Sunday, March 23, 2014

It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday

My iPhone started acting crazy yesterday.

I would be looking at an app or surfing around, when all of a sudden, several vertical lines would appear on the screen, then it would just shut off. After shutting down to black, the apple logo would appear, indicating that the phone had shut off and was restarting.

This is annoying, I thought. I take very good care of my electronics. I do plan on getting a new phone in the fall, though. But that's not because I had my current phone-I certainly do not. It's moreso because this phone was my first iPhone (iPhone 5) and I underestimated my shutterbug-ism as well as my app addiction. For this reason, I got both myself and my brother the 16gb phones. I would have been better with the 32gb, or even the 64gb. But 16gb just doesn't cut it-I need more space. So, I thought I would wait until the new iPhone comes out, likely in the fall, see what it looks like, how it operates, how many phones come out (I think two different kinds), then go from there. But-had it not been for the lack of space, I very likely would have held on to this phone for another year, making it 3 years..probably the longest I've kept any phone, except for my very first cell phone back in high school in 2000-my good ol' samsung sch 3530. Oh yes, I remember the make and the model.

I wanted this phone so bad that I sat on the phone for hours calling different Bell stores trying to find it. I tried to order it through Sears using my mom's Sears card, but then, even though they said it was in stock, it wasn't. But, they still charged my mom's card. Then, instead of refunding it, they charged it again. It was a nightmare. But, it did eventually get resolved.  But then, on that fateful day, I thumbed through the phone book and called a Bell store in Chinatown. 

"Do you have the Samsung SCH 3530?" I prepared myself to say "ok, well thanks anyway", and hang up, as I had done dozens of times before.

"Yes we do!" he said.  


" many do you have??" I asked

"We have six in stock" he said.

By the way, don't ask me how I remember all of this. I have a really good memory for odd things.

"Well...can you hold one for me?" I asked. He enthusiastically agreed. What a friendly fellow.

Now, it was time to get down to business.  I was too young to have a credit card, and a credit card would be needed to get this done. So, I called my sister at work. I had her fax me a letter with her signature, giving me permission to use her credit card, which was in her drawer, to get this phone. She promptly faxed it over to me. I then snatched up her credit card and TOLD my dad that he was driving me to China Town to buy a phone. 


"A cell phone??" He said.

"Yes." I replied simply.  At this point, it didn't matter much. If he didn't drive me, I'd take the bus.

So, into dad's van we went and we were off to China Town. I got my new cell phone without incident. But, I'm gonna be honest with you. They actually didn't understand what this mysterious fax was that I was trying to give them. They just kept saying "ok, ok, ok". I knew they REALLY didn't get it when they thanked me at the end of the transaction and called me "Liz".  I have never been without a cell phone since, and my cell phone number has remained the same too.

Fast forward back into the present. I hope this issue that my cell phone is having gets resolved through this iPhone restore procedure I just completed. Prior to restoring my phone, I was sure to back everything up to my computer and also to the cloud.

The process was quite quick-no more than 20-30 minutes to back everything up, wipe my cell phone clean, then put everything back on.

Most of my apps and settings returned to the phone...except a few. Some were apps that I could very easily re-download, or, if the app no longer existed, there are tons of substitutes. But there were two that I was initially upset about: Note'd and photo safe.

Note'd is like a diary. I used this app to talk about heartache-all the things and people that upset me or made me sad. Lots of "why me's" and "this is not fair's". Photo safe was a collection of pictures under lock and key. pictures of people and things that made me upset.

In the end, it was probably the right thing for me to get rid of these destructive apps.  There was and is nothing wrong with these apps, but just what they were being used for.  I didn't use or go into these apps much-maybe once every few months to be honest. But the point is...they were still there. They didn't NEED to be there...and now they're not...and I'm not mad about that. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise- a forced "let go".  Even if my phone ends up not working for real and needs to be replaced, it was (and is) an annoying, but perhaps slightly hidden blessing.


Update: I called Apple and they told me that my phone needs to be replaced, so I'll be heading to the apple store later on this afternoon to get a replacement phone. Out with the old, in with the new..?

Update 2: I got a new phone to replace the old/broken one. Upon physical examination by the "genius" at apple's genius bar, the top part of my screen seemed to be lifted, almost like my screen was in the beginning stages of popping right off.  The apple employee also asked me if I seemed to be having problems with battery life-I responded yes. He said that the reason my phone was shutting off sporadically and showing those vertical lines was because my battery was defective-it was "swollen". This could have happened for a number of reasons-just a defective device, use of non-apple approved charging devices, etc. But in the end, and thanks to AppleCare plus, getting my phone replaced was relatively quick and painless, and did not cost me a dime :)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Mmm..Pamela's butter shortbread..

I love shortbread cookies.

Just thought I'd get that outta the way. 

Now, as I blogged about a few times, I've gone gluten free before. I did it for a whole year. It was difficult because I love cookies, cakes, pasta, bread...basically I love gluten-y things. When it comes to pasta, rice pasta was a great substitute as I found little difference between rice pasta and regular semolina pasta, especially after sauce and everything has been added in. But, bread was an absolute nightmare. I tried a couple breads that were just dreadful. One loaf of bread that I bought was so crumbly and weird that I couldn't even begin the THINK about putting it into the toaster, lest I destroy the bread, and more importantly, the toaster. For that reason, it simply wasn't worth it for me to buy or eat bread, so I cut bread out altogether. 

Cookies and sweets were difficult too. I bought cream sandwich typed cookies (think Oreo) and they were very "meh". I also bought a gluten free cake mix which my mom made for me. It was also very "meh" (at best). So again, I just didn't bother eating sweets at all for the most part. 

I was browsing the website the other day and came across some gluten free shortbread cookies. They were called "Pamela's Butter Shortbread". Of course I kind of wrote it off immediately in my head due to my previous experience with gluten free cookies. But then I thought-what's the harm in looking at the reviews? So I navigated over to the reviews, and people were just LOVING these cookies! The reviews were all excellent. But, were these reviews coming from gluten hating people who were either used to the weirdness that sometimes comes with gluten free products, or people who don't eat or have never eaten gluten? Well, the cookies cost about 4 bucks, so I thought...what's the harm? I ordered a box.

The cookies arrived yesterday: Pamela's Butter Shortbread-wheat free & gluten free.

There are the cookies' ingredients and nutritional facts. Meh, It's not a stalk of celery but I'm also not gonna bust outta my jeans either.

Ooo, agave syrup. 

The cookies are packaged in little stacks like this. There are 3 cookies in a stack.

Here is a cookie in my hand to show you how big they are. I do not have gigantic hands, nor do I have itty bitty hands-just normal hands with slightly longer than usual fingers :)

When I bite into a shortbread cookie, I expect buttery, sweet, slightly salty, crumbly goodness. Amazingly, this was the case for this cookie! Having in mind that it's a gluten free cookie, the crumbly aspect wasn't AS prevalent as it is in a "regular" non-gluten free cookie. But that did not take away from the scrumptiousness of this cookie.

I ate two and then stopped myself, lest I eat the whole box without even flinching (I've been known). These cookies were extremely yummy-best gluten free cookie I've had so far. Pamela's Butter Shortbread gets 4 and a half "get in ma bellies" out of 5. Definitely worth a try. 

And that is my Pamela's (gluten free) butter shortbread review! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Skin peeling after swelling?

My leg swelling has gone down considerably since my TKA.

Now, anyone who knows me knows that I'm very serious about my skin moisurization. I ensure that my skin is always well moisturized, and my skin is always quite soft as I exfoliate with every single shower. 

That said, I've had some minor peeling of the skin on my right foot (the same foot as my knee replacement). My other foot does not have this peeling. I can only assume that this peeling is due to the stretching of my skin after the knee replacement, or perhaps it's due to the fact that I haven't exfoliated that foot at thoroughly as I have the other foot as it was difficult to reach that foot for a while after surgery. Who knows. But I'll continue to keep up with moisturizing and exfoliating and I'm sure it will resolve itself. 

Mmm..yummy.  lol

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Considering the future

Spending a lot of time by myself these last few weeks has really got me thinking. I've been thinking about the future a lot. I'm really looking forward to hopefully (my goal is on or before my birthday in May) securing a proper HR position. I've also been thinking about cleaning up my finances and getting my own place-perhaps a condo or a condo town home (as long as shovelling is included!)

I'm going to be honest. I thought that at this point in my life I'd be a lot...farther than I am right now. I thought I'd be married by now, have at least 1 kid, etc. I know that not everything happens the way WE plan it, and God knows that I'm not one to "settle", but I also know that my circumstances have played a role in my future.

I've been apprehensive about applying for full time jobs in the past. I'll admit it-I've been scared. Scared that I couldn't do it. I was afraid that something would happen with my health and I'd have to miss a whole bunch of days. I'm still scared about that.  I've missed wok because of sinus/ear infections, c. diff, stomach aches, etc...never mind the big stuff, like..joint replacements, kidney transplant, perforated bowel, etc. But, God willing, the real MAJOR surgeries have been dealt with and I can now progress without looking back.

I love to shop-this is no secret. But I've decided to cut way back on my spending habits so that I can save more as well as pay my bills. This way, I can hopefully get my own place. I've been fantasizing about it-I've even started looking online at different units and different town homes...just to see what's out there.  Hmm..maybe I'll play lotto max (the lottery) this week...

No but seriously, as I was saying above, I thought I'd be married and stuff by now, and already living in my own house or my own place with my husband. But, that's not where I am in life right now. Maybe that's what's in store for me, and maybe not. But, I'm not going to be that person who is 40+ years old and still living at home with her parents. In fact, I think living by myself would be a great thing. Being independent, making sure everything is within budget, etc..these are my goals for the next few years.

I don't know that the future will hold-I may meet my husband tomorrow. I may already know him...but I just don't know that he's my future husband yet. Who knows? All I know is that...I'm looking forward to making a change.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


I got lucky with the timing of my knee surgery. My very last day of monthly mensi was one day before my knee surgery. I was very glad about this, as I knew the last thing I wanted to worry about while going through the agony that is knee surgery recovery was my period. I didn't want to worry about getting up several times a day to change, adjust, etc.

Well, I must say that the days and weeks following my knee replacement...I was in a LOT of pain. Like, mega pain. Like, these morphine pills are a joke pain. Like, these oxycodone pills are also a joke pain.

So I looked at my calendar and the day my mensi was supposed to start came and went (around mid month). Good...again, one less thing to worry about. I figured, as has happened to me in the past, my body decided that it was currently under too much stress, so it did me a favour and decided that I didn't need to have my period this month. Well, that, or I was pregnant. And I'm not pregnant.

In the early part of February, I could barely deal with the amount of pain I was in. I actually felt like I was in an abnormal amount of pain. I was so close to having my Dad take me to the hospital or something because this simply was not right.  When I began physio, I couldn't do ANYTHING that they wanted me to do. I took my pain medication 45-60 minutes before physio as instructed. It still didn't help. Getting from the house to the car to drive to physio was torture. Getting from the car to my house after physio was even more torturous. Couple that with having to do this in the winter, where the ground was slippery and the sub zero temperatures zapped directly through my knee like a was nothing short of awful.  I really didn't think that the given number of physio sessions would be enough. I looked at everyone else that was at physio and thought that they were all stronger than me. Mind you, I had no idea what kind of injury/surgery they had, or how far along they were in their recovery...but that's how I felt. But, it didn't matter. I'm young. They're old. My recovery should be going much more quickly than it is.

On my first day of physio, I asked one of  the therapists what the procedure was for getting more physio sessions tacked on at the end, as I simply knew that I would be no where near ready to "go out into the world on my own" by the time my last physio session was due. 

But, through the pain and through the tears, I muscled my way through my physio sessions. There has been an amazingly huge turnaround from how I felt at the beginning of February vs how I feel now.  I was skeptical-I won't lie. But I've managed to get to a point where I'm barely reliant on my cane, and don't use the walker at all. I only use the cane to minimize extra stress on my knee, but I still practice walking without it and going up and down stairs without it. 

I got really irritated at physio the other day. Perhaps I shouldn't have, as perhaps my anger was not fair. But nonetheless, I was annoyed.  I was doing the physio class today instead of the one on one as there was a miscommunication as it relates to my schedule. In this room are two parallel bars that are at about upper thigh level for me. The bars are quite lengthy so that several people can use the bars at once. It is meant to help people when they are walking, doing squats, stepping up and down a box that a physio puts on the ground to help with building strength, coordination, and, of course, simply practicing walking up and down stairs of various sizes/heights. I was in the middle section of the bars, and was gripping one bar with two hands while I practiced going up and down on my toes. Another lady, an older lady-perhaps in her mid 60s, was at the end of the bars being assisted with her own exercises.  She couldn't have been more than a few weeks post-op.  While a physiotherapist instructed her on an exercise to do (stepping up on a low wooden box), she did it a few times then stopped. She said "I can't do it". She then gestured towards me "She can do it-she's young so she can do it. I can't". It burned me up. Just because I'm young it doesn't mean I don't feel pain.  Just because I seem to be very mobile right now, it doesn't mean I was this way 2 weeks ago. I turned around so that I wouldn't have to look at her.  Maybe I overreacted and was unjustified with my annoyance...but yes-I was annoyed.

Anyhow, this was a maaaajor tangent. Let me get back to the point. 

I didn't expect my period to come again until mid-march. I've been feeling much better as it relates to knee pain/flexibility, and for that reason the number and frequency of my pain medication usage has decreased. Imagine my surprise when my mensi decided to show up today-exactly 17 days late.  Why? Why couldn't you just wait another 10 or so days until you were actually supposed to show up?

I spoke in another post about lupus and irregular periods. Since my kidney transplant, however, my periods have been perfectly predictable.  So in this case, it would appear that my body was so in tune with the pain I was in that it didn't skip my monthly mensi just...put it on hold?

I am really interested, moving forward, as to when my next mensi will come. Will is show up again in a couple of weeks? Will this be my new cycle? Only time will tell. In the meantime, I'm going to go make myself some cinnamon tea and a hot water bottle. These menstrual cramps are no joke whatsoever.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Two years strong

Today marks my 2 year kidneyversary! The days, weeks, months, and years leading up to my transplant were difficult.  There were a lot of setbacks, and at times I really didn't even think it would happen. At times I wondered if it was even "meant to be". But then, when my brother and I actually received a transplant date, everything became "real" again.  But the date was more than a month away. I was still afraid that something would happen beforehand which would cause the surgery to be cancelled...or perhaps an emergency would come up and my surgery would need to be cancelled.

Sure enough, about 3 weeks or so before the scheduled date of my transplant...I caught a cold and my sinuses went crazy.  Perhaps not the best thing to do, but I was afraid to go to the doctor to get it checked out because I didn't want my surgery to be cancelled.  So, I went on a mission to heal myself. Neti Pot, over the counter cold medicine, pain medicine, lemon+honey+hot name it, I had it. Miraculously, I got over my symptoms about a week before my scheduled surgery. *whew*!

I'm glad, as I was counting down the days before I'd no longer need to insert large needles into my arm. Counting down the days before I wouldn't have to "plan ahead" before going to the washroom in the middle of the night. That was one of my least favourite parts-having to stop my machine, disconnect myself, flush my lines, and recirculate my machine because I had to go to the washroom...and my machine would beep every 15-30 seconds while recirculating. Disconnecting didn't take TOO long, but anything more than getting up and heading straight to the wash room is a LONG time when you REALLY. NEED. TO. GO.

But alas, I've managed, thank God, to make it through 2 years with little to no issues related directly to my kidney. I am so thankful to my brother for giving me this amazing gift.

Here's to many, many more kidneyversaries.
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