Friday, November 30, 2007

The Zoo Post Mortem

We went to the Zoo today for a bit of observation stuff. I haven't been to the zoo since I was about 12, so that's a while. To be honest, I don't feel I've missed much. Perhaps because it was a Thursday morning in late November, that meant the place was dead. By that I mean we were the only ones wandering around, not that the animals were actually dead - but they were very boring; they did nothing. As bad as it sounds, I wanted to throw something at them to get a reaction. It only cost us €5 to go because it was subsidised by the college but in fairness when I pay €5 I want to be entertained!! I think next time I'll go to the cinema instead.

On a more serious note, the common view was one of "I love the zoo, but I hate the zoo". It's not nice to see animals locked up. They certainly didn't look as though they were enjoying themselves, and I can't imagine it's much fun having people gawk at you all day. I'm sure the animals would be glad of someone banging on the glass to say hello...but that's not allowed. And we can't feed them either.

On a more serious note again, I thought of this after I left the zoo...when there was nobody around to listen to me! If we save all the animals in the world, and put them in enclosements and make them recreate with others so that they never become extinct...then aren't we messing with the process of evolution? If the dinosaurs had all been preserved, they'd have never died off, we'd have never had the development from Neanderthal to man and so on.

Another point is that the zookeeper lady told us that all the animals enclosements have been created to imitate their natural habitat. The tigers therefore have long tall reeds like they would have outside the zoo, but think about this: Tigers and elephants and pandas and jaguars aren't Irish! The Irish climate isn't their natural climate. It has been proven that our genes change to adapt to our environment: Mutations and the selection for beneficial mutations can cause a species to evolve into forms that better survive their environment, a process called adaptation. People in Africa have a different pigment because they have to survive the hot sun. Adaptation. So if you stick an Asian Tiger in the freezing Dublin zoo, them offspring ain't gonna have the same genetic make-up that Grandad Asian Tiger had, so you're gonna STILL make the animal you're trying to save, extinct. Get it? Interference. I never heard these animals asking to locked up "for their own good"...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Zoo

It's where I'm going today. After my flu shot. At the doctor's. Ouch. It's for educational reasons. Honest. The zoo, not the flu shot. I will be doing an observational study on how baboons act with other baboons and humans. Again, the zoo.

If I'd know college was going to be this fun, I'd have skipped the 14 years in school.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ugh, it's coming....

I've ignored it since September but it can no longer be denied that Christmas is...soon. There's some decorations up in our college canteen to tell us so, and if those gloomy souls (who say "Foh Yoro Luv" in the same monotonos, grumpy* tone every day) in our canteen say it's Christmas then it means it's definately near!

This will be our second year using an artificial tree. We were told that having a real tree can be a risk as there are some bugs on the tree that could be risky to 'no-immune-system-replacement-lungs' me. I remember a really nice big tall tree being taken down at my old hospital clinic after they discovered the health risks. But now I'm hearing on the grapevine that other people haven't been warned of such risks. So either they're all screwed or we're all stuffy cotton wool wrapped hypocondriacs.

I don't think it will make much difference whether my team were right or wrong as we spent money on a good artifical tree last year so you can be sure my Dad will be getting his money's worth out of that for the next century.

There are loads of risks associated with after transplant care, due to the fact of the immune system being knocked. Luckily for me, ignoring my first two months, my anti-rejection care has been pretty stable, and to be honest I don't like risks, I don't see the point. I'm happy doing what I've been told and a tree is a tree. I feel if I do everything I can to look after my health as I should then I'm maximising my chances of doing well. Again, that's putting obvious hypocrisy aside (with ALL those flights I took last year when I shouldn't have flown in the first year....).

There are some things I can't control such as strangers who have colds and the fact that someone with MRSA may well have sat in the same bus seat as me, or someone with Cystic Fibrosis may be sitting opposite me on the Luas ( physical contact between transplant patients and people with CF is discouraged where possible** ) and I suppose these sorts of risks are part of life. Anyway, the fake tree stays.

*Not ALL the canteen staff are grumpy souls. The chef is actually dead sound. And some of the ladies are quite pleasent too.

** There are some obvious scenarios where contact is unavoidable like in the case of siblings, partners or even good friends. I've never really had friends with CF so this isn't an issue for me. I also don't mind meeting people who haven't had transplants as in that case we both know to keep distance and not to cough, it's where it's a stranger they wouldn't know and could infect you. And we all hate the word INFECT.

Monday, November 26, 2007


"Furnace" - (many thanks to Bree & Harry for making note of my struggle and acknowledging that I have a serious problem when it comes to the issue of hypocrisy in my loathing of bad spelling and yet...spelling badly.)

My sugars have improved immensely the past few days and it's been a few days since my last 14+. Ignore the fact that that last sentence sounded a bit like a confession from a diabetics' anonymous meeting. I also found that by taking a few Creon (tablets for digesting calories) with my alcohol, I can drink alcohol without feeling terrible for the weekend.***

That's really all the highs of my life at the moment. Life is going good. My brother has a baaaaad cold at the moment, which reminds me that I *must* get the flu shot this week or this blog will have the 'bad vein files' photos posted up all over Christmas. That is all!

*** Warning: never take anybody else's medication even if your symptoms are similar to theirs. Creon will only act for people who have Cystic Fibrosis. This is not a cure for a hangover. Do not try this at home. Stop reading this blog now. Seriously.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Nothing much new to report. My sugars caused me havoc over the last week, going from dangerous lows to extreme highs. I wasn't even detecting the lows (hypos) which made it particularly dangerous as I could have simply passed out without warning. Not only that, but I drove to college with on a mere 2.8 (normal is 4+...and collapsible level can be below 3), which would have brought a whole new, spectacular meaning to the word 'diabetic crash'. Considering my Mum's face when I told her I drove on a flat tyre, I decided to keep that little 'whoopsie' from her...otherwise I might have been tempted to fit a football into her 'o' shaped mouth. Anyway, I'm not sure what the definition of 'fun' is, but I'm almost certain it's not that.

I think I manged to cut out what it was that was causing my problems. I'm finding my sugars still high but not so bad.

So apart from my stomach turning into an acid furnis (furnus??) this morning I'm keeping well. The heart burn isn't so bad apart from the....'breeze', but that's easily explained on the boy I sit beside. My acting skills are quite good so I'm able to convey a sense of confusion, followed by a 'omg...does anyone else get that smell' followed by a few accusing glances his way. Attack is the best form of defense after all!

Monday, November 19, 2007

My last few posts have gone on the wrong days and no I haven't invented a time machine Karen!!! I just have been tired lately and couldn't be bothered changing them. Blah.

Apart from working on cancelled presentations, last week also saw me make a website entirely html coded. That means if you want your word in italics, you say the < i> word < /i>. And if you want a whole website, that means putting in a whole bunch of codes like that. Ewwwwwww. In fact to say I made a website is a slight was more a black page with a picture and some colourful writing on it. Hey we all have to start somewhere!

I learned to snowboard on Tuesday night last. That was tiring but fun too. He (instructor dude) started by telling us we all have a foot that leads, your right or your left. There's no wrong foot to lead with. If you lead with your right, you're a 'Regular'. If you lead with your left, you're 'Goofy'. Definitely no wrong answer there then!

It was trés difficult, but then it was the first lesson, and my first skiing lessons were just as tough I'm sure. A bit of practise and I'll be hurling myself down mountains in no time. Besides I LOVE learning new things and it's really fun too...

This weekend was a friend's Winter Wonderland themed 21st birthday party- whooop whooop! I learned that I probably need creon if I'm having so much Bulmers again though. Creon is used to digest fat, so considering I had none that night, it was like swallowing two pints of olive oil. My body is still complaining. Then yesterday my blood sugars went from 3 to 19 to 3.5 to 20. Not enough sugar and then too much sugar, talk about swinging like a yoyo, it was an awful feeling.

But then yesterday I ran up and down and then up the stairs again resulting in me needing to catch my breath. It wasn't like 'old' breathlessness though; this was so healthy. When I took a deep breath, I could feel all the air travelling to the deepest nooks and crannies in my lungs, instead of getting caught in the back of my throat like it used to do. Now saying that, if I could *just* work on my memory a bit so to prevent this unnecessary marathon running on the stairs that would be good...

But, I had a day dream yesterday about last summer when I was walking very slowly out at the back of the hospital. I was walking and struggling to get there, while leaning on a wheelchair. It's amazing that that was me. I mean, it's not the me I am now, but it was still me. At the moment, I find hard to remember moments like that, as it feels like I've always been this well, but in fact just 17months ago I wasn't. Funny how the mind selects memories. :)

And that's your catch up for today ;-)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I *heart* bed part deux

I don't know if 'deux' is two or twelve, anyway it's part two.

Our group worked for six hours yesterday getting our project started and finished. Six LONG hours.

We had presentations today, which would be okay if we weren't doing them for the slide-show presentation POLICE!! I'm actually not joking. (Honestly, I must paste some of the hilarious 'tips' here some time) I have the uncanny ability to yabber on about whatever the given topic is, but knowing that every single gesture is being monitored can be slightly off putting. In the long run it's great for improving our techniques and helping us to be world class presenters that we have wanted to not be all our lives.

So our group decided to meet at 10ish am this morning to get some practise in. At 9.20 I'm struggling to find the will to get out of bed. I'm just soooooooo tired. Eventually I digress and roll out of bed and into the bathroom. My eyes are still weighed down like anchors...but the group needs me!! I stroll out of the bathroom, begin getting dressed and hear a little beep on my phone. I glance at it - "SIX NEW MESSAGES"!!!!!

Omg! My first thought is that someone has webtexted me a few times for a joke, or worse, I got the times wrong and I should have been in an hour ago. I mean how did something so big happen in the five minutes I was away from my phone??

Puzzled I click to read them, and all that flashes before me is "They're off; It's cancelled; Presentations NOT on". I don't know whether to cry or laugh; scream or jump for joy.

Six New Messages - A message for every hour of work we put in. I went into college anyway and did work on my other assignments, came home, crashed in bed and slept for seven hours. Is it clear that I *heart* my bed??

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I *heart* bed

One procrastinator working on a project: Not good.

Three procrastinators working on a project as a group: FATAL!!!!

College ended at 3pm today. It has taken us six hours and a janitor kicking us out to finish our project - due tomorrow.

I will not learn.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

SECOND EDIT: OK, it has since transpired that Eileen DOES have a cat, so that shoots that 'hypothetical' out the window.

This shows two things:

1. Clearly I don't pay attention to friends, my life is TOO much about me

2. I'm never going to ATTEMPT to write a metaphorical thing again, EVER!! Good goodness!!

FIRST EDIT: Yesterday's blog does NOT refer to anybody who reads this blog!!! Please, please, PLEASE don't think for one moment that it is!!

Edit also: It should read from 'A' diseased one, not 'the' diseased one.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Friday is...

...loike my all toime favourite word!! Totally!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I've found that having had a week off, the week back is sooo much harder. Well, the 9 o'clock starts bit anyway - which I know nothing about because I've slept through both of them AND the 10 o'clock this morning. *Must work on that*

Other then that, after tomorrow, it's the weekend. That's my favourite word.

To those of you who I asked about the 'Overwhelm' project/word - and my, I hunted a lot of you down - thank you for your input. As per usual, I get my friends to do my psychology assignments for me!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Pretest

Well, I made it there. The guy was very nice and said some pretty interesting stuff. He said that most of a learner's bad habits are picked up from family or friends. This is most definitely true for me, except that in my case, the 'advice' I have been given was against the law. You're not supposed to start in 2nd gear and you CAN stop in 4th and 3rd gear. I hate it when people give me bad advice, it's soooo irritating.

Anyway, there were very few problems. When it came to reversing around a bend though, I banged the car off the curb. The man got out to look at the toy wheel, and sure enough I had banged it a bit, but it was still inflated. I loved his 'well, let's just move on, shall we?' line. I think it's something instructors say...

Anyway I failed. Boo-urns. On the upside, my clutch work was 'fantastic' but it was the other minor things that would have failed me. I can't judge bends at ALL and always take them too wide. Dang.

Monday, November 05, 2007


This was getting ridiculous, every time I had a glimpse of hope that things may be back on track, something else goes wrong.

When he told me about the incomplete jack I thought that was it. Nothing else could possibly go wrong, and now I was stuck with a wheel ready to come off, a spare wheel sitting beside me, an incomplete jack lying under the car, and one kind man's coffee swiftly going cold.


But then this magic man went to the boot of his car. For your info, if anyone has seen MY car and thinks THAT'S bad, good goodness it was nothing on his! Anyway, like a never ending magician's hat, he pulled all sorts of things out and eventually his eyes gleamed. It seemed he had found what he was looking for: a thin metal stick.

Using his powers of physics, he made a makeshift lever thing for the jack thing (makes so much sense!) and began painstakingly twisting it, constantly knocking his hand off the ground as he went.

-I kept an eye on all the 46a buses stopping across the dual carriage way, knowing my Dad would appear any minute. -

I breathed a major sigh of relief as my new wheel was screwed into place. I had twenty minutes left to get to my test centre, which by normal calculations would make me already 10 minutes late. I thanked the kind samartian who wouldn't accept my money (said he would be "insulted" if I made him take it) and said "Sheer, ya see a porson in trouble, ya have ta help them!" *big grin*, and he was totally right. There we cars QUEUING at that petrol station and not one stopped to help. Well then, like any cheesy television show, exit stage right kind man and enter stage left my Dad.

Yer man was gone when I'd turned around, so me and my Dad did a quick tidy of the car and off I set, with what can only be described as the worst looking toy wheel EVER *cringe*.

We had fifteen minutes. I sped away in my little Delilah with my Dad holding on uncomfortably for his life, constantly pressing down on an imaginary brake in front of him, and pursing his lips with a frown now and again. In fairness to him though, he said nothing. Obviously he felt the pain of losing this €40 that I had paid for my Pretest. Plus he's also had his own history of motoring diasters/mysteries which I will write about at a later date. I dropped him near the house and continued 'Amber-Gambling' my way up to Churchtown. I certainly drove with good speed as I arrived with three minutes to spare, and only one person beeped me, RESULT!

Of course, what happened at the Pretest???

... To Be Continued

I leave you with a picture of the wheel my car had on the back of it for a day. I promise, hand on heart, witnesses can clarify, I am NOT exaggerating. It looked most like the wheel at the front in this picture. This thing could only be driven a distance of 80km:

Sunday, November 04, 2007


...I had successfully located the 'jack' thing for lifting up the car; I also had one or two pole things which could be perceived as screw remover twisty things. I had attempted to lift the spare wheel out of the boot but it was too heavy.

I had seen a good few cars pull up to the petrol pumps and nobody stopped to help me. Meanies! Anyway, this guy appeared out of the shop with a coffee and asked me if I knew what I was doing. I looked at him and said simply 'Well....I've never changed a tyre before...'.

He rolled up his sleeves, put his coffee on top of his car and asked me to show him what I had. I pointed at the spare wheel, at the jack which was lying under my car, and lifted up the pole thing pathetically. He took the pole thing and set to work. The sense of relief flooded through me, but at the same time, it was already half four.

In between all this, my Dad was preparing to leave the office and take the bus out to me, he told me to 'hold tight' and he'd help me with the wheel when he arrived. I stood around awkwardly as this new guy worked away.

But then, just as all was going rather well, he turned to me and said something that made me deny the situation could get worse. Apparently my car had the wrong instruments with it!!!! He couldn't remove the wheel because the bolts and the bolt remover didn't match! ...Yes, my eyes literally fell out and rolled away.

What could I do? I looked around and spotted a very old fella driving a Micra, just like mine. I'll go and ask to borrow some of HIS instruments, I thought. This fixing guy wasn't so keen on that idea. He sifted through his boot and talk about luck, he happened to have some magical 'fits all' bolt thing! So back to work he went.

When my Dad rang again, I explained that some lovely guy was helping me get the wheel off. My Dad at this stage was on the bus, so he then said he'd ring the driving company back and explain that to them (that my wheel was being fixed, not that my Dad was on the bus...obviously) Good.

So, wheel now had all the bolts off and was ready to pop off; all that was needed was to jack up the car, slide old wheel off and new one on. Splendid. What could possibly go wrong I hear you ask???

Oh, nothing!.....apart from part of the jack MISSING!!! Just as I had my eyes back in place, they popped back out again and rolled off, in different directions! It was now 4.35pm... Time was running was my patience...

....To Be Continued

Friday, November 02, 2007


I got my actual Driving Test for the morning!!!...But I declined. Not quite ready just yet! But should get another call within the next 2weeks - eeek!

Continuing from yesterday: If you've ever been in a panicked situation, your thoughts fly through your head about as fast as your heart beats.
I locked the car and went on foot, recalling the 'Motor Shop' I had seen just before the lane way. I had walked a few yards and then turned on my heel and headed back to my car: time was of the essence, and getting someone to come back to my car would take time.

I examined the botched wheel carefully, and noted that this was no puncture; this was an incurable, terminal, dead, flat, slashed tyre. I had heard 'never, ever drive on a flat' and I remembered from a few months ago when G-raze got a flat, she just pulled over and stayed there. I didn't have the luxury of time or options. I decided to risk it.

My intention was to simply drive up around the corner to the 'Motor Shop' and stop there, but upon reaching the 'Motor Shop' I see that there are no spaces. I knew there was a petrol station about a half mile away, on the dual carriage way, someone there would help me. It was time for another split second decision. (May I point out that this wheel was definitely unrepairable!) So again, I risked it.

While driving, I mentally scanned through my phone book trying to think of who I could call...who would be of use! EILEEN and Helen were in the cinema, but how much use they'd have been anyway is debatable. My brother was another option, but he was in work, and so far away! I then rang my Mum, who was also in work and had her phone switched off - I left her a message. Ahem.

Naturally I drove as fast and recklessly as I could in order to get there quickly. I noticed no pull on the wheel and there was no dragging sensation so I was ok!

It was only when I reached the petrol station, I realised that the people who worked there were merely cashiers. It would make too much sense to have someone working there who KNEW something about cars!

At this point I called my Dad, explained my predicament, told him about the €40 PreTest and listened as he sighed. He began the process of calling the Driving School and cancelling the test and trying to get another time. In the meantime I went out, opened the boot and looked at my various paraphernalia that looked familiar from G-raze's tyre incident. Sadly I was too weak to lift the spare tyre out!

I looked at my phone, it was 4.25pm and my test was at 5pm...a good 25minute drive away at least. This was not looking good.

At that point a man emerged from the station shop with a coffee in hand and went to the car beside mine. He smiled and asked if I knew what I was doing....4.26pm...

To Be Continued...

HORROR/DRAMA: Where are the Gardai when you need them

I had my driving Pre-Test today - basically a test of my driving without it counting for anything. Any sentence with the word 'test' in it has shivers running down my spine, so despite the fact that this was a meaningless experience I was still very nervous. Hay-elll(!) I even used to be ashamed of my low lung function results, raised white blood cell count or poor diabetes readings- even though I couldn't help that!

Anyway my Pre-Test was at 5pm, up where McGowan's is (or 'RJ's' as it's known now!) so I had the day to prepare. Yes I'm sad. In seriousness though, the car needed a good tidy.

As 4pm approached, my sister asked for a lift down to Stillorgan (other direction to McGowan's but by no means out of the way); I happily obliged. At 4.10pm, having dropped my sister at her location, I noted I still had ample time, and perhaps I would go home and tidy the car and put the rubbish into a specially acquired rubbish bag I had found.

And then, I spotted the library. I don't know WHAT came over me, but I decided to pop in. I've never 'popped' into a library in my life (or in the years my Mum has stopped forcing me anyway) but today, I thought I would. - Never again, I might add.

An explanation about the library in Stillorgan: It's a little prefab building with a pokey lane down to the 'carpark'.

So I slowly made my way down the lane way when a red sports-wannabe car began coming up towards me. There is only room for ONE car, and I was in the right AND I was there first. Revving his stupid engine, trying to intimidate me, he intimidated me. Sighing, I began to slowly reverse.

And THEN it happened: I BUMPED into something. There was loud sort of banging noise (I think). The sports car didn't even THANK me for moving, while I was left dreading seeing what dent I'd put into Delilah. :(

I drove down the lane way and got out to inspect the damage. I took a deep breath. And looked. But the side was on the whole clean, not a scratch. *Phew*

But, my eyes moved down, and I had to do a treble take: my wheel sat in front of my eyes, flattening at a rapid pace. My eyes darted for anyone around to help, but I was alone and the tyre was blowing out air with every second. A thousand thoughts flew in one side of my head and out the other.

I glanced at my phone: it was 4.13pm and I had to be on the other side of Dundrum (about 25minute drive minimum in rush hour traffic) by 5pm - for my €40 Pre-Test, with a driveable car....

To be continued...

This pic makes the laneway look a LOT wider then it is. The reality is a very different one: