Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ooo, another article!

This one is a lot more...well...take a look.


http://www.thestar.com/article/685786

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Working Hard or hardly working?

I thought I'd just post this as it is something that irritates me.

I've never been a person who has asked for handouts, even with having a chronic illness. In grade 9, I made my Dad drive me to school so I can write an exam, inspite of the fact that I was terribly ill. My teachers told me not to worry about it, but I didn't want any handouts. I wrote my test, went to my father's waiting car, then went home to continue being sick.

I am definitely not the person who wants handouts. I work hard in everything that I do, including my work and my school. What upsets me is when I see people taking what I feel is the easy way out and taking advantage of things.

I hate hearing or seeing people in my class cheating on their tests. They cheat and end up with the same marks that I got by studying for hours. Are these the same people who will compete with me when I'm in the job market for a position in my field? I know, I know...people who cheat are ultimately cheating themselves. But geez...I'm still irritated.

I go to bed at night not knowing how I'll feel in the morning. If I do feel unwell, I usually fight and struggle my way through it and do what I have to do. But sometimes...it's just too much and I cannot go to work. Do other people have that same work ethic? Yes! My co-workers are all amazing and they work so hard. In fact, one of my co-workers and team members also suffers from Lupus. She is doing amazingly well. But then, like anything else, there are always going to be a select few people who do not have that same work ethic. As someone who works very had but sometimes has to call in sick because I'm (surprise!) SICK, it is highly offensive.

Oh well. I love the fact that my employer is so understanding of all that I go through...but words can never really decribe to others what I go through. I often wish I could just walk people through a day in my shoes, then perhaps they'd have more of an idea and an appreciation of how hard I work and how determined I am.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Never an easy thing

Most of today was spent at a funeral.

The funeral was for my friend's father. My friend's father and my father were also good friends, as was several other people in our community. In fact, my friend and I became friends because of the friendship between her parents and my parents.

My friend is only 1 year old than I am, and she has 2 younger brothers, perhaps only a couple of years younger than she is. When we were at the funeral, my friend and her two brothers each took time to speak about their father. It was so difficult to watch. I wiped tears from my eyes, especially when my friend got up to speak. She broke down several times during her speech. I selfishly thought of myself and how I would feel if my own father passed away.

While I may be 27 years old, I still feel like a little girl around my father. He still calls me "Baby", the way he did since as far back as I can remember. I squeeze him tight as many times as I can...just to show him how much I love him. He is everything to our family...and he also means so much to others as well. The same with my mother. My mother and I are like side kicks...like best friends. I love hanging out with her, shopping with her, etc...just like I did when I was little. I am a little girl in a 27 year old's body.

The hardest part was when my friend's father was actually being lowered into the ground. The cries and yells of my friend's mother were heart shattering. I stood behind my friend and held her in my arms and supported her as I could feel her knees getting weak. It's almost finalized once that final lowering takes place.


I remember a few months ago I had a dream. It was a disturbing dream that left me in my bed, by myself, sobbing. I too dreamt that my father had passed away. Shockingly, he had passed away the very same way that my friend's father had passed away - due to heart failure.

I told my father about my terrible dream, barely able to speak the words without breaking down. He told me that it was ok to be upset. He also told me that sometimes when we have dreams and see people doing things in that dream...it isn't actually that person doing it...it's someone else. So for example, even though my dream seemed to imply that my father had a heart attack, maybe it was actually someone else.

Another thing my father told me after I told him about my dream really stuck in my head. After much discussion, he said the following: Everyone wants to go to heaven...and yet everyone is afraid to die.

So true.

Life is so precious. You never know what the day will hold when you wake up in the morning. When you wake up, you have no idea that THIS will be the last time I'll ever brush my teeth. THIS will be the last time I'll brush my hair. THIS will be the last time I hug and kiss my loved ones.

If there is anybody out there who is reading this and is feuding with a loved one...please...really think about what you're angry about and if it is really worth it. I live each day this way, which is why I hang out with my parents as much as I can. This is why I hug and kiss and squeeze my parents as much as I can. This is why I text/email/msn my sister, even when she's only 3 doors away. This is why I text my brother just to say "what's up."

Love your loved ones. Don't "coulda, shoulda woulda" when it's too late.

<3

It's great being googleable

In case you missed my last/previous post, here we go again! haha
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/at-home-dialysis-touted-as-the-next-best-thing/article1259490/

Friday, August 21, 2009

At Home Dialysis is as good as a deceased donor kidney transplant!

One of my doctors, Dr. Chan. did a study to show that doing nocturnal (the prescribed amount) dialysis is as good as receiving a kidney transplant from a deceased donor.

Studies still in fact show that receiving a kidney from a living donor will ultimately give the best result, but the fact that home hemo and deceased donor transplants are on par is amazing news!

For all of us home dialyzers out there, I'm sure this is great news, but it just reconfirms how we've already felt in terms 0f being on conventional in centre dialysis vs. home hemo.

On Tuesday evening and for the better part of Wednesday, I talked to different newspaper media outlets about this news. I also discussed my experiences in terms of how I ended up on dialysis, how I decided to try home dialysis, etc. I spoke to about 4 different news papers, but only 1 had a spiffy picture of me that was taken yesterday (I am yet to check actual newspapers...I'll go pick them up a little bit later).

Here is the article from the globe and mail, complete with spiffy dialysis picture. Tell me what you think of the article and its findings:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/at-home-dialysis-touted-as-the-next-best-thing/article1259490/


On Wednesday, while my doctor spoke to the different media outlets, I was just amazed. I mean, obviously he's a smart guy, but listening to how he answered their questions with such finesse was so cool. Based on the one sided conversation that I heard, I knew that they were asking him a lot of questions concerning transplants. I think they were making reference to whether people get "priority" over a deceased donor kidney; perhaps the sickest person gets the organ first. Dr. Chan explained that there is a transplant list which in some cases (like mine) can cause me to be on the list for upwards of 10 years. In other situations, for example, liver transplants, lungs, heart, etc., those people are often given such organs based on need/priority rather than how long they've been on a "list". He also explained that there is not any sort of long term therapy to sustain life for those other organs as there is for kidneys.

He was also throwing out statistics like crazy! Soo amazing to listen to him speak. But when he speaks to you directly, he doesn't dumb things down at all, but he speaks to you in a way that is easily understood. Just sitting there and listening to him speak to the reporters taught me a lot. He spoke about how much kidney function (10-15%) is considered too little, therefore needing intervention (dialysis). He spoke about tons of things. There were some pictures of myself and Dr. Chan, but I didn't see any online. I hope I can find some when I go and pick up the newspapers from the local 7-eleven.

Anyhow, I'll be needing to head off to the local shoppers drugmart to pick up some prescriptions so I might as well pick up the newspapers that I need at the same time!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Are you proud of me?

Final marks are in...






And this is my GPA




aaaand my total GPA is above 3.5...so I'm on the Deans list again! hurray!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Heat Waveeee!

Yup, it'e been very hot around these here parts for the past few days. My house has the unfortunate flaw of not having a properly functioning air conditioning system. Well, the air con works just fine...but the way my house is built (the "guts" of the house, that is) doesn't allow for proper flow of the air con, and therefore the whole house is hot. I have a fan on full blast pointing at me right now.

I'm so glad to be sitting here on a tuesday, in bed, at 10am, just relaxing. I haven't seen a Tuesday outside of school in quite some time.

Marks for my summer semester are coming out today! I can't wait. I hope I manage to squeeze out another Dean's list showing this semester with a GPA of at least 3.5. I think I can do it....but we'll see! I'll post again when the marks go up.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Oh how I've changed...

Nobody could say anything to me when I was in grade 8 and younger. I was tough as nails. An admitted Daddy's girl, yes, but still tough as nails.

I had my fair share of those petty school yard disputes that we have as youngsters that often have us running home to our mothers. Not me though. I was tough as nails. I remember getting into a fight with a boy. I was in grade 3 or 4. I can't remember the exact situation, but I do remember he and I getting into a physical fight. I grabbed him by the collar and threw him to the ground. He got up, charged at me, and punched me in the face. I didn't cry. I didn't flinch. Before the fight could progress, teachers had already intervened. I was lucky to have dodged suspension. But, the point is, I was tough as nails.

My toughness faded away in November of 1996. I was forced to adopt a whole new type of toughness. I was never the same.

I went through so many things and I experienced so many things at that time. I cried often. I probably cried more during that time than I had in my entire life.

It was soon after that I realized how upset I'd get at things, or how easy it was for me to cry. I usually wouldn't cry at something I saw on TV or in a movie. The first movie I remember crying at was The Lion King. Boy did I ever cry like a baby.

Today was a rough day for me at work. I was faced with a lot of difficult situations. 3 hours into my shift I was literally, LITERALLY on the brink of tears. At that point, I was like a canon, ready to explode if jolted in any way, shape, or form. I got up from my desk walked around for a bit. I spoke to one of my co-workers and team members named Leela. She cheered me up soo much. In fact, she cheered me up more than she probably realizes.

I was glad when I looked at the clock on my computer and realized that it was now the end of the day for me. I was so visibly shaken by my day that my mother realized it as soon as she saw me. My father realized it too...because he immediately drove us to the 7-eleven for slurpees. Slurpees cheer me up also.

There was a point in time where anyone could say pretty much anything to me and I would not flinch. Being emotional is good...it shows that you are human. But in a way, I wish I could find a happy medium between the two extremes. There isn't a job out there where there are absolutely no bad days.

Or, if there is, let me know...

Friday, August 14, 2009

ooh, oh-oh, the Sweetest thing!

A huge weight has been lifted from my chest. Exams are over...and I couldn't be happier!

My accounting test was today. Man oh man was it ever difficult. I made the Dean's list last semester... I dunno about this semester! Well, I already know I got an A+ in my HR computer's class. Grades are not due for teachers until Tuesday (after this weekend) but my computer teacher is so on the ball that he put them up already. I'm also expecting at LEAST an A in
Math and in Project Management. The two courses I'm scared about are Human Resources II and Accounting.

For accounting, I think that if I was more focused I could feel more confident about my final mark. I went into the test with an A-. The last test was so difficult for me. It was a multiple choice test and the first, like, 10 questions...I got "B"! Was he trying to trick us with that? Oh well. As for HR, I must say, I've been having problems with my prof for that class.

She'd show up to class late...and end class early. In all, we'd lost about an hour of class a day on average. She would ask super obscure questions on the test...questions that even the most seasoned HR professional working in that SPECIFIC FIELD (i.e. occupational health and safety) would have trouble answering. On my individual assignment that I handed in, she gave me an 11/15. I was definitely not content with that, so I went through the entire paper looking for her comments as to why I received the mark that I did. Nothing. No comments.

I questioned her. She pulled out a sheet of paper, apparently the marking scheme for my paper. She told me that I didn't source this and that. I showed her where I did, in fact, source the exact thing that she accused me of not sourcing. Then she told me that I didn't source my chart. I showed her my chart (all sources clearly in tact). "oh". she said. Ok, well I'll remark your paper.

The next week I went to class. I saw my paper on the table. I opened it up to see my new mark. Hmm, interesting. 11/15. I questioned her. She told me that she forgot why the paper was still there. She'd mark it again. The next week (the week before the exam). Still not marked. Also left unmarked was my quiz that I wrote 2 weeks before. I expressed my dissatisfaction with the situation. I was going into a final with NO idea of my marks. She told me that she had been busy marking other stuff. I told her that I was at a distinct disadvantage because of this. I write my tests in the test centre. I took her 6 weeks to finally pick it up from the test centre and mark it. She had various reasons for this. A few times she couldn't even remember if she had picked it up or not. Another time she told me that she went to pick it up and it was closed. At 10am. (they're definitely open from 8am-6pm). It has just been a stressful semester in her class.

I'm just hoping that I get at least a B in both classes. In order to write my CHRP (Certified Human Resources Professional) test, I need to have an average of 70% in my key HR classes (including Accounting), with one no mark lower than 65%. I'm definitely hoping for anything above a B in these classes as I do not want to have to take anything over again, nor do I want to get a C+ and feel stressed about ensuring that the rest of my key HR courses are up to snuff!

Oh well, what's done is done and all I can do is wait until the marks are posted. Wish me luck..

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Trip = Booked

I booked the family's much needed trip to Florida the other day through expedia for December. Well, I shouldn't say the family...it's more like myself, my mother, and my father. My bro and sis cannot attend.

So now that it's booked, the next and very important order of business is booking dialysis. I called the dialysis unit in Clearwater that I went to previously. I spoke to Pam (secretary maybe??). I was delighted when I told her my first name and that I had been there in 2007 and she remembered me...even remembered my last name! :)

Pam told me that a new procedure was in place and I would need to call a central booking office in order to book my dates. With that said, Pam said that she'd write my name in the calendar to kind of "reserve" my spot for me. I wanted to make sure I did this now before our vacation date creeps up on us and I'm left dialysis-less.

Pam told me that because I was a past "customer", the price I paid previously would be the same price that I could pay now, however the price had increased. She gave me the phone number to the central booking office so that I could get the process started.

When I called the central booking office, I spoke to a very nice lady who told me all of the information I would need to gather in order to get the process started. The last time that I had visited the Clearwater clinic, I paid $200 a dialysis session. When I spoke to this lady, she said the price would be something like (can't remember the exact number she gave me) $650 a session for international patients??

I'm going on the hope that Pam is correct and I can pay the same rate that I paid last tine. But....c'mon...$650 for ONE session? I have to pay all of this upfront myself. It's already expensive going on vacation in the first place...but to ask for SO much money is simply nuts!

You know, dialysis is offered globally for people like me who like to travel every now and then when I can afford it...but then I get gorged for my treatment! I only get $210 per session reimbursed from the government. It simply isn't fair. I didn't ask to be on dialysis. I don't want to be on dialysis. I have to pay for medication which is also expensive! Why do I gotta turn my meagre pockets inside out just to get away for a week?

I will get my papers in order and send them off. I certainly hope that Pam is right and I only have to pay $200 usd per session.

If there are any dialyzers out there in the Clearwater/Tampa area who can provide some assistance in terms of perhaps giving me some good clinics (with good prices) or some web links where I can find some info...post it up in my comments section of this post!

Now, back to studying. Gotta write my accounting exam tomorrow...then I'm freeeee!!!

...for 3 weeks..! Oh but what a glorious 3 weeks it'll be! :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Aww I didn't get chosen!

My lovely contest video that i posted a few days ago didn't get chosen to be in the top 8 videos..boo hoo hoo!

I thought my video was pretty sweet. :( Ah well.


Now I'll hafta get my own doggone laptop! Hehe

Sunday, August 9, 2009

To Dialyze, or not to dialyze, THAT is the question!

After coming home from work, I studied, ate, and studied some more. I'm pretty comfortable with the material that will be on my Project Mgmt test tomorrow, but I went over everything else in depth just to be safe. My plan was to study until about 8:30pm (5 minutes from now), set up my machine, watch a little TV, hook myself up to my machine, then get a good night's rest. Now...I'm not so sure.

I'm sitting on my bed typing away as the curtains to the open balcony door thrash away in the wind. I can see (and hear) the beginnings of a thunder storm. I have unplugged my poor laptop from the main power and am using battery power, lest the storm zap my power and my computer as well!

Speaking of power zapping...the last thing I want to do is put myself on my dialysis machine for the night, only to be awaken by my machine alarming because the power has gone out. This alarm means "step lively...you only have 20 minutes to rinse back, disconnect, and clot before this machine kicks the bucket. And if that happens, as you can imagine, it would be very disruptive to much needed rest and relaxation before a day with 2 exams. I dunno what to do! What I really hate is when the lights go out...but then they only go out for maybe 5 minutes...at which point I've already begun the rinse back process (rinse back = I've already told the machine to end dialysis and give my blood back). And once that process is started...there is no reverting back!

In the past few minutes the rain has really started to come down. I just stopped typing for a moment so I could go and get a flash light which I have now placed in my pocket.

I think it would be best to skip dialysis tonight. I was very much looking forward to an amazing night's sleep, which I certainly get while I'm dialyzing (seriously. I sleep really well once I'm on dialysis...probably because I feel very exhausted shortly after I am connected to my machine and dialyzing away).

The lightning is flickering outside my window. I think I made the right decision. I almost hope the lights DO go out so I feel justified in my decision. Haha.

Well, I think I'll go study for my computer test until my computer's battery dies.

Oh oh, I got my marks for my project management assignment. This is the group assignment where we pretended to plan a concert to raise funds for Lupus research.

On the project book that we handed in, we got 79/100
On the presentation we did, we got 96/100.

Not bad...not bad at all! I kinda wish we got higher in the project book.

**woot! the lights just flickered on and off for a split second. I am sooo vindicated in my decision**

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lupus Flare - Negative

Today was my clinic appointment with my nephrologist. He went over my blood work, both the blood work that I drew myself and the blood work that I had done at my other clinic appointment with my lupus doctor. He stated that my blood levels (aka my compliment levels) were well within range and I was not having a flare! Wee!

I was a bit worried at first, because when we first sat down and he looked at my blood work, he first asked me if I "felt like" I was having a flare. Eep! I said no. I always say no...unless I absolutely positively feel like I'm in the mddle of a flare.

Wednesday was a difficult day at work. I literally felt like I was going to fall over from fatigue. I did everything to keep myself awake: I drank tea, soda...went outside in the beautiful weather and walked around the building during my breaks...all of this helped...a little...but I was still pretty tired. When I got home, I ate, turned the tv on, then fell asleep. I woke up at 10 minutes to 9pm! Sheesh.

I feel a lot less tired today as I slept in. I can't say that I was happy about my dialysis supplies delivery today. The day before, they called me to ask when I wanted my supplies delivered. I told them before 12pm, so they gave me a time of between 9-12. Fine, since I had a doctor's appointment afterwards.

I waited and I waited and decided to call when it was 12:30pm. After being put on hold for a brief moment, I was told that the driver would be there in half an hour. Not really acceptable since I had to be at an appointment and it would take me an hour to get there by bus...but what choice did I have?

I waited. The driver called me and pleaded with me to let him do another delivery first that was very close to where he was. He mentioned that he went on to do other deliveries because when they called me in the morning there was no answer.

Excuse me??

I told him that there was absolutely no way anyone called me this morning as I carried both my cell phone and the cordless phone around the house with me all day.

The driver showed up...exactly half an hour later. When he gave me the paper to sign for my delivery, there was a yellow sticky note on it that said "no answer". I wanted to rip the sticky note off and throw it out the door but I decided to surpress my unnecessary rage. haha.

Anyhow, I think I'll get a drink of water and perhaps study a bit before I go to sleep. I have a long day of studying ahead of me as tomorrow is the last full day that I'll be able to study. I have exams every day next week:
Monday: Project management and computers (I have to each myself how to use Microsoft Access...pronto!)
Tuesday: Human Resources
Thursday: Math
Friday: Accounting

..!

Yesterday would have been a good study day (after work) had I not fell asleep. It's crunch time!

Monday, August 3, 2009

I'm entering a contest...

...to win my tuition. So I made this video to enter into the contest. Tell me what you think!


 
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