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.
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.