Monday, November 25, 2013

...and then I went to Emerg...

Yeah, you read that right.

On Tuesday evening, I got my lunch and everything ready for work the next day. I went to bed and everything was fine. But then, I woke up around 2 am. My stomach was absolutely KILLING me. I couldn't sit still. Still hunched over, I made my way to the kitchen and quietly made myself a hot water bottle-I didn't want to wake anyone up. I crawled back upstairs and into my bed with my hot water bottle and I chugged back a few swigs of pepto bismol. To no avail.

I couldn't bring myself to even search for gravol, so I asked my sister.  Unfortunately, she only had those ginger flavoured chewable ones. The last time I took those, I threw up.  This time was no different.

Nothing was providing me with a shred of relief. I was in so much pain. I had my sister tell my parents, as it was becoming (literally) painfully obvious that an ER would be in my future.I threw on any clothes that were in arm's reach, put them on, and headed to the ER with my Dad.

A shred of happiness to this situation was the ER was completely empty when we arrived. The time that I arrived and the time that I was taken in was about 15 minutes.

I was immediately given IV fluids as well as pain medication...sweet, heavenly pain medication. I was also given anti-nausea medication as well. The IV fluids kept flowing, as I was very much dehydrated. My heart raced at 130 bpm because of my lack of hydration. An ECG showed no abnormalities. I did an X-ray, blood tests, etc. As a precaution, I was admitted.

I expected to be there overnight and go home by Thursday. I didn't actually get home until the weekend. I felt good after I was being taken up to my room, but had a rough night. The days that followed were better.

Odd things happened-an entire set of lab tests were lost, and I had to repeat them. I had to refuse to do bloodwork a couple of times because I felt it was excessive. I don't have veins, especially since my main vein had an IV in it. For that reason, anytime blood was drawn, it was drawn from the veins in my hand. That doesn't tickle, especially when you have a nurse who isn't especially skilled in the art of inserting needles into tiny veins.  Another time, a blood tech answered her cell phone and had a (brief) conversation with someone while there was a needle sticking out of the top of my hand. I was beyond annoyed. At another point, a doctor told me that it was almost certainly ok for me to go home, and he would go and check with the team. Well, he never came back. So I didn't get to go home as I planned. I was SO MAD AT HIM!

I cried a lot. Cried from frustration, and cried from pain. The fact that I was admitted to the hospital caused me to miss me ortho appointment that I had. I've been waiting a month for this appointment and was very disappointed when I had to miss it. I pleaded for them to let me go, as I felt just fine. They refused. In fact, everyone that came to visit me had to wear gloves and a gown, since the reason for my upset stomach hadn't been determined and they didn't want the run the risk of me "infecting" anyone.

So in the end, it was probably just a regular stomach bug. The CT scan I did showed minor abnormalities, so I'll have to repeat it in a few months. Hopefully it's nothing, as I don't need any more "abnormalities". Sometimes I feel like a tattered piece of paper being held together by tape!

Now, I'm waiting to hear back from my transplant coordinator who will try to get me another appointment with the ortho doctor. I'm praying that it's soon. I was so mad that I was forced to miss it. SO MAD.

I'm glad to be home. I'll resume limping around until I can finally see the surgeon, book a date, and have something to look forward to.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Who is Miz Flow?

Affable- I'm sure many people would say that I'm friendly and easy to talk to. I'm definitely someone that others come to when they need someone to listen to a problem. I try to give honest answers, but I also try to provide an angle that is perhaps different than the obvious angle that others may have already given. 

Bright-I would say that I'm pretty intelligent. I pick up on things quickly and am quick-witted. This allows me to adapt when in any number of situations. 

Compassionate- I am a very compassionate person. I care about others-a LOT. I care what happens to people and sympathize with others too. If someone is crying, I cry with them. When someone tells me something sad, I'm sad with them. 

Determined-I've faltered, but I've never been one to take "no" for an answer. I've been through unimaginable gauntlets, but when the obstacles knock me down, I get back up. Hell, I'll even crawl if I have to. Sometimes I'll sit at an obstacle and cry because I don't think I can make is past;I think maybe this time I've met my match. My breaking point. But, I always get up and move forward. 

Easygoing-I don't need the four seasons hotel when I go on vacation. Is it nice? Yes. But, I don't need it. I'm laid back, I let things happen as they will, and try not to stress over the little things. There are too many big things to be concerned with. So yes, you can have the last cupcake I was saving. I'll just buy more tomorrow. 

Faithful-loyal to a fault, in fact. If I'm in a relationship, I'm in it through thick or thin. If the relationship isn't working and it's time for the relationship to end, I'll end it as painlessly as possible. But again, based on some of my other traits, if I see faults in a relationship, whether within my family or outside of it, I don't just end it right away. I try to find a way. 

Generous-the blouse off of my back I will give to almost anyone. You need a coffee? I got you. You like my scarf?  Look-I got you the same one in a different colour. You need someone to hang out with? Sure-I'm there. Now, this generosity isn't always reciprocated, but I try not to let that bother me. It's hard sometimes-specifically when it relates to the generosity of one's time. 

Humorous-I'm good at conjuring up the perfectly placed joke at the perfectly placed time. My mind works a million miles a minute, and this enables me to crack the perfect joke at the perfect time. I love to laugh and I love to make people laugh.

Intuitive-I'm very intuitive. I very much have the ability to see things-feel things. I need to listen to my powers of intuition more often. Sometimes these powers are saying things that I don't want to hear, so I ignore them. I push them down and tune them out. And, almost always, my intuition comes back and says "I told you so". 

Kind-I like to think I'm kind. I'm nice to others and do what I can to help. This includes volunteering my time and my efforts. I try to read others, then bump up my level of kindness based on their needs. If I can tell someone is really down, I do my best to bring them back up. 

Loyal-I'm definitely a loyal person. This includes both my professional and personal life. I'm loyal to my employer. This shows as I've been there for 10 years. I'm loyal to my friends. While I try not to break plans with others, if a really good friend NEEDS me, trust that I'll be there. 

Optimistic-my family helps me out a lot with this one. My friends too. I try to look on the bright side of things. I've really had to exercise my optimism these last number of weeks. When one thing goes wrong, it is human nature to focus on that, even though 10 things have gone right. In life, and in my career, though I may falter, for the most part I am very optimistic. 

Patient-I put up with a LOT. Being patient is a big part of my personality. I'm patient with myself. Whenever I have a setback and have to claw my way back up to health, I'm patient with myself and my healing process. I'm patient with others, as I understand that others deal with things differently. My ways may not be your ways, and I understand that. I'm patient at work, as the nature of my job puts me in a position whereby I deal with nearly every demeanour of person everyday. 

Quick-witted-trust me: if you make a joke, I've got a comeback in record time. It will make you laugh, and, again, it will be delivered impeccably and placed perfectly. I have my siblings to thank for my quickwit. Being the youngest of 3 siblings helped me learn to hold my own. 

Reliable-if my friends need me-I'll be there. I try not to let anyone down and I try not to disappoint anyone. If I say I'm going to be somewhere, unless I'm sick or otherwise unwell, I will be where I said I would be. I'm even there for those who perhaps aren't there for me when I need them. It's just who I am. 

Sensitive-I'm very sensitive. Don't get me wrong, I'm a strong person, but if I feel wronged, I will cry. If someone says or does something hurtful, I will cry. Not often in front of others..but I do she'd tears. I think it's because I sometimes give others too much power in my own life. I need to take control (even) more. Something to work on perhaps. But there's nothing wrong with a good cry every now and then.

Thoughtful- I always take other people's thoughts and feelings into consideration. I think of others, and will do little things here and there just to let others know I'm thinking of them. 

Understanding-I have my ups and downs. I've said that before. I know who I am. But I can never know what others are thinking or going through. Sometimes others will do dumb or mean things, or say rude or insensitive things. Not because they're mean or awful people, but perhaps because they're going through something. I may not understand what you're going through...but...I understand. 

Versatile-I'm able to adapt to a number of different situations. This includes comfortably hanging out with people with different interests, in different environments, different age groups, etc. This is a great trait in my opinion, whether in a business setting or a social setting. 

Well-rounded-I try to have balance in my life. This includes making time for work, life, health, etc. At times, one thing in life may take priority over another, but in the end, I try to keep balanced. This even includes my diet. I eat what I want when I want. But, I crave and love broccoli, kale, asparagus, and brussle sprouts on one day, then cupcakes, chocolate, chips, and cookies the next. 

I felt the need to write down the positive things about me, as I sometimes get stuck on negatives. Oftentimes the negative isn't even about "me", but things that happened to me or around me that make me unhappy. I will go back and read this post whenever I feel down. Sometimes it's good to just...stop. Refocus. Be sad when you need to, but try not to let it consume you. 


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Maintaining Clear Skin (Discount Code Below)

Maintaining relatively clear skin while taking medication that actually WANTS you to have bad skin has been difficult. I've mentioned in a previous post my struggles as it relates to my skin.  I cringe when I think back to these days:
Trust me when I say I avoided social situations when possible because I didn't want anyone to see my skin. No amount of makeup could cover my acne...and even still, it was essentially a slippery slope. The idea of using heavy makeup while trying to heal your troubled skin just doesn't work out.

In the past, I went the natural route and used honey and brown sugar scrubs, clay masks, etc. I have good results with those, but after a short while, it was almost as if my skin got "used to" these products and stopped working.

In recent years, I managed to maintain moderately clear skin by using brown soap and an alcohol free toner, along with cerave skin lotion.  When I went to California to visit my friend in August, she showed me a bug by Paula Begoun. She essentially breaks down which products are the bad, good, the best, etc. These comparisons include makeup, makeup remover, face wash, mascara...everything under the sun. She also has her own line of skincare products.  The fact that she has her own product line, but still has a book that outlines products that she and her team think are good really struck me.  It's like..ok, I have my own products, but if you don't want to use them, check out these drugstore/department store/specialty store etc alternatives.  Maybe that was the game...because I bought some products and had them shipped to my home right away so that they would be there as soon as I returned home from my trip.

The first product that I bought was Paula's Choice Facial Toner.

When I started using this, I almost immediately started getting compliments on my skin. This toner really helped minimize my huge pores and control oil. Just in trying this product I could see a big difference.
I went on to try the facial wash and the BHA skin treatment.

 After this, I was sold. My skin is amazingly smooth and even. Of course, my skin isn't perfect. But it's much better than it has been in a while.  I rounded off my Paula's Choice regimen with her facial mask, sunscreen, and her shine reducing lotion. My skin is extremely oily-especially on my cheeks/under my eyes where my glasses sit., so it is really necessary.

So this is how my regimen looks.  I know it's probably going to look complicated/complex, but it works for me haha.   These links are accurate as of the date I wrote this post (Nov 14, 2013) and will remain accurate just as long as the internet doesn't change *haha*
I've linked everything to the site/page that I bought each product-just click on the name of the product and a page will open in a new window. And yes, I bought each product with my own money (or my dad's money haha) and used each for a number of months, so my testimony is real.

Wash Face: African Black Soap
Toner: Paula's Choice Toner
Treatment: BHA Lotion
Moisturize: 2 drops of grapeseed oil, a drop of cerave lotion, and a dollop of Paula's Choice sunscreen
--Then makeup-primer, foundation, Paula's choice shine control, powder on top.

Wash Face: Paula's Choice Cleanser
Toner: Paula's Choice Toner
Treatment; BHA Lotion
Moisturize: 2 drops of grapeseed oil, cerave lotion.

Weekly (or when I remember and have time):
Treatment: Paula's Choice Facial mask
--*used after washing, before toning, treatment, moisturizing.

If trying out Paula's Choice is something you're interested in doing, here's a link for $10 off your first purchase.  Honestly...give it a try. Paula's choice has a wonderful refund/return policy, though I'm pretty sure you won't need it.

Here you go!


Monday, November 4, 2013

Mish Mash

I'm calling this post a mish mash because I'm not even exactly sure what I'm going to talk about!

First of all, let's talk about the month of October. I'm not gonna lie-this month has been a tough one for me. It has had it's highs and it has definitely had it's lows.

One of the lows is the fact that my Godfather passed away. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease a number of years ago. He was always the one who would do the family's taxes, and as he became more and more ill, he invited me over to his home to teach me how to take over the taxes for my family. I'm thankful for that, as he taught me things that are not only useful now, but will be very useful and helpful in the future. The funeral was difficult for me. People always say the same thing when they go to funerals an approach the casket- "It doesn't even look like him/her". It really didn't look like him.  I remember many years back when my Godfather had an open house at his place of work and invited my entire family. He was so full of energy and excited to have us all there. Then I think to recent years, as he began to lose that extra "pep in his step" that he always had.  All this ran through my mind as I looked at him at the funeral. I walked out quickly and went to the washroom. I went into a stall and closed the door.  And cried.

My knee has been another source of stress for me. I had no idea that my knee was going to get this bad so suddenly, and I had no idea that surgery would be in the cards for me sooner rather than later. I've started to make some great contacts at work, and I'm hoping that another position will be in my future. I've been seeing some great positions come up, too. I'm afraid to apply for them now because I don't know when I'll be able to have surgery once I actually see my specialist. It could be very soon, it could be a number of weeks-I don't know.

Other things here and there have been difficult for me this month too.  I can't count the amount of time I've just spent in my room, my face buried in a pillow and wondering...why this...why now...just why. I know that everything will eventually work out the way it's supposed to work out in the end, but I sometimes just wish that things would work out exactly the way I want them to. never does, does it.

Here's to what I hope will be a better month, full of good things, including happiness, peace of mind, and progress.


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