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Motions Of The Heart In E
Welcome To My World!
ascuseme
November 16th was the 4th anniversary of my kidney transplant. I am very grateful to the family of the person from whom I received my kidney. In the midst of their grief over losing a loved one, they still agreed to donate organs so that others could live. They have my undying gratitude.

When I recall how incredibly ill I was, indeed, close to death, I am overcome by my feelings of thankfulness. I hope that everyone who reads this immediately decides to become an organ donor. By doing so, you can help more than 50 people with various organs and body parts. It costs nothing, and can save the life of another person.

Also, people, please talk about your decision to become an organ donor with your family.  Even if you are listed as an organ donor, it is your next-of-kin who makes the final decision about donating your organs.  It's very important that your family be aware that you wish to donate your organs.

Nineteen people a day die waiting for an organ transplant.  You can help them.

For more information, go to organdonor.gov/donor/index.htm.

THIS HAS BEEN A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT FROM ASCUSEME.LIVEJOURNAL.COM.  WE NOW RETURN YOU TO OUR REGULAR LUNACY.

*climbing down from my soapbox*

Current Mood: happy happy

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ascuseme
Last night, Razor (John) decided to clean out the refrigerator.  Fifteen minutes before dinner would be ready.  Why this had to be done at that exact moment is beyond me. In the fridge was a spaghetti casserole I had made last week.  It definitely needed to go.  John wanted to put it down the garbage disposal.  I suggested instead that we scoop out the contents of the casserole, dump it into a plastic bag, and toss the bag in the trash.  I suggested this because several months ago, we attempted to put spaghetti down the disposal, to very deleterious effect for the disposal.  I also suggested we wait until after dinner, at which time we could take care of both the casserole and the dinner dishes at the same time.  John agreed. 

I went back to my book to read for the next 10 minutes until dinner would be ready.

John, however, decided to go ahead and put the spaghetti casserole down the disposal.  The sink immediately backed up.  On both sides.  Katie was not happy.

John took a bucket and crawled under the sink to undo the PVC pipes to release the clog.  This was actually the way the problem needed to be fixed.  Unfortunately, when he unscrewed the U-pipe, the entire contents of both sinks, as well as the clog, rushed out.  Onto the floor. 

Big flood. Much shrieking and running for towels on my part, large amounts of swearing on John's.

We mopped up the flood.  John put the pipes back together.  Then he turned on the water.

More flooding.  Apparently the clog had not been cleaned out.

We mopped up the flood again.  John put the pipes back together.  Then he turned on the water again.

Guess what?

More flooding.  The pipes weren't tightened enough.

An hour and an half later, all the water was mopped up, the clog was cleared, the pipes were tight.

And I made John sign the note below:
 






God, I love that man!

Hugs,

Katie :)
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ascuseme
Greetings, raging masses!

Saturday Razor and went to Costco with my dad and stepmom.  Everything started off well.  Dad dropped us off at the door, and then went to go pick up some prescriptions.  This meant that Razor and I were left alone with the Stepmonster.  She immediately commandeered the cart.  Now, something you should know about my stepmom - she is legally blind.  In fact, she is almost completely blind.  She has about 5 degrees from the center of her vision.  Her peripheral vision is completely gone.  She does use a white cane.  It's really a tragic situation.  I would not wish loss of vision on anyone.  It must be horrible.  I feel for her, I do.

However...shopping with my stepmom is always a stressful experience.  She believes that because she places her white cane in the shopping cart, everyone else in the store should realize that she cannot see and should get out of her way.  This does not happen, particularly in the frenzied crowds that populate Costco on the Saturday morning of a holiday weekend. 

In addition, she insists that she be the one to steer the cart, and refuses to accept any assistance.  This leads to much crashing into displays, other shoppers' carts, and small children that escape her extremely limited vision. 

Razor and I knew exactly what we were there to get.  Stepmonster, however, did not.  This meant that we had to browse the entire airplane-hangar-sized establishment while she considered each and every item in each and every aisle. 

Razor has a very hard time dealing with her, because he cannot stand the way she treats me.  She is famous for her back-handed compliments, i.e. "Oh, I really like your haircut!  You should have cut it that way years ago."  She also questioned every purchase Razor and I made.  As in:  "Are you sure you really want 12 pounds of chicken breasts?  I hate to eat meat that has been frozen."  (Not that we asked her over for dinner, by the way. )

Therefore, Razor spent the majority of our time in the store consulting me about our list, then going off by himself and picking up items and bringing them back.  Thus, I was left with the Stepmonster, attempting to clear a path ahead of her so that she would not knock down every single display we passed.  This is next to impossible in a Costco filled with bargain-crazed lunatics vying for a sample of taquitos.  At one point, my stepmom was stopped in the middle of the aisle, trying to decide what vital necessity she required next, blocking all the shoppers and carts behind her.  When I suggested we move to one side or the other in order to cease acting like a rock in a stream, she told me quite snippily that they could go around her.  This did not go over well with the madding crowd.  I forced her, and the cart, to one side over her protests.  

At another point, one particularly entitled woman told me, "You COULD move, you know!" in a tone dripping with snark and venom.  I looked and her and said, "Yeah, I COULD" - and remained where I was.  Why do people think that acting rudely will make me scurry to get out of the way?  Doesn't work, people!  I'm contrary like that.

At long last, we all had finished collecting our treasures and managed to get to the check-out stand without further incident.  We paid, and then waited for Dad to collect us. 

Halle-fuckin-lujah.  I managed to make it through the Costco visit without killing, maiming or disfiguring my stepmother.

But I thought about it.

A lot.

Hugs,

Katie :)

Current Mood: cranky cranky

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ascuseme
WARNING: Long post with graphic descriptions of medical infirmities.  

Greetings, raging masses!

My birthday is coming up.  July 6, to be exact.  That's next Tuesday.  I am not looking forward to it.  This one is a biggie. 

I'm turning *gasp!* fifty.  Yes, yours truly will be the big 5-0 next week.  How the hell did that happen?

Honestly, I never thought I'd live this long.  Being diagnosed at age 17 with polycystic kidney disease (PKD), which is a genetic kidney condition, was scary enough.  Having my mom pass away when I was 20 of the same kidney disease (she was 42) was even more frightening.  I knew that I would wind up on dialysis, and probably would not live terribly long.  PKD has killed members of my family for the past seven generations.  It is the reason that I decided, years ago, not to have children.  I didn't want to pass my disease on to another generation.  My sister does not have PKD.  Because it is a dominant genetic anomaly, her children cannot develop it later in life.  I am now the last person in my family to have PKD.  It ends with me, and that's a good thing.

Throughout my twenties and thirties, PKD was always in the back of my mind.  I had regular nephrology appointments to follow my kidney function and track what was happening with the PKD.  My kidneys grew to enormous sizes due to the disease.  They were completely filled and covered with cysts, cysts which would rupture or become infected, causing me daily pain.  I tried all kinds of methods to deal with it, from percutaneous drainage of the cysts (inserting long needles into the body and thus into the cysts, and draining the contents), to lumbar injections directly into the nerves, to daily doses of massive pain medications.  Very little worked, although the pain meds helped.  I was on oxycodone for years.  By that I mean, literally, about 15 years.  

In December 2000, I was bitten by a hobo spider.  In my bed.  At home.  It bit me on the upper left thigh.  Within a day and a half, the bite was black and necrotic and had burst.  I went to the Emergency Department, and was admitted into the hospital.  The wound needed to be debrided thoroughly, so that clean, healthy tissue could be exposed so that healing could occur.  At its worst, the would was the diameter of a salad plate and went all the way to the bone.  I was in Intensive Care for 3 weeks, and in a regular hospital room for another month.  There is no antivenin for hobo spiders.  It turned out that the spider venom was too toxic for my already impaired kidneys to process, so they shut down.  

I started dialysis on January 17, 2001, while I was still hospitalized.  It was traumatic.  I had a catheter placed into my chest in order to undergo dialysis.  I passed out during the session.  It was dreadful.

Thus started my new routine of being dialyzed every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  After I had recovered more from the spider bite, a fistula was placed in my right arm as a permanent access line.  (A fistula is made by creating a loop out of a vein and an artery.)  

Over the years, my access would clot off and I would have emergency surgery to repair it.  When the fistula finally clotted beyond repair, a Gore-Tex graft was placed in my left arm.  That clotted a bunch of times, and another graft was placed in my right leg.  After that clotted repeatedly, another graft was placed in my left leg.  That graft clotted before it was even used.  In between, I received 12 more chest catheters to facilitate dialysis.  Also during this time, I was placed on the UNOS list for a kidney transplant. 

When the left leg grafted clotted, my status on the UNOS list was changed to "emergency."  That was on Monday, November 13, 2006.  On Thursday, I received a call to "come and pick up my kidney" - like it was take-out Chinese food!  I rushed to Swedish Hospital in Seattle, and underwent the last-minute tests to see if the kidney was compatible.  It was!  I had my kidney transplant at 5:30 AM on Friday, November 17, 2006.

Seriously, is it any wonder that I am somewhat surprised to be facing this F-Word birthday?  I mean, my God, FIFTY?  It boggles my mind.  

I have so much to be thankful for.  I have a wonderfully supportive family.  I have my amazing fiance Razor.  I have my life - without dialysis and its attendant time totaling 25 hours a week.  I have friends who love me.  I have everything.  Life is good.  No, life is great!

I guess turning 50 isn't such a horrifying prospect after all.

Hugs,

Katie :)

Current Mood: grateful grateful

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ascuseme
Greetings, raging masses!

This afternoon I went to Poulsbo, a nearby town, to meet with a seamstress that had been recommended to me by a close family friend.  I brought the pictures of the gorgeous wedding gown that I have fallen in love with.  I asked her if she would be able to copy it, because I cannot afford the $22,500 that the dress costs.

She oohed and ahhed over the dress, which made me feel great, because I love it so much.  Then she measured me, showed me some fabric samples, and sat down to calculate the cost.  After half an hour of muttering, shuffling papers, referring back to the pictures of the gown, and punching numbers into her calculator, she finally gave me an estimate of the price to duplicate the dress.

$12,000, PLUS the cost of the fabric, PLUS alterations.

After I woke up from fainting and falling off the chair, I had to tell her that the cost was still very, VERY far out of my price range.  She told me to think about it and get back to her.

What's to think about? There is no possible way that I can spend the price of a car on a wedding gown.  It's ridiculous.  

*sigh*

Guess I'll still be looking at bridal salons for a while.

Hugs,

Katie :(

Current Mood: disappointed disappointed

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ascuseme
Greetings, raging masses!

I spent today shopping for wedding gowns.  This is the second time I've spent a Saturday doing this, and I gotta tell you, it's frustrating as all hell.  Being a plus size, it's hard enough to find dress samples that:  a) I like and b) come anywhere close to being something I could fit my left leg into.  On top of that, throw in the fact that I was shopping with my step-mother (*shudder*) and one of her friends (whom I really like, thankfully), and you might begin to get an idea of the horror that was my Saturday.

Because of the multiple scars on my chest and my arms from the six years of dialysis before my kidney transplant, it is really important to me to get a gown with long sleeves and a high neck.  Unfortunately, it seems like every gown available these days is strapless.  Look below and you will see why I'd like to cover up a bit:



See?  SO not pretty!

So after going to three different dress salons and trying on about 15 dresses, I actually found a wedding gown that I completely fell in love with.  It is gorgeous!  Long lacy sleeves, high neck, actually looked great on me.  Sounds wonderful, doesn't it?  Here's a couple of view of the dream dress:





Now seriously, is this dress amazing, or what?  I love it!  It covers all the bad stuff I want covered up, and it actually gives me a waist.  I feel beautiful in this dress.  

Do you feel a "but" coming?  You should.

This dress, which I adore and would love to wear to my wedding, is just a little out of my price range.

Just a bit.

It's $22,500.00.  Let me repeat that.  Twenty-two thousand, five hundred United States dollars. 

Dear God.

So anyway, I'm going gown shopping again next Saturday.

Katie O.O

Current Mood: distressed distressed

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ascuseme
Hello, raging masses!

I know, we've had a lot of posts about my beasties lately. Sorry. Can't help it. I am unable to resist the cuteness that is Bonkers and Ms. Bentley.

See for yourself:

Ms. Bentley and Bonkers in the window. They loves the windows!



Bonkers, being adorable.



Okay, I promise I'll wait a while before I post more kitteh love. At least a week. Mmmkay?

Hugs,

Katie :P

Current Mood: mischievous mischievous

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ascuseme
Hello again, raging masses!

This morning, a ginormous...and I mean HUGE!...robin flew into our sliding glass door. We've had a robin do this several times over the past couple of months. I have no idea why. Anyway, this particular robin apparently committed suicide-by-sliding-glass-door. As I said, it was seriously big. I measured it, and it was 14 inches high. Sheesh!

So when this happened, our cats, Ms. Bentley and Bonkers, who are indoor cats only, were delighted with their impressive and obvious long-distance bird-killing skillz. Srsly. Announcing their feat to all and sundry, preening, and looking pretty darn pleased with themselves.

No point to this story, other than to give you all a little giggle!

Hugs,

Katie :)

Current Mood: surprised surprised

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ascuseme
Hello, raging masses!

I just had to share this picture with everyone. Razor took it whilst I was napping the other day. Ms. Bentley loves me!

Right??



Hugs,

Katie :)

Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

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ascuseme
Memorial Day means much to me.  Thousands and thousands of men and women have served, and died, to preserve our freedom. 

On a personal note, my Razor was in the Armed Forces, specifically the Air Force, where he served and was wounded in the line of duty.  I have already personally thanked him in my own special way. :)

To all those who have served, or are serving in our Armed Forces, much appreciation and many thanks for your service.  It has not gone unnoticed.

Humbly,

Katie

Current Mood: grateful grateful

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