Curtis Brice Jr.
Age 51 - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Who Needs a Gym, When There’s Cleaning and Yard Work?
Curtis Brice Jr. doesn’t need a gym membership to stay in shape. The 51-year-old Oklahoma City dialysis patient gets plenty of exercise and stays physically fit by running his own cleaning service at night, as well as doing yard work and walking a lot.
When he’s not too busy, he also takes an interest in community activities. Last year, for instance, he attended the local fire department’s Citizen’s Fire Academy, an eight-week class that gives participants an inside look at fire safety and fire fighting techniques, including handling a fire hose, using fire extinguishers, and riding along with firefighters on actual emergency calls.
“It sounds weird, but the more I work the better I feel,” says Curtis, who has been on dialysis for the past 11 years, since his kidneys failed due to high blood pressure.
He credits much of his continued health to the support of his loving family, including three “wonderful” stepchildren, and especially his wife. She pushed him to not miss his treatment sessions when he was first starting on dialysis. Since then, he’s gotten used to the routine of the regular blood-filtering treatments. He’s feeling strong, he says, and really hasn’t missed a beat since being on dialysis.
Curtis heeds his doctors’ advice by following a dialysis-friendly diet and taking phosphate binders after meals to control his phosphorus and calcium levels which can harm a dialysis patient if left unchecked. “If I take my binders, I’m able to eat pretty much anything except highly-indulgent stuff (chocolate, cola drinks, etc.),” he says.
When asked if he has any advice for new patients, Curtis stresses the importance of acceptance. “Dialysis is a part of life, but you can’t let it run your life,” he says. “Make the adjustment and don’t dwell on it. Just do your treatments and move on with your life – you'll do a lot better.”