Saturday, January 30, 2010

Achoo!

I'm at home from work today nursing this cold. I felt the cold coming through on Thursday morning. I planned to stay home from school that day, but I later learned that there was an in-class assignment worth 5%, so I did not want to miss that.

The next day I decided to tough it out and just go to school. I knew that this would be my last labour relations class before the quiz next week. It is never a good idea to miss the class before a quiz. Another incentive for me to go to school was knowing that my Dad would be able to pick me up from school.

So now my nose is stuffed and runny, the back of my throat is itchy, and I'm coughing. After my Dad picked me up yesterday, I asked him to stop by shoppers drug mart so that I could buy some tylenol cold, etc. I thought that with my stuffed up nose, it might be a good idea to try one of those saline spray things. I looked at all of the many options...then I went with hydraSense medium stream. I was imitially going to go with the very gentle stream, but then decided against it. I didn't think it would be strong enough to blast away my stuffiness.

When we got home, I tried the hydraSense right away. The instructions stated that I should tilt my head to the right (like put my right ear on my right shoulder) and lean forward slightly, over a sink. Then, just place the hydraSense cone thing in my left nostril and blast away! Then, get tissue and blow your nose. Clean the cone thingy after each use. For me, it worked pretty well. In fact, I kind of wish I got the maximum strength blaster. Hehe.

Anyhow, back to blowing my nose.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Left Speechless

I have a pretty bad cold. My nose is blocked. When I talk I sound like I'm plugging my nose with my fingers. I'm taking tylenol, and I'm using one of those saline spray things to clear my sinuses. It's the first time I've tried the spray. The idea of shooting liquid up my nose has never been appealing to me, but it works quite nicely for me.

I'm sure I have mentioned the fact that I've stayed home a couple of times since this semester started. I haven't exactly been 100%. I try to keep a smile on my face in hopes that no one will notice. Well, people noticed.

In my labour relations class today, one of my friends asked me if she and another one of my friends could talk to me outside during our break. I obviously agreed. Like anyone else would, I wondered what it is that they'd want to talk about. I wondered if I had done something wrong, perhaps I had offended them in some way....I simply wasn't sure.

When break time came around, myself and my two classmates went out into the hallway. "Umm, so we noticed that since the beginning of these semester you haven't exactly been in the best of health" one of them said.
I looked down and agreed. I hate being "sick". Well, the next thing that I heard them say was definitely NOT what I was expecting to hear.

"Well, we just wanted you to know that both of us are wanting and willing to get tested to see if we are compatible with you. We want to try and see if we can donate a kidney to you".

Let's put this into perspective. I've known both of these girls since January of 2009. I've known them for a year...and they were willing and wanting to get tested and potentially go through surgery...for me?

The other girl, choking up, continued. "I've also spoken to lots of my friends and there are at least 8 other people that I know who are willing and wanting to get tested as well".

I was speechless. The only sound I could muster up was a sob. I started crying. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. For the one girl to say that she had spoken to others about it means that she had been thinking and discussing this for a long time. I couldn't believe it. What did I do to deserve such great friends and human beings in my life?

I had my hand over my mouth. "You would do that??" I asked. They both smiled and nodded enthusiastically. Mama mia! This was insane. I was in a daze. In this daze, at their request, I told them some of the things that would be involved in getting tested to see if either of them were a compatible match. They told me to make to appropriate calls in order to get the ball rolling. I thanked them both, gave them both hugs, and we went back to class.

Ah man was I a mess. How was I going to sit through the remainder of this class? Insane I tell ya. I'm a lucky gal. I mean, even if all these people were tested and none of them were compatible, the idea that they would even come forth and put it out there is just...I dunno. I'm without words.

I'll update on this particular story as updates become available...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Needed a great big sleep & face care!

While I was at work on Saturday, I was utterly exhausted. At the end of the work day, I still needed to head over to Walmart to pick up my multivitamin (replavite). So my Mom and I headed over there before heading to my Dad's workplace to pick him up (while my Dad was driving me to work that morning, the axle on the car broke! So it was in the shop).

When we got home, I went straight to bed. It was probably 6pm or so. My mom woke me up at around 8pm or so to see if I wanted anything to eat. I was not that hungry, but I knew that I had better eat something or else 2am would come around and I'd be starving. I decided to just have soup-which my mother was so nice to make for me.

After that, I passed out again. I really and truly needed that "big sleep". I woke up the next morning at arouhd 8:30am and I felt fantastic. I went to work that day from 10am-1pm, came home, did some homework, met up with a friend and went to a tea shop, then for (vegetarian) sushi at 3pm, then headed back to work from 6pm-10pm. While it was a long day, I felt pretty great due to my long nap the day prior.

I took a nap today as well. I didn't even take the time to wash my face, so I'm going to do that now.

Oh, and I know I likely mentioned it before, but I'm going to mention it again. After much tweaking and experimenting, I am pretty happy with my face skin care regime. My face is quite acne prone. I'm very happy with what I am using now, so here you go y'all. Take notes!


In the Morning:
Cleansing - Purpose face wash (can be purchased at wal-mart. I bought it in Florida when I went there in December for under $5.

After Cleansing- Aloe Vera Gel - Fruit of the Earth - Can also be purchased at Walmart

Moisturizer - I use Cerave on my face which I also purchased while in Florida. I bought it at CVS pharmacy.

Additional Moisture - When I pump the Cerave into my palm, I also put about 5 or 6 drops of jojoba oil (also purchased from acne.org). My skin is moisturized and feels great.

I wait about 2 minutes or so, then I put on my makeup.

At night:
I cleanse once again with Purpose face wash.

Treatment- Benzoyl Peroxide - I order a big bottle of it from the acne.org website. It smooths on well and has really helped my acne. As perscribed on the website, I normally use 2 full pumps and smooth it onto my face. I wait a while for it to dry.

Moisture - As above, I use cerave and jojoba oil after that.

It is working well. I might get the very occasional blemish here and there, but nothing some TLC and concealer won't help!

:)

Friday, January 22, 2010

What's with random bruises?

I guess I did not mention it previously, but I did in fact go to my dentist on Tuesday afternoon. My sister and I got there a bit late as there was an accident on the highway. Because of this, I didn't get to finish all that I had to do in there. My appointment consisted of getting fitted for my mouth guard (to protect my from what I thought was grinding of teeth but my lovely dentist thinks its more "clenching"), getting fitted for a retainer for the crowding of my teeth, and also some cleaning. I got half of my mouth cleaned, but the bottom teeth need to be cleaned as well.

Different topic altogether...what's with me getting bruises all the time? I never know how I got them! Check out my wrist:




Can you see it? What's up with that??

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Secret Shame...my bald spots!

Well, its more of a "receding hairline" if you will.

But I am going to post pictures of my short hair line. These pictures are meant to serve (hopefully as a "before" picture. Not exactly accurate as I have been using my so called new hair regime for a couple of weeks or so. It actually seems like some more baby hair is coming in, as my hair was pretty much non existent there except for a few stray hairs here and there.

It consists mainly of treating my really thin areas, which are my temples. I have looked back on photos of my when I was a teenager, and I seemed to have hair that was not AS thin here, but still pretty thin.

This terrible cycle of me wanting to hide my temples always exists, therefore causing me to braid my hair in such a way that it hides my temples...thus perpetuating the terrible cycle! Braids are my crutch and I don't know how I'll manage without them, but it might be fore the betterment of my hair.

My goal is to see some promising and encouraging growth by the end of this school year, which is in April. I will post periodic updates as time and my horrible memory allow.

Here are my temples:











Now, here is one product I'll be using. I found the hair product online. It's called Northwest Scents. In spite of my searches, I did not find any reviews on the product line. I decided to put myself out there and purchase their hair oil (pictured below), their shampoo and their conditioner. The main draw, I guess, is the fact that the products boast all natural and organic properties. I will add the name of this product into the labels (below) so that when you click on it, you can see my results of the product.





I am also using lavender oil and have a bottle of rosemary oil on the way to my home. I hear those are also good for hair growth, especially when mixed together with a neutral oil (my neutral oil will be the jojoba oil, which is also said to be good for hair-I currently use it on my skin also and it is great)








Wish me luck on my journey to long and wonderfully healthy hair!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sleepy Time is anytime

I spent the better part of today sleeping, and it was glorious. It's funny how I went from not being able to sleep at all to needing to sleep in the middle of the day. Well, it really isn' t funny at all...perhaps just strange.

There where many things that I wanted to do today. I wanted to read at least one chapter in my HR Planning textbook, I wanted to remove the nail polish on my fingers and put on a fresh coat...but now I'm sitting here after eating a late dinner while flipping between the shows 24 and UFC Unleashed, knowing that it is time to set up my dialysis machine, wash my face, slather lavender oil all over my scalp (not in that order).


Painting one's nails with button hole needles in their arm is probably not impossible, but I imagine it would be rather difficult. Perhaps I will simply remove the nail polish and even out my nails. Blech, maybe I'll do none of the above and look a mess with nearly gone navy blue nail polish on my fingers!

Anyhow, I have no bicart cartridges so I'm going to have to fill on of those up before I dialyze. First matter of business: Emla cream.

YES I STILL USE EMLA CREAM! NEEDLES HURT!! Hehe

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Why so sleepy?

I'm so sleepy today. My alarm went off at 6:40am today as it usually does on Saturday mornings. I got up at 6:50. I managed to make it through the day but the idea of possibly just asking to go home passed through my mind. My whole body feels so tired.

I have not done my blood work this month yet but I will later on. Sometimes when I feel strange, I'm nervous about getting bloodwork done. I'm nervous that something will be found in my blood that I don't want to be found. I'm scared that they will find that I am severely anemic, I'm scared that they will see that I'm flaring, etc.

I almost feel like...well I haven't had a flare for a while so "I'm due". You know what I mean? Life definitely should not be lived in fear, but I have to admit, I do sometimes get scared. I'm in the middle of school and doing well...and I don't want anything to screw it up. I have a plan in mind and I don't want anything to mess it up. I want to graduate college, write and pass the NKE, and get a great job in HR in the same building and for the same organization that I already work for (not necessarily in that order). I'm even considering perhaps doing night school or distance education after I have graduated from college so that I can get my university degree in HR. I considered transfering to Humber College straight away (ie. in September) and get going on the degree right away...but I would really like to try and finish school with my friends. That way, if for whatever reason I decide getting my degree is not for me, at least I'll have gotten my advanced college diploma already...and hopefully I can graduate with honours!

Aaaaand then on top of that, there is always that chance that colleges here will actually go on strike!

I really just want things to work, you know? I'm tired of things not working. I want to be the woman who says "Hey look, in spite of this, and this, and this....AND that, I'm here, I succeeded, I finished school, I got a great job, I'm self sufficient...and I'm HAPPY!" I'm definitely happy now, don't get me wrong. I have wonderful family and wonderful friends who mean the world to me. But I just hope that one day I can do things and get things and have things of my own...and look back and be proud of the fact that "I did that"!

That said, in order to do that, I'm going to have to finish school. So, I'm going to go change my clothes, wash the makeup off my face, and read a few pages in my textbooks!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Fragile Black Hair

I think it is a pretty well known fact that most of us with "kinky" hair also have very fragile hair. That is definitely the case for me. After much searching on the internet, I have come to the conclusion that I have type 4C hair.

I used to put a relaxer in my hair pre-Lupus, and for quite a while post Lupus as well. In the beginning, all I knew what I wanted a relaxer. I begged and begged my mom until she let me do it. She didn't want me to have one as she knew how damaging they could be. But, I was in a new school in grade 7...and I guess she relented after my constant and endless nagging. I wish I had just trusted my Mother's warnings...but then again, people often do not learn these things until they themselves have experienced it.

At that age, I had no idea how to take care of my hair. I did not know what products to use, I did not know how to wash my hair, etc. The way a person without kinky hair washes their hair is quite different than how I should wash my hair in that my hair is so fragile and needs to be treated as such.

I have been doing a lot of research on how I should take care of my hair. I had noticed that my hair would always break off at the ends and was weak and dry. I'm sure the fact that I have Lupus and am on several medications does not help the situation either! So I am going to try some stuff and hopefully grow a decent amount of hair in the meantime. I have my hair in braids right now, so I hope take a picture of my hair when it is out of the braids in order to serve as a starting picture.

Another one of my struggles where my hair is concerned is the fact that my hair is quite thin where my temples are. I have very thin baby hair there, but it just seems to stay that way. When I went to Florida with my family, my sister emailed me and told me about a segment she had seen on Dr. Oz, stating that using Lavender Oil on your hair may help it grow. After doing some internet research, there are many people who seem to agree with this theory. I purchased my very own bottle of lavender oil and mix it with olive oil every night. I concentrate only on my temples where the baby hair is, as I still have my hair in braids. I also put some of this mixture in an empty spray bottle and spray it between my braids.

Apparently hair is supposed to grow, on average, about 6 inches a year. Let's see how my hair does with this new and careful regime...and maybe, inspite of all my meds and the fact that my hair is already predisposed to being dry, I can grow and retain some long hair!

Again, I will post updates along the way!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Foot Hurts!

The first week of school has almost come to a close and there is much to be worried about. The contract of our college professors expired back in August. A new contract has not been negotiated and now they are in a strike position. As someone who wants to write the NKE in October, a strike will most certainly throw a wrench in my plans. If a strike does occur, all of our professors have provided us with course outlines. I will do my best to keep up with my readings and hopefully if a strike does occur we can keep on top of things.

My left foot, the one that I fractured, is hurting. Again. I don't know what is up with this. I had a bone scan back in December and apparently it did not look good at all. I have to see a rheumatologist who specializes in bones. I don't know when, but I have to soon. Blech!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Back to the Grind!

Today was my first day back at school. My class this week is only 2 hours, so it went by pretty quickly. The class I had today was Occupational Health and Safety. According to my professor, many organizations are hiring experts in this field. I obviously cannot make a decision now as the course only just started. but so far so good. My professor seems great.

I will obviously report further as school goes on. I was a bit scared to start school today. I've been feeling pretty tired these last few days. Yesterday and today, I got bad headaches. They both eventually went away. I'm not used to getting headaches so I just hope it was a terrible coincidence. I'm also hoping that the tiredness that I've been feeling is simply due to some inactivity due to not being in school. Hopefully that passes.

I have Occupational Health and Safety again tomorrow. Each of the two classes are 2 hours long. My prof explained to the class that there is a lot of material to be covered where this class is concerned, and that is why it is spread across 2 days. Having just one 4 hour class would be ideal, but then it may be too much for some students (probably including myself)! But having a day off would be great. I still work on Mondays (I have a vacation day today), Wednesdays and Saturdays, then I have 1 class each on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Fridays. I'm also taking one online course so that should eat up a lot of my time as well.

I'm pretty hungry, so I'm going to grab a bite to eat!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Situation Rectified

After returning from our vacation to Florida, I went online to check my father's visa bill. I was shocked to see a charge for $39.01 from the hotel we stayed at, since I paid for the trip on my own credit card.

I promptly called the hotel and asked for an explanation. I was told that there was a $1.99 charge daily for the room safe, and $2.95 charge daily for the in room computer. I was shocked to hear this, as none of us used or asked for any of these room extras. I brought my own laptop and wifi was free, so I had no use for their computer. Anything of absolute value we took with us and did not leave in the safe.

The man I spoke to told me that we agreed to these charges when we checked in. I begged to differ. When they asked my Dad for his credit card, they said it was just in case there was any damage to the room. Sneaky indeed! Since it was 10pm, the person I spoke to told me to call the next day and speak to the manager. When the conversation was over, I received an email which itemized the charges. I forwarded the email to my Father and told him what was going on. He said he would email the manager the following day, which he did.

After 2 days, my Dad told me that the manager emailed him back. In a short message, he apologized for the inconvenience and agreed to refund the money charged.

The manager absolutely made the correct decision. You will note that I had mentioned how we had ongoing problems with our room key after management did not seem to know that they had put us in a certain room and were trying to bust our door down at 12:30am. Many people would have asked for compensation for that...but we did not. So it was quite the slap in the face for us to come home and see EXTRA charges on the bill!

I'm glad that it is rectified.

Now, tomorrow is my last day to absolutely relax and veg before *gasp* school! My brother's girlfriend took me for a massage today as I told her how stressed out I had been during my last semester. It was wonderful! :D

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Dialysis unit-Florida!

As promised, here are some pictures of the dialysis unit I went to when I was in Florida. As promised, I will upload pictures of Disney World at a later time!



Person beside me. I like the small personal tvs, as well as the window!


This is the dialysis machine being used


I am taking this picture lying down as you can see by my blanket. My blanket says "wrap me around you" in case you're interested. Anyhow, the nurses' station is to the left beside the lady in red currently on dialysis. Across are more stations



This strange computer thing seemed to be in between every two dialysis machines, as in, each one of these black screens controlled two dialysis machines. I forgot to ask what it was for. Anyone know?



Closer shot of the dialysis machine




My mini tv. I was watching the history channel. Heh



My outer right thigh (haha) and poor unsuspecting man sleeping.




Lights on top of every machine. They work in conjunction with the machine alarms. Green is good. Yellow alarms are iffy. Red alarms require attention sooner rather than later.


That's it! If anyone knows what the computer screen is that controls two different dialysis machines...I'm all ears!
:)





 
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