Friday, May 30, 2008

Thoughts on Mineral Makeup

In a previous post entitled "Taking some SKIN-itiative", I discussed various skin care regimes I planned to try. I discussed actual skin cleansing systems as well as makeup. Since then, I've talked about the different skin cleansers and systems I've used, but never really got into detail about makeup. As I mentioned in the skin-itiative post, I decided to utilize the now very popular sample kits offered by most mineral makeup companies on the internet.

I ordered quite a few samples from various companies, but only actual tried a few on my face. Some companies had colours that were called "dark" or "espresso" and things like that, yet when I got them and looked at them, even Gwenyth Paltrow would find it too light! There were others that I didn't feel too motivated to try because they came in a little plastic baggie and not in an actual container. I had a couple of problems with that. If I happened to tap some of the product out of the baggie and into another container...what if I tapped too much out? How would I get it back into the baggie? Also, I wouldn't really want to put it into a separate container as I'd have to clean the container out after applying each different colour as not to mix the colours up.

The two major brands that I tried were Everyday minerals and Valana minerals.

First, everyday minerals. There was much that I loved about everyday minerals. One of the things that I really liked was the fact that each foundation colour had a formula choice. When you find a colour that you like, you then select from 1 of 4 formula choices. Those choices include Semi-matte, matte, intensive, and original glo. This is a great thing, considering the fact that different people want different things in makeup, such as coverage for scars. Other people may want a makeup that helps control shine, while others just want light coverage for an even look.

Another definite positive was the samples. In my opinion, the definition of a sample is something that is free to try! Hehehe. In this case, the samples were actually free to try, and all you pay for is shipping. The samples come in little pots, which are great.

Once you get your samples and have decided on a colour, you can then select a size. You're not restricted to getting just one large container....you can choose between small and large, which is great. And, let's not forget the overall price! A small container of the mineral makeup is just $5usd, while a large container is only $12usd. Most companies don't even sell their eye makeup for $12, nevermind a huge container of mineral makeup! I also appreciated the fact that their brushes were inexpensive, as well as the fact that they sell empty containers should you want to mix different colours together to achieve your perfect shade.

I tried and I tried as I really wanted to be able to find a colour that matches my skin exactly. When I tried the samples out, it was basically between two colours, one of which was much too light and the other too dark. I figured that perhaps if I mixed the two together, I'd get a perfect match. It didn't work. But this is a fantastic makeup line, and anyone who is looking into getting mineral makeup, I'd recommend it.

Now, to all those dark skinned women out there reading this blog, both you and I both know how annoying it is to put on makeup, then look in the mirror a short time later and see how horrid the foundation you put on makes your face look. You know, that "ashy" look? Well you could imagine my delight when I found out about Valana minerals: a mineral makeup line created by...*gasp*...an African American woman! This excited me as I knew that this brand of makeup couldn't possibly leave me looking all ashy and down-right strange.

So, I went on the Valana minerals website and bought my samples. With this line of makeup being geared towards woman of colour, including those with olive skin tones and also those of asian decent, I knew that this would probably be a good brand for me. I purchased all different colours, just in case what I saw on my screen isn't what I actually got. Sometimes it's hard to tell since different monitors have different colour display settings.

I was pretty glad that I purchased such a wide variety of colour. For whatever reason, I sometimes think I'm darker than I really am. If I only chose the colours that I thought would match my skin tone, I'd have ended up disappointed and with a bunch of samples that didn't match my skin. Much to my surprise (and delight) I found a colour that was my perfect match. That colour is called Gentle Amber. The colour is simply spot on where my skin tone is concerned. I often leave my house at 7:15-ish in the morning to head out to my daily destination. After taking gentle amber for a day test run, I was delighted to find that my makeup still looked pretty darned good when I came home in the evening. Gentle Amber is the makeup for me.

I received my first full sized container of Gentle Amber this past Wednesday and I'm quite pleased. While I think the price and quality of the products at everyday minerals are great, I just couldn't get it to match my skin colour. So, if you're a woman of colour and you have trouble finding makeup that matches your skin tone, why not give Valana minerals a try?

Oh, and also, both makeup lines make makeup that doesn't have bismuth, talc, or any of those othere icky products likely to irritate your skin/ cause your skin to break out (like I need anything to help me do that).

So, that's my review!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Limited Use & Section 8!

I just recently started submitting my drug receipts to trillium drug plan for reimbursement. I'm still getting used to how their system works.

I have coverage through my place of work as well, however I do not have 100% coverage. Whatever my place of work does not cover will go through trillium. Once I've paid my quarterly deductible, trillium will reimburse me for the rest of my drug costs.

I had mailed my official drug receipts to trillium for evalutation. About 2 weeks later, I got a response in the mail in an 8 x 11 envelope. In many cases, receiving a large envelope is good news (ie when you apply for university and you're receiving an acceptance letter). In this case, this large envelope was basically telling me that I needed to obtain a limited use form and/or a section 8 in order for my cellcept and omeprazole to be covered under the plan. For limited use, I have to fit under a certain criteria in order to be eligible to receive coverage for that drug. For example, the omeprazole for me is covered under limited use because of the reason I'm using it (for my stomach/reflux,etc.) So basically what I'm going to do is forward to them a copy of a new prescription for that medication, where on the prescription my doctor wrote a limited use code and also stated that this applies for my previous omeprazole prescriptions as well.

When if comes to cellcept, I do not fit under the stated Limited Use criteria. It states that I can be covered if I have had a transplant, and it lists different types of transplants. But I don't have a transplant....I'm taking it because I reacted badly to cyclophosphamide. This is where the section 8 comes in. My doctor has to fill out this form requesting that trillium allow me to receive coverage for this medication because I cannot take cyclophosphamide due to the side effects and negative reactions I've had to it. I now have that letter as well, so I have to forward that to an individual review board, where they review my doctor's request and then say "Yes" or "No" to his request with an explanation.

I'm going to scan both the prescription and also the section 8 form and email them off, as that is one of my options (wee, technology! Hopefully that means it won't take FOREVER!)

I hope everything works out well. I don't want any more delays....nor do I want to have to beg my doctor to write me another note. I feel like I bother him and my nurse Rose so much! It would also be nice to get back some of that moolah that I've dished out already in order to adequately medicate myself.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Obagi Clenziderm-Normal to Oily Skin - Day 1

I received my Obagi Clenziderm skin care system in the mail today. When I got home, I found the package waiting for me at my door. After eating, I opened the package and read all of the instructions very carefully. While I planned to read everything carefully anyways, I was especially inclined to read everything carefully because there was a little card along with the package...basically telling you in big bold letters to READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!

So I read the instructions and went on to utilize step 1, which was the cleansing wash. I liked the way it felt on my skin. It was almost a wintery, minty, pepperminty feel. My skin felt very clean and that mentholy feeling was quite soothing. As per the instructions, I was to dry my skin after using the cleanser with a towel, then wait about 10 minutes to allow it to air dry as well. I took that oppourtunity to set up my dialysis machine and prepare everything I needed before I put myself on.

After drawing up my heparin and putting my saline, bloodlines, and dialyzor on the machine, I decided to go ahead with step 2 which was the toner which was called pore therapy. I didn't feel much with the toner, or perhaps my skin was just still nice and tingly from the cleanser. The pore therapy is basically supposed to remove dead skin cells, rempve excess dirt, and also prep your skin for step 3. I washed my hands and went back to my dialysis machine. I connected my bicart and my acid as well as prepared my gauzes for the next day. After that, I went on to step 3, which was the serum gel. For me, this was the most intriguing step of the whole system. The serum gel has some sort of potent liquefied benzoyl peroxide in it. The fact that it is liquefied is supposed to help it get into your pores more readily in order to kill bacteria and dry out acne. It felt tingly on my skin, but didn't burn. It did really feel like something was happening.

After setting up everything else where my machine was concerned, including preparing my button hole needles, getting my sitting/standing blood pressures, my temperature, etc., I decided to put a light moisturizer on my face. As per some of the previous reviews I've read, this system can be drying on the face. I allowed the serum gel to penetrate into my skin for a good amount of time before putting any moisturizer on my face. The product line also reommends putting sunscreen on if you use the system in the morning as the serum will make your skin sensitive to the sun. Since this is a once a day ONLY program, I've decided to use it only at night. I decided against using it in the morning because I didn't want to expose my skin to the outdoor sun right after using the system. Also, the fact that I have to pause like 10 minutes after step 1 would really eat into my time. In the mornings after I wash my face, I also need time to do my makeup too...so it was just take too much time. I will continue to use rx for brown skin in the mornings.

So, I'll report back with my findings where obagi clenziderm is concerned in 7 days! Credit will also go to rx for brown skin as I am using it in the morning. Pictures will be taken in 7 days, and compared with the last set of pictures that I took for the rx for brown skin experiment.

Monday, May 26, 2008

RX for Brown Skin- Day 28...!

First of all, I'd like to say that my camera is somewhere (probably in another purse) and I do not feel like searching for it right now. I'll post pics later.

Next, I'd like to apologize for how long it took me to finally post this blog. I'm sure plenty of you are wondering about RX for brown skin, how effective it is, etc.

Well, let me say this. I'm sure that RX for brown skin works really well for some, but for me, so far it's just sustaining. By sustaining, I mean that my skin has probably gotten slightly better, but nothing dramatic. I know most skin care regimes recommend a 6-8 week waiting period....so I remain patient. In fact, I'm actually pleased with the fact that RX for brown skin has been sustaining my skin for me. In the past, products that I've used not only didn't help at all, but they actually made my skin worse. That being said, I'll continue to use rx for brown skin for now. Perhaps if it helps maintain my skin and I suffer fewer breakouts, my current scars will also begin to fade and my skin will smooth out.

While I plan to continue to use RX for brown skin in the mornings, I have ordered a different skin care regime that I will begin to use in the pm. The name of that system is the Obagi Clenziderm M.D. Acne Therapeutic System. It came recommended. For the most part, this product requires a doctor's prescription, however I was able to find it only (ebay) without a prescription. There is another skin care system by Obagi named Obagi Nu-derm, however after reading some of the reviews for that product, it seemed very harsh and strong, whereas the Clenziderm seemed effective but not as harsh.

Geeze, I hope I don't end up poor before I find something that actually works exceptionally well for me....poor and still with bad skin! LoL.

My Clenziderm should be coming anyday now in the mail. I should mention that it came recommended from one of the readers of my blog. She commented under my Prednisone entry. Knowing that a fellow prednisone user has success with it is encouraging. Of course I know that everyone's skin is different, but I do hope that my skin ends up being receptive to Obagi.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Thankful

I'm thankful that a good amount of the time I spend walking...I'm actually limping because my hip, knee, and/or ankle hurts


In 2005, even my very own doctors, the ones I trusted (and still do trust) with every inch of myself looked at me with sorrow in their eyes when they saw me in that hospital bed. In a hospital bed, unable to get up to even walk to the washroom that was less than 6 feet away. When I think about how pissed off I get when I have to take a pain killer just to be able to walk around for any extended period of time...I also think about that point in time when I couldn't walk. Period.



I'm thankful that I'm near-sighted in one eye and far sighted in the other


I remember that day like it was yesterday, but it was actually a good 10 years ago. I was at the bus stop outside of my high school. School was done for the day and I was waiting for the bus so that I could go home. It was a sunny spring day so I held my jacket in my hand. Across the street was a newly opened burger joint called Hungry Harry's (yummy).
"Hey Flow!" is what I heard. Someone was greeting me from across the street, right in front of Hungry Harry's. I looked across the street.....and I saw nothing. All I saw was a white cloud. It was because of the sun. The sun....and the cataracts in both of my eyes. I smiled and waved back happilly, really having no idea who was greeting me because I couldn't see them, but having a vague idea of where they were because of where I heard the greeting come from. Soon after, I had cataract removal surgery in one of my eyes, and then on the other one a short time afterwards. Because the lense of my eye needed to be cut open to remove the cataract...my eyes no longer have the ability to focus on their own. Strangely enough, it left me near sighted in one eye and far sighted in the other. The good news is, if a friend yells a greeting from across the street, I simply close my near-sighted eye, smile, and wave back to the friend who I can now see perfectly fine.




I'm thankful I got to see my big brother shed tears for me


Much like my father, my brother was a man that I looked up to. He's a quite and gentle soul, but he always looked out for me...that's for sure. When we were younger, we were side kicks. Frick and Frack. Tom and Jerry. Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. He was always there to protect me against the things that make little girl's cry. You know, bugs, knee scrapes, bullies...the usual. While he has seen me cry several times, I had never seen him shed a tear. But we helped each other. He taught me how to ride my bike, and I came to his rescue when his legs went numb from doing too many leg presses in our basement gym. He taught me how to play street fighter, and I sat beside him on the couch to give him a shoulder to lay his head on when he had a headache. When I was in the hospital in 2005, my brother came to visit me. My father and mother were also there. I was explaining to them how I felt...just in passing...without even really thinking about it. "It sucks. I can't move my arms, I can't move my legs...I feel like I'm paralyzed basically." That's what I said. After a few short moments, I looked at my brother. He saw me looking at him and he quickly turned away. It was too late; I had already seen the tears rolling down his face. He quickly left my hospital room and went into the hallway. My father followed him outside. I could understand how he must have felt. He had spent his whole life protecting and shielding me from the bad things....and here I was. Something "bad" had happened and not only could he not stop it...he couldn't fix it. Several people who have had what was thought to be a "less" severe brain growth that I had subsequently died. I'm happy to be alive. I'm happy that I was alive to see my brother cry. Underneath that protective and invincible exterior was still a brother, wanting to protect his little sister. I'm sure he's also happy that he was shedding tears of frustration rather than tears of despair.



I'm happy that I have a big, jagged scar on my stomach

I've always liked my stomach. It was small, pretty flat, with just a tiny bit of a pooch. But, the pooch was just perfect: not big enough to show through my clothing, but big enough to give me at least a little bit of meat on my bones...bones which I must say do not have very much meat. Then...severe stomach pain. Before I knew it, I was in the recovery room...recovering from colostomy surgery. I was lucky enough to get it reversed....and lucky enough to be left with ONLY a scar on my stomach. It's so strange because I know that I had been walking around with a perforated bowel for at least a few months. My doctor had mentioned that sometimes the stomach heals itself. I think that's what happened to me...but then a few months later it perforated itself again. But, if in fact it did perforate itself again for the 2nd time, I had been experiencing bad stomach pain for at least a week-10 days, and very severe pain for about 3 days. Soon after my surgery, I read about a woman who was in the emergency room of a hospital, vomiting on the floor...but she wasn't seen by a doctor until much later. She had begun experiencing pain just a few hours earlier. She ended up having a perforated bowel. She died on the floor of the emergency room...having never lived to even be seen by an emergency room doctor. I'm thankful for my scar, because if not for that scar, I wouldn't be alive today. I had one of my blog readers, Kevin, remind me of that. Not that I forgot, but a reminder was certainly due...and necessary.





I could go on and on, but I'll leave that for another day. I guess my point is the fact that no matter who we are or what hand the game of live deals us...we'll always have something to be upset about or resentful about. On the flip side, we'll also always have something to be thankful about too.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Neglecting my Blog Because I'm Exhausted!

This week has been a busy week.

Sunday May 11 was my birthday so I spent the day out with my sister (who also happens to have her birthday on May 11...I was born on her 8th birthday). We went for brunch, went shopping, and caught a comedy show.

The next day, I went to work.

From Tuesday to Friday, I took the intermediate cake decorating course at Bonnie Gordon's school of Cake Design. It's a great course, but also very tiring for me. I can't remember the last time I've committed to doing something for so many hours in one week. I was exhausted by the end of the week, but was very pleased with the result of my wedding cake.

Oh, and I'll post pics of my face for the rx for brown skin before and after pics on a later date. Right now I'm exhausted and slightly annoyed with the fireworks going off across the street from my house....!



Here's a picture of my cake. My assignment was to make a cake for a December 31 wedding. The colours of the wedding were white on white, silver, and crystal.



This is a picture of the cake topper. It's a vase made out of sugar, filled with snow flakes. The bride wanted a cake topper that she could take home/keep after the ceremony. What do you think of my first wedding cake? :-)

Friday, May 9, 2008

What A Moron!

It being just over a month since I began home dialysis, I'm beginning to run out of supplies, so I've been calling companies to have supplies delivered.

I procrastinated a bit longer than I would have liked when it came to calling up the company that supplies my acid concentrate, but I called them this afternoon. I still have a box left of acid concentrate and there are 4 jugs in a box, so I'll be fine until I receive my shipment.

Today would usually be my dialysis day off, however I made the decision to dialyze today. Sunday May 11 (also known as mother's day) is actually my birthday. Not only is it my birthday, bit it's my older sister's birthday too...I was born on her 8th birthday (and yes, I'm aware that I'll likely get ripped off in the gift department when I become a mother myself....I'll be getting the happy mother's day/birthday gift). I wanted to dialyze on Friday night so that I could go out and stay out late without having to come home and dialyze on Saturday night.

There was still some time before I wanted to put myself on, so I did all of the little things that I'd need to do before actually turning my machine on. I prepared my gauzes that I would need in the morning to clot. I hung my saline bags and I then went on to draw up 3 saline syringes: 2 for cannulation, and 1 for transfusion ( I transfuse using one needle only, then use saline to put the blood back in my venous needle back into my vein). I opened up the IV3000 tape that I would use to secure my needles.

When it was time to put the tubing onto my machine, I went into my supplies room to grab a bottle of concentrate. I opened up the box that just a bit of the jug showing.

Uh oh.

It was a box of citric acid...not acid concentrate.

I immediately started to panic. "Oh great! Now what am I gonna do??"

It has become very apparent that I won't be dialyzing tonight. I'll have to swing by the hospital tomorrow to steal some bottles, as I managed to get a hold of the dialysis unit at 10pm, just around the time when people would STOP answering the phone. Thank goodness they answered!

Not the Answer I Was Looking For

Yesterday was my appointment with the plastic surgeon Dr. Bray and also with my nephrologist Dr. Richardson.

The bad news started the moment I stepped up to the secretary at Dr. Bray's office. I presented my hospital card and my health card while telling her that I had an appointment at 10am. She fiddled around with her computer, then blankly answered "your appointment is at 1:00pm". I told her that I was told it was at 10am, and she said I was mistaken. Untrue. When Dr. Bray's office called my house to inform me of this appointment, I wasn't able to answer the phone. It was late in the morning, and I was in the middle of taking myself off of my very first home dialysis. Rose, my nurse, answered the phone for me. She took a message and wrote it down for me and even repeated the information. I remember her saying 10am...and that aside, she wrote it down. Perhaps the secretary who had called my house was mistaken, but I certainly know that I wasn't.

"Well it'll be the doctor's choice as to whether or not he can see you earlier."

"Well, can you tell the doctor that I have another appointment at 1pm at another hospital?"

"It'll be the doctor's choice as to whether or not he can see you earlier. Please have a seat."

I bit my lip, picked my unnecessarily large purse up off the counter, and sauntered on over to an empty seat. I began to organize my dialysis log sheets in preparation for my next appointment when I was called in. It had only been about 10 minutes. I was thankful that I would have to sit in that waiting room for 3 hours.

I was escorted into another room where I waited anothe 10-15 minutes. The first doctor that came in was not Dr. Bray. It was a female doctor who's name escapes me at the moment. We discussed my concerns with my stomach and she asked me to stand up so she could look at it. She drew a fairly accurate sketch of my stomach in the file sitting on the desk. She also asked me if I did a lot of sit ups. I told her that I honestly hadn't. She asked me to lie down and flex my stomach as she felt around. My stomach muscles are still pretty tight. She told me that she'd be back with Dr. Bray.

Dr. Bray and the female doctor returned after about 5 minutes. I reiterated to him what I was looking for. He then told me that he was concerned with the fact that I was on prednisone, plaquenil, and MMF. He said he wouldn't have been so worried if I were only on prednisone, but he was concerned with the fact that I was on all 3. "Are you ever going to come off of those medications?" He asked me.

I explained to him that I have lupus, and the chances that I'll be off of those medications are slim to nil. Even if I were to come off any of those medications, it would probably be because some other medication came up that my rheumatologist wanted me to use.

"Well, at this point, I'd say no. I don't think you'll heal properly, and I don't want to do it because of the medications y0u're on."

All I could think in my head was "what?"

I thanked the doctor for his time and headed to the elevator, fighting tears back. When I got to the hospital door where I would need to stand in order to catch the shuttle bus that would take me to the hospital where my next appointment would be, I could feel the tears rolling down my cheek. I quickly rummaged through my huge bag until I found my sunglasses and put them on.

I've been through so much in my life. So many negative things. I feel like every part of my body has been damaged in some way. My legs are full of bruises that don't seem to go away, likely due to the fact that prednisone makes my skin thin. Because of that, I don't make it a habit of wearning anything that shows my legs. My left hip, right knee, and now my ankles hurt...because of prednisone. I had cataract removal surgery on both eyes and now I need glasses because my eyes cannot focus on their own....because of prednisone. I have a bumpy fistula in my left arm...a definite deterrent for me when I go to a store and see a really cute tank top. It is a rare, rare day that you'll ever hear me complain about any of that.

Now, I have a huge gash down the middle of my stomach due to what I think was human/hospital error, and all I want is to get it fixed...and I get shot down?? All these negative things keep happening to me, and I just want one thing to make me feel remotely better and I cannot have it? I was shocked at the plastic surgeon's answer...and pretty much not convinced either. As I got on the shuttle bus and sat down, I had made up my mind that I was going to ask my nephrologist to refer me to a different plastic surgeon.

I tried to raise my spirits up. When I got to the other hospital, I went directly to the home hemo department to complain. Rose wasn't there...only Stella. So I complained to her. She was very sympathetic towards me and certainly understood how I felt.

After shooting the breeze for a while, it was time for my appointment with Dr. Richardson. I headed to the correct floor and went to sign in at about 12:50.

"You're appointment isn't actually until 2pm, but I'll tell them you're here."

I could literally feel my eye twitching. Luckily, again, I was called in quickly by Stella.

I spoke to a female doctor (sorry, i'm bad with remembering names). She was very nice. She asked me the basic questions about my energy, my drop in hemoglobin, my fistula's performance, my medications, etc. After that, she went to call Dr. Richardson.

When he came in, I told him what happened with the plastic surgeon. He seemed genuinely surprised by what the surgeon had said, but didn't comment on it further. He told me to come and see him again in 2 months.

When he left, the other female doctor and Stella were still there. When the female doctor asked me if I needed anything....I told her that I wanted to be referred to another plastic surgeon. Stella jumped in and said "Yeah! Let's go ask Dr. Richardson before he disappears!"

We saw him just outside of the door. Again, fighting back tears, I told him I wanted to be referred to another surgeon. I told him (and as he always tells me and even other doctors when he's introducing them to me) that I don't complain about anything and I don't ask for a lot. This happens to be something I want, and I want to see someone else about it. He agreed whole-heartedly and agreed to refer me to a plastic surgeon who just so happened to move into the office next door to him. I was happy that he agreed with me and was so receptive.

I went home that day and felt a little bit better...but was still upset. Why, why, why can't I just have ONE THING THAT I WANT!!!???

I swear I'll have a freak attack if this new surgeon tells me to go fly a kite too.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Clinic Appointment Tomorrow

Tomorrow will be my first clinic appointment with my nephrologist, Dr. Richardson. That'll be around noon or 1pm. Tomorrow will also be my appointment with Dr. Bray, the plastic surgeon. I suppose tomorrow will be the day that I get assessed by this plastic surgeon and he'll tell me whether or not such a surgery will be covered by OHIP.


I'll report on both of those appointments later. My ankle still hurts. Also, the avascular necrosis in my left hip is also acting up. Damn you, prednisone.

Monday, May 5, 2008

RX for Brown Skin- Day 7

So it's been 7 days since I've received and started using RX for brown skin. I just washed my face and decided to take my day 7 pics. While I was using it, I thought that my skin looked less dull and more alive. Since it has only been 7 days, there isn't much difference. I noticed that some parts of my skin looked better, whereas other parts (such as around my chin) seemed to perhaps be more broken out. I do understand that often times skin does get slightly worse before getting better when started out a new skin care regime, so I remain optimistic for even greater results.

As I may or may not have stated, this skin care line isn't available in Canada for purchase so I ordered it from Sephora via the internet. My sister went to Las Vegas recently and bought me an SPF 15 Cream which is also from the rx for brown skin care line, so I've also been using that in conjunction with the other products since last week wednesday (5 days).

You'll also notice that my skin looks a little red/pink in the Day 7 pictures. The moisturizer has Salicylic acid in it which would be the reason my skin is red, and also the reason that my skin feels tingly after I put the lotion on. It may also be the fact that I put a small dot of the moisturizer in my hand and also a small dot of the spf cream in my hand, blend them together, then apply it to my face. Perhaps the combination of both is what is causing the redness and the tingling. The redness goes down pretty quickly. I'm also still using tazorac on my skin in the evening time after washing and moisturizing.

I've seen at least 3 different dermatologists in my lifetime and none of them have ever asked me to use a toner. In fact, one told me that it simply wasn't necessary. At the same time, his recommendations were the least effective for me. At any rate, I at first thought that I would use the entire rx skin care regime as directed, however I'd only use the toner once a day. I then decided against it. If I'm going to give an accurate portrayal of my experiences with this skin care line, I feel that it is important to utlize the product as directed.

I love the skin cleanser. I really like the feeling of using a foaming face wash that actually lathers up. It makes my skin feel really clean without making it feel dry or tight. I've also noticed a slight reduction in the oil slick that is my skin by mid day. It's still a bit oily, but not nearly as oily as before. I've especially noticed that my skin gets super oily after a few hours of applying makeup, but that has subsided as well. I saw a picture of myself with make up on while in a club this past Saturday and my skin did not look super shiny as it normally would in such a picture...especially in a hot club!

So far so good. I'll take another set of pictures and put them up next week. Check out the pictures below:


Day 1
Day 7

Day 1Day 7


DAY 1 Day 7

UPDATE: Irritated & Upset!

In my previous post, I spoke about one of the companies that deliver dialysis supplies to me. There was an issue of them wanting to charge me $100+ because they tried to deliver the supplies to me but there was no one home. The problem was that they arrived at my house 30-45 minutes earlier than they had said in their phone message.

This morning at around 9am, Sharon, the head nurse/nurse co-ordinator of the home dialysis unit called me back. She apologized for the late return of the phone message and told me that she had several meetings.

I reiterated the situation to her and she agreed with me completely. She told me that she would argue the charges with the supplies company and that I wouldn't have to pay a dime. I was happy to hear it! :)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Irritated & Upset!

First of all, I won't be mentioning any specific names as my intention is not to bash anyone, it's simply to express my lack of satisfaction where a certain situation is concerned.

Yesterday morning I stepped out of the house for a couple of hours. I was expecting a delivery of dialysis supplies yesterday too. As per previous patterns, I assumed that these supplies would be delivered in the evening. Nonetheless, I used my cell phone to check for messages that may have been left in the house. When I checked, I received a message from the person who would be delivering these specific supplies needed for dialysis. In the message, he told me that he would be at my house between 1pm and 2pm.

Much earlier than I had expected, but at any rate, I would still be home in time even if I hadn't received that message.

At around 12:35pm or so, I received a phone call on my cell. The call was from the company delivering the dialysis supplies. The lady on the line told me that "several attempts" had been made to try and deliver the items but there was no response. I told her that something had come up and I'd be home in about half an hour. She told me that they couldn't wait that long. She asked me if I'd be home the next day and I told her that I would. She told me that she'd need authorization from the hospital, and the supplies would be delivered the next day.

This morning at around 7:40am as I was getting ready to take myself off of dialysis, my house phone rang again. When I answered, it was that same lady from the supplies delivery company, calling to confirm whether or not I'd be home. I told her that I didn't have any plans to leave the house today. She told me that the hospital would be charged an extra fee of $120+ dollars due to the failed delivery the day before. I was shocked that she didn't mention that yesterday, or else I'd have argued the fact that the delivery person stated that he'd be at my house between 1pm and 2pm. I wasn't as shocked to hear (as I already assumed this) that this $120+ fee would eventually be coming out of my own pocket.

I called the home dialysis unit right after and spoke to one of the nurses. I explained the situation and she told me that I should speak to the head dialysis nurse for the home hemo unit (she'd be the person who'd call me after the hospital gets charged this fee), and also call the company back to tell them. It wouldn't be fair for me to get charged this amount. If I wasn't home between 1pm and 2pm, then I think it would be fair. But the driver left a message on my home phone at or just before 9am stating when he'd be there. I got home from where I was at around 1:10 or 1:15, but would have been home even sooner had I not received that phone call from the company telling me that they'd endevour to deliver the goods the following day. This company must consider that people have other things going on in their lives, such as work, family, etc, and if a delivery range is given, one mustn't be expected to stay home/by the door all day long to wait for a delivery...ESPECIALLY when such a specific delivery range was given. I can understand staying home all day for the phone company, or the cable company, as they often give time ranges of 9am-5pm. In this case, the range was so specific that I could only assume that the driver knew he'd be here between those times!

I've called the appropriate people and left messages at 9am today. It is now 12:48pm and I am yet to hear back from anyone so I'm hoping to hear back soon. I'm hoping someone calls me back (especially the representative from the company) in order to clear this up. Also, had I known that this would happen, I wouldn't have deleted the messge left for me by the delivery guy yesterday. I could kick myself.

Well that's my rant for the day. We'll see what happens.
 
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