Thursday, December 25, 2008

Please Excuse my Lack of Posting!

First of all, Merry Christmas everyone!



I've been busy and tired.

December 23rd, for example. I got four wisdom teeth pulled out under general anesthesia. My dental surgeon, Dr. Slavkin, said that he might pull all 6 of my wisdom teeth (yup, if you haven't seen previous posts, I have 6 wisdom teeth). He mentioned just before the surgery that if they didn't appear to be bothersome, he wouldn't bother removing them. In the end, he didn't.

Everyone was pretty nice. While waiting for the IV team to put my IV in, it was decided that I'd go down to the OR and get it put in there as time was running out. My antibiotic was hanging from the IV pole, waiting to be attached. At that point, the transport guy came to lead us downstairs. Can you believe that he didn't even help me with my IV pole? There I was, in my blue cloth slipper things and my hospital gown pushing this pole across the hospital. What was the point of him coming anyways? They could have just told us (my mom and I) to go to the second floor and we'd have been just fine without him. Lame!

When I got to the 2nd floor, the nurse and the anesthesiologist spoke to me. I didn't like this setup. It was a regular waiting room and there were two other families in there. There was no privacy at all. Everyone that spoke to me spoke loudly so all of my business was heard by everyone else who happened to be in that room. The same went for the other familes...I knew all of their business too, and I think that wasn't necessary.

Shortly afterwards, a nice lady lead me to the OR. She normally works as an ER nurse. She helped me onto the operating table where she put those sticker things on my so that they could monitor my heart. She also effortlessly slid the IV needle into my right hand. The pain was minimal. Shortly after, the anesthesiologist began to give me some sort of medication to make me relax. I immediately began to feel uncomfortable. I had been tucked under some blankets like a cocoon so I couldn't move too much, but I began to feel itchy. My sideburns on both sides began to itch (yes, I take prednisone, and therefore have sideburns..!). Some other odd places on my body that I couldn't readily reach began to itch as well. I closed my eyes tight and tried to get over the itchiness. The ER nurse then told me that I was being given something else that would relax me even further. My arm would burn, she told me, just as it did begin to burn. Just before she mentioned it, I was going to comment on that as I thought perhaps the IV wasn't in properly. However, since she mentioned that would happen, I kept it to myself.

The ER nurse put a mask over my face and told me to take deep breaths. At first I was breathing normally. I was so woozy now after all the IV drugs. I heard her tell me again to take deep breaths so I did. Less than a minute later, I was fast asleep.

Still half asleep, I remember being rolled over to my side and having an injection in my bottom. If I recall correctly, I think Dr. Slavkin told me that they'd be injecting something into me...perhaps a steroid...I cannot remember.

The next time I opened my eyes, I was hearing a nurse ask me how I was doing and how my pain was. I nodded to let her know I was fine. At this point, opening my mouth to actually say something was out of the question as I had a mouth packed full of gauze. I also had ice packs wrapped around my face.

I drifted in and out of sleep for the next hour or so until I was moved back upstairs. This is where my Mom was waiting for me. I was happy to see her. The first thing that happened when I got up there was a change of gauze. The nurse showed me how she methodically rolled the gauze up so that some of the gauze would be in my mouth and some wouldn't. I couldn't pay much attention at that point as I was still pretty drowsy. After she put the gauze in, all I could think was "wow..with this gauze hanging out of either side of my mouth...I must look like a walrus".

I wasn't in a lot of pain, but Iwas concerned with the saline drip. Did I need this extra fluid flowing into my veins? Did it have any real function? When I asked the nurse, she promptly turned it off and took my iv out. An hour after coming upstairs, it was home time.

Mom and I made a stop at the grocery store. I needed soft things...applesauce and chocolate pudding. I wore my scarf around my face so that my gauzes didn't show. By the time we got back to the car the gauzes were wet, so I told mom to take me home so I could change them instead of the regular plan which was to go to the pharmacy and pick up the pain killers and antibiotics prescribed to me.

I changed my gauze while Mom went to pick up my prescriptions. Sheesh, what a horror movie it was to see those gauzes. They were just saturated. There goes my great hemoglobin!

I took my pain pills regularly and haven't been in much pain. I've been diligent about icing my face. Ensure, chocolate pudding, tea, and applesauce has been my main diet, but yesterday Mom made me mashed potatoes. Boy did they taste good. The night I came home from the tooth extraction, I could hardly sleep because my stomach physically hurt from lack of food!

Yesterday I dialyzed without heparin. I flushed 200cc every hour, and yet by the time I was ready to take myself off, I still managed to clot off my circuit. Maybe I need to either flush more than 200ccs or I need to flush more often. We'll give it another go and see what happens. I hate these 4 hour runs. I can't wait until I can use heparin again so I can get some real dialysing in. I'll have to wait until I know I'm not bleeding...then I'll do a couple of tight heparin runs...then a real run.

Well I think I've yammered on enough to make up for the missed days!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hooray to Me, Boo-urns to Birds??

I took the plunge earlier this week. I thought long and hard about my position within the bank. After much consideration, after sitting and thinking long and hard, I finally made that decision. I sat at my desk, opened up my email, and started typing. I typed a two paragraph email. I hovered the mouse arrow over the send button for a little while as I considered whether or not this was the right thing to do. But I had already thought it over and the more I sat there and thought about it...the more doubts I would have. So I clicked send, grabbed my jacket and purse, and headed outside into the car of my waiting father. I did it!

A couple of days later, it was time to head back to work. As I did my makeup that morning, I wondered if I had done the right thing. Have to stop second guessing myself...I knew I did the right thing.

I got to my desk. I logged on. Before opening any of the several systems that I need to do my job, I opened my email. There it was...my manager's response, as well as an email address in the "cc" field, as she had copied someone else in the email.

Hello,

Please update Florence's scheduled hours as displayed in Florence's email below. She is ready to return to work for her regular hours.

Thanks,
Sonia.


Yep, that's right. After being on modified hours since mid 2007, I'm finally up to 20 hours a week. I admit, it won't be easy. I'll have to work hard, especially when school starts. In fact, I won't actually know how I'll feel until I actually start school coupled with work. I do have my disability instructions for all of my professors. I'm going to work as hard as I can and try not to fall behind. I can do it. And, while I'll be busy, I'll do my best to continue to chronical my life!


Now, onto boo-urns to birds. Last night, after sitting on the couch and watching tv for a while, I decided I'd start getting things together so that I could set up my dialysis machine. As I reached the top of stairs. I heard fluttering over my head and then onto the window sill near the steps. I immediately thought of Sammy, my sister's bird. "Aw nuts, she left the cage open!" I thought.

At this point I had already opened the door to my room. Before I knew it, the bird flew into my room. As it fluttered around aimlessly, I rushed to close all closet doors and also the door to my washroom. I looked back just in time to hear the *thud* of the poor bird flying right into the mirror closet door. I immediately frowned and my heart rate accelerated as I thought of poor Sammy. I saw the bird go down to the ground. I rushed over to try and get Sammy on my arm so I could walk him back to his cage.

...wait a minute. That's not Sammy...

It was a bird from outside! How did this bird get into the house? I rushed downstairs and looked at Sammy's cage, just in case. He happily rang his little bell as he normally did. I was relieved to see he was safe and hadn't just flown into a mirror dorr, but also shocked that there was now a little bird in my room.

"Dad...there's a bird in my room....and it ain't Sammy!" I calmly told my Dad. The look on his face was priceless. "A Bird???" he asked, just as shocked as I was. "Yup". I replied. I followed him upstairs and pointed out the bird which was now sitting on top of the curtain rod hanging from the wall. Dad told me to leave and close the door behind me.


I went downstairs. I told my mom what was going on. I heard the sound of banging and things falling off of the table. I was mortified. Mortified for my Dad that he might fall and hurt himself, and also mortified that the bird might get injured. I ended up going to another part of the house so that I wouldn't have to hear all of the banging.

It was all over in 1o short minutes. A victorious Daddy walked down the stairs. I saw no bird but he was carrying a bag. My dad headed straight for the door. He opened it and closed it shortly thereafter.

"I put him outside" said Dad.

*phew*

The only assumption I can make is that the bird got into the house when I had the door open for several minutes earlier in the week. I was having dialysis supplies brought into the house. My parents both mentioned that they had heard suspicious noises, but thought they were coming from outside. I mentioned the fact that for the past few days, Sammy would start chirping/freaking out without any rhyme or reason. An intruder stealing his birdseed, perhaps??

In the end, it all went well. From now on (hopefully), Sammy will be the only bird of this household.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Appt With Dr. Thomas

Today was secret Santa day at work. I brought in my gift for my co-worker as well as the cookies I made. My co-worker wasn't working that day so I left the gift in my desk so I can give it to her later. We also shared a team Christmas lunch. We had chicken, rice, potatoes, and salad. It was all very delicious.

After lunch is when most people started sampling my cookies. They were a big hit! I'm glad everyone liked them and the effort I put into them. One person even asked if I could make her cookies or cupcakes for a cost! :)

The present that I got from my secret santa was a pair of gloves, a lip balm, and a travel mug. The maximum amount to be spent on the gift was $15. I could tell that all 3 of the gifts were from the same place which was a dollar store. I knew this because one of the gifts still had a tag on it while the other had a partial tag. I got a $3 gift? I spent $20 on the gift I gave. I like to give things that I'd like to receive. $3??? Well, I guess it's the thought that counts...?


After work, I headed downtown to see my gynecologist. The last time I saw her, she mentioned thay my hormone levels were low and she wanted to put me on some estrogen and progesterone. First, she wanted to do a blood test to see how my clotting was as I had a clotting problem in my stomach a few years back. Those tests came back normal. So, she gave me prescriptions for progesterone and estrogen. The fact that my hormone levels are out of wack can cause a lot of things. It can contribute to my weak bones. It definitely contributes to my lack of mensies. I'm sure it's what causes me to still sweat even though I wear anti perspirant. I'll get the prescription tomorrow and see how those symptoms change. I was also told that if I had any weird side effects such as pain in my legs I should stop the medications and contact her back.

Yay, more drugs to cause more side effects!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Good Shopping, Good Latte

Today was Christmas shopping day. I was determined to most if not all of my shopping today and I pretty much succeeded. I was in the mall for about an hour...maybe a tiny bit more. I won't disclose what I got people in case they are reading this blog, but most of my friends are getting similar gifts. Everyone is taken care of except for my sister, Mom, and Dad (LoL sounds like a lot more gifts to get now that I type it...) but I'll work that out. Mom has a partial gift so far so hers should be easy.

After that, it was off to meet one of my old co-workers for coffee. His name is Mike and we worked together back in 2000. We managed to reconnected via facebook. He was overseas for almost a year and I just recently noticed that he was back in town. I suggested we meet for coffee and we did today.

It was great hearing of his stories/adventures overseas. It was also great being able to just sit down, have a soy vanilla latte, and reconnect with an old friend. We hope to do it again soon.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Quality Testing 4 Cookies from Every Batch is unncessary

At work, we're doing secret santa. I bought my secret santa gift on Saturday after work so that I'd have it for this Tuesday. The limit was $15, and that was ok by me. I bought a cute pair of earrings that was nicely packaged by the store. I hope she likes them.

On Tuesday, we're also doing a 'team lunch'. We all contributed $7 and will be having chicken, salad, rice, etc. I thought I'd be nice to bake cookies and bring them to work so I did that today. The process started on Saturday. I mixed the cookie batter and put it in the fridge in two separate clear bags. The recipe recommended a minimum of 1 hour refridgeration, but it could also be done overnight. After an hour, I took out 1 bag of cookie dough that I had made and rolled some out. I rolled out enough cookies for one large tray and realized that I still had quite a bit of dough left in that one bag. I was quite delighted to see this as I had originally thought that I might have to make another batch of cookies. My plan was to make enough for 20 people with 3 large cookies per bag. This was definitely going to be do-able.

The recipe called for the cookies to be removed within about 6-8 minutes. I kept a hawk eye on the cookies and took them out just as they slightly began to brown. When I took them out I felt the urge to eat one immediately, even if it meant scortching my fingers and my tongue. I braced myself and broke the top off of one of the many Christmas tree shaped-sugar cookies. Boy was it ever delicious. I ate the entire cookie. I then ate another one. I looked at the clock and realized that it was 10pm. It wouldn't be practical for me to bake the rest of the cookies tonight so I put the remaining batter back in the fridge to be baked the next day. I went up to bed.

...I came back downstairs after about 20 minutes and grabbed another 2 cookies...

The next day after church, it was bake to baking. I baked another large tray of cookies, but this time I made snowflakes. The large tray took about 24 large snowflake cookies. I baked those off and was on to the next tray. I made a mistake on that tray. I made the mistake of going to the washroom. When I rushed back downstairs the cookies were already dark around the edges. I put those cookies aside and vowed not to screw up the last batch.

The last batch baked perfectly. I brought the kinda, not really, but almost burnt cookies downstairs where my mother was. My plan was to toss them, but I knew that when my mother saw me she wouldn't allow it. She didn't. She pulled out a clear plastic container and told me to put the cookies in it. She proceeded to munch away and the extra crunchy cookies. My dad came downstairs and helped himself to some cookies as well as a glass of milk. Boy, if they liked my burnt cookies this much, how much would they love non-overcooked ones?

After all of my cookies had cooled, I took out some fondant and rolled it out. I used the cookie cutter to cut snowflakes out of the white fondant. I took corn syrup and painted it onto the cookies, then stuck the white cutouts on the cookies. It looked gorgeous! After doing about 24, of course, it was quality check time. I ate one of the fondant covered cookies. Boy was it ever surgary! See, I'm not a super sugary person. I'm sure it would be just fine for others. However I decided that I'd just have one fondant covered cookie in each little baggie that I planned to make and the rest would be just as they are as they were quite sugary already (hence the name 'sugar cookies :)' )

I made up all of the individual cookie gift bags, tied them off with ribbon, then curled the ribbon. The little baggies look gorgeous and I hope my co-workers love them!

Now, time to have a couple cookies, eat dinner, go to bed, have a couple more cookies, go back to bed...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

No...you still have to see OUR Doctors

Today I went to the hospital for my pre-admission/pre-assessment tests. As I may have mentioned, I have the pleasure of being scheduled for wisdom teeth extraction just a couple of days before Christmas. It's a drag, yes, but it was either a few days before Christmas or 1 day before school starts. I'll go with a few days before Christmas.

The entire appointment took about 2 hours. I did some blood tests, spoke to a nurse, and spoke to an anesthesiologist.

Everyone was really nice to me. The blood tech really liked my necklace and commented on it. She even called someone else over to come and look at it. She mentioned that she doesn't really pay attention to jewelery nor does she wear it very often, but she just had to comment on my pendant. It being my first meeting of the day, it definitely made me smile.


After getting my blood drawn, I went back to the waiting room. The second appointment would be the nurse. She was also very nice. She took my weight and my height. She also looked over all of my medications which I was required to bring in their original bottles. On November 27 I went to see my rheumatologist. At that time, I had him fill out this form that was given to me by the dental surgeon. It basically outlined the fact that I had Lupus, I'm on dialysis, medications I'm on, etc. I explained to Dr. Fortin that I'd be having this tooth extraction surgery. He reminded me to lay off the heparin prior to and after the extraction.

When the nurse went over my information and entered it into their computer, she asked me if I had seen the doctor here. I told her yes, I saw the doctor who'd be taking my wisdom teeth out, Dr. Slavkin. She said no, did I see any of THESE doctors, and she mentioned a couple of names. I said no. She said that I'd have to see one of these doctors to before the surgery. I asked why, since I was given a document for my own doctor to fill out. She mentioned that it was some sort of policy.

I was slightly irritated to say the least. Does that mean that I'll have to be here longer? No. It'd mean that I'd have to trek my butt back up here on another day before the surgery in order to be seen and "cleared for surgery" by one of these doctors. Why why WHY?? MY doctor who knows me, took my blood pressure, checked my eyes, checked my heart, checked my EVERYTHING answered all of the questions on the document and had no objections to me having this surgery. I was confused. Why did I subject my doctor to all of this writing and answering of questions if it meant nothing anyways?

It reminded me of my trip to Florida with my Dad around this time last year. I had to get all of this information and fax it to the dialysis clinic in Florida prior to being allowed to dialyze at the clinic. My nephrologist had to write a summary of my condition, how I was doing, bla bla bla. He said I was fit to travel and fit to dialyze. Fine.

Then, when I got there, I found out that it was mandatory for me to go and see THEIR nephrologist if I was going to be dialyzing in their clinic more than once. To make matters worse, I was only going to be in Florida for 7 days, 3 of those days would be spent dialyzing, and I had to go see this doctor on a day that I wouldn't even be in the clinic. So that's 4 out of 7 days essentially being wasted! When I got to the clinic and waited for about 45 minutes or so, I was called in, had my blood pressure taken by a nurse, then waited some more. The doctor came in, checked my ankles, checked my pulse, and sent me on my way. This meagre visit cost almost $200 bucks!! What a waste! Did they think that my doctor was LYING when he said everything with me was ok and when he wrote down my blood pressures for the past month?

Anyhow, back to this pre admission thing. The nurse called Dr. Slavkin's office and informed them that I hadn't seen one of their own doctors. After they hung up, the nurse told me that Dr. Slavkin's secretary would contact me. I said fine, as there was now no use arguing. Other than that, this nurse was really very sweet, encouraging, and spiritual. I appreicated her and that she was simply following what was a silly protocol.

After that, It was back to the waiting room. I appreciated the fact that all of these people I had to see were in the same place and I didn't have to venture all over the hospital.

The anesthesiologist called me. He asked me how I was and lead me into a room. He told me that this would be quick. I was happy to hear that as I was reaching the 2 hour mark.

When you meet new people in the medical field who know nothing about you, it's kind of funny seeing/hearing their reactions to the things you say. When I mention I have lupus, I'm on dialysis, I had a perforated sigmoid colon...the hums and haws and sighs that come out of them are priceless. He did say that he didn't have any worries about me and that he'd see me on the date of the surgery. Super!

A few hours after I got home, Dr. Slavkin's secretary called my house and informed me that my doctor's assessment was just fine and I didn't need another one. Thank GOODNESS!

I've had many a surgery in my life...why does the removal of my wisdom teeth make me SOO nervous???

Monday, December 1, 2008

Coming down with a cold? :-(

I was fine yesterday!

A few hours after waking up this morning I started to feel like I was coming down with a cold. I've been sneezing all day and my nose is runny. I don't know the logistics of how long it takes for one to actually start exhibiting the symptoms of a cold once they are exposed to it, but if I had to guess, I'd say I got this cold from my Pops.

Dad's been sneezing for the past few days. Now, I'm sure I caught his cold. I've been going into these sneezing fits of 3-4 sneezes in a row. Not ideal for someone who works in an environment where talking to clients is imperative! Crappy.

That being said, today was my day off. I stayed home and in bed for most of the day. I did get up for about 10 minutes to accept a delivery of my acid jugs. My side doorway is so narrow that whenever these deliveries of acid come, the poor delivery guy has to pick up each box of 4 acids jugs and carry them up about 5 stairs and into my living room. Really difficult when its 7 boxes. Dad has to go through the same thing when he somehow takes these boxes upstairs to my dialysis supplies room.

Tomorrow is my appointment with a Urologist. I actually have zero idea why I'm seeing a urologist now, especially when I've been told that I won't likely get a deceased donor for at LEAST 6 years. That definitely stinks because I feel like everyone else seems to get a kidney so quickly, and for me I gotta wait for what seems like forever.

It's 11:29pm and I should really be winding down for my long day tomorrow. It's never easy to drag oneself out of bed, especially when they're coming down with a cold. I'd better get a box of tissue and put it within reach...as well as a... *achoo!!*...excuse me...as well as a bottle of tylenol.

Friday, November 28, 2008

From 10mg to 9mg

Yesterday was my clinic appointment with my rheumy Dr. Fortin. I haven't seen him since July. I guess that's a good thing, since there had been times when I had to see him every month...even every couple of weeks. Thankfully, those days are over.

When I got to the appointment, I was (inevidably) accosted by a nice lady requesting my particpation in a study. All these studies are beginning to sound the same time. It had something to do with studying the genes in people with lupus vesus the genes of those without. Usually I'll say ok and participate, just as long as my participation doesn't extend past that particular hospital visit.

I recall when I was training for home dialysis, one lady wanted me to participate in a study. I would randomly be put in a group of people who would either dialyze 3 times a week for 4 hours (which I was already doing in-centre anyways...) or 6 times a week for 8 hours each time. I wasn't sure that I was happy with either arrangement. Aside from regaining my freedom, I decided to reap the benefits of nocturnal dialysis so that I could be healthier and be dialyzed MORE not the same as before. For the 4 hour arrangement, I'd have to dialyze during the day or just before bed otherwise I'd have to wake up in the middle of the night to disconnect myself. Then, 6 days might be too much for me, especially right in the beginning.

For the study, I would also have to come into the hospital to do all kinds of extra tests, such as ultrasounds, ct scans, etc. I listened to her talk and took a couple of days to think about it, but I ultimately said no. She said that I would be put in either the 3 day dialyze or 6 day dia;yze group at first, but it could be changed afterwards. I still declined. She continued to discuss the benefits. I continued to decline. I hate being pressured to do stuff.

Anyhow, the study previously in question (prior to the above tangent) only required bloodwork and the completion of a short questionnaire, so I did it.

When I went in to see Dr. Fortin, we chatted briefly and went through the whole routine. My blood pressure was a bit low: 98/67 or something like that. Odd. I didn't feel thirsty or anything. Oh well. We discussed my never changing dose of prednisone. He asked me what I thought about my dose and I told him that I wanted to do whatever he thought was right. He chuckled :)

After some thought, he decided that we should very slowly come down on my prednisone. He dropped me from 10mg to 9mg. I'm ok with that. I've been on 10mg for what seems like ages. Any step in what I feel is the right direction is a-ok with me. I would like to do all that I can to avoid a flare, but I also don't think the answer is to be on 10mg of prednisone for ever.

I'm happy to be a 9mg. My next appointment with Doc Fortin will be in March. Hopefully if I remain flare free we can take that step to 8mg.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Feeling Better Enough to Smile

After eating the rice that my Dad so graciously made, I went onto the website for my college. I was very happy when I checked out my schedule and noticed that the Introductory Marketing course was no longer on my schedule.

On Saturday, I faxed my course exemption request to my college. I already took an intro marketing course when I was in University, so I was hoping to not have to take a marketing course again. Getting an exemption would mean less stress for me, therefore allowing me to concentrate more on my courses. It also gives me 2 days off in the week so I can either relax or work (I'll work on one day, relax on the other...I mean, do homework...!)

I was delighted to see that it was no longer on my schedule, meaning I have been exempted from it.

Oh yay!

Fighting Back the Tears

In case I haven't mentioned it before, I'll mention it now. I'm sensitive.

Today was a rough day at work for me. Everything just seemed to go wrong today. No one specific event made me want to throw my hands in the air and walk away...it was just the accumulation of it all. By the end of the day I just felt beat down.

At the end of the day, I got into my Dad's waiting car. He joked around with my like he normally does but I could barely joke back. I felt like if I said anything I'd burst into tears and I simply did not want to do that. My Dad, being my Dad, sensed that I was upset and didn't say much after that. Just a few moments after my Dad pulled away I noticed that my keys weren't in my purse. I had left them in the key hole of my drawer at work. I called my manager to confirm this, which she did. I asked my Dad if he could turn around and go back so I could get my keys as we were only a block away. He told me that I should just get them on Saturday when I got back to work. When I asked him how I would lock the door when I went out, he told me that he'd just let me use his keys.

No biggie. But still I felt even closer to tears. Why did I have to forget my keys?

When Dad and I got home, he gave me his house keys. He promptly went to the kitchen and made us both dinner. I made frozen concentrate lemonade.

I feel better now.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Time for My nonsensical ramblings

*le sigh*

I was just lying in bed watching TV when it hit me. I'm going back too school full time in a month and a half (actually less than that). I haven't been in school AND workinig since....high school.

It's likely that I'll get an exemption from my marketing course. I just faxed my course exemption request to GBC today. But the point is, it has been YEARS since I have gone to school full time and worked at the same time.

Now, I must say this. I had lupus in high school. And my high school didn't work on a semester format, it was on a term format. That means that you take your courses for the full year and not for half a year. So in grade 11, I was taking 9 courses at once (yep, that's right...9). That included band. We had band practices after school twice a week. So I worked upwards of 30 hours a week, I went to band twice a week (ahem, I was the 'concert mistress' too), AND managed to pass (very successfully) all of my courses. For me, sometimes that deeling of knowing "I don't have time to procrastinate. This is it" worked better for me. My school agenda was impecable. (Yes, I'll admit, I had a picture of AJ from the backstreet boys posted to the front of my agenda. At the time, it motivated me to want to open my agenda and stay organized). I always knew when things were due. I knew when I worked. I was never late on anything. And, on top of the hours I already worked, I often worked MORE hours when I'd get that dreaded phone call asking if I could come to work because someone else called in sick. Wow.

Granted, I wasn't on dialysis then. I didn't stay up late often doing homework as that just wasn't my style or desire, but I did do it sometimes. I don't think I can do that this time around. Connecting myself to my dialysis machine is almost equivalent to popping a sleeping pill and playing soothing music. It makes me sleepy...and it makes me sleepy quickly. What if I have assignments to do and I'm just too tired? I know...I've spoken to my disability co-ordinator at GBC and I felt extremely reassured after doing so. But, it's never been in my character to...I dunno, be that person who has to have 'more time' because I couldn't hack it. I know there's a difference between being sick or deathly tired versus slacking, but I guess I just need to get the "if you don't finish, it's either because you're lazy or you have crummy planning" mentality out of my head.

It will take planning and it will take committment. But I'm very motivated and anxious to start school again. I'm anxious to start because I'm anxious to finish. I'm ready to move on in life. I'm ready to start my career. I'm ready to be a big girl. Scratch that. I'm not ready to be a 'big girl', but I am ready to have my degree, be ready for the working world, and start saving up for the important things in life...a place/condo, a vehicle (ahem...get your licence already, Flo) and just good savings that one should have in case of a rainy day.

We'll see what happens. I'll definitely have to schedule 'blogging' into my agenda as I know that as time passes i'll somehow find less and less time to blog.

That shouldn't be. I love to blog. It's therapeutic. I also love the comments I get from people who read and identify with me. Believe it or not, it really keeps me motivated.

:-)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Disability Services in College

UPDATE: My $125 Smackeroos!

At work yesterday, promptly at 9:30 for my first break, I called GBC's call centre to inquire about this mysterious charge. The rep looked at my account and said "oh, that's because you made the payment to the fall semester". I told him that I followed the instructions as they were stated to make the payment via online banking. He told me that there were 2 payment choices for making online payments. I told him that there were indeed 2 choices. The choices were GBC current YR and GBC prior YR. I selected current, as it certainly wasn't for the prior year! He put me on hold and told me he was going to contact the accounting department. A short hold later, he told me that the amount of $125 had been credited back to my account, however I couldn't get back the $145 as it would simply be credited towards my tuition. That was completely fine with me as much more than that, approximately another 1 grand, still needs to be paid for the spring/summer semester. Just as long as my $125 was credited back. When I got home that evening I checked online and indeed, the fee had been removed. :)



Today was my appointment with the disability consultant at GBC. She was great. I met up with her at her office for my 10am appointment. We discussed many things and she informed me of many options that I have open to me.

If need be, I can reduce the number of courses that I'm taking in order to keep up and not get stressed out. It would take longer for me to finish school, but it may be of benefit to me as I wouldn't have to worry about so many courses all at once...and I wouldn't have to pay extra cash for more years since the yearly tuition that I would have already paid will cover those courses. Pretty sweet, eh?

We also discussed another one of my options, which is to write my tests/exams in the test centre and not in the regular class with everyone else. I would be allotted 50% more time to do my test if need be and I would also be alllowed to take breaks if need be. Pretty sweet. One of the things that happens to me when I'm in a big room writing a test is the fact that I often get nervous when I look at the clock. If I have an hour to write a test with 25 questions and it has been 30 minutes and I'm only on question 8 or 9...I panic. I don't pay attention to the fact that the rest of the questions after the one I'm working on are all yes/no questions. I simply panic. I panic even more when I'm writing a test and am not finish but notice people handing in their tests and leaving. If I'm allowed to write my test in the test centre and not have to worry about everyone else...that's be fantastic.

My consultant also told me about the note-taker service. Yup, just as it sounds. If I want/require someone to help me take notes in lectures, that's completely open for me. I'm not sure if I need a note taker, but that option is certainly open to me. What's great is the fact that all of these services are completely free. How wonderful! I look forward to getting on track and starting school in January.

Oh, and last night was the first real snowfall here. Real snowfall as in, yes there is still snow on the ground and it didn't just disappear right after hitting the ground. Pretty? Maybe. But I'm still a fan of super hot weather versus super cold weather. I'm also not a fan of navigating the busy streets via public transit in a ski boot cast. Nobody got up for me on the busy bus or subway. My foot got cold but not too wet as the snow wasn't quite high enough to get in there. I'm investigating the possibility of waterproof socks. LoL.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Time Table for School in the New Year: Check

You'll have to excuse my lack of blogging these days. I really haven't had anything exciting to report. On Monday I spent most of the day in bed and today I stayed home from work because I wasn't feeling well.

When I last checked online on my college website, it stated that I couldn't select my classes/timetable until tomorrow. I just happened to check again today and tada...I could have started selecting courses yesterday. Luckily, only one choice of class was full, but there were still plenty other choices.

I began selecting away, trying to figure out a way to fit in all of my classes without having to get up super early and also sneaking in a free day. I fiddled around with the courses until I figured out a way to get exactly what I wanted: no classes starting earlier than 11:00am and fridays off!

When I clicked on select classes, a message popped up stating that I hadn't been registered because I haven't paid. What? My account balance currently says I'm in a credit of 1,462.00, the amount I paid via online banking back on Oct 27. I decided to pay an extra $145 right then and there. It was already 7pm and the college's call centre closed half an hour before that. I have to work at 8am the tomorrow, which is when the call centre opens. I don't want to risk missing out on this sweet schedule because I waited an extra (almost) 24 hours. When I paid the $145 (which the minimum amount someone waiting for government tuition assistance is supposed to pay), it allowed me to select my courses.

I looked at my fees payable again, and a full list of the fees allotted to me were listed, including a $125 late registration fee?? What the heck is THAT? I looked closer and noticed that the $1462 I paid was listed under the "fall 2008" semester section, and I'm registered in "winter 2009". Why doesn't the stupid computer see that there is a credit on the account? Why wouldn't it assume that it was for paying that tuition? Do people generally pay their tution almost 2 months into the semester? I didn't make a payment until a few days after receiving the acceptance letter in the mail. They sure did give me a good finger wagging about what would happen if I paid after November 7th, so I paid before that...and it got all screwed up. Argh, now I'll have to give them a call tomorrow to make sure that $125 gets waived.

Anyhow, after selecting my courses, I was delighted to find out that I had actually been exempted from the college english course. Yay! I guess they took into consideration the fact that I got like 78% in OAC (grade 13 high school) english. Thank goodness, even more free time on my schedule!

I'm also going to request an exemption from the introductory marketing course this semester since I took a similar intro to marketing course @ York U a couple of years back. If that gets accepted...then i'll not only be a full time student, but i'll be a full time student with 2 days off in the week! Woohoo!

Well, that's it for now. I'll report back to let you know what happened with my $125 smackeroos!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Placement Test Adventures!

Today was bloodwork day for me. Well, actually, bloodwork day should have been a number of days ago. Conflicting schedules in terms of when I could get a ride to the blood lab caused my bloodwork to be late. Better late than never I guess.

That being said, I''d be interested in knowing what my hemoglobin is. I feel a bit more tired than before...more sluggish. Perhaps it's because I've been engaged in more activity than before...I'm not sure. Maybe I just need a nice, long, uninterrupted sleep to regenerate .

My dad quickly whisked me to the blood lab to drop off my bloods and whisked me back home just as quickly. It was 8:15am and he had to start work at 9am. He made it to work on time.

As soon as I got home, I made some breakfast. Waffles. Well, I didn't make waffles...unless taking the box out of the freezer and sticking a couple into the toaster counts as "making waffles". I wanted something quick and easy as I was still tired. I was tired enough to know that if I made these waffles, ate them quickly, and went back to bed, I'd be able to sleep again. That's exactly what I did.

I woke up at around 11:15am. I looked at the tv to see Jon and Kate plus 8. The whole episode essentially consisted of Mady, one of the twins, crying and temper tantruming her way through the episode. Ahh, the joy of 6 year olds I guess?

Anyhow, no time to sit around and watch the tantruming. Today is placement test day. I got up from my very relaxing nap and got myself ready. It would be of benefit to leave a bit early so I could find the assessement centre. I left an hour before I was to be there.

I got there surprisingly fast - in about 30 minutes. The bus came in about 5 minutes. It barely stopped at any stops, either because nobody was getting off, nobody was getting on, or because the bus in front of us already picked the others up. Then it was only 2 subway stops.

The walk was a bit more than I would have liked. It was about 10 minutes. But it wasn't bad. Wasn't bad except for the fact that it was a bit wet outside.

I got into the building and immediately on the right there was a lady at the information desk. She gave me directions to the assessment centre so off I went. I went to the assessment centre, checked in, then went to write my test.

The test was 17 questions. It was a math test and (surprise, surprise) no calculators allowed. There was an online calculator that would appear for some questions only. The questions that it would appear for had no freakin' need for a calculator anyways!

I got stuck on question 17. It was something like this.

Joe decided that he was going to pack ½ of his books for school in the morning, then the rest in the afternoon. Joe only got around to packing ¾ of the books he thought he would pack in the morning. What percentage of books did Joe have to pack in the evening to get all of his books packed?

I totally mental blocked on that question. In fact, I'm still not sure I know how to figure that question out. I knew it was between 5/8 or 3/5. I chose 5/8 I think (it was multiple choice). The other choices implied that he had less than half of his books to pack which certainly wasn't the case so I could immediately eliminate those. If anyone knows the answer to the above question, please respond to this post with the answer! (...and the method. lol boy do I feel like a dimwit).

Well, this dimwit got 94% on the test. Guess that means I got only 1 question wrong. Not sure which one as they don't show you your answers and responses. Perhaps it was the one above?
Oh well. All that matters is that I passed the test with flying colours. So what does that mean to me? It means that when it's time to start school, I'll be in college level math as opposed to foundations math. Foundations math is meant for people who have been approved for the program but are struggling with math and need an upgrading course with extra help. College level math is the math that the person who successfully completes foundations level math will move too. I'm happy to not have to do that prior to going to college math. It would be a larger course load for me in second semester as I would have to take all of the second semester courses IN ADDITION to college math if I didn't pass that test. Thank goodness I didn't choke!

Well, I'm going to grab a snack and go lie down and eventually fall asleep. Yay me!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Experiencing Kidney Envy

When you're in a mall, or walking down the street, or in your car, etc., sometimes you see others and you think "wow, I love those shoes" or "that guy's driving a hot car!"

I think about how lucky that person is to not have to dialyze.

One thing in me says that I shouldn't complain. In fact, I should be thankful. I should be thankful that I actually have the capacity to dialyze myself at home. I should be thankful that I was born and live in a country where dialysis and good healthcare is actually readily available. I should be happy I'm alive.

And I am. I happy about all of that. But I'm not 100% happy. I have a lot, but I want more. Much more. Where would my life be if I had never suffered from kidney disease or lupus in the first place? Would I be much better off? Would I be done school and working the job of my dreams? What I have taken this path and made the decisions in life that I did?

I also wonder if I'd have the same friends that I have now. Would I be married? Would I be living on my own? Where would I be?

These are questions that I'll obviously never know that answer to because that was not meant to be for my life. But it doesn't stop me from wondering. It makes me wonder why some people only have to wait a couple of years for a kidney and I'll have to wait a total of like 10 years.

But, I don't even want to have to get a kidney. I want MY kidneys to work like they're supposed to. I don't want to be on immunosuppresants for the rest of my life. I don't want to worry about dialyzing myself. I don't want to spend 30-45 minutes setting up my machine before going to bed, and taking that same amount of time in the morning to disconnect myself and disinfect my machine before going on about my business.

It's 6:30 in the morning. I didn't dialyze last night because I start work at 8am today. But this is what was on my mind, and I had to say it. I'm sorry if it sounds whiny, or if I sound like a cry baby or whatever the case may be...but it's just how I feel.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Causing Trouble at 7-Eleven

Before I get to the trouble making, it's important to note that today is Remembrance Day. And, although I was home alone, I did take a moment of silence in my living room...just to reflect. Imagine a person going away to war, knowing full well that they may not return home. Why would anyone do that? Well, they did it for their country. They did it for me. The degree of thankfullness I feel within me for them is without words. Both our soldiers and their families made sacrifices for their familes, and these sacrifices were often fatal. God bless them.


Tomorrow will be my second 8 hour shift at work. I've spent the last two days doing some much needed and appreciated relaxing, so I'm hoping that my shift tomorrow won't drain me to the point of absolute exhaustion. We'll see. Also, I'll be needing to brush up on my math skills as I have a placement test for college on Thursday. I've been looking at the sample questions on my college's website...geez, I remember a lot more than I thought I would, but there is also much that I need to refresh my memory on! I'll be doing that right after this post.

Now, to my 7-Eleven story. I've been in my house all day today craving a slurpee. A combination of being lazy and not wanting to miss what's on TV has kept me from walking to 7-eleven. So, I decided to go around 5pm.

As I was walking down the street, I heard a car horn honking and honking. I usually don't acknowledge honking horns, but this just wouldn't stop! I turned around and it was my mom :) I hopped into the car and off we went to 7-eleven. I was happy that I wouldn't have to limp my way there in my cast.

When I got there, there was a group of gentlemen there. They appeared to be choosing numbers for the 6-49 lottery. As I went to get my slurpee, one of the 3 gentlemen said "Hey, how are you?" Ugh. I responded by telling him I was fine.

"What happened to your foot?" he asked.
"Well, I broke my foot in a karate tournament" I replied.
"...you know karate?" the man asked, looking quite shocked.
"Yep. I threw a kick and it just snapped my foot."
"Oh, ok. Sorry ma'am." the man replied as he slowly stepped away as if I had the plaque.

I laughed to myself. I don't know where that line came from, but it's a pretty good one! His reaction along with his friends' reactions were priceless. Poor guy just trying to make a friend and I scared the living daylight out of him! Hahaha!


...I'd do it again, too.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Lovely Lunch with my Lupus Ladies

Today is the Sunday before Remembrance Day, so we had a Remembrance Day service at church today. The service was very touching. A war vet came up during children's time and told a very touching story. He was on a ship with the rest of his crew. It was a stormy night. This was good as it made it harder for submarines to attempt an attack. It was his turn to stay up and be the lookout, so he went onto the deck and sat down. It was then that he looked to the sky and saw a vision. He was sure it was God. It was then that he knew that God was watching over him and that he'd be ok. I loved listening to him speak.

After church, my Mom dropped me off at the mall. For the last few weeks, myself and the other models from the Flare for Fashion show decided that we should try and get together regularly. Today was the chosen day. We all met up at Casey's for lunch. I was happy to see all of the girls again. It's so refreshing and almost comforting to be in the company of other ladies who not only know exactly what you're going through, but have been through it themselves.

In spite of all the things these women go through, they all manage to keep on keeping on. They work, the go for walks, the go dancing...they simply do not let lupus take over or control their entire life. I was happy to know that these ladies also have employers who are very sensitive to and understanding of the symptoms that may occur because of Lupus. I myself consider myself more than lucky to work for an employer that has been so amazing to me. If I didn't have that in my life, I think coping with Lupus on top of everything else would be a very stressful and even depressing situation for me. My job is one less thing I have to think and worry about. I don't have to worry about my boss getting angry because I didn't come to work. I don't have to worry about spending my entire salary on medications because I have a wonderful drug plan. I do consider myself one of the lucky ones.

Sitting in a group of ladies like this allows one to sit back and not only listen to the similarities we share, but also the differences. Most of us suffer from being cold all the time, but not all of us get the raynaud's (discolouration of fingers, toes, etc). I was sitting there with a group of wonderfully brave and beautiful women who, although they go through a lot, all had radiant and warm smiles on their faces. I felt happy and honoured to be in this group of wonderful women.

This would mark our first meeting after the fashion show. I certainly hope that it won't be our last.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I made it...!

I made it through my 8 hour shift at work!

Though I will say that I'm pretty tired right now...!

The shift actually went by pretty fast. When I was working the 5 hour shift, I have one 15 minute break. When I work the 8 hour shift, I have two 15 minute breaks and one 30 minute lunch period. All of those extra breaks put in make the day go by much faster. I also enjoy the company of my co-workers and that certainly helps as well. I was very organized and remembered to pack a lunch the day before. All I have to do is remember to stay organized and continue bringing lunch to work in order to avoid the fast food temptatiion. The closest fast food is actually at the mall across the street from my building. Well, there's also a cafeteria in my building that serves pizza pizza amongst other things, but I'd like to keep such meals to a minimum. Not healthy...and pricy to boot.

While at work today, I dreaded the thought of having to come home and un-do the braids in my hair. I have a hair appointment bright and early tomorrow morning and I have to take out the braids I have now. Usually taking out braids is such a chore, however I only have a few braids to take out this time as I actually had a weave. Much more convenient, but I gotta say, I love my braids.

So, that being said, I had better stop typing and start unbraiding.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I have appointments coming outta my...

I worked today from 9-2. After work, I had to head downtown for an appointment with Dr. Thomas. I also had to head to home hemo to pick up my documents for my cellcept. Can you believe that my section 8 had been approved in june but they never bothered to tell me? ("they" being the people who approved the section 8). How very silly. I had puchased more cellcept in like August or so and because I wasn't informed that the section 8 was approved, I had to pay the full cost for it. I hope I won't have a problem getting that moolah back from trillium. We'll see.

Anyhow, before heading off to mount sinai across the street, I headed to teriyaki experience to get some chicken teriyaki. Mmm.

I waited for about 20 minutes before seeing Dr. Thomas. Because of the blood clot that developed in my gut, she is understandably hesitant when it comes to prescribing "the pill". So, she still does feel that my body simply shut my periods down because I'm "sick". She also believes that they will start back up on their own if there aren't any other problems. In order to confirm her suspicions, she requested that I do a blood test. When I asked her how I would find out the results of these blood tests, she stated that she wanted me to come back and see her in two weeks. Now, I don't mind coming back, but I just don't like the idea of commuting all the way there to spend 5 minutes with her, telling me everything is ok. It just stinks. Oh well, it's my health...

I've never waited so long to get blood work done. When you get to where the blood work area is, you have to take a number. On the ticket you get, it tells you an approximate waiting time. Mine said 21 minutes. Ugh, 21 minutes? How irritating!

Should have prayed for 21 minutes. I didn't get called until approximately 50 minutes later. In the meantime, I got to sit there, staring at a lady who was sitting in a chair, sleeping, and snoring extremely loud. How very embarassing for her.

It seemed like everyone going in there for a blood test wasn't coming out. What kind of blood test was this? What I did notice were a lot of the bloot tech/phlebotomy (sp?) people saying goodbye to their co-workers as they went home. Irritating again. After getting called I noticed that there were only 2 people drawing blood. I would imagine that 4pm-ish would be a busy time there as people are leaving work to come here to get blood tests. Why do they think that people want to wait around for an hour to get a lousy blood test? Bah.

The bus ride home was long and irritating. The bus was so crowded. I had to stand and everyone who saw my foot quickly looked the other way or closed their eyes in order to avoid relinquising their seat. I also had the pleasure of having a drunk couple stand right beside me. They reaked of liquor and cigarettes. They kept slamming into my as they swayed back and forth. Ugh....get me out of here..

Anyhow, I'm home now and starving. I think I'll save half of my teriyaki experience. That way, I'll have something to eat for lunch tomorrow. The intention was to make something tonight, but I'm beat...!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Small Victory For Me

I haven't been at work for 20 full hours per week since September of 2006. That was the month when I found out that I had a perforated bowel and needed emergency surgery. It was then that I had a colostomy bag attached to my stomach and had to wear it until March 2007.

I'm not going to lie...it's one of the worst things one can imagine. The fact that my stomach wound had opened up didn't help either. The fact that I had a gaping hole in my stomach so close to the colostomy pouch definitely put me at risk of getting an infection. Thankfully, that didn't happen.

After having the colostomy reversed in March 2007, I obviously took some time to recover. I had to go back to the hospital for a couple of days after that surgery. At first it was thought that the doctors might need to open my stomach up again as it was thought that things weren't attached properly. Thankfully, things sorted themself out and I didn't need to be cut open again.

A while after, I decided that I wanted to come back to work. I missed working. I missed getting out of the house for things other than going to the hospital. I missed my friends at work. I went back to work and everyone was amazingly supportive. This is one of the reasons I love my job so much. Everyone is caring, understanding, and accomodating.

Since I am a part-time employee, my regular schedule would be 20 hours a week. For a while, I did just 3 hours a week, then 5, then one day of 3 and another day of 5, etc. I've worked my way up to three 5 hour shifts. Prior to my surgery, my schedule was two 7.5 hour shifts and one 5 hour shift. I've been a bit hesitant to just jump right back into my job as I don't want to risk fatigue or anything like that. I suspect that my anxiousness to get back to work in previous instances when I was off had ultimately caused me more grief that good.

I've been doing 15 hours a week for a while now. I decided that this Wednesday would be my first full 7.5 hour shift for 2 years. I look forward to seeing how I cope with this. I think it's important to start testing the waters now as I'll have to gather up some strength from somewhere when it's time for me to cope with both work and school in January. I'm really looking forward to starting my program. It's a full time program. I hope I haven't taken on too much.

I'll need to make contact with my disability co-ordinator from GBC tomorrow. I'd like to write my placement test on Friday I think. I have work on Tuesday and Wednesday, and a hair appointment on Thursday. I plan to just relax tomorrow and perhaps do some homework.

So, that's my small victory. Actually...it isn't that small. It's quite huge. Huge for me, anyways.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Wisdom Teeth Extraction Date Booked!

I headed off to York Finch Hospital yesterday afternoon to see the Dental Surgeon Dr. Slavkin. It was a simple bus ride but it did take about 40 minutes to get there.

It was a short wait to see Dr. Slavkin. He's a super nice gentleman who made me feel really comfortable by making me laugh and stuff. He looked at my mouth x-ray and made some recommendations. He's going to have to actually have me in there to take a look at my mouth before he ultimately makes a decision as to how many teeth he will choose to extract. My 2 lowere wisdom teeth are quite close to nerves so he doesn't want to straight up yank them out, so he's going to take out most of the tooth but not yank it out so as not to disturb the nerve which ultimately cause permanent numbness.

He suggested that we do the surgery some time in the new year, but I asked if there was anything earlier. I do not want to do it in the new year as I don't want anything to disturb my school schedule. Also, if, God forbid, I sh0uld get some sort of an infection, I want to have time to get over that and be all healed up and infection free for a good amount of time, in case by some stroke of luck I should be called in for a transplant...? Also, the first day of school is January 7, and the first proposed date that was given to me by his secretary was January 6th. Yup, what better way to make a great impression with your new friends than to have blood and drool dripping down the side of your mouth? :)

So, after having his secretary check his calendar, the date of December 23rd was open. I accepted that date as opposed to the January date. The only downside is the fact that I won't be able to eat scrumptious Christmas Dinner. My Dad will be away in Nigeria during Christmas, so our dinner would have likely been small anyways. (I'm gonna miss my Daddy!)

So, December 23rd. Dr. Slavkin has promised me some primo general anesthetic so that I just go to sleep and wake up with less teeth.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Ugh...unbelievable!

So I just got back from the fracture clinic. I got there at around 8:00am, checked in, then sat down to relax, sip on my soy vanilla latte, and eat my cinnamon glazed donut. I opened up the package for my donut and it was covered in chocolate. Eww, that's not what I asked for. So I went back.

I received my donut from the unapologetic employee and headed back to the clinic appointment just a few steps away. I sat down to enjoy my donut. I took two bites, took my medication, then another sip of my latte.

"Florence?" I heard. I turned around and saw Luciano, the same helper guy who was there the last time. He helped me by-pass the x-ray line last time.

Shocked, I pointed at myself like "Me?"

"Yep. We called you a few minutes ago but I think you were out to get your coffee".

Rad! I've only been here for like 5 minutes!

Oh wait, I had better not start doing triple axles yet. I still have to wait to see Dr. Lau. Another 5 minutes passed and there he was. Shocking X 2! He asked me how my foot was and I told him that it hurt again. I also told him that I had done an x-ray yesterday just so he could have it. He looked at the x-ray and it didn't show much. He suggested that I get another MRI done. He sat across from me and told me to give him my foot, which I did. He began to press gently certain parts of my foot. The part that was broken before didn't hurt, but right where my middle toe is, at the top of my foot, when he pressed there I let out a soft yelp. It hurt. It felt exactly the same way it felt last time when my foot was broken and the doctor touched it.

He suggested that I wear a short fracture boot until an MRI could be scheduled. Ah crap, not another fracture boot. Well, at least this would be a short one since my ankle is not involved. Dr. Lau wrote out a prescription for a fracture boot. I sat there and wondered why he did that as no one wrote any prescriptions last time. Dr. Lau asked me if I had insurance and I told him yes...was I going to have to pay for this?

Shortly thereafter, Luciano came in with a black, short boot. He put it on for me. It was different than the one I had last time in terms of how it needs to be put on. I'm glad that it's short because the other longer one was so restricting that it put a lot of stress on my ankle.

After putting it on, I followed Luciano to the front where he put the information in the computer for my MRI. I asked him what I needed the prescription for and he told me that it was for the boot. I asked him if I was going to have to pay for this, and he said that he sually wouldn't charge me but it did cost $150. Sheesh! Glad he was nice enough to do that.

After that, I headed home. At least I don't have to worry about being late for my dental appointment at York Finch Hospital. And, luckily, the MRI department called me promptly and told me that there was a cancellation and an MRI appointment came up at 11:30pm tonight. I accepted and I'm gonna get my foot MRI'd.

I'll discuss what happens with my wisdom tooth extraction consultation appointment tomorrow! :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

And my right foot hurts again...WHY???!?

I'm angry. My right foot hurts again. Not my ankle, just my foot. It's pretty much in the exact same place as the previous break. I'm afraid that it's broken again! How could this happen?? I have an appointment at the fracture clinic this friday. I was going to cancel it ages ago but thankfully I didn't. I dread sitting in the waiting room for hours on end for this stupid appointment...ARGH!! Especially, I have an appointment at another hospital on Friday as well, and that hospital is pretty much on the other side of town. I have no time or patience to wait forever and ever.


I called the fracture clinic and the nice secretary suggested that I come in at 8:30 instead of 9:30. I hope this will help. I also plan on going in EARLIER to get an x-ray done beforehand, then I won't have to worry about sitting in the fracture clinic forever waiting for the x-ray.

>:-(

Friday, October 24, 2008

I found this email that I sent to my friends

I sent the below email to my friends a couple of years ago after my perforated bowel fiasco. I went through a lot and it was scary. The below email was me updating my friends on what happened when I was in the hospital. I thought it was an interesting (and informative) email outlining what I had gone through in the hospital


From: ".:*Miz_Flow*:."
Subject: Hello xxxxx & xxxxx!
Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2006 20:31:48 +0000

Hey Ladies,

xxxxx, I got your message yesterday. Sorry I didn't pick up. My nurse was here when you called, and I did hear my phone ring, but I forgot to check the message after my nurse left.


I am doing pretty well. Not the Sunday that just passed, but the Sunday previous to that was the day that a nurse at the hospital took my staples out. Well, wouldn't you know that a few seconds after all the staples were out, the wound just kinda.....popped open? Yes I know that sounds gross, but it did. It didn't bleed or anything, and the pain was minimal when that happened. But I do have a gaping hole in my lower stomach now. The doctor says he doesn't want to re-staple it or stitch it up, or else only the surface will heal and the inside won't....so i'll end up with a big hole in my stomach which is covered by healed skin. That could cause an infection.

So, a nurse comes by everyday to clean my wound, and pack it with gauze and bandage it up. Apparently it is supposed to heal from the inside first, and then slowly heal up and close. It looks like I had a c-section and the doctor forgot to close me up. Kinda weird!

But I am doing well. Tylenol 3's and I have become great friends in recent days. Walking fast, sitting up for long periods of time, and my energy level are my main obstacles at this point, but everyday there is definitely progress.



Thanks for coming to visit me that day. It was good to laugh....even though it kinda hurt the staples!! Haha, but a good laugh was worth it.



I must say, however, that the day after you two came to see me was a rough day for me. I was given a blood transfusion while I was on dialysis and I had a bad reaction to it. The first though was that I must have been allergic to a protein in the blood I was receiving. Basically what happened was my stomach started to hurt really bad. I could barely lie still. I started sweating profusely...like literally as if I just ran a marathon in Africa. Sweat was pouring off of my face. My pulse went up to 180, and I was screaming bloody murder. Luckily I didn't have a roomate at that point, as my roomate went home earlier in the day. Doctors and nurses rushed in. Nurses first hooked up some morphine to my IV, and then Benadryl. After receiving morphine for about 10 minutes, the pain subsided.


My dialysis was stopped. The nurse doing my dialysis changed and cleaned the machine so that I could continue with my dialysis without the blood transfusion. Dialysis was restarted. After about 45 minutes, I could feel that same pain in my stomach coming on again. I complained again...and before I knew it, my heart rate was up again. I was sweating like crazy again, and my stomach was killing me.


Doctors and nurses rushed in again. One doctor was holding my wrist, checking my pulse. What was scary is that I could feel my eyes rolling into the back of my head. Then, I went blank for a moment. Then I remember someone putting an oxygen mask on my face, and I remember the doctor that was holding my wrist slapping me lightly in the face. I also remember him yelling at someone to call the ICU, and to call a code blue. Then a female doctor came along and was asking me questions, such as what my name was, where was I, why was I here, etc. I answered all of the questions, and was a bit confused as to why they were asking me stupid questions, especially when I was in pain. Where's my morphine??


After listening to the doctors and nurses talk back and forth, I figured out that the doctor who was holding my wrist and checking my pulse suddenly lost my pulse for several seconds. I guess he thought my heart stopped (or maybe it did..?) So that's when they were going to call a code blue but I guess before it got to that stage I was alert again. So that's why they put the oxygen mask on me and stuff.


So I guess it was obvious that we were going to skip dialysis for that day. I was exhausted, and my stomach felt like I had just finished doing 100 sit ups. I stayed in bed for the rest of the evening while my mom and dad watched on. The doctor who was checking my pulse came in to check on me all night...at least every one and a half hours. I don't think I've ever seen such a dedicated hospital doctor.


Alas, after much investigation, it was found that the reaction I had wasn't to the blood transfusion at all. It turns out that after the surgery, there had been some bleeding going on in my stomach. That is what caused the intense pain, which caused all of the other symptoms. I was given some medication via IV to help with the bleeding, and I was also given some oral medication. They all helped. Doctors had suspected previously that I was bleeding somewhere because my blood count was very low, and also (this is gross) because of the colour of the stuff coming out into my colostomy bag. While when normal ppl go to the washroom, its brown. Mine was much darker, and that is an indication of bleeding. This was also confirmed by a G.I. doctor who performed a scope on me (scope=sticking a camera down your throat to look at your throat and stomach). I gagged the whole time, even though they gave me plenty of relaxation drugs. During this scope, they also discovered a cut on my esphophagus, which explained why I was having trouble swallowing, eating, etc. Apparently the tube that was in my nose and down my throat for a few days after the surgery cut my throat. It is unclear as to whether or not the cut occured while it was being put in, or taken out.


I am no longer bleeding, and feel much better. Eating is still slightly painful, but much better than it was a week ago. That whole episode prolonged my hospital stay by at least 5-6 days. Boo! Oh well, I'd rather stay a couple of extra days just to make sure everything is good.Geez, this is a long email. But that's the update!


zzzz, I will definitely let you know when my throat is 100% so we can have cake! Yummmm....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

4 Years down...6 to go :-(

I just came back from seeing the transplant doctor today. Dr. Schiff. He's a really nice person. I went to see him today, just so he could basically look over my bloodwork and stuff.

Things that I had put out of my mind were brought back to the forefront. I've had two bone marrow biopsies, one last year and another the year before (I believe). The main reason for having this bone marrow biopsy in the first place was to investigate my ever dropping/never rising hemoglobin (which, has since resolved itself since being on home dialysis). However an unexpected surprise was found. There was something in my blood that might indicate blood cancer, aka leukemia. Upon further investigation, it was found that I don't actually have leukemia, but whatever cells or whatever it was that they saw in my blood might or might not indicate leukemia in the future. It worries me.

Dr. Schiff still wants to keep me on the transplant list. He told me once again that I'd be put on the transplant list as of when I first started dialysis, which was in 2004, either September or October, I cannot remember. So, usually, that would mean at least another 4 years of waiting for me. But of course, there has to be a complication where I am concerned. Because of several different factors including my blood type, the time it'll take for me to get a kidney increases from a minimum of 4 years to a minimum of 6 years. Basically, it takes about 10 years, and since it has already been 4 years, there are 6 more to go.

Dr. Schiff has mentioned that because of this gene or whatever it is in my blood, when it does come time for transplant (which, he said, he wants to get me one immediately) they'd want to give me different or more moderately dosed medications. I'd also need to be watched and monitored regularly to make sure I don't suddenly develop leukemia. I really hope that doesn't become an issue. Geez, I have ENOUGH to deal with. I certainly don't need cancer to ice my cake. I'll take my already decadent cake without icing, please!

For other people who get transplants, usually after taking the immunosuppressants for a certain amount of time, they are able to completely come off of these drugs. I'm not sure that'll be the case for me. I've been taking immunosuppressants consistantly for 12 years because of my lupus. Just because I get a new kidney, I don't think that's going to "cure" my lupus, therefore making it ok to just stop my immunosuppressants. The doctor I spoke to before Dr. Schiff had mentioned that and said that there would need to be discussions between Dr. Schiff and my rheumy Dr. Fortin in regards to that. I don't see him allowing them to completely stop my immunosuppressants, but we'll see.

I'm not the expert. However, at times, instead of following my own instincts I allowed others to make decisions for me. The biggest mistake in that regard that I've ever made was allowing some doctor I've never met before to stop many of my medications all at once when I was leaving the hospital (ramipril, fureosemide, etc). He stated that these medications were "bad for my kidneys". That was at the end of August in 2004. Needless to say, as I mentioned earlier, I ended up on dialysis in September or October-ish. I'm positive that it was in direct relation to all those medications being stopped at once. While I had been informed that I would eventually need dialysis, I strongly believe that if I hadn't had that doctor that day, my complete renal failure would not have occured for at least another couple of years. Sad, but true.


I'm doing much better on home dialysis, but the idea of having to do it for at least another 6 years is a bit scary. I like having this control over my life, but I'm also a bit helpless when it comes to other things as I have mentioned in previous posts, like just taking off and going on vacation and things. People take off to on vacation all the time. They do it because it's just something that they want to do...they just want to get away. When will it be my turn to get away?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Charged with First Degree Murder

I was watching the news last night with my mother and was quite distressed at what I saw. A man living in Hamilton (Ontario, Canada) has been charged with first degree murder.

You see, this man is HIV positive, and he knowingly had unprotected sex with 13 different women. Of these 13 women, 7 of them have now tested positive for HIV. 2 of those 7 women have died.

I've seen some arguements on the internet and opinions are mixed. Some people say that it was the responsibility of these women to find out who they are sleeping with. Others say that such logic would imply that it is up to a woman to know that the person she's dating is a rapist, or if someone who happens to be in a bank and gets shot by the robber is actually at fault for being shot.

While I do believe that you should be careful whenever you engage in any sort of sexual activity with another person, it's also difficult in that this person may be someone you've known for a while and has flat out denied/lied to your face about having such a disease.

I know that Lupus is nothing like the HIV virus in that I cannot spread this disease to anyone else through sexual contact. That being said, I know all of the problems and pain I've gone through because of Lupus. I wouldn't wish Lupus upon anyone! If Lupus were somehow contagious, I would do everything and anything possible to prevent myself from spreading it to anyone else. Anyone who thinks otherwise is completely selfish. Bottom line.

I was watching a documentary once about the horrible epidemic of AIDS in Africa. This is a story close to my heart since both of my parents are Nigerian. While I was watching this documentary, I learned about one of the many reasons this disease is so rampant in Africa.

In some cases, there is some sort of belief that if a man has AIDS, if he finds a young virgin and rapes her (or otherwise has sexual intercourse with her) that he will be cured of AIDS as it'll be passed on to this young female virgin. What makes it worse, you ask? Well, the mentality is also "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again". It's so unfortunate that people are actually being raped because of the false belief that having intercourse with a virgin will cure you of the HIV virus and or AIDS. The particular case I mention above, the man involved was born in Uganda. I don't know if his act has anything to do with this belief, but either way it is simply horrible that many people's lives have been forever changed and possibly shortened because of this disease.

While I was watching this story on the news, both of the this Ugandan born man's lawyers were stating that these two women had cancer and they died of cancer. Hmm, what a coincidence that both of these woman should both die of cancer and both had relations with the accussed?

I just thought I'd write about this as it disturbed me so.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

When Medroxy Doesn't Work

I have to go back to Mount Sinai to see Dr. Thomas.

I've used medroxy before. When I used it, it was very effective in regulating my periods. And, as all you Lupus patients out there may know, having a regular period is a feat all by itself.

This time around, my body doesn't like medroxy. Either it doesn't like it, or it doesn't care about it. It's been a month and it's not regulating anything. The last time I used it, regulated everything in 10 days, which is right on schedule.

I'm worried. I'm worried that this might have something to do with my perforated bowel. Was damage caused to other things that I don't know about? Or what about when my wound popped open? Did that cause some unknown damage?

I contacted Dr. Thomas' office to express my concerns. She's a very busy woman so it took a couple of calls to hear back from her office. Her secretary informed me that Dr. Thomas would like to see me in early November. So, I'm going to go back to her office and see what she has to say.

I have cysts. I have cysts on my ovaries. I've been told that before. I've been told that and it's scary. In fact, I have many of them on my ovaries. I'm just worried. I'm still holding on to the hope that everything will be ok.

My thoughts are between Dr. Thomas putting me on some other sort of contraceptive, or her wanting to put me through another one of those awful transvaginal ultrasounds. Well, I'm sure that nobody who has ever had one likes those, but obviously whatever needs to be done to see what's going on needs to be done :(

I'll update after the appointment.

Monday, October 20, 2008

What happened to my Section 8??!!

If you click on the label entitled "section 8", you'll find that I wrote an entry at the end of May. A section 8 had been filled out for me by the pharmacist at the hospital and also by my nephrologist. When it was filled out, I picked up the form (or it was mailed to me...I can't remember because it was a long time ago...!) and faxed it to the appropriate department.

A few months later, I began to wonder what was going on. I hadn't heard back as to whether or not my Section 8 had been approved.

The section 8 is for my cellcept. My trillium drug plan does not cover my cellcept because it is generally only covered for those who have had a transplant. I have not had a transplant, but I do need to use cellcept to keep my lupus related kidney rejection at bay.

So, this section 8 basically allows my doctor to explain why I am taking this medication, then trillium decides whether or not they will assist me with the cost of my cellcept.

So, the secretary at my home dialysis unit was advised by the pharmacist to call ODB (Ontario Disability Benefit) to inquire about the form I had faxed in. Sometimes things get lost or mixed up, and a phone call is necessary to sort things out. When the secretary called...she could get no one to call her back!

So, my section 8 has yet to even be looked at, much less approved. Now I have to trouble the pharmacist to fill it out again and have my nephrologist fill out the other parts. Thankfully both the pharmacist and my nephrologist are wicked cool. Sometimes I feel like I ask so much of them...I feel like a big pain! But I really need this section 8 thing looked at.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

National Chocolate Cupcake Day??

Yup, it's true. Today is national chocolate cupcake day. To honour such a joyous occasion, I baked chocolate cupcakes on Thursday evening and brought them to work on Friday. I also made some and gave them to dad to take to work as well. I hope they enjoyed them.

Well, that's all I really have to say now. You see, I'm a huge UFC fan and there is a UFC fight night tonight in about 50 minutes. I'd like to make myself something to eat AND set up my dialysis machine before it starts. That way, I can sit back, relax, then at my leisure, cannulate and connect at like 10:30-11pm.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Flare for Fashion!

Yesterday was the 4th annual Flare for Fashion show, a fundraiser for Lupus. I had a blast participating in it.

The event took place at the Liberty Grand. I thought I was off to a bad start much before the show even began. First of all, I have a cold and a runny nose. I was sure that I was going to have to walk the runway with a tissue in my hand...very chic, huh? LOL. But thankfully, my runny nose departed before the show...and came back that night when I got home?? Haha oh well, the important part is that it wasn't there for the show.

Aside from the show itself, I met a lot of wonderful people that I hope to keep in touch with. All of the Lupus models are inspirational and strong women...I'm lucky to have met them all.

Getting pictures were tricky simply due to the fact that taking pictures with a digi cam requires much tweaking when it comes to flash, no flash, etc. Sometimes the pictures appear too dark, sometimes you can't see anything, sometimes it's blurry, etc. I posted some pictures below. They are a combo of my pics, my sister's pics, and pics taken by others.

There were lots of celebrities and media there. Some of these ppl include Kim D'Eon of ET, Canada, many personalities from global, Rachael Blanchard, Katie Boland, Ngozi Paul...lots of people.

It makes me feel great to be involved in an event that raises money for Lupus. What makes this specific event all the more special is the fact that the clinics that I go have lost their funding. This event is the only private fundraiser for the event...and it makes me sad. How can the government grants being received by the lupus research and Toronto Western Hospital clinics be lost? It saddens me because it makes me feel like Lupus isn't important enough to have continued funding. How loud do we have to yell? How much do we have to suffer before someone says "yup...lupus is important and we need to find a cure?" Lupus affects so many people...many more than people think. I'm also sure that illnesses and diseases that are more well known still have continued funding, even though these so-called well known diseases and illnesses don't have as many people suffering from them as Lupus does. It's a shame.

Here are some pictures for the Flare for Fashion show. I'm waiting on some video footage of the show as well. At that point, i'll post that as well!











Tuesday, October 14, 2008

DIE-alysis!

Ok, now maybe the title is overly dramatic. It was either DIE-alysis or Dialy-PISSED. But either way, I was annoyed.

It all began on Saturday night. I went through my normal procedure for setting my machine up:

**Open the valve for my water and turn it on, therefore allowing my machine to rinse.
**Grab my saline bags, syringes, needles, iv 3000, etc.
**turn my machine on, then put the lines on
**Draw 3 syringes of saline, 1 syringe of heparin. Attach the heparin to the machine and infuse until the saline just reaches the tubing.
**Prepare my gauze that I'll use to stop the bleeding after I'm done dialysis in the morning, then place them back into the paper wrapper I took them out of
**open the 2 bandages that I plan to put on both of my buttonhole sites after I have finished clotting. Place those in with the gauze
**Use 2 of the 3 syringes to prime my needles.
**cut my iv 3000 down to size so that it's just the right size for my arm.

At this point my machine is ready to do the dialysate preparation. I connect the acid and the bicarb and away it goes. I take this time to brush my teeth, wash my face, etc.

This is the step I was at when it all went down. I had finished brushing my teeth and there was still water in the sink. We had been having problems with the sink so this wasn't new. My mom saw it too and decided to take a plunger to the sink. It all went downhill from there.

It was at this point that water started backing up out into the sink. If left for about 10 minutes...the sink would overflow. My mom proceeded to use a bucket to remove the water from the sink.

Dad came home and looked at it. He was equally baffled. I felt nervous. At this point, even though I said that I would turn the machine off, my dad insisted that I connect to my machine as I normally would. I wondered why and how that would work, unless someone planned on sitting at the sink all night long and removing the water from the sink and dumping it into the toilet or bathtub (neither of which were backed up). Even if Mom and/or Dad did want to do that I wouldn't feel right about that for two reasons. The idea that the sink was backing up in the first place bothered me a lot...a lot to the point where I was getting heart palpatations and felt the need to take my blood pressure. My heart rate and bp where slightly elevated. Secondly...No! No way am I going to sleep peacefully knowing that my parents are dying of tiredness. Just not worth it.

Finally I convinced my Dad to agree with me that it was a good idea to let me disconnect myself so I did. I disconnected, turned my machine off (without disinfecting), pulled my needles out, clotted my arm off, bandaged my arm off, then went to sleep.

The next day I was woken up by the sound of my Dad working away at the drain. God bless my Dad, who spent the remainder of that day trying to fix the problem. He tried different things and he plugged away and plugged away to no avail. He even by-passed going to church just to work on that drain. My Dad is the best Dad anyone could ever hope for.

Finally, end of the day, my Dad couldn't solve the problem completely. We decided that it'd just be a good idea to simply call the same plumbers who did the dialysis set up for me in the first place. We had called another plumber that the guy at Rona referred us to. He refused our request for help as soon as he heard the words "medical equipment". I wasn't asking him to repair my machine, just fix the fricken blocked drain! But alas, I commend someone for admitting that they aren't sure about something and would therefore rather stay away.

The next day was Monday, which is a holiday here in Canada (thanksgiving). I woke up at the crack of dawn to go to dialysis at the hospital. Ahh...how did I wake up at this crazy hour 3 times a week for like 4 years? Eww.

Dialysis went well. I didn't get deathly ill, but at the same time Rose drugged me up at the very beginning of dialysis with gravol. I sat for the 4 hours and was content with playing games on my sister's Nintendo DS and watching the food channel on two different tvs.

After dialysis, I wasn't as exhausted as I usually am after a 4 hour run. That's only because my body is still confused. I knew that if I did it again in 2 days my body would be wise to my 4 hour dialyzing ways and would punish me big time. Definitely not what I want the day of the Flare for Fashion show.

Anyhow, it being a holiday weekend, I couldn't get a hold of the same plumbers who did my dialysis hook up the first time. I'd have to wait until tomorrow.

After a miscommunication with the dialysis tech at the hospital, today I came home and paged my dad and asked him what was going on with the plumber. He told me that the tech had told him that he was going to call the plumber for me. Sounded right, as that is the same thing the tech told me. So I decided to call the tech.

I called the tech and he seemed quite shocked when I asked him if he called the plumber. He told me that he gave me the plumber's number, which is true, but he also told both me and my dad that he was going to call on my behalf. Perhaps both my dad and I have hearing problems.

Anyhow, I called the plumber. The line was busy. Damnit! I waited 5 minutes and called back. I got a delightful lady who told me what the price was per hour. $90. Then $30 every additional half an hour. Nuts. Well... I needed my machine. I asked her when they could come and she said she wasn't sure if they could come today. I told her that this was for my dialysis machine and I need dialysis, so if they COULD come today I'd be greatful. She understood and sympathized. She told me that she'd send someone later today and that she'd call me when they were on their way.

About 20 minutes later, my doorbell rang. Shortly after, I heard a knock at the door. "Already??" I thought.

I looked through the peephole and I saw the two plumbers. They both walked in. Martin and Tosha were their names. Yep, Tosha is a girl's name. Perhaps it's sexist or perhaps it's not politically correct for me to even mention that Tosha was a girl plumber. All I know is that she's wicked cool.

I led the way to the room. "Work away" I said. I was going back downstairs to finish eating my pizza slice.

Some time passed when I heard Martin's voice "Excuse me," he said, "can you come and turn your machine on?"

I came upstairs and turned the R.O. on. No backing up. I asked him to turn the water in the sink on. No backing up. Ohh...I'm a happy girl right about now.

I thanked Martin and Tosha for their services. Martin asked me if he was to bill the hospital, or if I was going to pay, etc. I told him that I'd be paying. He went back to the truck and got the invoice. He called the office and they told him what to charge. $90. $90 plus tax actually, so it was $94.50. I gave him $105. He gave me back $10.50. He has $94.50, I have a working drain so I can dialyze at home. Everyone's happy.

Now I have to run my water for at least an hour, then I have to disinfect my machine. Then I have to figure out how I'm going to cannulate with two sharps as I have to develop two new button hole sites...

...but that, my friend, is a whole new blog entry altogether!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Yummy and Fab-U-lous!

I spent the afternoon with Daddy. There's this great Chinese food place near Sick Kid's hospital that my dad went to with one of his bosses on Tuesday and he really liked it. He told me that he'd take me there on Friday (today), so we went!

We got there at around 12:10pm. There was a lineup of about 10 people waiting to be seated. I could definitely see that the was a good spot to be just by looking at the waiting people who could have easily left and went elsewhere. Dad and I were annoyed by line jumpers, though. 2 ladies in particular came in. They were well dressed in what appeared to be business attire. They spoke to each other in chinese as they non-chalontly walked passed the line and to the front. Since it was crowded and loud, Dad and I couldn't hear what was being said...but we didn't need to. A lady at the front of the line, a very animated one might I add, pointed at the back of the line while her lips moved angrilly. They 2 ladies sheepishly returned and joined the back of the line. What were they tryna pull anyways??

The line up was deceiving. Dad and I were seated shortly afterwards, mostly because there was only 2 of us. The only stipulation was that we had to share our table with others. There were 2 ladies on one side of the table, another two ladies on another side, then myself and dad also, making 6 of us at the round table.

I looked over the numbered menu and thought about what I would get. I saw another meal get placed onto the table and the plate was quite large! Was this going to be my meal size? ? I ate such a big breakfast...I didn't expect that Dad would want to be up and out of the house at 11:45am. I then had to also take into consideration the fact that Dad would probably be hungry as he usually Fasts on Fridays until 12pm.

I looked over the menu and narrowed it down to one of two rice dishes: black bean or schezuan. I also had to decide between chicken of beef. I first of all decided that I wanted beef, as often times chinese food places that have chicken dishes have chicken pieces that still have the skin on it. Yeck! So after much consideration, I went for the black bean beef.

My dad got his meal in like 5 minutes! He ordered a meal that had duck and something else...I think chicken. My meal came shortly afterwards...black bean chicken???

"Um...I ordered the beef."

"Oh, sorry."

My meal with the beef came 2 minutes later. Wowzers! I began eating and realized very quickly that this was REALLY good, and I was quite disappointed that I wasn't starving and wouldn't be able to eat the entire meal. But it's all good because I plan to eat the leftovers right after I type this entry!

After our fantastic meal, it was time for me to go and pick out an outfit for the 'Flare for Fashion' fashion show part of the evening. Dad and I drove around for a while before we found the place, so luckily we left the restaurant at 1:00pm and my appointment was for 1:30pm.

I got to Images That Suit, the place that I'd be getting my outfit, at around 1:15pm. I met a lovely lady named Vera who welcomed me very warmly. We went into a room and chatted. She asked me about my life, my diagnoses, the symptoms that I presented with before going to the hospital, etc. She was very kind, a great listener, and I felt extremely comfortable right away.

She asked me which colours I liked, and looked at what I was wearing. I was wearing a black tanktop/boy beater with a grey short sleeved blazer. She came out with some outfits and I was pretty excited about that.

Believe it or not, the very first outfit I tried on was "the one". It was a simple, almost blazer style jacket. It wasn't just any blazer, though. It was pretty funky. I stood there, looking in the mirror as Vera tied up the waist of the jacket. She gave me a pair of pants to wear too which were just fantastic. They were brown with a crease down the middle and they fit me perfectly. I naively asked her how much the pants were, and she told me that they were made my a german designer, who was the same person who made my jacket. When I noticed a $500+ price tag on the jacket, I didn't dare look at the tag on the pants! But hey, a girl can dream. Maybe one day...LoL.

I tried on a couple of other things, like another blazer style top, a leather jacket, a pull over sweater, and a button down sweater. It was fun. I felt like those celebrities with their personal stylists, because after speaking to me, Vera picked out some outfits that were in another room and brought them into the room that I was in. She basically spoke to me, got a feel for who I was, and chose an outfit based on that. She was spot on in that I actually may not have chose those things for myself had I seen them in a store, but when I put them on, I was delighted.

Just to accent the outfit, she tried out two different necklaces: one was a large wooden style beaded necklace, and the other one was a necklace with a flat,large gold pendant. The wooden-style necklace definitely added the exclamation mark to what was a great outfit.

If I'm going to be a model, I'm going to have to get used to taking my top off in front of people! When Vera wanted me to put on one of the sweaters, I took the sweater and stared at her, waiting for her to leave the room! Hahaha...she told me that backstage at the show I'd need to get used to getting dressed in front of others. It's ok though...it's not like I was naked or anything.

I had a great time and I'm looking forward to seeing the finished video too. It's coming up quickly. I also can't wait to wear the dress that I bought to wear during the rest of the show. It's fantastic too...and quite the lucky find! :)
 
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