Saturday, August 30, 2008

First Post Back From The UK

I'm been exceedingly lazy since returning from my trip and haven't posted any entries discussing anything since returning. I did manage to put up (most) of the posts from when I was actually travelling.

I've fallen in and out of illness for the past few days. In fact, I woke up last night with horrible nausea and stomach cramps. I did plan on going to work this morning, but me and my puking self had other plans. I'm in bed now and have been here all day.

I've taken this time in bed to compose my email to the airline my family and I flew with to the UK to discuss all of the fiascos that had occured, including feisty flight attendant. I hope to get a response/explanation soon.

The "Flare For Fashion" fashion show is fast approaching. In the near future it'll be time to go and record my personal story for the beginning of the show, which will be played just before myself and the other personal story tellers walk out on the stage.

I'm very happy to have found the dress that I'll wear to the show and after the runway bit. I wasn't at the point of stressing out about it yet, but I definitely did have my eyes peeled for a new dress, and luckily I found it! It's a blue, fitted yet loose fitting dress from Mendocino. It's a halter style dress, but the halter aspect of the dress is formed by a beaded necklace. It's nice!

I've also spent some time looking online for ideas on a cake that I have to make for September 14th. It's a cake that'll be going to a church service which is in celebration for a couple who recently got married. My main idea right now is to make a white or ivory coloured cake which has the appearance of a brown tree growing up the side of it. The tree will have red, orange, and yellowish flowers (or leaves, haven't decided yet) on it, and some on the "floor" of the cake as well. I think it's an appropriate choice for a cake in September...which I guess isn't quite fall, but is getting very close to it.

I ordered myself a brand new kitchenaid mixer yesterday from the shopping channel's website. I'm excited to get it, and I'm also excited to mail in the rebate form and get $50 back on it! LoL. One of the main selling points for me was the fact that it comes with some bakeware and accessories. The colour (described as boysenberry) is also fab.

Here's a picture of what will soon be my new pride and joy. LoL.


As one gets to know me well, they'll quickly learn that I'm VERY into things that have to do with cooking and food. I love reading cookbooks cover to cover. I love my little kitchen gadgets. I love to create things and see the look on people's faces when they see it. I can't wait to get this thing plugged in and start making some delectable baked treats!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Still Not Feeling Great

I still didn't feel 100% this morning. Definitely not well enough to sit thought a multi-hour church servce unfortunately. My father also began to feel unwell last night/this morning too. He had some spicy food last night. Spicy and my father definitely do not go together. So, Dad and I unwillingly and unwantingly skipped church.

After relaxig a bit, Dad took a shower and got dressed. I then followed suit. I played a few games on my cell, then a few games on my sister's Nintendo DS. I still wasn't feeling great, but I knew I'd feel better soon. Sheesh, now I know why, for me anyways, home nocturnal dialysis is better than in-centre.

Everyone came home soon after I decided I was done playing with the DS. I was pretty hungry as I only had 1 piece of toast for breakfast. It was now after 3pm. They brought back subs from subway!.....Unfortunately my good hearted sister got every single topping I wanted...except she got mayo it and I don't like mayo on my sub. They didn't have mustard or sub sauce and she didn't want to leave my sub sauceless. I took about 3 bites of the sub and could eat no more.

Aunty made me noodles and veggies. I also ate a peach.

Nothing else much was done today. I think I really needed this day to recover. Dialysis yesterday was awful because it reminded me of my in-centre days. Nocturnal can sometimes get frustrating/tiring when you consider the amount of work that has to go into it, but the alternative is feeling sick to my stomach every other day. I'll take home hemo to that, thanks! I would have liked to go out today, especially since I am yet to purchase ANYTHING, but again, I really needed this time to recover from that awful dialysis. I'm just lucky that the other (first) session went well so that I still had the energy to shop and stuff after dialysis on Tuesday. I think my body wasn't sure what was going on yet at that point, but by the next dialysis, my body was DEFINITELY on to me...and it certainly didn't appreciate it. Tomorrow's our last dady here in the UK...let's see what happens!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Home From Paris

My sister was already awake, but my fully clothed, brushed and bathed father knocked on my sister, my aunt, and my hotel door at 5:45am France time to tell us that it was time to wake up. We had to make sure we were beginning to check in for the Eurostar at least 30 minutes before departure and that meant we'd need to be there by 7:37am. Not a difficult task since the train station is across the street.

When I think of a continental breakfast, aside from that Simpsons episode where some filthy looking guy put some friend eggs in an envelope, I think of this past December when Dad and I went to Florida. The free daily breakfast was not only lame, but the only edible thing they DID have (cereal) was rendered inedible the last evening we were there because that particular hotel hadn't bothered to get milk...and had no plans to do so either.

The breakfast at our hotel was good. They had scrambled eggs (delicious and warm), sausages, croissants, veggies, fruit salad, various cereals, toast, tea, coffee, juices...plenty of goodies.



After checkout, we headed to the train station. Everyone cleared the metal detector without a hitch except Dad. We were already just under the wire time wise. Dad wisely flashed a delighted security guard his badge to explain that it must be this that was setting the metal detector off. She happily and quickly allowed him through.




The train ride home was uneventful, but the bus ride from the train station home took about an hour...not including waiting for the bus!

We got home, relaxed a bit, as after that it was off to trafalgar square. Little did my sister and I know that amongst our travels we'd be spend what seemed like decades shopping @ different material places. I guess my mom either wants to send material to Nigeria or she wants to have a lot of clothing made. Either way, highly boring.

We finally made it to trafalgar square. The olympics were heing shown on a large screen. There were tons of people there, which is likely why there weren't many birds there.








We had dinner at a local pizza place. We made a few stops along the way, then it was back home after a day that consisted mostly of commuting.

I should get some shut eye...dialysis tomorrow...!

This is Exactly Why In-Centre Sucks

Ugh, what an awful day. Dialysis was just dreadful. I started to feel REALLY awful about 3 hours into it. It started even before that when I had to have Mikyla recirculate for me about 2 hours in. I had to go to the washroom (they don't understand "washroom" here, you have to call it "the toilet"). After my washroom break, I tried to close my eyes and go to sleep again in spite of the incessant beeping of the machines. After a short nap, it began. The nausea, the sweating, the rapid heart beat.

I requested some saline which I got. They don't seem to like the idea of leaving someone in minimum for long periods of time. After only a few minutes, I was informed that UF would be turned back on but the total amount of fluid to be removed would be reduced. That lasted about 10 minutes, then I felt unwell again. In an attempt to take my mind off of the feeling of unwellness that I was feeling, and also taking into consideration that this would be my last day here, I decided to take out my camera and take a few more pictures:

Everyone gets a tv


The unit's isolation room


The fan pointed at me because I was "crashing and burning"


TVs all over the place


Helpful hemo assistant in white, dialysis patients in the back, Makyla in the far back with blonde hair



Everyone was very helpful. The hemo assistant shown in the above picture pulled my chair forward as it was too close to the wall in order to put my head back. Another nurse used the chair remote to put my head back, while the Makyla tended to my machine. The entire unit only had 4 nurses and 1 hemo assistant that day, so I was well taken care of. I completed my dialysis 15 or so minutes early.

What made it worse is the fact that my ride was 1 hour late coming to pick me up. Sitting and waiting when you're already unwell is a total drag.

When Aunty, Daddy, Mom and Sis finally arrived, I sluggishly walked over to the passenger seat. I eventually ended up in the very back of the mini van so that I could lie down.

Ginger ale seems to be very scarce here. I fell in and out of sleep, but I know my aunt made more than 1 stop to try and find my ginger ale. I remember waking up to my Dad's gentle shake of my arm. He had a plastic cup of giner ale and ice in his hand. I drank some but not a lot. I could feel that feeling in my stomach and in my throat...that "don't push your luck because you're gonna throw up" feeling. I also had a small piece of chicken.

My Mom had her heart set on going to a particular area in England that day. If I could describe it, I'd call it the "Little Nigeria" of England. It's called Peckham. No, not Bill Peckham. It's not nearly as nice as Bill Peckham.

My Dad decided to stay in the car with me, but I unfortunately (VERY unfortunately) had to use the "toilet". We found a public toilet. I'll spare you the details of how horrendously disgusting it was...but I had to go REALLY bad. Oh, what luck...no toilet paper. My dad went to a local store and thank God they had toilet paper. Ugh. My Dad cleaned the toilet up a bit for me. I put about 10 layers of toilet paper on the seat before I used the toilet...but I STILL didn't dare sit on that seat...that's for sure!

As we walked back to the car, there was Mom and my sister, holding McDonalds. "I bought you chicken McNuggets!" my Mom announced. My stomach responded with a nauseating turn as I waived the bag (and thought) of McNuggets away. When Dad and I told them about our disaster toilet visit, they told us that the toilet at McDonalds was extremely clean. I was less than impressed to hear that, especially since that was the direction Dad suggested we go in the first place until I saw the sign that said "public toilet".


After that, we went to pick up my uncle from work, then we headed home. I ate a tiny bit of toast, choked down my meds, and now it's time to try and get some shut eye. My stomach still feels unwell :(

Thursday, August 21, 2008

To Shop Or Not to Shop, THAT is the Question

Our day started at 5:40 early in the am. We headed on our 20 minute or so drive to the train station. When we got to the Euro Star, I simply had to have a cappucino and a croissant. We weren't actually IN France so I suppose it wasn't as "special". Oh well, morning meds (especially prednisone) waits for no one!



Our train arrived to pick us up at 6:45am. As the train pulled in, we heard a message over the PA system announcing that we had exactly 2 minutes to board the train as it would be leaving promptly after that time.

As usual, things just cannot occur without some sort of hitch. In each car of the train, there is only two tables side by side with a set of two chairs on two sides of the table, making a total of four seats per table, while the other seats are tableless 2 seaters. My aunt had specifically booked the 4 seater and one extra seat in the 4 seater beside it so that we could all chat. I was NOT surprised when we got to our table and saw other people sitting in our seats.

One of the women seated in our area asked how many of us there were. My aunt told her 5. She went on to complain to us that when she booked this train ride, she specifically requested a seat with a table.

My aunt, uninterested yet sympathetic at the same time, apologized to the lady...but informed her that as per the seat numbers printed on our tickets, these were OUR seats. She got up in a huff, determined to find someone to complain to.

A young and obviously disinterested manager eventually sauntered through our car and to the now very disgruntled lady. Without being too obvious that I was eavesdropping, I managed to hear the manager tell the lady and her friends to "write a letter to Eurostar". Wow...harsh! She was extremely angry that he and her friends wouldn't have a lousy table for the 2 hour train ride. My heart bled for her...!





Our otherwise pleasant train ride came to and end and we reached Paris. Thankfully, our hotel, the Mecure, was right across the street from the train station. This will make it easier to catch our 8:07am train back to England the following day.

We dropped off our bags in the room first, which was quite nice, then headed off to enjoy Paris.

It was wonderful, and one day definitely didn't do it justice. I could spend much more time exploring. I must admit that my sister and I were slightly irritated with the amount of time spend in jewellery stores *cough* Mom *cough*. We visited an area in Paris where the streets were littered with Pakistani men selling counterfeit sunglasses. We nearly got steamrolled by dozens of these men as they fled from the quickly approaching police. In that same area, we also saw a bank window that had 2 bullet holes in it. How approrpriate...?


In that same area of Paris, we also saw a store owner pick up a pepper that a shopper accidentally dropped onto the street. The pepper rolled under a parked truck. The store owner squatted down, picked up that filthy pepper, and put it right back onto his display without batting an eyelash. Note to self: wash all your produce! Then again, I'd have to place the blame squarely on anyone who dared buy any piece of produce from that establishment.

We spent a fair amount of time in some beautiful churches, including Sainte Elisabeth church and notre dame church. We saw a LOT of beautiful things actually. I can't even BEGIN to describe it all, so I selected and posted a few pictures and posted them in no paricular order.






























Now it's 11:45pm (5:45pm Toronto time) and I'm in this gorgeous hotel with a gorgeous bed. There's another bed here and that's where my aunt's sleeping. My sister and I are sharing the big bed. Well, it's actually 2 beds pushed together, as per the photo of me sprawled all over the bed.


More hotel pics:




We walked around ALL day, and aside from tripping over my own boot about 3 times (never actually fell, but tripped once over an uneven floor in a church and my Dad LITERALLY caught me!) my foot held up amazingly! My foot didn't bother me at all! I didn't need to take any breaks due to foot pain or even fatigue! Wee!

Oh, also, nobody around here covers their noses when they sneeze. They just sneeze any which way their head is turned. Now my nose feels congested. I hope it goes away when I wake up!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cannulation Humiliation!

Bright and early was the name of the game. We had to get to the clinic by 7:00am to take care of any admin stuff that needed to be done, so we left the house and took a cab to the clinic @ 6:30am.

I must say, I don't have a driver's licence in my own country, but I am baffled, astounded, and utterly impressed by anyone who knows how to navigate these streets. Our driver did take a few wrong turns but he quickly recovered. And no, it wasn't a fancy cab...like those old school ones you expect to see in London. If I wasn't told that it was a taxi cab...i'd have thought it was a regular car.


The clinic looked pretty unassuming from outside.




I'd have thought it was just a corner store selling toilets. the clinic has a main floor, a 2nd floor which is the waiting room, and the 3rd floor which is where the machines were.




Boy...these machines are very old. In fact, I think they were the same machines used at London Bridge hospital when I dialyzed there.

The nurses and staff were extremely helpful and accomodating. The clinic was pretty clean and efficient.

Now, as expected, doesn't it figure that I had problems cannulating? My arterial simply wasn't going in. I think it was stage fright as there were people watching me. In the end, had to use a blunt only in the venous, and cannulatean untouched sight with a sharp needle.

Dialysis went ok. These machines, however, seem to beep consistently after a certain amount of time. I later found out it's because the nurses themselves do not know me, so they set the machines to beep every so often to make sure that too much fluid isn't being removed, how much fluid is still in my blood, etc. I noticed a lot of machines beeping, so until I asked, I assumed it was simply a reminder to the staff to check on the patients as many of the people in there, minus 3-4 out of maybe 15, were elderly or ill.

Each station had its own mini tv hanging from the ceiling. Since I decided to sleep for the entire time, I haven't figured out where to plud my earphones in so I can hear the tv. Perhaps next time.

As usual, I was freezing! Luckily I brought my own blanket but I was still quite cold. I wish the clinic had blankets too.

What they did have was a lovely assistant named Gloria who came around asking everyone if they wanted tea, biscuits, etc. Definitely doesn't happen at home!

My nurse, Makyla, was very plesant. She had the most lovely english/romanian accent. She seemed to be the one running the show in that unit.

Overall, it was a good experience. When I come back to London, if I'm still on dialysis, I'll come here.

When my ride came, we went off to a huge mall called Bluewater. I was most impressed with the food/grocery section in the Marks & Spencer that we went to. I got the most delightful cinnamon bun.









As expected, my Mother spent WAY too much time staring at shoes. We went through the entire gigantic mall. People didn't bother looking out for me and my broken foot though. My only purchase within that mall, keeping in mind the currency exchange rate, was a small cup of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce. Delicious!

After that, it was a quick stop to the grocery store (another one) to buy some snacks for our train ride to paris (yes, train, not plane. My aunt kept accidentally saying "plane ride" to Pariis when she and I spoke on the phone, so I may have mentioned "plane ride to paris" in other posts). It is now 11pm London time (6pm Toronto time) and I must get some shut eye because we gotta be out of here by 5:30am! (...or 12:30am toronto time...!)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It Started Early

Well, it's 12:15pm (5:15pm England time) and myself, my sister, Mom and Dad are finally here at my aunt's house. Doesn't it figure that our flight was delayed by almost 2.5 hours? Some of our flight attendants were in Montreal and their flight to Toronto couldn't leave due to severe lightning! Bah!

Anyhow, I thought I'd take complete advantage of my extremely visible cast and I got the airport staff to whell me into the airplane. My seat didn't get much leg room, but I managed.

"Did you put this here? Did you move this?" said the curt flight attendant to my father. When he answered in the positive, the flight attendant promptly and firmly scolded him for moving the unlabeled emergency equipment from the overhead compartment over him and over to the one across from him. We obviously had no idea this was emergency equipment, but the flight attendant graciously and without us even asking repeated herself multiple times in a condescending manner, letting us know that it was NOT okay to move that stuff. Sheesh! SORRR-Y!

Ah, bad airplane food time. "Chicken or Vegetarian?" said the feisty flight attendant to my sister. Before she could even answer, I piped in and said "She has the lactose free meal".

"Well, all we have is Chicken or Veggie". At this point I'm already irritated and unimpressed. I specifically called the airline to tell them that my sister is lacrose intolerant. Feisty flight attendant unsympathetically told my sister that she'd check the back for a sandwich she could give her. What? A sandwich? So you're gonna "look" for some moldy old sandwich that's probably been sitting there for ages? Not impressed. Feisty told us that after she served everyone else, she'd look for something in the back for my sister. So in the meantime, my sister continued to starve as our flight was 2.5 hours delayed in the first place.

About 25 minutes later, Feisty showed up with a meal. It had Salmon and potatoes and other veggies. It also obviously had some sort of dairy-looking product slathered all over it.

"This is a staff meal. One of the staff is going to go without her meal" Feisty stated, as if she were waiting for a prize, a standing ovation, or some other form of adulation. "This isn't acceptable. It has dairy on it. Is that dairy?" my sister asked.

"I'm not sure. One of the staff gave up their meal so that you can have it".

I was sitting there trying to figure out what her point was. The fact that one of the staff "gave up their meal" meant nothing, especially since this meal still had some sort of unidentified sauce on it that the flight attendant couldn't tell us definitively if it was dairy or not.

Still unapologetic, she and the suspicious salmon dish disappeared into the back.

Moments later, she reappeared with random fruits. My sister loves fruit and was slightly more content with that, but neither myself nor my father were at all impressed with the lack of meal or the lack of tact. She showed up later, now somehow knowing that my sister should have gotten the lactose free meal and she is not sure why it wasn't on board. She assured us that she would call whomever and make sure the meal was there for our flight back. Thanks.

We slept a bit, and soon it was landing time. When we hit the ground, I got a buggy escort to baggage pick up. On the golf cart style buggy sat beside a delightful older lady. She was going to visit her sister. It would be the first time she'd seen her in 20 years! I wished her luck as I got off of the golf cart and she was toted off to another location.

My aunt was more than elated to see us. I'm still trying to get used to this "wrong side of the road" driving stuff. Tomorrow is my first visit to the dialysis clinic in London so wish my luck! (Watch me have trouble cannulating...then they'll think i'm a big dope!) Oh please...let cannulation go smoothly!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Images of My Broken Foot & Ankle?

I obtained a cd with images of my foot and my ankle. The cd has x-rays of my broken foot/ankle as well as the MRI. I have absolutely no idea what I'm looking at. I don't know where the break(s) are, I don't know which is just a separate bone in my foot or which is the break. If you have any idea where the 2 broken bones in my foot and/or the 1 broken bone in my ankle are/is, then by all means, tell me!











Aside from the breaks that are unseen by me, that's a pretty good looking right foot, wouldn't you say?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Another Day With Mommy

After another long 5 hour shift at work, Mom and I went to get manicures and pedicures. We used some gift certificates that my brother and his girlfriend bought us for Christmas. Yes, too long I know, but as soon as Mom and I found out we were going to the UK a few months back, we decided to save our mani/pedis for just before the trip.

I'm quite pleased with my mani/pedi, though I think the lady that did my Mom's could have done a better job. She was clearly rushing. She didn't pumice my mom's feet long enough, nor did she do as precise of a job as the lady doing my nails did in terms of ensuring that no nail polish got on our skin, and if it did, cleaning it off. I felt bad about it. I wish the lady that did my nails did my mom's nails, as I'd feel more comfortable complaining about the lack of quality in the job than my mom would.

Only 2 more sleeps until England...!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Stupid Dialysis

Today had been a long day of emailing and planning back and forth with my Aunt over in the UK. As I mentioned, my family trip to the UK to visit my aunt and her family was also to consist of trips to both Paris and Austria. Paris was meant to be an overnight trip, and Austria a one day trip.

Unfortunately, because of my dialysis schedule, we will not be able to go to Austria :-( I really wanted to check it out, but it just wasn't possible. As it is we're already cramming so many things into one week.

There was also much family discussion about the trip to Paris. With the cost of our trip there, plus the cost of the hotel, the amount we're paying is 159 pounds per person. Now my Aunt said that such a price was "brilliant" and we should get on it right away. The problem with that is, what seems average for her is basically DOUBLE for us. A one day trip would be silly, as that would cost around $125 pounds. If we're gonna go, might as well go for the gusto.

Our trip to Paris will be on Thursday morning. We'll have fun all day, then go to our hotel at night. After that, we'll come back to the UK and go straight to the clinic for dialysis for a noon run.

I really look forward to going to Paris as I've never been. Ultimately, I just look forward to going to England and seeing my Aunt, and Paris is basically just the icing on the already scrumptious cake.

I picked up a couple of medications from the drug store today. I got my multi vitamin, I got my IV gravol (for the 4 hour mega dialysis runs which always make me feel like I'm gonna hurl), and my omeprazole. I couldn't have been happier when I picked up my omeprazole. I used to have to pay like over a hundred bucks for 90 pills (3 month supply). Now, when I picked it up, guess what I paid?? 70 cents!!!!!

Thank you, trillium drug plan. You saved my life.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

*shakes head*

The past few days have been stressful.

Stressful for me isn't necessarily stressful for someone else. I think I'm still growning and still learning how to get a hold of my emotions. I'm much better at it now.

I've always been a sensitive person. Small things make me upset...bring me to tears even.

When I was in grade 6, I came home very upset once. I was a good kid in school. I liked school. But that day was perhaps the 3rd or 4th day of school, my french teacher at the time asked me a question. I didn't know the answer.

"WHY, YOU DIDN'T DO YOUR HOMEWORK? YOU NO LIKE SCHOOL?? IF YOU NO LIKE SCHOOL, STAY HOME!!"

Not only was I embarassed, but I was completely and utterly mortified. How dare he speak to me like that?? What did I do?

My parents know that I'm delicate and sensitive, so when I came home and told my Dad what happened, he comforted me and told me not to worry. "this teacher simply doesn't know you" he said.

Little did I know that my dad would show up at the school the very next day to speak to that teacher! Um..did I mention that my dad was in UNIFORM when he went??

Don't get me wrong, my dad is a very, VERY nice guy. But that uniform puts an automatic fear in people, regardless of how nice you are being.

My father very nicely told that teacher not to lump me in with previous students that he may have had who "don't do their homework". He told the teacher that I was a good kid and never gave anyone any problems (which was true). From that point on, that teacher and I became good friends. I've since lost touch with him after I graduated from that school in grade 8, but it's a shame that it took a visit from the police to allow him to really get to know who I was.

Anyhow, my point is that I'm a stress case. I've since gotten better. My skin has become tougher, and I give credit to all of the jobs that I've had. Remaining calm and rational is important...especially with Lupus.

Anyhow, the reason I'm *shaking my head* in this post is because I got on the bus today to come home from work...and everyone who saw me in my cast quickly put their heads down as not to establish eye contact. Silly, silly people.

Of course, being the kind of person that I am, I decided to lay it on...THICK. I looked around at everyone with a sad expression on my face. I bent down and grabbed my knee, grimacing.

You'll be happy to know that my entire production meant nothing to my fellow bus riders.

*shakes head*

Saturday, August 9, 2008

First Bus Ride

I just came back from a trip downtown via ttc. I had to be pretty careful. It had been raining all day long and I had to be careful not to slip down the stairs or something.

Being in this cast and also having to be a bit more careful was really different. Nobody got up to give me their seats at the bus was never full. I did, however, have to walk to the middle/back of the bus on my way there to get a seat. A baby carriage was on one side of the bus right near the door, and on the other side was someone sitting on the edge of their seat, their feet practically in the middle of the aisle. I made it a big point to painfully leap over the person's feet when they stared at me blankly when I said "excuse me". Dumb, dumb, dumb.

When I got to the subway, I headed towards the elevator. 3 teenagers skateboarded back and forth in the little elevator waiting area. They were practising doing flips. I braced myself, as these kids were not very experienced and they were flipping and falling all over the place. I closed my eyes, anticipating a skateboard to the knee of a flying elbow to the head. Luckily, neither came.

I met my friends Kerrie and Jen on the way and off we went to the Keg for my friend Jen's birthday.

When we got there, we met up with Jen's boyfriend and 2 of her boyfriend's friends. I decided to reward myself for my bus journey by buying myself a prime rib and lobster dinner. And yes, I also had bread while we were waiting for our meal (And yes, I will dialyze tonight...my machine is already set up! :-O )

Nobody believed that little ol' me could finish all of those garlic mashed potatoes, all of that lobster, all of the prime rib...especially after eating bread. Little did they know. Little did they know.
.
After our meal, we headed out. I opted to go home so that I could minimize my walking, and also to set up my machine. When I was about to get off of the bus at my street, the very handsome bus driver lowered the bus for me so I could step out comfortably. Aww.

Another gentleman got off of the bus before me and asked me what happened to my leg. Not wanting to explain myself to a total stranger, I simply told him that I fell. He went on to tell me that I should have crutches because I could loose my balance. He then went on to tell me that he had arthritis in his foot, caused partially by the work boots he has to wear because he's a painter. He suggested that I take a hot bath (as hot as I can tolerate), put some epsom salt in there, and just soak away. He assured me miracles. I thanked him for his advice and quickly limped home.

That is all. Oh, also I went to the bank today to order some british pounds and some euros. The money will be ready for my on Wednesday. Yippie!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Back to the Fracture Clinic

Today is lucky 08/08/08.

So I went back to the fracture clinic to get my repeat x-rays as requested by Dr. Lau. I got there at around 8:00. I checked in, took a seat, then pulled out my sister's Nintendo DS for another daily round of brain training.

After about 30 minutes. I quickly became angry, especially since, once again, people who came in after me were getting seen before me. I calmly went up to the counter where I was effectively ignored for about 2 minutes. Another lady came around to the other side of the counter where she was promptly attended to. I waited as I didn't want to interrupt, but I was understandably upset. Because I had to wait around for hours the last time, the x-ray department closed before I could get it done. I was assured that if I came in the morning the next friday, I'd be seen promptly.

When I was finally attended to (by the doctor's assistant, not any of the secretaries) the man scrambled around only to find my file in a place that it should not have been. That would explain why nobody called me. "I don't want to wait around here all day like I did last time" I said.

Geez.

Very shortly after, I was called in for my x-ray, then on to Dr. Lau.

Dr. Lau continued to go to see different patients, but the doctor's assistant intercepted Dr. Lau at one point to direct him in my direction. I guess he remembered how long I had to sit around the last time.

Dr. Lau came in to see me. He looked at my x-rays and asked if the boot was minimizing the pain. It was. He told me to come back in 3 weeks to see him, and also to get a CT Scan done.

I was out of there by about 9:15. Could be better...but not bad I guess.

After that, it was onto the shuttle bus and to the next hospital to pick up my revised travel letter. The updated travel letter from my doctor discusses the medication I'm on, and also the fact that I'll be carrying my dialysis needles with me. I also called the airline to make sure it's ok for me to carry my dialysis needles in my carry-on luggage. It is ok.

When I got to the hospital, I decided to pay my dialysis friend Sadia a visit. We sat and chatted for at least an hour. I went to the home dialysis unit where I picked up my letter, some pre-filled saline syringes, and also a prescription.

After that I came home, made dinner, and did a bit of homework.

So, we'll see what happens when I go back to the fracture clinic at the end of August.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

13 More Days

My trip will be in 13 days. I'm really looking forward to it.

Myself and my friends have all gotten older. Unlike when we were teenagers and such, there isn't always time to hang out all the time. When there IS time, not all schedules coincide. Also, until recently, I've been a lot more tired and worn out so haven't been able to do all the fun and exciting stuff that my friends and I used to.

I used to love riding my bike. My siblings and I used to ride our bikes all the time. We'd be out riding for hours. My determination to keep up with of them deterred me from wanting to ask for a break to relax. In fact...I didn't need a break. I could ride and ride as long as it took.

The summer before I was diagnosed with Lupus was a great one, and I'm glad it turned out the way it did. I spent the entire summer outdoors, having fun. I rarely spent one day walking around. Myself and my best friend at the time Nickeisha (we're still great friends) rose our bikes EVERYWHERE. We spent time at each other's houses cooking, eating, and watching Tv. We headed to my house to ask my father for change so that we could head over to the local 7-eleven to buy ourselves slurpees. I remember once, Nickeisha and I noticed a commotion in the 7-eleven parking lot so we headed over to investigate. There were promotion people from Mountain Dew there. They were holding a contest.

There was a surprising amount of kids our age there....perhaps 25-30. We had to get into even teams, then between us, drink an entire 2L bottle of mountain dew. The winner got a prize (a prize that I cannot remember....but it wasn't a great one) My team didn't win, but I feel that we should have. The team that won cheated...Donald gulped up a whole bunch of mountain dew in his mouth then spit it out because he couldn't swallow it all. That's what gave them the edge.

I was pleased that I won a prize all by myself. I won "The Macarena" contest. They had a loud speaker blaring The Macarena just to the side of the 7-eleven. We all were asked to do The Macarena, and whoever did it the best won. I won :) I won a white t-shirt with a cow on it (if I recall, something having to do with milk). I gave it to my Dad. He was happy to get it.

I wish I could revert back to those days. I didn't have a care in the world. I didn't worry about Lupus, or dialysis, or broken bones, or avascular necrosis...no worries about perforated bowels, paralyzation, drug side effects...nothing.

It pains me to have to go through all of that stuff, but at the same time, I'm very happy with the person I've turned into. I'm not sure what kind of person I'd be or what kind of personality I'd have if I hadn't gone through all that I've gone through. My life's experiences have made me humble, understanding, tolerant, and eager to learn.

I look forward to going on this trip. It'll give me the oppourtunity to hang out with my family (minus big bro), to see my aunt, and to explore some new citys. It'll also give me the chance to clear my head as I've been getting the blahs. Kinda down, kinda irritated...and so forth.

I really need this.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Braiding, Shopping, and a Lack of Manners

While I did a lot today, it all didn't take a long time to do.

I escorted my mother to the hair dresser so she could get her hair done. Her hair likes superb. And again, it only took about 3 hours for a full head of braided hair. I played my sister's DS while waiting. The time flew by.

After that, we ventured off to Yorkdale Mall so that I could buy a present for my friend's upcoming birthday. And, of course, I came out of there with plenty of stuff for myself. Luckily I got my friend a present as well. Sometimes I don't like buying things for my friends because I end up buying them something that I totally want for myself. In this case, I bought my friend something...and I bought the same thing for myself in a different colour. (Yes, I know I know..!)

After that, it was off to the grocery store. I wanted to buy waffles, some fish, some shirmp, etc. As I hobbled up and down the aisle beside my mother near the front of the store, I asked my Mother if there was anything else she wanted and she said No.

I headed towards the express aisle as I only had a few things in my hands. When I turned around, my mother was nowhere to be found. When I stopped walking, a girl, no older than 8 years old, walked into me. She was with her younger brother and her mother. As soon as she walked into me, she let out the loudest kissing-of-teeth that I ever did hear. I glared down at her, as she not only walked right into me, but in doing so she kicked my foot. When I glared at her, she looked at my foot and noticed the boot. She quickly looked away with guilt clearly written on her face.

My point is, what causes someone to automatically kiss their teeth in an angry manner when it's clearly they're fault? Similarly in the mall today, I found myself face to face with groups of people who chose to all walk side by side instead of in groups of two and two and two. Always wanting to stand my ground and essentially stand for what's right, I refused to move. In fact, it wasn't even a matter of refusing to move, it was the fact that I had nowhere to move anyways...unless I wanted to dart into a store to avoid getting close-lined by a group of under dressed, over accessorized and made-up tweens. When I stopped walking, forcing them to take note, I heard the girl directly in front of me say "geez". She didn't say it because she wanted me to hear it. In fact, she said it quietly because she didn't want me to hear. When she said it, another one of the girls said "Dude, she has a broken leg".

I didn't hear the response after that. Probably "yeah, so???"

I'm astonished by the behaviour of not only youths, but adults too. I know I'm not an absolute angel, but I also know that when I was out with my Mom and/or Dad, I was never out of their sight. If I was doing something that I shouldn't be doing, my parents didn't have to plead with me to behave. Oh no sir. All I needed was a look. One look. Not an angry look. Just a look. And whatever I was doing would stop immediately. To be honest, I didn't get that look very often because I didn't dare participate in any foolish behaviour, especially in public.

My parents were never strict. They never, ever laid a finger on me. They rarely raised their voices to yell unless they were joking. And all that being said, I'll be the first to admit that myself as well as my two older siblings were quite spoiled. We didn't ask for too-too much, but 9 and a half times out of 10, we got whatever we asked for. Kids were easier to please back then too I think.

But I digress. People need to have manners for the broken footed.

Getting Used to This Cast

I've never broken/fractured anything in my life. I've jammed a few fingers playing volleyball and I've been winded by a speeding baseball to the stomach. I've twisted an ankle triple jumping in grade 8 (still got 2nd place...!) and I've gotten a big gash on the palm of my hand while running towards my sister on the sidewalk after a trip to the local public library. Heck, I've even sliced my pointer finger with my chef knife back in my chef school days.


I've been lucky enough to never break anything. Even though I've been through many a painful thing in my life (i'd have to say havng a perforated bowel and having a bone marrow tap from either your spine or your hip bone are at the top of that list) I've always been mortified of the pain I'd suffer if I broke anything. Now while I've had pain in my ankle and foot for some time, it isn't anything like the pain I imagined one would feel if they broke a bone. Perhaps it's just because it's a small break, or perhaps it's because I have such severe osteoporosis that it broke so easily without needing a lot of force? I used to be on calcium but now I'm not because I'm on daily dialysis. Why can't I be on calcium and on home hemo at the same time? Wouldn't that help my horrible osteoporosis? I guess that something to discuss with the rheumy when he gets back from Montreal.

Anyhow, It's still awkward walking around with this thing. I should take a picture and post it to mark the occasion: my very first (known...) broken bone. And heck, my first break was 3 breaks all at once: 2 in the foot and 1 in the ankle. Go big or go home, eh? Hahaha.

Anyhow, I'm going to put my cast back on and head downstairs. I should grab a snack before I go to sleep. I'm escorting my mother tomorrow (well, I suppose since it's after 12 am, I'm technically escorting her later today). She's going to get her hair done. I want to go with her just so the lady who's doing it knows that this is my mother and not to over charge her for the braiding services (long story...)!

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Verdict is In!

First, let me just say this.

I got to the hospital for my 1:45pm appointment at 12:45pm. I waited and I waited. I FINALLY got called in at 3:15pm. I waited until about 3:45pm when I was seen by the first doctor who took all the notes and asked all the questions. That took about 10-12 minutes. After that, I had to wait and see the 'official doctor".

I waited and I waited. When 4:20 rolled around, I began to ask questions.

"How long is this going to take? I've been here for over four hours already and spent less than 10 minutes talking to someone".

"Oh, soon, soon." said the first doctor "Maybe 5 or 10 minutes."

When the clock got close to 5pm, I woke myself up as I began to nod off. I questioned the doctor again. He didn't give me another time as I'm sure he knew I didn't want to hear "5 or 10 minutes" again. He simply said soon, and he was sorry.

Finally, about 20 minutes after that, the doctor came in. He looked at my MRI.

He told me that my ankle was broken, and my actual foot was broken in 2 places. He told me that he would like some x-rays done. I agreed, as I had heard him send other people off to do x-rays and they were gone and back in about 15 minutes. This is because the fracture clinic seems to have their own separate area for their own x-rays.

A few moments later, the man who would later put the stability boot on my foot, told the doctor that the fracture clinic's x-ray department was now closed, and if he wanted me to get an x-ray, I'd have to go to emergency.

I didn't give the doctor a chance to tell me or to ask me to go to emergency for an x-ray. I flat out refused. If the hadn't been sitting on their hands all this time, I could have went to their x-ray department before it closed!

I was apologized to (yet again) and the doctor asked if I could come back next friday at 8am to see him. Then I could be the first in and first out. I agreed.

What a day. I left my house at 12:25pm, and I walked into the house at about 6:30-6:45pm. Terrible!

Anyhow, I'm quite surprised, yet not so surprised to hear that my foot AND my ankle are both broken. I say I that I'm surprised because it wasn't mentioned by anyone when I was told about my ankle on the phone. On the other end of the spectrum, I'm also not surprised because my ankle AND my foot have been bothering me. Learning how to walk in this stupid boot is a pain, however I do look forward to boarding public transit and having the bus driver lower the bus down for me so I can get on :) I also look forward to giving people who are sitting in the front dirty looks so that they will get up and let me sit down.

"Hey! My foot and ankle are BROKEN!! GET UP!!!"

Hehehe, suckers.
 
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