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Tuesday, January 18th, 2005
4:52 pm - This wonderful world...
Today I watched a complete kidney transplant from donor to recipient.

A truly amazing, heart-warming, and beautiful experience.

current mood: indescribable

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Monday, January 17th, 2005
6:01 pm - The last month...
Okay. Christmas was great, and then I caught whatever bug Ryan had. Ended up with 103.5 fever for four days and was sicker than I have ever been in over 5 years. New Years was spent up north at the girls house, still recovering from the “flu.” We all fell asleep at about 11pm while the guys watched a movie in the living room. With a mean age of 25, we felt pretty lame, but hey, no hangovers.

My birthday was last weekend and everyone came out to the Olive Garden and then back to our house for some charades. Meags and Tedde came up too, it was a blast. The next morning she left for New York. Pressures are down and she did better with the exercise tests. Went with Meags, momma H. and the girls to the Tacoma Wedding Show. She found a great photographer for the ceremony. Lots of research to do. Lots of fun to have.

Another story: Ive been on mesalamine now for a little over a month for mild ulcerative colitis. After a normal dose of 3.2 grams per day, the doc decided to up me to 4.8 grams. In my Nursing drug book, 4 grams is the maximum dosage. It also lists renal toxicity as common with high doses, and kidney stone formation, especially when fluid intake is not sufficient. A bit concerned. Then the pink urine x 3 mornings, and R flank pain for the same. Had a sick visit with the doc today. Had a CT KUB to rule out kidney stones. I was sent home with percocet and pherergan. Nothing there. Waiting for the blood work to come back tomorrow morning. Needless to say, I was advised to stop taking the asacol all together. I’ll be in the OR all day tomorrow, and I’m a bit paranoid that I won’t be feeling very well when I wake up.

Staying positive, Open minded, have to focus on school. Today, as I lay on the CT bench while my body was pushed in and out of the round doughnut, I could feel the fear I have heard so many people talk about. Really nothing to worry about, it’s just a very awkward and scary experience. I really had to hold back the tears, and I’m not normally like that when it comes to medical stuff. I think my mind was focusing on what they might find. I’ve never had any type of imaging done before, and was worried about the .005% that I would have some sort of anatomical abnormality. Silly me.

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Wednesday, December 8th, 2004
3:29 pm
3:30 and done for the year. The final was 2 hours, and damn am I tired. Just finished my last clinical evaluation session. Community projects are back... all good news.

The sob and frequent inhaler use subsided- or maybe I'm just getting used to not being able to breathe. Either way, I am feeling much better. This new med is helping as well. I have had horrible R sided pain since theis am. Just nerves, or maybe it's the smell of this womans perfume right next to me.

R wants to meet at 5:30 after work here on capitol hill for some eats. Trying to waste time. Three weeks with nothing to do. Well- except study for next quarter- yes- it is an expectation. Study for classes that haven't even begun yet.

Hopefully I will find some time to go snow-shoeing up in Snoqualmie. Never been, heard it's great.

Excited to spend some time with Meags. I really can't wait.

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Tuesday, November 30th, 2004
7:08 pm
Still using the maxair every 5 hours.

Wheezing on exhales in upper left and right quadrants.

Want to shove pins in that doctors foot.

Comtemplating calling again, but not sure what to demand.

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Monday, November 29th, 2004
5:17 pm - Healthcare fails me again...
The worst part of my day:

Only after questioning, "Isn't there anything else that can prevent me from taking a trip to the ER?"
"Well if ya gotta go, ya gotta go." What an asshole.

I made a sick visit to the doctors office (my regular doc was booked, so the office lady just put me with whoever had an opening). I knew that I probably just needed a breathing treatment with the nebulizer, but I was appaled with my visit.

The bedside manner was horrid. My god, this is why I have chosen the life of nursing.

No introduction, no handshake, no eye contact, no conversing about why this happened, no discussing what I could have done to prevent, no advice for future possible attacks.

Listened to all of the lung lobes, reviewed my PFTs and said, "let's see if we can't get this squeak out of the right upper lobe here."

Then they gave me xopenex, just another bronchodilator. Still nothing for the inflammation.

When I finished the treatment, he reentered, asked, "You feel better?" "Sure, I guess" he promptly tried to leave.

"Umm excuse me, I have a question. Shouldn't I be on a long-acting inhaler?"
"No, you mean like serevent (ie. another brochodilator)? No, that would make you worse, definitely."
"No, I mean a corticosteroid, like flovent?"
"Oh... sure, I guess flovent would be good." He circles the med and signs his name, handing me the Rx.

Then he left. No goodbye. No feel better. No good luck. No empathy. Just here to do his job and leave.

I caught him in the hallway, and asked him what I should do if the Maxair didn't work.
"Well then, I guess you'd have to go to the hospital ER, but that hasn't happened, so there really isn't anything to worry about."

"I was in the ER last year for my inability to find relief with my rescue inhaler, Maxair. I would really like to prevent that from happening again." Had he read my chart, he would have known.

"Just use your Maxair." okay asshole, obviously your not paying attention, let's try again...

"Isn't there anything else that can prevent me from taking a trip to the ER?"

"Well if ya gotta go, you gotta go." as he shook his head and raised his shoulders, so matter of factly.

I turned around and walked out the door, only to burst into tears while riding the elevator downstairs. I was, I am MAD. I have never felt so ignored and so unimportant.

current mood: disappointed

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Sunday, November 28th, 2004
8:22 pm - A not so great Thanksgiving weekend
I tried really hard to keep my happy face on, but I just got so damn tired of saying, “Yeah, I’m okay, sure, I feel better.”

We left for the 6hour drive to Oregon on Thursday morning at 430am. Decided not to take a shower like last year, in the hopes that I would sleep right through it, and shower when I got there. That part is now a blur. I have been feeling especially well this past week, finishing a great week of clinical, testing in the 90th percentile and completing a basket of projects. Though I tried to be in good spirits, a bit of anticipatory grieving took over. I was going to miss grandma’s special pumpkin pie, again.

We decided to split the holidays three years ago. Thanksgiving there. Christmas here. Grandma has always catered to my food allergies like nobody else I know, except Meags. Grams made me my very own milk free pumpkin pie, milk free mashed potatoes, and no mushrooms in anything. This year I sucked it up and decided to load my plate with every dish on the damn table. Ingested so much cream, so much cheese, so much dairy- and I didn’t even realize it.- okay maybe I did- I was just way too far in denial.

I’ve never had problems like this before, and they have always had animals. Cat, dog, dust mites, damp room, me. Not a good combo. I decided to stay inside and do some reading for school and ryan went over to his aunt and uncles. An hour or so into the reading, I got up off of the chair, said, “I feel something funny” and proceeded to have an asthma attack. Not just a minor little thing, very similar to the one that sent me to the ER last year. I had my rescue inhaler, but after 5 puffs still felt as though I was going down. Had my heart rate up over 100bmp, and was shaking from the pirbuterol. I don’t have words to describe how I felt. Meag is the only person I know that knows what it feels like to not be able to breathe. My head racing with the thoughts of why didn’t I bring a hepa filter, why did I eat foods that I shouldn't have, why didn’t I skip my allergy shot, why don’t I have an epi pin, how come my doctor never gave me a nebulizer, how come I don’t know what the next steps are if I can’t breathe after so many MDI puffs, I should know what to do- I’m a nurse for gods sake, where is the nearest hospital, am I going to make it there, why me?

From Friday evening to just a few hours ago I was using my rescue inhaler every 6hours, then every4, then every three. Now I am home, in my allergen free environment, more drugs and my own space to feel crappy in. It shouldn’t have happened. I don’t know why it happened. Maybe it was the allergy shot- nobody really warned me what would happen if I came into contact with the allergens just after getting the antigen. Why am I not on a long-acting inhaler. You see, a rescue inhaler is just a bronchodilator, so it relaxes the smooth muscle in my airways. What I was missing is the anti-inflammatory. And I can’t take those because of the internal bleeding thing- which still has not gone away. I feel so in limbo, and wish these two specialists and my primary doc would all talk with each other to decide what is best for me- because they each think that a different thing is the best. Oh that’s right, that was the period of my life where they tried everything, and I hated the idea of drugging myself. Well, my time has come. I think I will surrender tomorrow. Make two more appointments, bare my soul, go home with drugs. I feel like a product of the system, and I am not happy with that. But I know that one day I will feel better, and find a very delicate balance.

Damn it felt good to vent.

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Monday, November 1st, 2004
8:56 pm - Monday...
Moms B-day today. Happy Birthday!!! 51 and kickin.

I really should be drinking a lot more water, at least 2000 ml/day. It's like the obese nurse telling her diabetic patients that they really should get out there and exercise more. Can't preach to my patients if I don't do the same. At lease that's how I view it. Live the life you preach about- or at least strive for it. My own health has been baffling lately.

No eczema outbreaks, though we haven't hit the cold and dry weather yet. I just had my 1:10000 0.05 ml allergy injection today. One vial down, three to go. Only a few more months till my maintenance dose. The itching is starting to become problematic. "Just take some benadryl" they all say. Well damnit if it isn't the little hot pink pill that makes me fall on my face. I'd rather itch. Masochistic? maybe... I like knowing that my body is reacting to a foreign substance and making me itch those hives. I feel alive. I like being in touch with what is going on in my body. Besides, that wonder pill makes it impossible to stay awake at any time of the day. The little arm bumps are beginning to grow on me, no pun intended.

I have already voted. I will not stay up and worry. It's not worth it. Comparable to the verdict of many famous trials- i will not name them -for history’s sake, and mine. I am hopeful- yet all the numbers are really there- in those minds- just not on paper- for that we wait until tomorrow- hopefully before December this time around. A vs B, xyz. Things will change for the better, no matter what- I can only put my faith in the universe and the people who have learned that they really can make a difference this time around.

M was a witch for Halloween, T was a zombie, I was a faithful student. Bogged down by readings- which I actually thrive off of. Just still very hard to think that I have to prove myself to a professor who was once in my shoes- yet in a school much more lenient.

I know what I know- I love what I learn. That's how I know I love my work.

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Wednesday, October 27th, 2004
6:26 pm - The last few months between past-life sisters...
Hmmm... where to begin, telling this story is such a release... It was the end of Spring quarter when she started feeling worse...

Yes, M has been or Tracleer for almost 3 years. She also takes viagra for the action on vessel dilation (you can imagine the looks from the people at the pharmacy). And of course the usual assortment of blood thinners, diuretics, inotropics, etc. She was also on beraprost for quite some time- a trial drug with minimal success.

M was dx when she was thirteen after she passed out at a gym meet. She is now 23. It's been a long ten years- with many ups and downs. M finally graduated with a bachelor’s degree this June. One day later she flew to NY for her cath- they have been doing them every three months for the past two years. Things appeared to be okay. A month passed and breathing became more difficult, O2 sats were declining. She flew back to New York for a septostomy- I am glad to hear that someone else has had this done. It seemed like every time she tried to explain her low O2 sats, people thought she was crazy. Things did not progress as hoped- back to NY for the dreaded Flolan. It had taken some time for M to become used to this idea- a large lifestyle change- but it hasn’t stopped her yet. The first month after beginning to mix and increasing the dose every 4 days was more than difficult. It was literally like chemo…with all the wonderful side effects…N/V/D. A trip back to NY revealed lower pressures. Hooray- faith that it's not just a fashion statement to be permanently attached to a backpack. And she changes her own dressings now!

It’s been okay. Not great. But damn what an attitude, and what love she is surrounded with. And now the joys of planning a wedding and sealing her love with a most wonderful man… words cannot describe.

Still have to reach that point where she becomes hypersensitive to Flolan, another downer. Supposedly it’s the feeling that you are going to die- if you didn’t already have that wonderful thought already.

We have learned so much from each other in the last few months. There are times that I feel her with me wherever I go. We are on the same wavelength. What a horribly delightful and courageous journey. For her and everyone in her life.

I have truly learned to live for today.

I am so thankful.

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Tuesday, October 19th, 2004
2:15 pm
So today is my day off. Got up at 7:30, could't really sleep in any later. Had an appointment with the financial guy and felt so weird having a converstaion about where I wanted to be 3 years from now, let alone when I am 59 1/2.

I have this block when it comes to planning for the future.

Maybe I don't want to retire until I'm 70- I'm sure I'll think differently then...

I don't like knowing that my money can grow from companies that "accidently" spill oil into the Puget Sound, or companies that are overseas and are possibly linked to War, Drugs, etc. It makes me ill.

I need some motivation for the reading. I just need to sit down and start it, then I'll be fine. I just remembered that I've gotta call that darn insurance company- the one that SU makes you sign up for.

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Thursday, October 14th, 2004
9:05 pm
M has been on Flolan now for almost 4 months, and she got engaged last weekend.

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8:02 pm - 2 years later...
Wow, what an eventful journey this has been. One year left of the Nursing program. In the middle of my psych rotation right now. Have moved three times since '02. Living with R now. Balancing love life and school. Dealing with those hidden diseases, again. My mind is overloaded right now. Thought maybe I would update on the last 2 years, but maybe later.

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Saturday, August 10th, 2002
6:35 pm
It has been a hell of a week. Found a new place to live in on Wednesday. Less space, but saving us some money. Meags and I are moving in around the first full weekend of September.

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Tuesday, July 2nd, 2002
10:34 pm
So...here I am. One month later. Helped R move in to this awesome place on Alki. I haven't slept in my own bed for about two weeks. I love it here. I am concerned with the space though. I don't want to become a burden. Talked to Elise yesterday. She was up here for Jannah's wedding. Need some hours.

Want to take a vacation. Though the last four weeks have been a vacation.

Went to McChord with R and family to celebrate my grandparents 60th anniversary.

Need to find a place to live, a three bedroom place.

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Tuesday, May 7th, 2002
12:23 pm - Bleh???
Hum diddly dum doo. BLAH. Yesterday I spent four hours tromping around Mercer slough for Field Ecology. Twas fun...but nonetheless twas really f***ing boring. Thank god for the purchase of a digital camera. I entertained myself off the normal trail filming my adventure away from my "really interested" classmates.

I let R cut my hair last weekend. Was a bit random. I love it. Haven't had it this short since I was in sixth grade. Sitting here looking outside my window at the Madison traffic., waiting for Meags to get home. I thought she said her mom would be here around 12:30. Dunno. Maybe I missed something.

WHat's is with the damn weather anyways? I wake up at 7 and it's cold and overcast. I freeze my tats off walking to class. Then 11 rolls around and it's sunny, and slightly warming up. Then all of a sudden it starts hailing and raining. For gods sake it's MAY! I have lived here for 20 years and never has it been this cold in MAY!

Okay I am off to do some more laundry and possibly make myself some lunch. Adios.

current mood: amused

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Sunday, April 21st, 2002
8:54 pm - One month later...
Well. Had an interesting last couple of days. Started with Friday. Went to ocean and came back. Drove the Cobra. Or rather R. drove. Left at 2pm. Walked to beach for 45 minutes, got back in the car and got back by 7pm. Cried all day yesterday and the day before. Been very emotional lately. I am almost getting annoyed with myself. Been thinking too much lately. I am letting everything overwhelm me at one time, but I can't seem to stop any of it. Like it's a necessary cycle that takes place every 5-6 months. Had really bad body ache last night. THought it was from the 6 hours that I spent planting trees all day at Hamm Creek. That was damn entertaining once I discovered that it was a retired sewage dumping ground. And the nearby marine corporation is polluting the area with their paint fumes because there is no filter on the back of the air purifier. Interesting no? So...Just recently got a fever. About 100.5 Have no idea what it's from. I feel so tired and completely burned out. Been writing up this lab now for a few hours and haven't really made much progress. I still need to do six species lists and descriptions. What a bunch of crap. This is all busy work damnit. I am trying to smile, but there is so much more that is happening than what I am telling you. Sorry to keep you from the long and drawn out version.

current mood: hot and tired

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Wednesday, March 27th, 2002
8:22 pm - Where is my boyfriend?
Well. Meags got home Friday night. Woke up Saturday morning and made reservations at a Vancouver hotel, The Fairmont for Saturday and Sunday night. Talked to R. on Saturday. And that's the last I've heard from him. Left a couple messages on his cellphone. I can only hope that all is well. A. said he broke down halfway to Oregon. Would really like to just know that he's alive. Any advice from girls out there. Guys just decide to up and leave for a couple of days without telling anyone where they are going. I thought we cared more about each other than that. I don't know. Highly probable that it is absolutely nothing at all. Hmmm. Have worried myself ... trying to take some time for me.

current mood: melancholy

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Tuesday, March 19th, 2002
2:19 pm

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2:11 pm - The wonderful 19th
Okay. So I went and turned in that damn sheet this morning at 9am. Meaghan left at 9:30. I went back to bed with R and then he left at noon to go to work. I woke up at 1 and had the worst imaginable cramps ever. I almost passed out. I immediately took 750 mg of ibuprofen, and it's just now kicking in. I thought I was going to end up blacked out in the bathtub. Trying to keep my mind off of things now by watching a movie, surfing the internet and eating all at the same time.

current mood: crappy

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Monday, March 18th, 2002
10:32 pm
well holy shit. It's been two months. My God... life is so entertaining. Finals were supposed to be this week, but the one that I did have was canceled because my professor is going to Puebla, Mexico for his seminar class. Meags leaves for New York tomorrow. She is going in on another drug and cath. Bleck. Phoh Poo Foo. AWWWW Yeahhh... and Becky has had three glasses of wine. Goo : ) Me mucho happy. And waiting for Ryan to come over. I really hope that this Spring Break doesn't suck too much ass. Okay me too retarded to go too much into detail.

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Monday, January 28th, 2002
9:03 pm
I was in a great mood today. Then I went to rehearsal for consort. My mood got worse. Spent an EXTRA 45 minutes on music that we are performing on Sunday, and we haven't heard enough of the piano accompaniment to really know how the chord structure works. Oh and we have only the vocal scores. no piano. no other measures. just suppose to watch Doc. yeah. what the fuck. I screamed to Knickelback on my way home. Had to take someone home... so I didn't want to stop by Ryans.. because it's completely in the opposite direction. And why is it that when people are talking on the phone they feel the need to talk to other people about the same things so that you can't tell who is having the conversation. Fuckin a. I am soooo very frustrated right about fuckin now. Think I could use the word fuck one more time? I don't know who I want to yell at... but I want to scream! God damn full moon! FUCK.

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