By Cynthia Flash
Special to the Medium
Suppose you were glued to a chair for three and a half hours of kidney dialysis three days a week – waiting while a machine cleaned wastes from your blood. How would you pass the time?
Using his lap top, Jimmie Price of Rainier Valley in Seattle creates lessons to teach efficient swing mechanics and strategies. His goal for each student is to have the skills and confidence to fully enjoy the game of golf. He’s been coach of the girls golf team at Garfield High School since 2013.
“Using the time I’m on dialysis constructively makes it fly by,” said Price, age 79.
A retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant, he moved to Seattle in 2010 to live near his daughter, and soon took up coaching. When he started kidney dialysis in January 2017 at Northwest Kidney Centers’ clinic on Broadway, he simply scheduled his dialysis appointments to fit his golf schedule.
Price’s kidneys failed due to complications from kidney stones, which puts him in the minority of people with kidney failure. Most people develop kidney problems as a result of diabetes or uncontrolled high blood pressure.
A person whose kidneys don’t work can survive only a matter of days without dialysis or a kidney transplant.
“I was really afraid when I first started dialysis,” he confides. “But the people at the clinic were very helpful in telling me what to expect. It’s part of life that you have to accept. It’s up to you to have the right attitude to meet the challenge.”
This winning attitude – both on and off the links – keeps him going and inspires his team.
As Price tells his story in March to raise awareness during National Kidney Month, he’s looking forward to seeing two of his players play in the state championships in May.
“You learn probably more from the students than you teach them – attitude, confidence, not taking yourself too serious. Remembering that golf is just a game.
“It’s been a wonderful journey. I’ve learned, and my game has gotten better because of teaching the kids,” he said.
“I look at the life I’ve been given – a wonderful wife, raising our kids and grandkids, participating in social activities, giving back to our community. It’s easy to stay positive,” Price said.
Stay on top of your kidney health
- Follow prescribed treatments to control diabetes and/or high blood pressure, the biggest causes of kidney disease.
- Eat more fresh food to avoid the damaging salt that preserves our processed food.
- Lose extra weight with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
- Don’t overuse over-the-counter pain medicines.
- Don’t smoke.
- Know your family health history.
• Ask your doctor to test you for kidney disease if you are at risk—take a quiz to find out at www.nwkidney.org/quiz.