to that surgery ever, ever, ever again! Now a days when I have a stone I tough it out with the help of Tylenol PM and oranges until it passes. Those two things work pretty much the same as the IV meds given in the hospital emergency room. If the stones are too large or too numerous then surgery happens.

This time, as I was going through my self-help routine, I decided to research what keeps causing the stones and look for a prevention remedy. I have no idea why I hadn’t done that long ago. Anyway, I already knew citrus fruits help dissolve the stones but it also raises my blood sugar levels. In my research I discovered TEA could be the reason this keeps happening to me. Yup, I’ve been drinking a lot of iced tea lately because its summer. Iced tea is a tradition here in summer time. During my research I learned tea contains an abundance of something called oxalates that will bunch together in the kidneys to form stones. Ugh! No wonder I was having stones and pain. I was drinking about 6 to 8 pint jars of tea each day. I realize now that it was way too much tea but it tasted so good.

I also read green tea has the opposite effect. Green tea makes the stones brittle and they break apart easily in the same way citrus fruit does. Green tea is said to prevent the stones from forming. I don’t like the taste of green tea but I love citrus fruits.

Dang it, I ran out of the little cuties oranges I canned last January. That’s when I remembered something from back when I was living without a refrigerator that might help. One of the blog readers had gifted me a box of “True” lemon packets to make lemonade. I liked it so much I bought a small box of the lime and one of grapefruit for a variety. I still had several packets left.

** Disclaimer here: I am not affiliated with the “True” company nor am I compensated by them. I just happen to love their products. The more products I try; the more I like the brand.

I wondered; would the citrus packets have the same effect as whole fruit to break up my kidney stones? It couldn’t hurt to try because its real fruit. So for four days I took Tylenol PM and drank a combination of one each of the lemon, the lime, and the grapefruit packets mixed together in a pint of water four times a day. I’m happy to report no more pain and my urine has returned to a pale yellow color.

A reader financial gift arrived while I was sick in bed. Just in time for me to buy more packets to keep in my DIY medical stash. I wasn’t sure if any stores near me carry the True products but checked online anyway. Imagine my surprise when I saw Kroger had the lemonade and limeade packets and they were on sale. Normal price is $4.99 for a box of 10 packets on sale for $1 a box. So diabetic friendly! I bought 10 boxes.

I noticed something on the Kroger website that said True lemon “energy” and was curious. Oh wow, a coffee substitute! It has in it exactly what I need. How did they know I am giving up drinking coffee as well as tea?

The True energy gets its caffeine from green tea which I already read can help prevent kidney stones. Its flavored with berry juice so the green tea is not noticeable. Zero calories. Zero sugar. No artificial sugar or preservatives. 100% vitamin C. On sale $1 a box of 6 packets. I bought 5 boxes of strawberry dragon fruit and 5 boxes of wild blackberry pomegranate. True has other energy flavors but Kroger didn’t have those. One packet each day instead of my coffee will last me two months. I’ll figure out what to do after that. Maybe it’ll be on sale again soon. I would love to try the “True Halt the Salt shakers” someday. I couldn’t find those on the Kroger site. I don’t use salt so my food often tastes bland.

Now how did that tea get in there? I guess the curbside shopper person didn’t realize it wasn’t limeade or lemonade. Hmm, should I toss it or donate it? Black tea has tons of oxalates. I don’t want to be the cause of anyone to suffer stones so trash it is.

Ok, I guess I’ll get off my soap box and get my day started. I’m so glad I found the citrus packets work with no rise in blood sugar. These are something I’m definitely going to keep a close watch for it to be on sale again.

Hugs from Kentucky, stay safe everyone.

26 comments on “Kidney stones

  1. 4paws2love2
    July 28, 2021

    Here, true lemon products are available at the dollar stores. The lemon has cane sugar and stevia in it, but the lime has nothing in it, what do you use to sweeten it?
    I have not seen the grapefruit. I love decaf green tea.

    Like

    • Anita
      July 28, 2021

      Thank you. I’ll look for it at the Dollar Stores. I usually don’t sweeten it. Once in awhile the grapefruit tastes a bit bitter so I put a pinch of salt in it to sweeten. I love the Tru Energy packets. They have green tea and fruit in them. It keeps me from missing coffee which kept raising my cholesterol levels.

      Like

      • 4paws2love2
        July 28, 2021

        No where on the lime package did it say how much water to use with one packet. I used 2 cups, but it was really strong. How much water do you use with a lime packet?

        Like

        • Anita
          July 29, 2021

          I use a pint canning jar which is two cups. Maybe you could mix it into a larger amount of water and drink a little at a time? Start with 2 cups, taste, add 2 cups, taste, add 2 more, taste until it reaches your preferred taste. After that you’ll know exactly how much water to mix it with. You can refrigerate it and drink as desired.

          Like

          • 4paws2love2
            July 30, 2021

            Thanks I will try that. I think the excess could also be made into ice cubes. Right now I am drinking cans of line seltzer water mixed half and half with water.

            Like

          • Anita
            July 30, 2021

            good idea

            Like

  2. Jasna
    July 26, 2021

    I’m so glad you’re feeling better! And thank you for the information on tea. I definitely must cut down!
    Hugs from Ireland

    Like

    • Anita
      July 27, 2021

      Hugs to you too Jasna! Good to see you are ok. Thanks to Donna’s comment I now know that Crystal Light lemonade has also been recommended. I’m not sure if you can get that in Ireland but I’m pretty sure there would be something similar.

      Like

  3. Kelli
    July 22, 2021

    Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is a miracle cure for most ailments.

    Like

    • Anita
      July 22, 2021

      Thank you Kelli. Yes, I’ve used Bragg for many years but its never helped with my kidney stones. It does help me manage my sugar levels though.

      Like

  4. Selena
    July 18, 2021

    Hope you’re feeling better. When I buy lemonade mix, I buy True also.

    Like

    • Anita
      July 18, 2021

      Selena! Hi Its been awhile. I hope you are well and happy. I was surprised to find out Dollar Tree stores sell the boxes of True lemon. My grand daughter told me about it. Just the lemon though at her store. Other stores might have other flavors.

      Like

  5. tracypacesplace
    July 12, 2021

    Thanks for reminding me about green tea. I only drink de-caff anything but it’s available for green tea too.

    Isn’t it wonderful when we find exactly what we need, like a gift from the universe?! ‘All I have is all I need’ in action.

    I’m having some health challenges with the Charcot foot arthropathy, not least trying to make sense of US health services! But I’m staying cheerful, and I have wonderfully trim upper arms from daily weights and using the wheelchair. Had to buy a new car which fits the wheelchair, but my truck was getting pretty old. It’s paid for and insured to the end of the year so I will probably keep it until the end of hurricane season-it’s great when it floods- then sell it or give it away.

    Hope you are feeling better now Anita!

    Like

    • Anita
      July 12, 2021

      Hi Tracy, Ooo, your foot issue must be really painful. I’ve had foot surgery on both feet several years ago. Some foot bones are made from my hip bones. I can see how a good diet would be helpful for you too. Yes, it is wonderful when “all I have is all I need” falls right into place. I sure wish I lived close enough to get that truck. But, I’m sure you’ll find the right person for it when the time comes. Stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Silver
    July 10, 2021

    Ohh I’m glad you are feeling better now Anita, but sorry you were unwell. Dad had kidney stones once and described it as the worse pain he’d ever felt.

    Like

    • Anita
      July 11, 2021

      I agree with your Dad its the worst pain ever. I’ve had babies natural birth and kidney stone pain was worse.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Donna Jones
    July 10, 2021

    My husband is on a low oxylate diet due to kidney stones. No dark green veggies, sweet potatoes, most nuts, etc. Nothing was said about green tea vs black tea. Have to try that.

    Like

    • Anita
      July 11, 2021

      Do your own research first. My personal opinion is that if drinking green tea lets me eat the foods I like most; I’m gonna drink the tea.

      Like

      • Donna Jones
        July 24, 2021

        My husband went to his urologist today. I told them about True Lemon. She was not aware of that but said this year Crystal Light lemonade had been recommended to help disolve/prevent kidney stones.

        Like

        • Anita
          July 24, 2021

          Oh good, now there is a cheaper option. Thank you for telling me Donna.

          Like

  8. Kathi Waite
    July 10, 2021

    kidney stones are NOT fun. UGH……….. so excited you have found a better solution for them. i also HATE the taste of green tea. tastes like GRASS. i am going to try your ideas as i KNOW that’s good for me. I used to LOVE iced tea. canned. bottled the powder stuff, etc. HOWEVER. yikes. ok. here comes tmi. it now gives me THE RUNS. so, can’t drink it. bummer. Maybe that was MY warning, huh? sending you LOVE and HUGS.

    Like

    • Anita
      July 11, 2021

      I’ve read about the side effects of green tea and it could be the caffeine that causes that condition. There is a caffeine free green tea. When I run out of the True energy packs I’m going to make green tea and mix with lemonade or fruit juice for better taste. I’m going to convince my brain that its a herbal medicine. 🙂 Love and hugs back to you.

      Like

  9. craftytadpole
    July 10, 2021

    Glad you are feeling better.

    Like

  10. Conni
    July 9, 2021

    Hi, Anita….so glad you found a non-surgical treatment, and that you are feeling better! This post is such a great promotional for the True products I’m thinking you might contact them and share this post. I would think they might want to bless you with some coupons/product because you highlighted them for us all. Just a thought‼️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anita
      July 10, 2021

      I did as you suggested and sent them a link to my post. They use an automated response system so it may be a few days before I hear back from anyone.

      Liked by 1 person

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