Effervesce.

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


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Heamo vs peritoneal dialysis.

Someone asked me the other day why I preferred peritoneal dialysis to heamo dialysis. It’s simple really. First of all I really don’t have to worry about fluid overload. I drink how ever much I want and I don’t over load. I don’t even measure what I drink at all, it’s so easy. I drink when I want to, how much I want to. And in summer, it’s needed let me tell you. Gone are the days where I can only drink a small amount of fluid at a time because I would overload and then when I get attached to the heamo dialysis machine 3 litres of fluid needed to get drained out of me. I used to measure every drop I drank, because it had a huge impact on my fluid overload. My blood pressure doesn’t dip as radically as it used to on heamo. I don’t feel like like crap anymore. I used to come home and feel so tired and ill. Now I don’t.  I don’t have a permcath in my chest anymore. I am home. That’s the biggest thing for me. I don’t have to go anywhere and have irratable staff faff over me when they clearly have somewhere else to be. I sleep through most of my dialysis because I dialyse at night. And if I go out and come home late I skip a session. I can do that because I dialyse every night.

Peritoneal dialysis isn’t as hard on my body as heamo was. That was tough. I’m actually having a much easier time of it now that I’m doing PD at home.  It’s a better therapy. My diet isn;t as restrictive as it was on heamo. So it’s an all round better and easier therapy. I wouldn’t go back to heamo even you paid me.

The biggest issue for me was that fistula. I never used mine. In the 8 months I did heamo I used my permcath. When I saw how a fistula deforms a patient’s arm I refused to use mine. It’s not vanity. As renal patients our bodies go through hell. I have a scar where my kidney was removed. I gained weight on peritoneal dialysis. Because it’s a glucose solution it’s like drinking 10 litres of sugary drinks a day. So I have to live with that. I was not going to have my arm deformed also. I want to have my fistula blocked or fixed or whatever the Drs do to make it go away. So I will be looking into that in the new year.

So that’s why I prefer PD to heamo. It’s simple really.

“Never under any circumstances take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.” 
― Dave Barry

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Raising aliens,I mean boys!

My boys are both in their loving, obedient,playful, sweet, endearing and enthusiastic teenage years. Pete and I are loving it! We really thought the teenage years would be difficult. But we just LOVE it! I’m really not sure what everyone is going on about concerning teenagers, my boys are so easy as teenagers. We really don’t have to ask twice or nag like some of those other poor saps out there. Our boys are just so easy!

NOOOOOOOOOOT!

OH.MY.WORD!!!!!!! Are we having trouble some days! Ok, some days are better than others, I must concede, but bloody hell they can make life tough for us. Like asking them to do stuff. Some days I find myself saying “I didn’t ask you to donate a pint of blood. I asked you to UNPACK the dishwasher!” They can carry on  like that’s going to cause the ebola virus to explode in our midst and cause worldwide death! It’s just a dishwasher dude, calm down, it doesn’t bite.

Or, my absolute favourite. When my eldest is gaming online with his Battlefiel.d 3 buddies and I need to interrupt him to ask him some things. That face. OMG. One day I want to re-arrange it for him. Just sayin’. Or god forbid my Sister comes on a Thursday and says “Hello” to him. All I can say is. It pisses me off. No more. So he’s been banned from his games so many times because of bad attitude. He off course thinks we are being far to unreasonable, but trust me, we are reigning ourselves in big time!

My youngest’s new favourite line is “Geesh Mom! Why are you freaking out?????????” This my boy, is not freaking out. I will let you know when I freak out. Trust me on this. I am still calm. But push me any further and you will see freak out dude, stick around!

So some days, we stay well out of each other’s paths. But I must say, they do try. When Pete and I have a good ol’ fashioned heart to heart with them, they get it. They behave and try really hard to answer us with a smile on their faces, albeit forced. So they are not total neanderthalls.

Shopping. Don’t know if i’m the only Mom with teenage boys who hate shopping with their boys, but lemme tell you. It’s HARD! They are sooooooo fussy! Drives me bats! I thought girls were full of nonsense with shopping. HAH! try my two on for size. My eldest thinks ther’s a shoe conspiracy against him. All because of Porche design shoes. My youngest found 2 pairs so far, and every time the eldest wants a pair, they are out or don’t have it in his size. The other shoes are the same brand, but it’s not THAT design. *sighs really hard at this point* Never mind actual clothes. I really struggle to get my youngest to actually take the clothes or get him to try them on. He’s just flat not interested. He doesn’t like this about it, or that’s too this or too that. Oi.

And we are soooooooo lame. I was told last week that the Twiligh.t movies are for girls between the ages of like 10-13 and, wait for it………………………….MOMS! So I’m LAME for watching those movies! But I’m like a MOM Dude! Right? RIGHT! Ja, I get told, but THAT is what makes it LAME! HUH??? Like seriously Dude, I’m a hip and happening Mom! My yougnest would just feint if he ever heard me say stuff like that! Because I’m a lame Mom. Who likes Twiligh.t movies. And listen to lame music. And have lame sayings.

But Pete and I get them pretty good. We always say, if they can survive this house they will survive anything. Some days, Pete pulls his pants over his butt, puts his cap on scew and starts to rap and beatbox. I join in and do the whole rapper stance with a few “Yo yo’s” thrown in and walk wit’ my swag ya’ll!!

Needless to say, it doesn’t go down well. Makes us more lame apparantly. We like lame. S’all I can say on the subject. But we are so lame, we are actually cool! Hahahahahahaha! I can just see them rolling their eyes at a comment like that!

Well, I can say one thing. If we survive the teenage years, we will survive anything.

And through all of this, we still have to teach them about life. How to treat others. How to treat girls. They are very goodlooking, and I’m not just saying that because I’m biased. Girls really like them, and I can see it will be easy for them to date plenty of girls. So we have to also teach them about dating girls. What is acceptable and what is not. And manners, they seem to have forgotten most of their manners. They do still stand and let me through a door first or other gils and adult women in their lives. I find the media can really screw up children’s self worth. what’s fat and what’s not. Even my boys are very body concious. It really makes me angry that the media puts so much emphasis on the body beautiful. What ever happened to just accepting how you look? I have a running battle with that. And it doesn’t help that so many of their friends are obsessed with their weight.

Parenting is very difficult, we strive to do the right thing and try keep the mistakes to a minimum, we fail, we succeed. But above all, we love our boys, difficult as this time is, we still have some really fun times with them, they can be such funny creatures with a great sense of humour. They are loving and caring and kind and generous. It just takes a bit of effort to get it out of them sometimes.

James Thurber
Boys are beyond the range of anybody’s sure understanding, at least when they are between the ages of 18 months and 90 years.


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Party girls line up……..here!

My Sister and I are best friends. We have always been and will always be. I can say that with confidence. Many people are amazed at our relationship, we just are, we don’t think its strange at all. I suppose it’s because we’ve been doing this for so long we don’t really see it. Anyway, if you put us in a party we rule! We went to Coco Bongos for my youngest’s birthday and we had a BLAST! The band started singing ‘You’re simply the best’ from Tina Turner and we rocked! We sang louder and waaaaay better than the band! Hahahahahaha< I;m sure the band and the rest of the patrons disagree, but we thought we were fabulous!

We also recently had a our annual spring lunch, and we had such a good time. Can’t remember what time we got into bed, probably 2 am again! Pete got appropriately sozzled on red wine and entertained us with song! It was hilarious! I often look at us having our little party and realise that we don’t need a crowd to have major fun, we are kinda a party all on our own! Don’t get me wrong, a big crowd is also good, but we don’t need it to get the[arty started!

I have so many photos of us having dinner parties or us at reastaurants, I thought I’d share some pics!

One turkish evening.

Out Turkish evening was fabulous! We smoked the peach tobacco, it’s quite yummy too! This was the very first time I have ever smoked a hooka pipe. We are planning another Turkish evening soon.

Trying out the hooka!

We really had such a blast!

At the birthday dinner!

My Sister can get very naughty if she wanted too! We had such a fun evening here, got home way too late!

The boys loved Chocolate the magician! He was fabulous!

Chocoltae was such a cool magician, he had the boys and us in stitches! He combines humour with magic, it’s so much fun.

My Sis and I. I love this pic!

My Spring Dinner table.

My Spring Table.

I love setting tables, I have a new theme or colour scheme everytime.

Elize and I on the Spring Dinner.

Not sure what my eldest is doing in the background. But Pete really struggled to get this photo in focus! Hahahahaha! We had to sit REALLY still for this one!

Pete tried several times to get this pic in focus!

Otherwise it turns out like this one! All blurry and us laughing at him!

Pete entertaining us with song!

That’s Pete after way too much red wine! He is hilarious!

One of our famous pool parties!

The Spring Dinner party.

My Sister having a good laugh at me!

“Alcohol: Because no great story ever started with someone eating salad.

Listen, I’m not an alcoholic, alcoholics go to meetings, I’m a drunk, we go to parties.”


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There is more to life.

There is more to life than just dialysis. I try as far as I can to not allow my current state of health to overwhelm me or take over my life.  I can’t be all about dialysis and renal failure all the time. Yes, we have to be informative and educate, but life is about more than just that. Disease has a sneaky habit of defining one’s life, and I have to constantly battle against that, I cannot and will not allow it to define me whatsoever. We have really tried to create a normal environment for the boys. We don’t want renal failure to be the focus in our home.

Pete and I were discussing how the boys have coped with everything that’s happened to us the past 2 years, and we are so proud of our boys. They are coping really well. They are such amazing boys, and I believe they are even stronger for it. They cope very well when things don’t go according to plan. Unless it’s internet related, then we have total meltdowns! It’s really funny actually. Priorities, I tell ya!

It’s not the easiest way to go on holiday. But we did it. Very succesfully too! The next thing we need to try is flying with the machine. That ought to be an experience and a half! Not really looking forward to that. Will avoid that for a while.

For now we are just carrying on regardless, dare I say not rewardless. So all in all it’s not too bad. The only major downside is that we don’t go out at night too often. Because I dialyse for 12 hours, I start at 6 in the evening. But when we do need to go out for a function, I just skip that dialysis for that day, or night  actually and just carry on he next evening. I don’t do it often, but I do if I have to.

Would love to stop dialysing all together, but that won’t be such a good idea. I have met people who are all about their disease and therapy. Life revolves around that, all the time. I don’t understand that. Surely there is more to life than what is happening to you right now? I really struggle to relate to people who can only talk dialysis or renal failure. Although this is a major part of my life, I cannot just be that. I actually don’t talk about it to people anymore. It’s boring and I’m wholly disinterrested in all things pertaining to dialysis. I find my friends and I discuss other things, we really don’t talk about this anymore. We have said all there is to say about it and have moved on.

There are too many more interesting topics to discuss. And soon I will have lots to talk about!

“Dream what you want to dream. Go where you want to go. Be what you want to be. Because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.”


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Family visit.

We had an absolute blast with Pete’s Sister and family. Most pics are on another pc, I will transfer some nice ones this weekend. I only have a few I can show, but nonetheless we had a great time. We are looking forward to seeing them again in 2 year’s time. The kids will be a bit bigger though. It’s staggering to see how fast children grow up. I just look at my 2 boys and my heart breaks just a little. Anyway, some photos of the Cheetah sanctuary and Byron the cutie pie. He reminded me so much of my Sister’s cat Rocky. The lady at the sanctuary liked the name Rocky so much she decided to name a baby Rocky. How cool is that? The baby must still come, but here’s hoping!

Byron, such a cutie pie!

Shaka, the naughty little little cheetah.

Shaka is desperately trying to get to Hannah’s little stuffed cheetah here. He was fine until he saw her holding this baby cheetah. Their hunting instints are so well developed that they recognise pray instantly. It was actually very cute.

Shaka.

Some meerkats at the sanctuary.

The brown heyenas. Eerie looking animals.

The wild dogs. They are endangered animals and really need protecting.

Me in in swim suit.

I never thought I would be able to wear a swimming costume or swim! Not only did I swim, but I also went down the water slide several times! The swimmimg pool I frequented was a lovely warm pool. We bopped around in the pool for hours! The water slide’s water was ice cold. But let me tell you, when you go down the slide, you don’t even feel the cold water! It’s an adrenaline rush of note! My Sister told me about this slide, her and her BIL lived on that slide when they went. I can now see why. It was such a blast!

The boys took their cousins to the water slide and we didn’t see them for hours! They did however come and dip in the warm pool every now and then to warm up!

The water slide!

I look very calm in this photo, but believe me, I did not go down the slide gracefully! The boys are still teasing me about my descent! What a blast that was!

The boys going down together.

These are just some of the photos, there are lots more, and more to come. But enough for now otherwise this post will turn into a novel.

“Look at me!
Look at me!
Look at me NOW!
It is fun to have fun
But you have to know how.” 
― DR. Seuss, The Cat in The Hat.


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Hoax

Ok, so remember when I said I’m seeing this amazing new Dr in October? Way back in August? He was the front runner in stem cell therapy and he’s helped many renal patients. Turns out it was a hoax. They want you to pay upfront and then you get nothing. Luckily Pete and I become very suspicious when someone wants money upfront. My Sister went and researched some more and it transpired to be a hoax. Some people have paid as much as R100k and got given saline solution. Can you believe there are people out there who take advantage of sick and dying people? There must be a special place in hell for people like that.

There are clinics who are doing stem cell therapy, it’s mostly for other organs, kidneys not so much. In Europe they are a bit more advanced with the whole stem cell thing. So there is lots of information out there and it’s easy to fabricate some info. My best advice is to double check if it’s a new therapy and never pay anything upfront.

Anyway, lucky for us we found out early on that it was a total hoax. But others weren’t that lucky, I really feel for them.

“The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand? -Captain Jack Sparrow.


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Dialysis Daze.

I haven’t been here in a while. It’s been so busy with my Sister-in-law and family from New Zealand. We had such a good time with them. We spent an enormous amount of time with them and had a blast shopping for prezzies for them and the children. We also went away on a little holiday with them. The boys were such amazing cousins to their children, they had an absolute blast!

We took them to the Cheetah sanctuary, where we saw some amazing Cheetahs and could stroke a big Cheetah named Byron. He was just sooo cute! We all had a blast touching Byron and watching him enjoying all the attention. So it’s been very very busy! Then we went away on holiday for a bit of rest and relaxation, that was just amazing to get away and be surrounded by nature. We went on long walks, lasting up to 2 and a half hours each day, it was quite something to walk and walk and just have nature surrounding you. I will post photos of all our goings on in the week.

So it’s back to reality for me and the routine of dialysis.

I have been doing Peritoneal Dialysis since February this year. And after a few months of finding the right solution that doesn’t dehydrate me, I have finally been very stable for a number of months on PD. It’s been so easy I actually don’t even feel like I’m dialysing. Don’t get me wrong, I still hate it, but it doesn’t have any noteworthy side effects. Some days I just don’t drink enough fluids which causes dehydration the next day, but I do try and drink as much as I should. And being summer now it will be much easier to get all my fluids in because of this heat. I’m looking forward to that, because last summer I was doing heamo dialysis and I was allowed only a  small amount of fluid, it was very difficult drinking so little in excessive heat. But with PD it’s the total opposite. I’m really looking forward to drink whatever I feel like in this heat.

I also found myself a new GP. I saw her in October for the first time. My old GP was a bit nervous having me as a patient, not sure why, she didn’t want to make a move without phoning my Nephrologist fiirst. But the new GP is so cool! She isnt’ scared to prescribe meds, and she knows a lot about kidneys. It’s a breath of fresh air to have a GP that’s not afraid to touch you! And she doesn’t over prescribe anti-biotics either. She said if my cold doesn’t clear up with the meds she prescribed in a week then she will give me anti-biotics. And I didn’t need it anyway, I got over it all by myself. (with the help of the meds she gave me off course) I just didn’t want to be sick on holiday.

So life goes on, we are pretty busy the next few weekends with A LOT of socials coming up! A 16th birthday, a 40th, a 50th (nope we are not that old, hahahahaha) a baby shower and a Christening! And in between we have to see our friends, they are going through a hectic time, our thoughts and prayers are always with them.

“You’re either busy working and moving forward, or being dramatic. There’s no time for both”