Saturday, December 23, 2006
I have once again received an outpouring of love and support from my friends this holiday season and I love the updates and picture cards. Let me tell you from my experience, posing with a dog, is a lot easier than posing with a 2 year old, and, as cute as Miss Heather is with her imposing blue eyes, it is impossible to make her look anything less than the devil's own, even with the best red eye reduction tools out there. My Christmas card duty was tripled this year, as I wrote Kevin's business cards, my personal cards, and then, at the last minute with few picture options, those for Kevin's family. Both his mother and father are in the hospital this year and Heather continues to have respiratory symptoms. I keep insisting that Kevin take her to the doctor- as many of us have learned the hard way, doctors, as good as they are, are people and it is easy for a pediatrician to be complacent and dismiss a first time father as overly cautious for every sniffle and wheeze. But Heather was like this last year I am told and ended up with pneumonia in the hospital.
Unfortunately, I have made it to few parties this year if any at all, because I have a blob of goo instead of a pancreas that requires bathroom location and privacy factors to consider. I appreciate the invitations nonetheless.
Admittedly, I have been getting more and more anxious about the pancreas transplant as January draws closer and it could be any day now. I haven't written any letters like I did with my lungs, I haven't packed a bag like I did with my kidneys, so I just haven't taken any physical steps to assuage the mental part, unless you count taking pills-of the prescribed but no so drastic kind.
In much happier news, my dearest friend MANDY and her husband TED, also known as the kidney locators, are EXPECTING A BABY in JULY 2007! Certainly, I will have to begin saving now so that I can be out there when she delivers. I figure I pretty much owe her since she drove 6 hours to come for the lung transplant and then flew like 5 hours to bring me the kidney! Although they are unsure of the sex of the child, I told her Jill was a good name, but I think I'll have to kick the bucket before I generate a namesake!
Saturday, December 09, 2006
I spent most of January and February recovering from my kidney transplant. I can't begin to thank the family of Brett Stern enough for their sacrifice and truly making LIFE possible this year. With this in the back of my mind I set out to pay homage to my donor Brett and of course, Uncle Bob. My lungs turned 74 this year and are doing quite well. In March, I began dating Kevin and Heather (yes, a package deal) and although things went quickly and weren't without hiccups, they are even better now. I began working at Camelot Self-Storage one day a week to start to be part of the family business. A good, quiet job where I can do my school work. In April, I celebrated my 7th lung transplant anniversary! Yippee! In May, I ended up moving in with Kevin and Heather, helping with bills and babysitting. I parted ways with Carrie, who has since moved back to FL. It's hard to live with friends sometimes and I think we found our expiration date for being roomies. June waas filled with babysitting and July found me with a rubber hose up my nose for sinus surgery. I decided to not take summer classes and to give myself a break. August found me working a whole 45 hours in a row- a feat I hadn't done in years. I was excited I could work, but I really need to recuperate from the marathon so that I could have the work-up for my pancreas. On Sept 7th, I was one of 4 listed at the Brigham and Women's. Also in September my oldest brother Scott got married. Everyone had a blast. Unfortunately, I came down with pneumonia just after and my excessive partying didn't help. In October, I was totally spent up with school and figuring out things with Kevin. It seems we hit a little speed bump. He was working overnights and was miserable. Serious questions came about whether we should stay together or not and which/whose direction we were headed in. Halloween was adorable with Heather as a ladybug and Detroit as a bumble bee. They are quite the pair. I decided to move back to Liberty Street in November to prepare for pre and post transplant- to have a space of my own and give Kevin some space too. It seems to be the remedy because when I went away to Jessica's wedding over Thanksgiving he was amazed by the thought of what life would be like without me. And now here it is in December, waiting...waiting for a pancreas, for snow, for Santa. I've learned to live with waiting and have shared this notion with many of the students and groups I've spoken with. Volunteering and spreading the word of the importance of organ and tissue donation has been main mission this year and I think it has been successful.
So what about next year? WELL<>
I have been blogging somewhat less because although I swore I wouldn't do it, I started a myspace page for a Northeastern Project so...myspace.com/don8life
|You Are Strength|
You represent both fiery energy and steadfast will.
You are innocent and naive - yet unafraid and undaunted.
Perhaps you don't have the most powerful physical strength...
But your mental powers make up for any amount of muscle.
Lately, you have been a pillar of ethics and moral strength.
And while things may be difficult, your faith in yourself will come through.
You may need to conquer the animalistic nature of yourself or others, with gentle force.
Although this may seem like the darkest hour for you, victory is near.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Happy Thanksgiving- belated. I am here in Florida, back in Tampa and with Kelli Belfabulous. Jessica's wedding was terrific, with surprise fireworks and all! She was a lovely bride and I met some great people that I know I will keep in touch with. Check out some photos.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
|Your Five Variable Love Profile|
Your propensity for monogamy is medium.In general, you prefer to have only one love interest.But it's hard for you to stay devoted for too long!There's too much eye candy to keep you from wandering.
Your experience level is high.You've loved, lost, and loved again.You have had a wide range of love experiences.And when the real thing comes along, you know it!
Your dominance is high.It's your way or the highway when it comes to love.You like to be very involved in your sweetie's life.No question, you like to be the one calling the shots.
Your cynicism is low.You are an eternal optimist when it comes to love and romance.No matter how many times you've been hurt - you're never bitter.You believe in one true love, your perfect soulmate.And if you haven't found true love yet, you know you will soon.
Your independence is medium.In relationships, you need both "me time" and "we time."You usually find it easy to be part of a couple.But occasionally you start to feel a little smothered.
|You Have Fantastic Karma|
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
|Your Life Path Number is 11|
Your amazing energy draws people to you, and you give them great insight in return.You hold a great amount of power over others, without even trying.You have the makings of an inventor, artist, religious leader, or prophet.
In love, you are sensitive and passionate. You connect with your partner on a very deep level.
You have great abilities, but you are often way too critical of yourself.You don't fit in - and instead of celebrating your differences, you dwell on them.You have high expectations of yourself. But sometimes you set them too high and don't achieve anything.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
I am at Ministorage today doing homework, but of course I got sidetracked. Actually not really because I am getting data for my Master's project. I looked on OPTN.org, the Organ Procurement Transplant Network and discovered that on the Brigham and Women's Hospital Pancreas Candidates, there are currently 5. All are in a holding pattern. No surgeries have been completed according to current data. 3 of the candidates are men; two women. 2 have type A blood. 1 is between 16 and 34 years of age (guess who?) SO chances are- as soon as the hernia staples come out, a pancreas will be going in soon after.
I continue volunteering with NEOB. I spoke at their new staff orientation and previewed my movie/slide show. I am trying to tailor it to a 16 to 21 age target population. I NEED AN APPROPRIATE SONG...Please help- I am way too old and "I'm Alive" by Celine Dion is okay for adults but for a highschool sophomore- DOUBTFUL. Okay, customer.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Saturday, September 30, 2006
I got a lot of well wishers for my speech and many thoughtful emails inquiring about how it went and the answer is- it didn't.
I have felt miserable and the yuck was in my chest. I was coughing all night and felt too exhausted to drive the two hours. Plus, someone had to watch Heather. So I let them know I had a personal emergency come up and prayed that I wouldn't have to go to the hospital. I've been continuing my TOBI and the cough isn't so wet and gross, no its dry and it has relocated in my sinuses. I went for my pre-op: hernia repair is on Tuesday, and I got the green light. So no worries. I am trying to get some extra sleep when I can.
Since the wedding, I have been inundated with work. I am taking three classes, two are 6 weeks long, which concentrates all the material and assignments. One of which is my masters' project. I am trying to increase awareness of organ donation for people aged 16-21. I made a movie/slide show and I think it is pretty good. I couldn't really figure out how to upload it here or how to do it on myspace. Yes, I hate myspace for multiple reasons, however, it is the most popular medium for my target population so there I am: myspace.com/don8life. I will need suggestions about templates and cool thing to put there, so if anyone has suggestions or technical advice PLEASE HELP!!! I have to get this done by 10/18 when I next have to report on my progress. I am speaking at the new hire orientation on Monday so I have to tweak my movie before then. Thanks to Rebecca to getting pictures to me ASAP and my old Chest PT goddess Betsey who emailed me back in record time!
You know, I don't have many very SICK looking pictures. I mean , I look hideous because of my prednisone moon face, but not what I would have expected given I was just about near death.
Okay, I'm drained! Have a great weekend!
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Monday, September 25, 2006
Just don't you forget about June 17th- if I make it, which we all have no doubt about (though in the past things were "iffy") I'll be 30!
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Kristen Galletti, my sister-in-law, takes a photo of me
and I of her on the bus!
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Scott and Audrey's wedding is next weekend so I have to hurry up and read and do my research for school, some beauty regimens like plucking the caterpillars above my eyes and a highlight for my dead hair, AND creating the presentation for my speech next week for the respiratory therapy society.
For my presentation, I am definitley looking for pictures of me. I ahve across some other general pictures via Google images. The problem with the ocitures that I have is that there aren't a lot of me during the period when I was sickest. I don't have any oxygen pictures or what not. I'm really going to check the archives to scan and make a slideshow. SO...IF YOU HAVE ANY PICTURES OF ME LOOKING BAD (not bad, but) SICKLY/BAD- PLEASE SEND ASAP!!!!
Friday, September 15, 2006
I opted to take 3 classes to finish up my class work. I still have a bit left from my class in June, which I am aiming to complete this Saturday at work. Just buckle down- Just buckle down. I keep telling myself. But I am going in a million directions.
I am doing my masters project this semester, focusing on what else Increasing awareness for organ donation. I have completed a lot of the parts of the whole so I am thinking that it will be exciting to get all my ideas off paper and into action. Part of my project is going to be my presentation next week for the Massachusetts Society of Respiratory Therapists. I was thinking of a slide show of pictures- SO IF YOU HAVE ANY PICTURES OF ME LOOKIGN SICKLY OR LOOKING REALLY HEALTHY<>
More updates later... Days of Our Lives is On and I must read about Financial Management of Nonprofits.
Friday, September 08, 2006
Unfortunately, this means I can't travel internationally- so sadly no cruise for Kelbel's 30th. I haven't told Carrie yet, but I just rung up Kelbel to tell her. I am really excited but nervous too. I am trying to capture these feeling in wiriting so I know what t0 talk about during my speaking engagement on the 27th of September. I'm calling it "As I Live and Breathe" just like my blog. Help me with stories, PLEASE, that I can incorporate into my talk.
Please pray for me- this may be my third miracle (how many do you need to be a saint?) and I am trying to keep perspective of all the blessings in my life. Life is amazing. Please pray the person that is walking around right now, perfectly healthy not knowing that in a couple months that life as they will be over and passed on to me- that scares me a little bit but I know that God has a plan.
NewsCenter 5's Jack Harper reported that the house at 17 Eda Ave. exploded at about 9:30 a.m. There were no reports of any injuries.
Two brothers rent the house, located near Edaville Railroad. They were not at home at the time of the blast.
"Everything was off this morning. We got up this morning and got dressed and went to work," said resident Robert Monahan.
Three hours later, a blast shook everything near Edaville Railroad.
"We were up in the main building up the street and we heard a vibration. We were not sure what it was. (We were) going around the building trying to find out what happened. It sounded like something hit the building," said Susan Wentworth, of Edaville Railroad.
Investigators said they are focusing their attention on a propane tank that feeds the residence.
"There is no underground propane in this area of town. Each individual home is fed by a cylinder that is unique to that dwelling, so there is a cylinder on the side of the structure, and we are focusing our investigation on that," said Carver Deputy Fire Chief Eric Germaine.
"Thank God my brother wasn't in the house watching TV," said resident Stephen Monahan.
"We lost everything, but at least I am alive," said Robert Monahan.
Carver investigators are working with state fire marshal's office to determine the exact cause of the blast.
For those that have called and asked, yes, these are Kevin's brothers. They are fine and are getting a lot of help from the Red Cross. All the furnishings belonged to Kevin- we lent them to the brothers after I moved in. They are staying in a local hotel and the Red Cross helped them with clothes, food and a new apartment (including deposits, etc) I think the brothers perspectives about living have given them pause- perhaps it will be lasting.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
I've been trying to situate my schedule for school. I'm thinking about taking 2 ground courses at Northeastern and one on-line. But financial aid is up in the air and I don't want to get caught behind the 8 ball.
I am trying to get Kevin to work out Heather's schedule, even for next week, but he can't think that far ahead he says. As much as I want to help, I have picked up extra hours at self storage so that I can pay my tuition bills. I have been really working on tracking my expenses. In fact, while browsing Oprah's website, looking again to see if perhaps I might be a worthy guest, I came across the Debt Diet. I found that many of the worksheets will be helpful. My credit score dropped with the bills I inherited post-divorce and then by being out of work with the kidney failure. I am trying to keep my work less than the government level allows so that I don't lose my benefits. I don't think I could manage to work full time. Certainly not going to school and watching Heather, not to mention all of the pancreas testing.
Has anyone mastered the art of multitasking? Please send me some tips? Parenting tips too about how to get Heather to bed before say 10pm.
Friday, September 01, 2006
SO WHY I NEED YOU...
If there is something poignant about your experience with me, perhaps I lesson we both learned together the hard way, something you never knew before you encountered me, any funny story, or even a story that wasn't funny until now, please remind me and post a comment or email me. I need your help.
I want to make a dramatic impact- one that is remembered for its humor in the face of adversity. LET'S HOOK IT UP!
The past week has been very busy with medical appointments. I have been at the hospital on the 22nd, the 25th and the 30th. I have had all kinds of radioactive tests, like 19 tubes of blood (which alone could make someone pass out), meetings with doctors and surgeons and social workers. It seems that I may be well on my way to pancreas city. My lungs are in good condition, even though I couldn't do pulmonary function tests given my big fat hernia. I am having surgery on that on October 3rd. My mom is concerned that with such a short time between my surgical repair and flying to Florida for Jessica's shower that I might end up with a blood clot. Right now it's up in the air.
I had my eyes dilated for an opthamology exam, again, part of the pancreas evaluation. They are looking for all of the possible diabetic complications that I might already have sustained. I have yet to see the neurologist, who will be doing the same thing.
Yesterday, Heather and I went with Mandy to Nelson Street Park for a picnic. Nelson Street is right on the ocean. Although it is beautiful, it has become over run with seagulls. They are quite aggressive, more than I expected anyway. We were eating and a seagull swooped down and stole Heather's pickle right off the plate. Mandy got brushed in the head by the bird! Jude and Anne then joined us for some swing time. Jude is adorable and has two teeth growing in. He definitely outweighs Heather by a good 7 pounds now. It was good for Heather to have a play date.
Scott's wedding is fast approaching and I bought a dress this week at Anne Taylor. I really like it, but I am thinking that perhaps someone else might have the same dress. However, I think this kind of thought crosses the mind of most women going to a big event at least once. No one I am convinced however, will have my patent leather peep toe pumps! Shoes are happiness, AREN'T THEY?
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
On a very happy note, CONGRATUALTIONS to April and Rob Agnew who just had a baby boy! I wish them health, happiness,love and laughter, as I do wish for all my friends!
I visited Mandy and Ted at the Rushforth's the other night. Mandy will be here until Sept 5th.
Hey girls- is the chick lit book club still a go?
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Tomorrow my goal is to finish my class work from ummm..., June. I guess I really should complete it before I start school again. I've been surfing the web considering employment (part time, maybe) in some colleges. I think that is the best environment for me and since I can't be a student forever, maybe I should pursue a career in the school environment. Who knows.
I have given up my search for my lost flash drive. I figure if I give up on it, it will mysteriously reappear. It has the only version of my CV on it. Luckily, I was smart enough to print a hard copy, but with each copy it loses integrity. Yuck!
Okay, more of nothing tomorrow!
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
I visited Carrie yesterday in Weymouth. SHe has lost about 20 pounds from her surgery and it is noticeable in her face and upper body. She seems to be doing well with the pain, although she still can't look at the scar, which ended up just being a straight line alittle offcenter from midline. Her apartment is cute. I dressed her wound and made her bed, since she had trouble with it. Then we went to Walmart (I'm all for employing disabled people, but putting a retarded lady in a cashier position in the express lane is not good resource management and is setting her up for failure, where is a CRC when you need one?) and Stop and Shop for food.
I ran into my granfather this morning. He informed me that my Aunt was mad at him. He was relutant to tell me why- "I got in trouble with her." Apparently, my 78 year old Harley riding grandfather went on a date with a 46 year old lady/ "broad". I told him to keep her out of his wallet and not to change the will and everyone would be happy. I was afraid it may be Kevin's siter, apparently this chick is one of her friends that he met at the Dunkin Donuts hang out. I'm glad that he is socializing because for a while he was shut in and so lonely. I told him to be smart but to have fun. I know my grandmother wouldn't want him to spend his final days mourning her. I tell you though, Papa Joe is likely to outlive me!
I got my credit report to day and it stinks, but I found a few items that shouldn't be there. I also got a creditor letter for an account I never had in a variation of my name. I was almost going to throw it in my "oh well..." pile but it just seemed wrong. Sure enough, it is.I just read some bad creditor practices on MSN news which prompted me to look. I guess that shows the importance of staying on top of your information.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
THIS IS DR. KATHRYN TINCKAM- Love her! Also known as Dr. Kidney. I just knew she was the right doctor for me- sporting her Tiffany Beans. She has been seeing me at the kidney clinic and will follow me through the pancreas process.
Carrie is at her Aunt's house and reports that things are going well post-surgery. She is having the same issue I had with healing in reverse and needs her dressing packed. I told her I can help around my work schedule. I was going to have to work on Monday, but they didn't need me so I can help her.
My mom and Big D are going on their 20th anniversary/annual trip to Ogunquit, Maine. Kevin's sister is going away that week as well. Kevin hasn't looked for a babysitter yet. My dad gave him some business- first stripping and waxing the office floors in the main office- they haven't ever been done according to my memory and the building has been around for some twenty plus years. Then he is going to clean the office monthly. Business has been picking up, which makes him much less stressed.
The doctors started me on a new medication- Avelox. It seems that one of my old medications prescribed for the chronic wound/bone infection I have post-lung transplant is no longer.(The lung infection I had in my CF lungs seeded my bones when I was cracked in half and they were digging out the old puffers. It has stayed in my bones and I take meds to prevent the infection from taking over.) Yup, Tequin was pulled off the market because it causes irratic blood sugars- gee, that sounds familiar, my question is: why does it take 6 years to figure out that thsi is a problem. I mean, they pulled it off the market, forchissakes!
Apparently, though the Avelox is not quite perfect either. I broke into HIVES after two sips of wine. I have had all the typical digestive problems: nausea, the poops, etc, I have had a rapid heartbeat too. It makes me dizzy and drowsy, yet I can't sleep. It can also cause liver trouble so I have to have function tests and an EKG to be sure I have a baseline measure. I have a bunch of doc appointments coming up to get the pancreas evaluation going. I have to see a neurologist, an opthamologist, the endocrinologist, the gynecologist. i have to have an EKG, a cardiac PET, and some other radiologic studies. We are talking tons of bloodwork here on top of it! Oh well, i guess I really can't complain. I have been a more compliant diabetic but the idea of all these tests and recovery and relationship issues makes me anxious- not jump off the roof/slit your wrists anxious or depressed, just a constant buzzing, thinking about it.
So one may think that nothing exciting happens at the self-storage office- boy, would you be wrong: read below!
Cops find 2 more weapon stockpiles; Charges against Kingston man may be sought
By KAREN GOULARTThe Patriot Ledger
KINGSTON - A Kingston man who kept an arsenal of weapons in a Pembroke storage facility had stockpiled more guns, knives and ammunition at his home and in a rented storage unit in Kingston.
Kingston police detectives and Pembroke police yesterday searched a home at 14 Mountain Ash Drive, the last known address of 47-year-old Donald Govoni, as well as a storage unit he rented at Storage King on Marion Drive.
They were looking for more weapons and they found them.
Kingston and Pembroke police have said they plan to seek charges against Govoni for improper storage of firearms. They are also considering several counts of illegal possession of weapons, depending on whether Govoni has licenses for the guns.
Among the items seized yesterday were two semi-automatic handguns, two shotguns, an AR-15 assault rifle, three rifles, nine switchblade knives and 3,558 rounds of ammunition.
Kingston police Detective Sgt. Robert Wells said Govoni does not have a current firearms license and therefore is in violation of the law.
Mountain Ash Drive is located in Town and Country Mobile Estates, a quiet, well-kept community for people 55 and older.
Police said Govoni’s parents had lived in the home but both died several years ago. They believe it has been more than a year since Govoni occupied the house.
Govoni’s whereabouts are unclear.
Pembroke police began looking for Govoni on Friday after workers at Stor-It Mini Warehouses reported finding what appeared to be a bazooka in a storage unit.
Workers at the Pembroke warehouse stumbled across some of the arsenal while clearing out Govoni’s three storage units for failure to pay rent.
Police returned to Stor-It on Monday with a search warrant and found an array of weapons and ammunition, including a rocket launcher, two Uzi-like guns, silencers and a variety of gun parts.
Jim Dickey, a worker hired to help clean out the storage units, said Govoni showed up there last Thursday and asked the owner not to throw away his belongings.
Dickey said Govoni had rented space there for more than a decade and was known to spend hours locked inside the largest of the three rooms.
In addition to the weapons, workers said they found old periodicals, some belonging to the Duxbury Free Library, photos of assault rifles and notes complaining about his boss yelling at him for continually showing up late for work.
Boulter said an initial background check on Govoni turned up no criminal history. Gun purchase records showed some of the firearms found in Pembroke were purchased in 1983 when Govoni was properly licensed. His Massachusetts license lapsed in 1995.
Karen Goulart may be reached at email@example.com .
Copyright 2006 The Patriot LedgerTransmitted Thursday, August 10, 2006
Well, needless to say when I heard this first on the evening news I was intrigued, but it wasn't until later that I put two and two together. This wacked out fellow ALSO has a storage unit with US!!!!! Ohmygod!
So Thursday, I went down to get my check and tell Deb S., the manager, what I had heard. She called Dad and Anne (and wondered why did I wait until 5pm?) The guy is in arrears but what were we to do legally? The story continues to unfold, but it doesn't look like any guns are here. That's the big story here for the week!
Monday, July 31, 2006
Well, the past week has been draining, literally. The doctor went up my nose with a rubber hose and cut out all the polyps. A nasal polyp arises from chronic inflammation and lesions. They occur in the frequency from 6 to 48% of patients with Cystic Fibrosis and chronic sinusitis. They occur in the normal population 1 in 200 people. The polyps are like little fleshy grapes that block the airways- they are not usually cancerous. Basically, even though the CF is gone from my lungs, in which the cells were irregular and led to infection, these cells are still present in my sinuses, since you can't have a sinus transplant, yet, this is really the only place that CF will persist, given the pancreas transplant idea.
So now that the polyps are gone, all the infection that was festering behind, less what was sucked out, has been coming out on its own. The doctor described the infection as resembling peanut butter-pesto sauce. Yum! So I have been dealing with the pain and pressure of a sinus infection or really bad cold. I have had postnasal drip, which has kept me awake. Kevin too.
Carrie had her surgery last Thursday. I spoke with her twice and she is toleratig the pain. I wonder how her recovery will be effected because they could not perform the surgery laparoscopically and had to do it open. From my understanding of the procedure, that leaves you with a huge anchor-like scar from sternum to pelvis and then across. Abdominal surgery is truly the worst because you feel like you are going to explode open everytime you cough, or sneeze, or poop, for that matter.
I thought that maybe working today it would be busy since most people will be paying their bills in the next few days, but just some guy getting wardrobe boxes. I think I have more stamina to work more than one day a week and I have been looking at the classifieds to see about teaching at some local colleges. I have my resume updated and I'm thinking about putting some feelers out today with little else to do. I could clean, but not right now, my soaps will be soon!
Okay, if I don't get to posting again real soon- Happy Birthday to Rebecca (August 1), Bri (8/6/86), Tiggy 8/3- I think, Chris 8/11 Chris and Tiggy's Anniversary 8/6...
see you next time!
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
I had my jewelry party last night. A lot of people came (thanks) and I got $350 worth of free stuff. Of course, I got some other stuff too. Shelley Coville Beatty came, it seems that everytime I see her someone has died. She booked a party with the new catalog so she'll get a bonus too. My mom is booking in October. You'll find me at home, all blinged out with no where to go. Carrie stopped by before the party started and visited. Her surgery was rescheduled for Thursday so I'll wish her good luck for that. I have to book my airline flights for my Florida excursions and make my plans for Thanksgiving and the December cruise! I can't believe I am going on vacation. I am working some extra days at ministorage to try to save up, not a task I am so good.
Well, off to do some roto-rootering to the noggin. More later....
Friday, July 21, 2006
I went for preoperative testing for my sinus surgery, which is scheduled for July 25th. I was just thankful that it wasn't conflicting with my Lia Sophia Jewelry party on the 24th, Monday. I had sent out invitations and have been cleaning feverishly. Brianna O'Toole is the consultant and this is one of her first parties, plus I want the hostess benefits. Sparkly stuff- woohoo!
Anyway, while I was there for my testing, I figured that I would kill several birds with one stone, or one drive to the city since the traffic has been hellish with the tunnels closed due the cement ceiling killing that poor lady. Carrie was having her surgery that day (see: anewdaytolive.blogspot.com for her take on things) and I need an ultrasound of my kidney since I have a poochy pouch in my left lower quadrant. Well, my scan revealed not a fluid pouch as I had hoped, but a HERNIA!!! Apparently, it begins with the musculature next to my kidney transplant incision. Not only that, but the muscle that should be appeared to pretty degraded, which I read as irreparable, yet not life threatening. I just will girdle myself up for important occasions requiring a poochless figure. As you can imagine, the physical scars tell the story of my medical past and one might think that I'd be used to it by now but I'm still self-conscious, admittedly. I have only spoken with the radiologist so we'll see what the kidney doctor has to say.
As I was leaving I ran into Carrie's family, going to see her in post-op. Her mother was talking herself saying "just be positive, just be positive," which is a good thing for her. I know that sometimes she can come across as critical and overly sensitive, especially in this situation related to Carrie's surgery. However, when I approached, her very rational Aunt explained that they were off to see Carrie, she went in for surgery however, it was not completed due to a complication and that Carrie still had no idea. The medical team had not revealed the issue to her. When we arrived Carrie was drugged yet was smiling, and I could see that she had no clue. Her mother approached her, grabbed the issue box and Carrie could tell there was something "not right" and even in her drugged state, she was in no space for drama. her mother explained that they didn't do the surgery, yet Carrie was in pain, because they had tried and made incision and had anesthesized her, so she had a sore throat post-intubation. Yet, it was even more painful for her to realize that she was so close and yet still so far away. The doctor had not seen her since and her family was doing the best to convey their understanding to her of the medical-ese. Carrie contained her emotions, which were probably blunted due to the fentanol- I say good. She would have a lot to process. I have been in similar situations and I have been thankful for Versed and Fentanol to ease the anxiety and wash the numbness through you, enabling you to be ready for anything. When I had my lung transplant, they told me that I could wake up and may not have had the procedure. The Brigham will not proceed if the risks are high or the conditions are not perfectly aligned with their end goal. That's what has kept me so confident in their services. I left Carrie and they were about to release her from day surgery. I have not spoken to her because I wanted her to have a couple days, plus I haven't the slightest idea where my cell phone is. My mom hates that, but that is an entirely different story.
I had a few moments before my preop so I ambled down Au Bon Pain to get a bite of lunch. AS I am getting my Splenda for my iced tea a guy somes up from behind and says hello. He then inquires how I have been feeling- "Ah good.," I reply. " Do you remember me?"he asks. I hate that type of query moree than anything first of all. I look at him hoping for some sort of hint. He has on scrubs and a OR cap. "Anesthesia?" I ask, but as soon as I said that I thought he resembled Doug's former paramedic partner. I was trying to put that whole era out fo my mind. After all, I don't look a thing like I did then, in my humble opinion. Anyway, it was him. To which I fumble, I thought you killed someone and went crazy- that's the story Doug told me at least. But he said that it wasn't the way Doug had said it- big surprise and that he was trying to forget that era as well. Um...OK. "Well, see you around," I said. If it wasn't as awkward I could have said and asked him a lot more but I didn't feel the need.
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Well, it looks like the pancreas transplant is a go. I have been described as "an ideal candidate" and heck, what's one more person's DNA in my body. I do want to make sure that I don't need like a liver or something else ridiculous in a year before I sign the papers. Because I could have had a pancreas when I got the kidney, you know. Let's make sure we look at the big picture. I have been a bit absent from blogging, emailing and phone chat has been on the relapse, absent as well. Most of my days have consisted of watching Heather, napping, eating garbage and the solace of planting flowers.
I feel invisible with no school and this new mother role. My identity has shifted so greatly and dramatically in the past couple of months. I'm a little blue, really. I hate Sundays. That's when Heather's real mother is supposed to call, and she ususally doesn't, or when she does, it's for like 3 minutes and this poor two year old has no idea who is on the other end of the phone line. Kevin gets worked up looking at the clock tick by and finally he realizes she doesn't call. He says he isn't but I can tell, or maybe it's just my transference to him. I just look at this little girl and wonder how some mother's can be baby machines and then just drop these kids, without even a clue about what she looks like, whether she is healthy, what her favorite foodis, or how she likes to play. My stomach ends up in knots.
I feel like a loser because I get the impression that sometimes Kevin and his family don't think I can handle caring for Heather or that I'm not doing a good job. I try to explain that this is what chronically ill looks like- yes, most of the days I am a little sick, which may mean that I need to take a nap- not that I'm lazy and although they say they understand, it's probably just me feeling like a loser. I fid myself being moody, which I am thinking is related to the diabetes and the fluctuations with my blood sugar plus the chronic prednisone. I'm really not a bitch, am I?
I talked to Kelli Collomb today finally. I'm trying to catch up on my calls - next up Courtney and Rebecca- new cell phone number? Are you away?
I've been shopping and then returning for more practical things- ahh- retail therapy. Carrie's surgery is scheduled for July 18th. I talked to her to get the date and wish her luck. She was going to come and help my mother with her yard sale but was MIA- she must not need anything this week, as someone anonymous pointed out to me- hmmm really- is it that way really?
Below I posted details about what pancreas transplantation should be like. Until later!
How a Pancreas Transplant is Performed
The transplant recipient's own organs are left in place and the new organs are placed in the lower abdomen. Preferably, the pancreas goes to the right of the bladder and the kidney (when needed) to the left.
The pancreas can be procured in one of two ways: it can be procured from a deceased organ donor or half of a pancreas can be procured from a living organ donor. In the case of a deceased organ donor, the duodenum (a part of the small intestine) is also transplanted because the head of the pancreas is intimately attached to it. In the case of a living organ donor, the tail of the pancreas is the part that is used.
Once procured, the donated pancreas is prepared by the surgeons to be put into the transplant recipient. Both extremes of a deceased donor duodenum are closed and a new opening is made. The donated pancreas is then attached to three places in the transplant recipient:
1. The portal vein coming from the donated pancreas is sewn to the recipient's iliac vein.
2. The pancreas arteries are sewn to a graft of donor's iliac artery, which is then sewn to the recipient's iliac artery.
3. The duodenum's new opening is sewn into the recipient's bladder that will eventually receive the exocrine pancreas secretions (enzymes).
Alternatively, the donor duodenum can be sewn to the recipient's intestine. The first two attachments establish blood flow to the pancreas, allowing insulin release. The third attachment allows the exocrine enzyme (amylase) to be excreted into the urine. Low amylase excretion is a good marker of a pancreas graft rejection episode needing treatment, particularly in the absence of a same donor kidney graft (in which case an increase in blood creatinine is a good parameter). The drainage into the bladder may lead to some post-transplant complications, in which case the recipient is reoperated and the same pancreas graft is attached to the intestine.
Friday, June 30, 2006
Here is Heather (naked) posing with Jude at the kiddy pool at my Dad's. Heather is imitating Jude, who pants like a dog. It's probably just as well. Jude doesn't know what quite to make of a naked girl- like most men, Jude sits with his mouth open- befuddled.
Detroit Joe Puppa Dog is by Heather's side at all times, even when she's sleeping. She was snoozing in the back of the car and instead of sticking his snout out the window, Pup's jumped in the back to snuggle her car seat. Gotta love him!
Well, summer makes me lazy: if it's not the heat, it's the rain. I still have to finish one of my school projects from last school session. I'm hoping to finish that tomorrow while at work. I have enclosed more pictures of the past couples of weeks, such as my volunteer opportunity with the Coalition on Donation, which is now DONATE LIFE AMERICA, or if you live in Florida- DONE VIDA AMERICA!
That's all for now!
Saturday, June 24, 2006
This would be funny for my autopsy- huh! Thanks to Jill Peter for thinking of me. It seems Copa Cabana will be my legacy, not that I mind! More later- I just got more pictures!
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
It's been a little while since I have blogged and my loyal readers have been gravely disappointed at the lack of consistency so I will try to make up for it with this entry.
I opted not to take classes this summer. I found myself to be drained and I owe Northeastern almost $3K because of the error in my financial aid when I got the kidney- yes, six months later and there is still no resolution.
We've been experiencing a lot of rain here this June so I am still pale, though I guess I should be avoiding the sun anyway since kidney recipients are like 10 times more likely to get skin cancer than other transplants. I have been concentrating on organizing my life and putting things in perspective. I am so lucky to have so many friends and family. I just celebrated my 29th birthday (6/17: thanks to those who remembered) and 30 will really be a highpoint- I never in a million years thought I would live this long. Yippee! Though my stomach has been off- the doctors told me malabsorption is worsened by my antirejection medicine so basically I will just have to deal.
In the meantime, Carrie got a new doggy- Gizmo, an Apricot toy poodle the same as Scooter. He is very cute as you will see. My dad had a cookout on Father's day and Heather and Jude had some fun in the pool. Kevin took me to Isaac's on my birthday and we sat on the deck- a nice date. My mom watched Heather and when we got home, Heather was still awake- I guess Deb was having too much fun to put her to bed.
Wedding season is growing closer. Scott and Audrey came by and asked if I would do a reading at their wedding in September- sure! I presented them with the Blue Shirt Chronicles scrapbook, as Scott was very fond of his blue gingham shirt and has sported it at every family outing for the past two years.
Well, that's about it for now- enjoy the pictures!
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Poor Carrie. She was driving with Scooter and he jumped out the window and was hit by another car. He died. Carrie has been hysterical and her life is in upheaval with the move, worries about the surgery, and now this loss. She seems to be getting a lot of support from her aunt and her family. He brother even came up to help her move and her aunt had a burial for Scootie. My mom is pretty upset too. She loved him and would always walk him. She treated him just like he was her own grandpuppy. Carrie cam eto Kevin's to visit and she seemed very rational about the grief process and getting life back to normal. She wants to get another pup just like Scooter. I think that is a good idea. I don't what I would do if Detroit was gone. I feel sure I would need some strong medication. Pets are like children and I wouldn't have survived 2004 and 2005 without my boy, Detroit Joe Puppa Dog.
All dogs go to Heaven...
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Thursday, May 18, 2006
This is the one and only baby Jude. He is a happy and healthy baby and boy has my brtoher Chris grown up since his birth in October. He looks like Chris from the eyes up and Tiggy, who's is gracefully beautiful in an understated way from the nose down- lucky for him, Jude may not have the Fraccalossi snoz. Jude weighs about as much as Heather and according to Nonna Anne has been panting like a dog. Too cute.
This is Heather palying with Mandy's hair as Dr. Rushforth looks on. Mandy got a kick out of telling Heather to say "Jill Bad Driver".
This is baby Elise, daughter of my cousin Kristin Galletti. She was born May 2nd.
I should get extra points for blogging twice! Until next time...
The rain brought sadness this week. Mike Galletti, Darryl's cousin, was found dead the day after Mother's Day. He was supposed to pick up his wife Claire from the airport, as she was in California visiting her children for the holiday. As I was told, Mike was supposed to pick him up but never showed. His son Randy went over to the house and found him dead. Everyone assumes it was a heart attack, but being that no one was there and that he was a mere 59 years old- he was taken for an autopsy. The services are this weekend. I am hoping I can leave for a bit on Saturday so that I can go to the service. Truly a testament to celebrate each day.
GALLETTI Michael Anthony, age 59, of Plymouth, died unexpectedly at his home on May 15, 2006, he was the devoted husband of Claire E. (Mantenuto) Galletti of Plymouth. Loving father of Randy Galletti and his fiancee Anita Daniels of Kingston, Shaine Galletti of RI, Janine Maker and her husband Robert of Halifax and Bonnie Mangini and her husband Michael of Quincy. He was the beloved stepfather of Matthew Bergman and his wife Gretchen of Santa Monica, CA and Diana Bergman of San Francisco, CA. He was the cherished grand- father of Alexandra, Kelly, Zackary and Kyle. The Funeral will take place on Saturday morn ing at 9:15 from the Cartmell Funeral Home, 150 Court St., Plymouth, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary Church in No. Plym outh at 10:00 a.m. Friends may call at the Cartmell Funeral Home on Friday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Interment will be in Vine Hills Cemetery, Plymouth, MA. Donations in his memory may be made to the American Heart Association, 20 Speen St., Framingham, MA 01701-4680
Since I have been so wrapped up in things I missed Kara's visit to Lexington- I'm sorry Momma! Additionally, yesterday was Courtney's birthday. I will see her this weekend and hopefully make it up to her when I go to Shay's baptism on Sunday. New beginnings and endings....
I am still moving my stuff into Kevin's. I have one room that he allocated to my junk. I still have stuff at my mom's in storage, at Chapel Hill and in his basement. It's going to take me a while to get settled and unpacked. It has been good so far. I wake up to a little voice saying I love you Jill in the morning or I overhear "Jill sleepin', Puppa sleepin'". Heather has taken to calling my mother Gramma after hearing me talk to the dog with Gramma as reference to my mom. She also goes around the house saying Dahwryl and BIGD, BIGD. I wish he could hear it, certainly that would brighten his day. Heather is also picking up Jill mannerisms- such as flipping her hair, her new words are shopping shoes shopping mall. I know she didn't get that from Kevin. Although she did pick up a scratch ticket from the ground and say money- that is more likely to be from Kevin. They have both brought a lot of joy to my life and I definitely feel alive.
Next time, pictures!
Saturday, May 13, 2006
My stomach has been malabsorbing more frequently indicating that the pancreas is probably truly needed and my diabetes is growing more insulin resistant. I try to keep it in balance and cheat only once a week with sweets. But since I got he kidney, I have a sweet tooth.
Mandy was homer for her dad's birthday and it was great to see her! Perhaps a baby is in her near future...no, not yet. She adopted a kitten for her dad and was teaching Heather to say "Jill Bad Driver"- which, really I am not!!! Heather really took to Mandy and has been saying "Mandy coming, Mandy coming" since she met her.
Kevin, Heather and I went to my dad's house for Jude and Heather to play and to make official introductions. My brother Chris and Tiggy were there and they really are good parents to Jude, who is beautiful and healthy, all I could wish for him. According to my stepmother Anne, Kevin is a good egg, which is a good thing. I have known this all along of course. Careful not to repeat mistakes.
I other news my cousin Kristin had her baby on May 2nd: Elise Shirley Majca. She is adorable and I will post pictures as soon as I have my computer on track- I can't reall save pictures to the work computer. ( But all this typing really makes me look busy on camera!)
I want to give my thanks to those who point out when I am slack at blogging for keeping me on track. I am so lucky to have a troupe of committed friends.
Mini storage has been pretty quiet this weekend, as Plymouth has been fully engulfed in deluge conditions. It's a good day to nap, which I would if I wasn't on camera here all the time.
That's all for now...more SOON!
Saturday, April 29, 2006
I am working at mini storage, as I do every Saturday and while my mom usually stops down to bring me lunch and chat with me at my solitary post, Kevin and Heather filled in today. While I am quite attached to Kevin, I am even more attached to little Heather, who ran up to me with arms open to pick her up. My mom and I are teaching her to blow kisses. Kevin brought me a sub and Mt. Dew- such a lifesaver. He is watching Puppa and A-scootie, as Heather calls Scooter, while I am working because 9 hours is a long time to go without a pee/poop break for anyone, even a dog. I am prepping kevin to meet the Rushforths and my dad tomorrow, perhaps if my dad isn't golfing. I brought Heather to play with big baby Jude on Friday. Juse loved her. He is 6months old and is bigger than Heather. Jude is a very happy baby, giggling and smiling and Anne keeps him so stimulated that even I was tired. Jude kept trying to touch Heather, was cooing at her and was following her around in his wheely walker thing. She hitched a ride on the back- she's no fool. Jude just really can't steer. I have a picture I will upload later.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
I am dogsitting Scooter and Carrie isn't really talking to me, just to my mother, but I guess she is still having me watch the pooch out of necessity. I will bring him home when I am at school but he likes rides in the car and playing Heather and Detroit Joe Puppa.
I started the next six week session at Northeastern and although I was trying to hussle to get it done, last session killed me and I missed more classes than I wanted due to exhaustion. So I dropped to two and dropped my masters project online this summer. There's no reason I can't graduate in the Fall. I was going to find a part-time job, but as the evaluation period begins for the pancreas transplant, more and more time will be spent dealing with medical issues. Perhaps I will see if there are any lecturer positions at the local campuses.
In other news, I have been invited to speak for the Massachusetts Respiratory Therapists in September- a paid gig. Whohoo! That's what I would love to do. My first assignment in my Strategic Leadership class is to write an autobiography. Maybe this will kickstart progrressing with my book.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Anyway, I editted my post and asked her to do the same with hers.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Easter didn't go as planned, but it was good just the same. Little Heather ended up in the emergency room while I was at Aunt Deb's for dinner with an awful stomach bug. She was admitted for dehydration and Kevin was with her every second- he really is a great dad. My mom and I brought him Easter dinner at the Jordan. Every time I went back to visit, Heather had more bunny rabbits- you know what they say about rabbits. My mom and Anne both got her gifts and Heather loved them. She was released Sunday night and I watched her most of the rest of the week. She was back to normal.
In other news, Carrie is upset with me. I told her that I can't live with her anymore and that I would probably end up moving in with Kevin in a couple of months. I spend most of my time there, he has a yard for Detroit, plenty of space for junk and it is a house. He would charge me the same that I am paying now. We discussed that it was soon, yes, but when it is right it is right. I have to make sure he meets the rest of the family so they don't think I am moving in with a stranger or repeating mistakes. I want to keep everything above boards. I have talked to Carrie that I am not stopping being her friend but that I have to go my own way and she feels ditched. I can't help her out of her misery when she is uncomfortable and depressed because she is overweight. She could get support from her Aunt who lives in Westborough but she doesn't want to tell her of her plans for surgery. I can't take responsibility for that one. I told her that I thought she was out of control before, now it is worse. She continues to be in a bad space with the cycle of depression and eating. The only suggestion I made that she heard was that she should get into therapy again. She took this as an insult although she is a therapist herself. But I also suggested going to the gym, easting better, stopping fast food, going out, walking the dog, etc. but, apparently all those suggestions fell on deaf ears. I understand that her feelings are hurt, but she is not considering my point that I can't live in a mess anymore, accompanied by misery and negativity. I don't know whatelse to say or do. AND NOW, SOME QUOTES:
for a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin- real life. but there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. at last it dawned on me that these were obstacles in my life. this perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. happiness is the way, so treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one. happiness os a journey, no a destination.-souza
THE PURPOSE OF LIFE IS TO LIVE IT, TO TASTE EXPERIENCE TO THE UTMOST,TO REACH OUT EAGERLY AND WITHOUT FEAR FOR NEWER AND RICHER EXPERIENCE.-Eleanor Roosevelt
RISK more than others think is safe, CARE more than others think is wise,DREAM more than others think is practical, EXPECT more than others think is possible.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
On Saturday night, we ate a combination pre-Easter/group Birthday dinner at my aunts Deb and Merle's house. Rob and Jennifer were visiting from New York City. My deaf aunt Diane was present and Johanna's new boyfriend Jacob was there too. My grandfather rolled in. We had a cake from The Cake Lady, who makes the best cakes in town.