Just my thoughts...

Just my thoughts...
The randomness that is I

Thursday, August 27, 2015

I'm Tired

This isn't about working. This isn't about dialysis (well, I AM tired of that. Donor where are you?) What I am tired of is people having an attitude or not accepting that I am who I am.

I have been on this earth nearly 47 years and for 40 of those years, I stifled myself because there were people who never have accepted the spirited person that I am. Things I wanted to say and do, I mostly didn't, in order to meet approval that to be honest, has never really come.

I have always heard "You need to...", "Why don't you...", "you should...", things of that nature. Never once have I heard "that's nice, but if you try this, it might be even better" or "I really like the way you..."I mean really, no one does EVERYTHING wrong. I've had more acceptance from people online, who I didn't even know at first.

When I turned 40, I decided I was tired of this attempting to please shit that wasn't getting me anything but stressed and depressed. That's what happens when you try to please others, you know. You don't allow yourself to just be and just like some people will read what you post/tweet/IG and keep coming back each day because it's great advice, but they refuse to hit that "like" or "retweet" button just because it's you, people will refuse to give you any validation or positive reinforcement. I've learned to not to give a second thought to what people think about me. I honestly don't care, if I'm true to me...

So again, unapologetically, I stopped doing what others expected me to do and I began to be true to myself. I was truthful instead of sugarcoating. I wasn't purposely hurtful, but sometimes people really don't get it when you give them the light version.

Then I met this guy...he isn't hurtful, but I guarantee if you're doing something that paints yourself in a dimmer light than he sees you, he will straight up tell you about it. Yeah, I get pissed at him sometimes, but 9 out of 10, when I actually analyze, he's right.

Truth. That is something everyone claims they want, but when some folks get it, they can't handle it. So anyone who knows me, knows what happens next. I tell you the truth, you get pissed. Well don't worry about me trying to say much more than hi and bye after that.

I'm not a malicious person and if I see you in a situation where I think it could end up bad, I'll try to talk to you. If you don't want to hear me, good luck. On that same note, if you see me doing something or looking a certain way, come to me straight and don't try to hem haw around. That's just going to make me mad. If you come AT me as opposed to talking TO me, know that I've shut you out as soon as I felt the attitude.

Life is hard enough without trying to decipher the things that people "try to say without really saying". Just speak up!

And let me be

Friday, August 7, 2015

I Hate Dialysis

Brain Fog

I've been on dialysis since 2008. Most people look at me and can't tell. I try to live life as normal as before, but sometimes I just can't. I stopped writing blogs because I'd really have something to say and when I'd start writing, the words wouldn't come. It's very frustrating. I'd stopped reading so much because I'd forget what happened in the previous chapters and have to go back sometimes. It didn't happen all the time, but enough that I'd wondered if the Alzheimer's that plagued my Grandfather and his sibling (possibly siblings, I don't know enough about them to compare) was beginning to surface in me.

One particularly frustrating day, I posted a question to the Facebook Kidney group I belong to and I was SO glad I did!! Apparently it's something that happens to dialysis patients and transplant recipients and it even has a name, Kidney Brain Fog! That coupled with getting into my mid-40's, I have to write so much down just to remember these days.

I often have conversations with a co-worker and mid-sentence I'll go blank. I can look at something and not be able to quickly remember what it's called. Simple things. Like "notebook" for instance.

I have a notebook that I write in at work, so I don't forget the tasks I'm given. So very frustrating, but I keep trying.

I always had a great memory. Never forgot faces. I mean years could pass and I could recall such small details about things, people and situations. No more. I'm sure all my surgeries haven't helped either. A lot of Fentanyl has gone through my body and who knows how that will affect me in the long run.

I've always liked word games and I was good at them. Not so much anymore and again, it's frustrating. I play a lot of very common words, but I'm not playing to win. Just playing for fun. I usually keep a lot of games going because I know I need the challenge. just like trivia games. I have forgotten a lot of history facts and Trivia Crack reminds me of that. More than anything, I put together puzzles on an app I've downloaded.

I stopped taking classes, because it was hard to retain information. I've just accepted that until I'm no longer on dialysis, memory will be an issue.

I'll take it over some of the other issues I see my peers suffering from. It's embarrassing though.

Well tonight, I was talking to a good friend after playing a word that I came up with after guessing, because as hard as I tried, I couldn't find a word in any of my letters. One thing led to another and she, at some point, said I was just guessing and I agreed. It was not a big deal to me because it kept my mind busy. Well she thought that was awful and that it was kind of pointless to play without knowing what a word meant.

She made me feel absolutely stupid. She hurt my feelings so deeply, I couldn't even say anything. I just pulled my cover over my face (I was at treatment) and I just cried.(Like I'm about to again).

I quickly ended the conversation.

Having a disease that no one can see gives you limitations that no one knows or thinks about until you say something out loud. I get tired very easily. I can walk 30 minutes on a treadmill one night and the next time I'm winded and hurting after 10. It's frustrating and depressing. I thank God for others going through this also, because I can share my feelings with them and it doesn't make me feel judged. It's things like this that make me stronger, but I'll probably cry yet again tonight just because I didn't speak up...that upsets me too. My friend and I have the type of relationship that we can tell each other anything, criticism included and I know she meant no harm, but I honestly think it was the most hurtful thing that's ever been said between us.

Maybe I'm overreacting. Maybe I won't be as upset in the morning, but a word of advice...don't assume that what you see and what you know to be are always what they are. Some people find strength in trying to be as normal as possible while fighting a battle they aren't sure they can win. Sometimes we don't share our feelings because it will hurt people to know our experience, so we continue to suffer in silence.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Diabetes and Kidneys

When our bodies digest the protein we eat, the process creates waste products. In the kidneys, millions of tiny blood vessels (capillaries) with even tinier holes in them act as filters. As blood flows through the blood vessels, small molecules such as waste products squeeze through the holes. These waste products become part of the urine. Useful substances, such as protein and red blood cells, are too big to pass through the holes in the filter and stay in the blood.

Diabetes can damage this system. High levels of blood sugar make the kidneys filter too much blood. All this extra work is hard on the filters. After many years, they start to leak and useful protein is lost in the urine. Having small amounts of protein in the urine is called microalbuminuria.

When kidney disease is diagnosed early, during microalbuminuria, several treatments may keep kidney disease from getting worse. Having larger amounts of protein in the urine is called macroalbuminuria. When kidney disease is caught later during macroalbuminuria, end-stage renal disease, or ESRD, usually follows.

In time, the stress of overwork causes the kidneys to lose their filtering ability. Waste products then start to build up in the blood. Finally, the kidneys fail. This failure, ESRD, is very serious. A person with ESRD needs to have a kidney transplant or to have the blood filtered by machine (dialysis).

- See more at: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/kidney-disease-nephropathy.html#sthash.JSznBYNn.dpuf

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Don't Eat Your Vegetables!!

So in addition to the post a couple days ago, for those of us on blood thinners, leafy greens in large quantities (including plain ol lettuce) are out of the question. Grapefruit too. So no smoothie cleanses for us.

But Potassium is Good, Right?

High potassium, also known as hyperkalemia, is a condition that occurs when your blood contains too much potassium. According to the Mayo Clinic, a normal range for potassium is between 3.6 and 5.2 millimoles per liter of blood or milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L) (Mayo).

Potassium is a type of electrolyte (minerals that your body needs in order to function correctly). Potassium is specifically important to your nerves and muscles. All your muscles need potassium, including your heart.

The most common cause of high potassium is kidney failure. When your kidneys fail, they can’t perform their job of removing extra potassium from the body. This can lead to potassium build-up.

Another possible cause is heavy alcohol or drug use. If you are a heavy alcohol drinker or drug user, your muscles may begin to break down. This breakdown can release a high amount of potassium into your blood from within muscle cells.

You can also raise the levels of potassium in your body above the normal range by overusing potassium supplements or by taking chemotherapy drugs.

Certain kinds of trauma—like being burned—can raise your potassium levels as well.

The symptoms of high potassium depend on the level of the mineral in your blood. You may not experience any symptoms at all. If your potassium levels are high enough to cause symptoms, you may experience:

fatigue or weakness
a feeling of numbness or tingling
nausea or vomiting
problems breathing
palpitations or skipped heartbeats

In the extreme cases, high potassium can cause paralysis and heart problems. If your potassium levels are too high, your heartbeat can become irregular. If left untreated, high potassium levels can even cause your heart to stop.

Because of this, it’s important that you see your doctor promptly if you start experiencing any of these symptoms. Extremely high potassium levels will require you to be hospitalized until your levels are back to normal.

Doctors routinely perform blood tests during your annual checkup, or if you have recently started a new medication. Any abnormalities in your potassium levels would show up on these tests. Because of this, it’s likely that your doctor will catch high levels of potassium early on.

However, if you skip regular checkups, you may not be aware of high potassium levels until you start developing symptoms.

Usually, treatment for high potassium levels has two goals—to help your body get rid of the excess potassium and to stabilize your heart.

Medical Treatment

If you have high potassium due to kidney failure, hemodialysis is your best treatment option. Hemodialysis uses a machine to remove waste from your blood because your kidneys cannot filter your blood effectively.

Drugs may also be used to treat your high potassium levels. Gluconate might be given to reduce the effect that potassium has on your heart.

Your doctor might also prescribe diuretics (pills that cause you to urinate more) to help your kidneys get rid of excess potassium. In some cases, you might be given a resin by mouth. Resin binds with the potassium, allowing it to be removed from your body during your bowel movements.

At-Home Treatment

In addition to medical treatments, you can do to some things at home to help alleviate the symptoms of high potassium levels.

One of the easiest ways to naturally lower your potassium levels is to reduce the amount of potassium in your diet. This means limiting foods and supplements that are high in potassium. Some foods that are potassium-rich include:

nuts and beans
Some salt substitutes are also high in potassium. When you buy a salt substitute, make sure to avoid any that list KCI (potassium chloride) as an ingredient. Foods that are high in additives—such as manufactured baked goods and sports drinks—are also usually high in potassium.

It may also help if you eat less red or processed meat. Try to drink more water and exercise regularly, too.

You may like to take herbs as a way to treat your ailments. However, there are a few herbs that you should not take when you have high potassium levels. Alfalfa, nettle, and dandelion can actually increase your potassium levels and should be avoided.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Thursday, April 30, 2015

I Can't Have What?!?!?

Things Dialysis patients/people with kidney failure must avoid or have very little of. Pick up 5 random packaged foods/drinks in your house right now and see how many have these ingredients.

Acute Renal Failure

Causes of Acute Renal Failure

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Signs of Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is pretty silent unless you know what the signs are. Getting tested is as simple as peeing in a cup.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Two Types of Kidney Failure

All kidney disease is not created equally...and sometimes it's just hereditary, like mine.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Hidden Symptoms of Kidney Failure

It's National Kidney Month and since I have kidney disease, I'll do what I can to educate, so you can be aware.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Recap of Kidney Disease Awareness Month (March)

Last month was Kidney Disease Awareness Month and while I posted on Facebook and Instagram, I didn't think until well into the month that I could be posting this information here and possibly changing someone's life, so I decided that I'm also going to post it in April. So here goes

How your kidneys work

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Easter Memories

It's been a long time...

I'm still here. Still waiting on a kidney. Still working. I've just found someone that keeps me occupied. We talk about everything or we talk about nothing. I think when I was writing regularly, it was from a place of need or anger. *shrug* I'm happy. People evolve.

As the Easter holiday approaches, I was rehashing the memories of my childhood.

If I close my eyes, I can almost smell the vinegar water. Cups all lined up with drops of food coloring. No fancy egg dippers, just a spoon to lift them out of the dye.

There was always a spot at the bottom of the eggs that was slightly discolored either because that's where it rested on the paper towel as it dried or it was put directly in the carton for later.

While we dyed eggs, The Ten Commandments was always on. I never noticed until I was older that the casting for that movie is all wrong. Still a classic though. Charlton Heston vs. Yul Brynner - Moses vs. Pharoah Ramses II

We'd stay up late to finish the movie and then be up early for 6 am sunrise service. I don't remember being really young and going, but I do remember that the men of the church would fix breakfast afterward. Pancakes, bacon and juice.

We'd go home and next would be the egg hunt. It was much more fun to do this when I was the only grandchild, LOL. I would collect all the eggs and then there was this huge basket, just for me.

After that, I'd get dressed in my Easter best and we'd head to church. Fluffy dresses, a slip, stockings instead of socks and patent leather shoes that would pinch the top of your foot if you slid your feet into them without unbuckling them. Since Easter was so special, I sometimes got to wear my hair down, with a lot of curls (that I would shake out, trying to whip my hair to and fro). I would get to church and be instantly nervous because although I had practiced and practiced my Easter speech or piece, I didn't like speaking in front of all those people.

I would be so nervous! My face would get flushed and my stomach would flip-flop and when I finally said it, it would be so rushed and then it was over. The congregation would chuckle or clap and that would be it. All that anxiety for about 30 seconds.

After service, dinner was always at my maternal grandparent's house. There was always ham, candied yams, string beans, rolls, a relish tray and my favorite, my grandma's scalloped potatoes. Always in her Corningware cornflower design dutch oven casserole dish. Sweet potato pie and cherry pie for dessert, always with Prairie Farms vanilla ice cream.

Now at my grandparents house there were no eggs to hunt for, just the ginormous "basket" she would put together each year. There was this huge yellow wooden bowl that she had. It would be filled with green easter grass and in it would be the good candy! Not just a bunch of Tootsie rolls. Jelly beans, Snicker's, Reese's, chocolate eggs, Peeps (yuck) and huge chocolate bunny, chocolate crisp rice candies and it would be accented by the creepiest thing ever. I'm sure it was cute at one time, but the little yellow fuzzy chick she would put in the basket looked like a real baby chick that had just died and never disintegrated. The legs and feet felt eerily real. I would study that thing, toss it aside and start in on the candy.

Basically jelly beans were a waste. I only liked the red ones and the black ones. I only like black now, unless they are Jelly Belly's. Oh and I liked the Snicker's.

My aunt got a basket every year too. She was well into adulthood, but still collected, lol.

I know that Easter is about Jesus rising again, but this stuff right here, is what my childhood was made of.