Effervesce.

When life knocks you down, calmly get back up, smile, and say. "You hit like a bitch."


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10 Weird facts about me.

I’m sure evryone has some weird things about themselves, I’m no different. I am quite weird on a good day! So the 10 weird things are:

1. I brush my teeth 4 times a day. Don’t really know why, habit I suppose.

2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the smell of petrol fumes. (most chemicals actually, but petrol is my favourite.)

3. I can translate most songs into Afrikaans! Lol! That is a bit dilly!

4. I get my second wind about 11:30 at night, but then everyone’s already asleep, so I’m alone in my enthusiasm.

5. I have an irrational fear of butterflies. I’m convinced they’re after me!

6. I have absolutely, and I mean ABSOLUTELY no sense of direction. Most women say they do, but I get lost in a shopping centre. One I’ve been to many times before. (embarrassing really)

7. I can’t sit on a chair for long periods, I have to pull my legs up to my chest. That gets really awkward when it’s not ok to do so.

8. I don’t get along with receptionists. I always seem to piss them off. Maybe I’m short with them, will have to check that out.

9. When I chew bubblegum, I want to wrap it around my index finger. Not sure why.

10. I’m afraid of strange old men. I mean, really old men. Hahahahaha! I really don’t know why, but I try and stay away from them best I can. If it’s unavoidable, I make the conversation quick and get out!

So there you have it. I am not too weird, just a bit!

“We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.” 

― Robert Fulgham.

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Life Lessons.

Throughout my life I have gone through may things. Good and bad. And with everything I have gone through, I learnt something. Now it really doesn’t matter what we go through, be it good, bad, tragic, life threatening. We learn some valuable lessons. I have sometimes felt that I have learnt quite enough now, thank you very much. But as we all know, life doesn’t work like that. I want to stop learning just for a bit if that’s ok. But alas, life goes on teaching. So I have had to sit back and recall some of those lessons that I have learnt through the years.

The most important lesson, and I can tell you, the hardest lesson also, was learning that I do not control ANYTHING! Now I used to be a bit of a   total control freak. I used to get the hell in if I organised a party and it rained. Like I could control the weather. But that was a tough lesson to learn. Things are out of my control, and there is precious little I could do to change some things, and there was buggerall I could do to change many things. I have had to accept things as they happen. Move on, dreams in tatters. Ego bruised. Covered in dust.

But I have also learnt, that even when things are or look like the end. It isn’tt always a bad thing. I truly believe things happen for a reason. A total cliche I know, but I truly believe that. I have gone through too much to believe otherwise. So I have learnt to accept. Accept things as they happen, hard as it is. And not take things personally. Even if it looks like there should have been a better outcome. I can truly say, as hard as it is to accept. I do.

I have also learnt to be patient. Many people know that I am THE most impatient person around. But during the last few years of ups and mostly downs, I have learnt to be patient. And wait. And although sometimes I have wanted to say “Screw it all, I’m sick of waiting!” I persisted. And it does pay off. We sometimes think we have waited long enough, and that’s then when we find out we can wait a bit more.

I have also become more tolerant of people in general. I learnt that we are never alone in what we go through. Someone may not go through the exact same thing, but everyone has some or other cross to bear. Although it doesn’t make me feel better, I know I am not alone.

But I have also become harder concerning people and their shit. I have a very small capacity to deal with crap. I used to be able to handle a lot more. But not these days. Life is just too short to deal with people’s crap. I have too much to do to even consider crap. We all have to play the hand we are dealt. No use whining about it all the time. Nobody is exempt from difficulty.

I have also learnt to slow down. To take time out for myself. It’s very important to do the things you need to do for yourself. Because time marches on. People come and go. But you are stuck with yourself. If you don’t do what you need to do for yourself, it won’t get done. Nobody is going to do it for you. I am forging ahead with plans that I put off for a different time, a better time, a time when I will have more time. Not gonna happen. Do it now.

I learnt to be grateful for what I have. Not whine about what I don’t have or still want/need to get. I see people who run around trying to get just this one thing then they think they will be happy or complete. I see it all the time. I have learnt to be truly grateful with what I have. It can all taken be away in a heartbeat. So I am enjoying what I have right now.

I am nurturing the relationships which are important to me. There were people in my life that was just too much hard work, and one sided. I am not going to be the only one doing the work in a relationship anymore, life is just too short for that. The people in my life want to be there, they contribute to the relationship. They don’t just take.

These are just some of the most important lessons I’ve learnt through the years. And I am so thankful for these lessons. They have shaped me into the person I am today. Hard as the lessons were to learn, I am glad I am on this side of these lessons, and not still learning them, because I also know that there are many more lessons to be learnt. I am just glad I got some of them under my belt.

“This is an important lesson to remember when you’re having a bad day, a bad month, or a shitty year. Things will change: you won’t feel this way forever. And anyway, sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are the ones your soul needs most. I believe you can’t feel real joy unless you’ve felt heartache. You can’t have a sense of victory unless you know what it means to fail. You can’t know what it’s like to feel holy until you know what it’s like to feel really fucking evil. And you can’t be birthed again until you’ve died.” 
― Kelly Cutrone.


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Spider eater.

My cat Cassey, is a spider eater. She LOVES eating spiders. Her all time favourite is a Daddy Longlegs. Every morning we find the legs of the spiders she ate the night before. Legs are just not her thing. We do have to prevent her from attacking the Sack spiders, because they are deadly. I worry that she might get bitten and get sick. Or die. She has on occasion gone for a scorpion too, but we stop her from eating those, we are not sure what will happen if she gets stung.

My Girl Cassey

She did get stung by a bee once. Shame poor lil girl, her little chin swelled up. It was adorable! I know she didn’t think it was adorable, but we did!

She is a bug eater off note. When she gets her fangs into (or I should rather say, around) a Parktown Prawn, (corn cricket) it’s her ultimate favourite. It actually sounds like she’s sinking her teeth into metal. Those are hard bugs!

She’s also a huge catnip fan, dry or live plant. She actually gets high on it I’m sure of it!

She loves her catnip plant!

My beautiful girl.

Bird watching, her favourite pass time.

We have high-jinx when my Sister’s cat Rocky comes for a visit. The 2 cats compete to see who can eat the most. So after a visit from Rocky, both cats gain weight. It’s really funny to see the 2 compete. They compete with everything. It doesn’t matter how many scratching blocks we have, Rocky will ‘own’ the one Cassey is sitting on and vice verse. Hilarious really. We are going away next weekend so Cassey will go and visit Rocky, and then my Sister will have both kitties. I’m sure there will be some funny stories to tell after the weekend.

“Of all God’s creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat.” 
― Mark Twain.


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My Ball and Chain.

I accidentally changed some log-in settings on my blog, my Brother-in-law fixed it for me. I’m a total techno turd. Thank God for for my Brother-in-law!

Anyway, today I’m introducing my Ball and chain. The machine I hook up to every night. It’s so much better than doing heamo dialysis, I feel better and I also only connect once, so the risk of infection is minmal. I used to Hand dialyse 4x a day. Every 4 hours. That was awful. My hands were so dry from all the washing and spraying of alcohol. I wasn’t allowed to touch anything while I was dialysing, So I started wearing latex gloves in between touching all the equipment. Now things are easier. I was my hands once, spray once with alcohol and hook myself up. Easy. I’m so thankful that we have the technology we have today. Otherwise there would be no renal failure patients. We would all be dead.

This is my ball and chain, my trusty APD machine.

My APD machine.

AKA my artificial kidney. I’m attached to this baby for 12 hours straight. I start the process at 18:00 in the evening, I put 2x 5lt bags ontop so that the heater can warm the solution. Which in winter is awesome, because the solution gets very cold. And 10lt of cold fluid in your abdomen in winter is no joke. Then at about 19:30 I attach myself. Then I can walk around and do my thing, dragging the trolley behind me. Not the quietest piece of furniture in the house, but it will do.

My Catheter.

The Catheter is a long pipe that is inserted into my stomach. It’s all coiled up in my abdomen, I can feel most of the time, and it can be quite painful. I’m looking forward to that being removed from me. And  it’s very sexy, all the rage in Europe. Hahahahahahaha! If only hey!

my lil trolley.

And my trolley. The machine sits on top of the trolley. I have the grear I need on my trolley. My green clams, my blue clamps and my mini caps.  The machine buzzes and hisses all night long. It’s not very loud, and I’m used to it now, but in the beginning it was annoying. It still wakes Pete up some nights.

So although I get seriously tired of the whole dialysis deal sometimes, most of the time I handle pretty well. It’s just tedious, nothing ever changes. It’s the same night after night. I suppose it’s better than battling all the time like some patients do. But a girl needs variety in life.  Pete and I often discus what it would be like without all the dialysis paraphanalia. Life would be just a little bit easier.

Life is not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s the way it is. The way you deal with it is what makes the difference.-Virginia Satir
 


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Blue Wednesday.

I woke up yesterday feeling very depressed. I’m not a depressed type of person, I almost never feel depressed. But I found with dialysis it creeps up on a person. The fact that I didn’t sleep a wink the night before is also a factor. I’m so tired of insomnia, no pun intended. And then later in the day I burst a vein in my already bloodshot left eye. It’s really painful. And to top it all I had the mother of all headaches. It wouldn’t go away no matter how many painkillers I took. I eventually had to go to bed headache and all. It’s still there.

I ended up having a chat to a friend of mine at around midnight. She’s going through a rough time. I was just reminded last night that I’m not alone. It might feel like that sometimes. I’m sure it does for everyone at some point.

And this morning I woke up feeling nauseaus. That’s never good. Maybe a tall glass of Creme Soda will do the trick.

Pete was a bit worried yesterday, he phoned to make sure I was still ok. I just  had such a blue day.

I’m so sick of looking at my APD machine, and when the time came to start the whole thing up last night I really didn’t want to dialyse. I just wish I can skip a week of dialysis. It would be so wonderful. To just live. No opening bags and shit, connecting to a machine. So nice. I can’t imagine what that was like. Machineless.

I seriously wanted to just give up yesterday. I have spoken to Pete about giving up before, he does understand and will do what I want but not without a good fight at least. I don’t often have days like yesterday, but they are there. I so want to give up, I really do.

I’m just hanging for October, and will decide what to do after that. But for the time being I will push through and wait. And carry on hoping. Hoping that everything will somehow work out for the good. Hoping that this fight will end somehow.

Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent. 
Marilyn vos Savant


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Nail Art.

Ok, so I’m total nail art noob, I  got my first taste on Thursday. Valntine took me under his wing and showed me it doesn’t have to be gaudy and over the top. He designed this delicate flower with silver glitter, pink a dab of black and a diamante. I only had it done on 2 nails, I feel every nail is a bit much. I saw a Lady’s nails yesterday, she has a different design on each nail. The designs were lovely, but it clashed a bit for me. I don’t like that sort of thing. It’s just not me.

My Nail Art.

So next time I have my nail art done, I might go a little more bold, but not overly so. I’ve stepped out of myself a bit this year. I had my hair coloured red about 2 moths ago, see my blog avatar above. I’m thinking of copper next, I need to also find a new hairdresser. My hairdresser of 13 years sold up and left and the new people, well, they are just not my cup of tea. So I’m looking around.

I think it’s good to try new things in life. I found that dialysis takes so much away from a person. And in the past I just didn’t have time to try new things. But I have learnt that we only have one life. I want to live it. Strange how it takes a deadly illness for us to really start living. We take our health so much for granted, and only realise how precious it is when we loose it. So I will never take my health for granted ever again. And I will surely live a lot more and try to live a very full life.

I can’t just “be”. I’m so looking forward to all the things I wil be able to do which now I’m not able to do, it fills me with hope and joy! Life is to be lived and enjoyed.

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.” 
― Mother Theresa


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The downfalls of dialysis.

Apart from the obvious, my ball and chain, there are some really awful drawbacks to the whole renal failure/dialysis deal. For one, I have terribly red eyes. I’m sure people look at me an think I’m a serious pothead. It used to phase me, now, not so much. My eyes are also ver dry and scratchy. So now I use Optive drops on a daily basis to alleviate the scratchiness.

Joint pain is another drawback. Now I know joint pain is directly related to too much phosphates and calcium in the blood. And those chemicals are directly related to diet. Which is in turn another drawback. My diet is so restricted, can’t eat a boatload of different foods. Really irritating actually. Like chocolate, although I’m not a huge chocolate fan, I do want it sometimes. And I must admit, I do cheat. Probably more than I should, but there you go. So I have painful joints sometimes, not always though, the pain is never worth it. But even though there these major drawbacks, I look back at where I came from. Anorexic, bruised, nausea, listless and just plain ill. And I look at myself now and I am amazed. I actually survived. Not everyone does. I am blessed.

My first week on dialysis. Cheesy smile is optional!

I was yellow! I can’t believe it when I look at this photo. This was my first week on heamodialysis. I was still battling with nausea here, but it got better every week.  I did heamo 3x a week. Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Some people go Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. The first shift is 6:00 in the morning. I did the first shif, I just wanted to get dialysis over with so that I could finish at 10:00 get home and crash. The next shift is 11:00 and the last shift started at 16:00. I cannot imagine having to work all day then dialyse in the afternoon. That must be tough.

I used to take a bag into hospital with me. It contained something to drink, a snack, earplugs, a blanket and a book. It was a very long 4 hours every other day. And I got through my days by reading books. I got through quite a few books doing heamodialysis. I loved reading. Most people slept. I find it hard to sleep in the evenings, sleeping during the day? Not gonna happen. We had a particularly irritating patient who used to speak at the top of his voice for 4 hours. Non stop. My Sister eventually gave me earplugs to drown this individual out.

I’m so glad I don’t do heamo anymore. I am so much happier on peritoneal dialysis.

Not yellow anymore!

If I look at myself now, and compare the photos, I can’t believe how much better I feel.

Me on the heamodialysis machine. I can be so cheesy!

This was my life, 3 times a week for 4 hours. I absolutely hated dialysis, nothing got me down more than this. It felt like such a waste of time. I know it isn’t a waste of time, it saved my life, but I hated it.

a shot of the dialysis unit, with my favourite staff member Kedi.

We weren’t allowed to show their faces, not sure why. But I loved Kedi, she was amazing.

A better view of the dialysis unit.

An close-up picture of my artificial kidney.

This was the artifcial kidney that was used. It acts as a filter for the blood that was filtering through.

My permcath. (permanent catheter)

A permcath is a long pipe with 2 ports that plug into your heart. I do have a fistula, but because I wasn’t going to do heamodialysis for years I refused to use my fistula, I’m so pissed off that I have one to begin with. It’s a major pain in the ass. My percath gave me absolutely no trouble. The nurses kept trying to force me to use my fistula. But they were met by a brick wall. I was not going to budge.

My fistula.

My fistula is in my left arm. Right in the bend. The vascular surgeon took an artery and a vein and did something with it. Not really sure what. But it causes a bubble of sorts. It purrs like a cat 24/7. It’s so loud at night it wakes me up. And I can feel it. It’s quite gross if you touch it. I’m not allowed to carry heavy packets in my left hand. I have to look after it really well, because if it pops, I am in very big trouble.

My body has been through a lot. Dialysis is very hard on a body. It’s a bit like chemo. My hair started to fall out during heamo, the same happened to me during chemo. My blood pressure was always low during heamo, same with chemo. I struggled with nausea during heamo, and definitely struggled with nausea during chemo. It was a very difficult time for me. And my body has been changed and damaged with all the surgeries and procedures I’ve had. I look forward to owning my body again.

I found this blog: http://www.DevonTexas.wordpress.com I found his blog very informative about dialysis. Interesting read.

Determination, patience and courage are the only things needed to improve any situation.