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.
 
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