Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Vlog- Colon Issues

So!  It's been almost two weeks since I uploaded my first vlog.  I did another one this afternoon and you can watch it below.  I decided to do a bit of a "series" where I will discuss things that I have experienced that were not specifically kidney related as there are a few.

The video below is about the time I ended up with a perforated colon/abdominal vasculitis.

Tell me what you think! :)

Coughs and Colds!

Yep, it's that time of the year...I have a cough and a cold/runny nose.  It's not too bad anymore.  Yesterday I didn't even want to exert the energy needed to lift the remote and change the channel.  My dad bought me some cough syrup so that surely helped.  My dad also made me a facial mask with lemon and organic honey.  I put a drop of peppermint essential oil into the mask and put it all over my face.  The peppermint really seemed to help with my sinuses and just made everything feel nice and tingly.  I hope that I'll be much better in time for the weekend.  I'm gonna check out my bro's digs for the first time.

Every time I get a cold, I am reminded of that horrible, horrible ear infection that I had a in January 2009.  I'm telling you...I've never been the same after that.  It was the first time ever having an ear infection (it was in both ears) and I was beyond miserable.  Hmm..if only the doctor that I begged and pleaded with to relieve me of this pain believed me (he was a fellow and not my regular doctor, btw).  I still see him around the hospital and I give him some heavy duty side-eye.  When I begged him for help, it was a Friday.  If he had only listened to me and believed me when I said that I am NOT having severe head and face pain due to my hemoglobin being low (i was getting a blood transfusion at the time), I wouldn't have had to suffer throughout the weekend without any antibiotics.  When I went back to the hospital on the Monday, barely able to walk straight/properly because of the ear infection, one of the actual unit doctors saw me and right away knew that I needed antibiotics.  Arghh!  Anyways, I've told that story before and will tell it again in a vlog.

Here's to hoping I get over this cold soon so I can hit up physiotherapy tomorrow, see my bro's new place on the weekend, get cleared by my ortho surgeon on Tuesday, and hopefully soon head back to work!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

First Vlog Afternath

I must say...I am very surprised, happy, and humbled by the response that I have gotten from my first vlog.  I've gotten a lot of positive feedback from many people.

I watch youtube videos all the time for various reasons.  I started watching hair videos on youtube just over a year ago after I had taken a weave out and suffered a ton of breakage, especially at the nape of my head.  I watched youtube videos for tips and information on how I could nurture my hair back to health. The videos I watched were helpful, easy to understand, and full of useful information. It was through the aid of these videos that I was able to achieve this goal:

After watching some youtubers speak to the camera with ease, I never imagined that it would be difficult for me to do the same thing.  It was easy in that I knew that it was something I wanted to do and I am glad that I did it, but what I did not realize was how difficult it would be to speak to the camera with the ease amd poise that some of the youtubers I have watched do.  I suppose this comfort behind the camera will come with practice!

I look forward to making my next video.  I have a lot of ideas in my head of different topics I want to discuss. I can't wait to record, edit, and upload my next video.  Again, thank you so much for all of your kind and encouraging words!

I miss my old Rheumy

The other day was my first rheumy appointment with the doctor taking over for my previous rheumatologist.  I almost always have mixed feelings when I have to see a new doctor. It worries me when someone that I am not familiar with wants to make changes to my "regular" routine.

Anyhow, I went to my clinic appointment today and say the fellow first.  We discussed everything that needed to be discussed, including my hip replacement, kidney transplant, etc.  After the fellow examined me, he left to go and get the doctor.

Much to my chagrin, my new doctor was doing a presentation or something elsewhere and was unable to come and meet me for the first time.  He did, however, tell the fellow that he felt that it was unnecessary for me to remain on the drug mycophenalte mofetil (cellcept).  The fellow explained that this medication is meant to help the kidneys, and since I am on dialysis, it is essentially redundant for me to take it.

Don't get me wrong; whenever I can remove a medication from my repertoire, I'm all about it...ESPECIALLY cellcept.  It's the most expensive drug I take and it gives me the most trouble to receive money back when it comes to receiving reimbursement for it.  But I guess what I find worrisome is the fact that a doctor wants to stop this medication so quickly and (in my opinion..I could be wrong) without a THOROUGH investigation/review of my chart.  My previous rheumy is a very smart and reasonable doctor who knows me very well.  I think that if it were in my best interest to stop this drug, he would have recommended it (or at least suggested it).

I've said it once and I'll say it again.  The weeks just prior to me having to start dialysis all over again in 2004..I was being discharged from the hospital.  A doctor that I had never met before came in and told me to stop taking a bunch of medication that I was on.  At the time..I was thrilled!  Less medication must mean that I'm getting better!  He told me to stop taking furosemide, rampril...and a few others.  He said that they weren't "good for my kidney".  I found this odd, because I had been taking these medications for several years and I seemed to be fine for all of those years (more or less).  It also seemed...strange that doctors would have prescribed all of these different medications to me if they were supposed to be "bad for my kidneys".  Long story short...I stopped taking those medications and was once again in complete renal failure about 2 weeks later.  So as you can imagine, I'm hesitant to just "stop" taking things, especially when someone I am not familiar with is the one who suggests it.

Anyhow, my answer to this was that I wasn't going to stop taking this least not yet.  I emailed my old doctor to see what his opinion is.  I hope he responds.  I have my transplant coordinator Julie working hard to get me my transplant.  I don't want to do anything that'll make me sick and put my transplant on hold yet again...!

Other than that, at the moment, my hemoglobin is 105! (or 10.5).  Yay!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

My First Video!

So I promised that I'd create a video on my youtube channel...and I did!

Tell me what you think.  And yes, I know that I say "you know" a lot...I'm gonna work on that ;)

Thanks :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Physio tomorrow

Tomorrow will be my second physiotherapy session.  Oddly, I'm looking forward to it.  Well, perhaps it isn't overly odd, but I do want to go. Not necessarily because I love doing physiotherapy, but because I just look forward to getting out of the house as I have spent most of my time here as of late.

I'm limited in terms of going out and stuff because I do not want to overdo it.  In my desperation and desire to simply get out of the house, last Sunday I went to a local Sally's beauty supply...just to buy some hair pins that I wanted.  After that, I went to the post office to pick up a package.  I took the bus.  Taking the bus wasn't too bad as I luckily encountered some very polite and courteous people.  One bus driver actually held my hand so that I could sit down when I got on the bus, and he held my hand when it was time for me to get off the bus.  I was pleasantly surprised with that as he totally didn't have to do that...but I wasn't complaining! :)

I'm not feeling the greatest today. It's bad enough when you're not feeling well...but when stuff starts happening to you outside of you not feeling's just a recipe for a bad day.  For example, I went downstairs to the kitchen to try and get myself something to eat as I needed to take my medication.  When I picked up the plate I wanted to use...another plate went crashing to the ground.  I guess the bright side of that is the fact that the plate didn't fall on my foot..nor did break in to a million pieces.  I picked up the 5 or 6 pieces, nearly in tears, and retreated to my room to eat breakfast.

I ate, took my meds, and relaxed a bit.  I went to use the washroom that is in my room...and lo and behold..the toilet won't flush.  Why, why, why me!  Bright side? Well, at least the toilet simply didn't flush as opposed to it flooding/overflowing.  Yep, I guess.

I called my Dad and told him what had happened.  This had happened a few months before: there is something in the tank of the toilet that is broken.  My dad fixed it on a temporary basis, but since it worked just fine for a number of months, I think the more permanent solution slipped his mind. My dad told me that if I lift the lid off of the tank and push or pull or do something, I can make the toilet flush.  I opened the tank (hunched over from my stomach ache, mind you) and couldn't find what he wanted me to push (or pull).  So I grabbed my new video camera, made a video, and will email it to my father for further instruction. (and oh yes, I can't wait to make some vlog videos to post on my blog!).

So that's all for now.  My video is done uploading to youtube, so now it's time for me to send it to Dad for further instruction. Oh, and don't go looking for the video on my youtube channel- I made it private and only those with the link for the video can watch it :P

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Scar 2 months post op

Here is a picture of my scar at just about 2 months post op. I think the scar looks great. Great job by my surgeon! :D

-Florence T.
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Friday, October 7, 2011

Outpatient Physiotherapy

I guess you can say that the highlight of my day was going to physiotherapy.  Well, here's how that went.

I got there promptly at 12:55pm for my 1pm appointment.  I got there a little later than I would have liked, knowing that I'd have to fill out forms and such.  I went into the building for the first time and scanned my surroundings.  There was an unlabeled door to my left. I looked in front of me and saw a flight of stairs.  At the top of that flight of stairs, which led to another flight of stairs, was a sign that said "physiotherapy, sports injury, etc. 2nd Floor". I was puzzled to see two flights of stairs leading up to the clinic...with no elevator.  Shouldn't the clinic either be on the first floor or shouldn't there be an elevator?  What if someone comes in and is seriously injured?  How are they supposed to get up there?

Anyhow, I slowly went up the stairs of the old-fashioned building.  This second floor had a series of doors.  The first one I saw said "physiotherapy".  I went to open the door...but it was locked.  I looked at the door and there was a sign that stated that they were closed from 12pm-1pm for lunch.  Hmph.

I sat down on a nearby chair and waited.  After about 1 minute, someone who looked like a janitor asked if I needed help.  I told him that I was there for physiotherapy. He told me I was on the wrong floor. Just as I suspected...that unlabeled door is actually where I should have went.  So, I slowly limped my way back down the stairs.

When I arrived, I paid the assessment fee and filled out the appropriate forms.  I sat down and waited until about 1:25pm before being called in. Wasn't my appointment supposed to be for 1pm?

Anyhow, an older gentleman (maybe in is 60s) was the physiotherapist.  He was very kind and asked me various questions.  As I expected, he declared that I was much too young to have to go through all of these things that I had methodically listed on the information form that I had filled out earlier.  I agreed.

I'm not gonna lie...this physiotherapist made me slightly uncomfortable.  I dunno, just the idea of having him touch my hip and stuff.  Nothing seemed inappropriate, as I know that I'd have no issues if it was a female (or even perhaps a younger man), but it was still weird for me.  Heck, a couple of weeks before my surgery I went for a full body massage given to me by a woman and I had zero issues with that!  But you know what I mean. I heard him communicating with the other patients and it seems that he's just a really friendly guy.

He started of by testing the strength in my hip by having me sit down and push down on his hand with my foot and push up on his hand with my knee.  He said that my level of strength in my hip was good.  After that, I lied down on the exam table/bed while an assistant came in and put a tens unit and an ice pack on my hip.  That stayed on for 15 minutes.  After that, the physiotherapist (let's call him Bill) came in and put some sort of oil or something on my hip.  I was then directed to do some strengthening exercises while still lying down.  After I did the first set, Bill asked me for the paper that showed the exercises that I had been doing since surgery was complete. After this, he put an ankle weight on my ankle and a rolled up towel under my left knee.  From there I straightened my leg, lifting the heel of my left foot off of the table/bed.  I have been doing this exercise at home, but not with the weight on my ankle.  This definitely upped the difficulty.

After this, I put my pants back on and went to sign for my therapy.  Bill told me to come back next week.  We would progressively increase the strength in my hip and eventually get to more difficult things.

After that, I waited for my cab and that was that.  

So I do look forward to getting my full mobility back.  I hope these physiotherapy sessions will up the strength soon.  

Next on my list...transplant.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Outpatient Physiotherapy coming up

My in-house physiotherapy sessions have ended.  I feel much more stable now that it has been almost 8 weeks since my surgery.

What I can say is that I do still feel a little apprehensive about putting my full weight my hip when it comes to stairs and stuff.  I can go upstairs and downstairs just fine, but as advised by my surgeon, I only go one step at a time (go up with the good leg on step at a time, down with the bad leg one step at a time).   But I do sometimes find myself accidentally trying to go up or down the stairs normally...and I catch myself.  i'm quite nervous that I'm going to fall or dislocate something.  It's almost reminds me of when I was still in the hospital and about to take my first few steps.  I was walking...but I would "limp" when I stepped on my left leg...almost as if I wanted to put as little pressure on the hip as possible.  Even though the physiotherapists told me not to limp and to put full pressure on the leg...I was still nervous.  It took a few moments for me to realize that these physiotherapists must know what they're talking about since they do this everyday!

Tomorrow will be my first outpatient physiotherapy session.  I'll be going to a nearby physio clinic.  I told my parents about my plans-they are both on vacation overseas.  My father told me to make sure that I make sure the physiotherapists know my limitations and not to push myself. I have to admit...he's right.  When my in-house physiotherapist wanted me to do an exercise that involved me doing a squat, and another one that had me lie down on my (good) side and do leg lifts...I had to draw the line.  The squat wasn't happening because my right knee hurts and is going to need to eventually be replaced as well...and the leg lifts were just...well...painful..!

I do look forward to having my hip up to 100% and I look forward to my physio appointment tomorrow...which will likely be more of an assessment period.  Wish me luck! :)
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