Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sex and the City...

*no spoilers*

But, I went and saw it tonight. I never followed the series, but would watch episodes here and there, mostly late at night, in hospital, when I should be studying for exams, when I should be sleeping the night before exams, when it was cold outside, you know, wherever, so I knew who was who and the jist of the story!

The cinema was probably 99.99999% girls- the only boys being poor boyfriends dragged along. This made it funny, as there were a few reactions, which any normal girl makes whenever something scandalous happens/is said, but put 100 girls together and you have 100 girls making these same gasps all at once...

The movie (I don't know why I don't say 'film'...) was good, but just very like a LONG episode. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't really 'film' quality. I mean honestly, without the background of the series, it would not have made it into the cinemas. But it was ok! Very....thinky type film... although that's quite possibly just me, as I always think profoundly, and try to apply anything that could be remotely seen as a metaphor for my own life! - which requires a lot of thinking and mulling over right now - well actually it doesn't, I just like to analyse things...

And I feel *so* much better for getting that all off my chest.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


*Edited to take my email off the public interweb space*

In other news, I'm working now. It means getting up and leaving the house by 7.45 each morning. I don't actually live at that hour, but am doing so now and honestly, it's not so bad. There's never much traffic around and it's kind of peaceful.

This does in no way mean I will make my 9 o'clock lectures next year. I think I made a grand total of 9 last year, so can't go changing a habit of a lifetime!!

Monday, May 26, 2008


I went to the pub last night and saw a person with CF, on oxygen, tables away from me. In hindsight, I don't know why I wasn't totally freaked out thinking 'OMG, infection control, I don't know what bugs HE has, I hope he doesn't cough' as I'm a little bit paranoid sometimes. And not much of a 'cf' mixer at the best of times. But I wasn't.

I walked past him and I heard that familiar voice, where the end of the sentences are really forced out like the person is winded or something. Interestingly, what he said when I walked by was 'I always wear shorts in the hospital'.


Saturday, May 24, 2008


I went shopping today with my Mom. She was busy getting my stuff in different sizes because I am so awkward and every shop has different sizes. Interestingly I found my shape is much more balanced at the moment (as opposed to my size 6 waist and 10-12 top which used to be the case last year- eeek). And this is despite having lost 4kg (over 8 pounds) in the last 10days- spectacular.

So she's busy buzzing about. Then she makes a turn around the aisle too soon and bumps into a woman. She notices the woman carrying blouses, and she immediately apologises. It turns out she had walked into the mirror.

I think I need to watch her from now on.

The PICC line has been pulled out which is great. It was probably as long as from my hand to my shoulder, so realllllly long. They used it to get bloods first though and drew 20mls, as I just sat there, arm relaxed and chatting. I don't think that will ever happen again soon. My lung functions are at 98% (still can't get that extra tiny 2% to reach the 100 mark yet!!!) so fingers crossed that's it with the IVs.

I think the doctor was trying to make me feel better about myself, but he did say that he's telling all the CF people who come to clinic now (pre transplant) that they are to expect to have IVs at some stage post transplant, that that doesn't finish. They won't need them all the time like before, but they may need them once every while. I think in the same way that I believe all people with CF should be warned that waking up after a lung transplant does not give the immediate feeling of 'I can BREATHE!'. You notice it more in action, by way of talking and walking, but I found it very worrying when I wasn't suddenly able to take a 'magical' breath.

Anyway as I say I do believe he was trying to console me as I'm the only one I know who's needed IVs post transplant, but he has a point that sometimes if you want to get decades out of new lungs, then that all comes with the price tag. Either way, I'm happy. :-)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Last Dose

I'm about to clock on my last set of infusion pumps with the aim of being told I'm finished tomorrow morning at clinic. I might take a dose tomorrow morning on the way to clinic but probably won't.

I've come to the point where I feel I've reached the optimum results from these IVs. While my chest has improved, the side effects of the drugs have really taken their toll these past couple of days. I suppose putting something which smells like cats' wee (that's actually a FACT not an opinion!) into oneself three times a day when I've been so fortunate not to need to do this regularly for nearly two years has just been a bit much for me to handle. It harks back to the fact which I find amazing: that the body has the ability to adapt so well to something, such as taking IVs pretty much full time for nearly three years (excluding the regular IVs the 15 years before that), as I don't recall ever having much stomach illness while on them before.

I haven't much of an appetite since the weekend, my mouth is in bits from one thing and another, and last night I actually got sick. Getting sick when you've had a transplant is a strange experience as so many of the nerves in the chest-ish area are now gone and so there's no real gag reflux as such; and there's no real 'feeling' of 'OMGOSH I'm going to be sick!'. It just...happens.

I hope to have the weekend to recuperate and rest as if I'm honest, I really didn't do enough 'resting' whilst I was on these antibiotics. My slaves should have done their job better really.

Hopefully this will be the last course of IVs I'll ever really need. Hope all are well! x

Monday, May 19, 2008

G'day Steo!

...Who is in Australia.

I had a bit of an emergency at the weekend when I realised that I was seriously short of bits and bobs for my IVs. Typically it would be that I discovered this on Saturday evening. I rang the hospital to see if I could have my antibiotic more concentrated as I didn't have enough mixers (saline) to put it into. They couldn't tell me, so about 6 or 7 phone calls I got the go ahead that I could do that.

This morning I went across and got my dressing changed and I got to see the line for the first time. It's a lot thicker than I thought, but they kindly put a 'window' dressing on so I can watch it all I like now. It's a bit throbby since, probably since it's been touched but it's a lot prettier looking, although not quite the 'latest fashion' yet I don't think.

The good news is I'm set to finish the course on Friday (as I'll be unable to give IVs realistically from Monday for work reasons) but the bad news is that it's been hinted that the line will stay in place after this. I have NO veins for blood and it's been mentioned that in case I need more treatment in a few WEEKS time, it'll make things easier.

I've had a very sore throat (to swallow) since yesterday so maybe that's a good decision to leave an accessible vein, accessible. Other than that I'm in slow motion flying form!

Steo: the 'stamping the foot' mechanism was an involuntary twitch I used to have actually, which manifested itself when I was annoyed. Granny's magic sock thing was pretty cool too. For everyone else: this is the Granny whom I used to cheat at cards when playing against, taking advantage of her slight memory loss at the time. I was a good child really and my tactics were highly ingenious!

Saturday, May 17, 2008


"Your ears aren't what they once were and you have resorted to doing online hearing tests.

The highest pitched ultrasonic mosquito ringtone that I can hear is 12kHz"

I am clearly DEAF. My mom says it's because of years of IV Tobramycin. What makes it worse is that my result is worse than the one which says:

"You thought you were really with it and in with your younger colleagues but they just laugh at you because you can't hear beyond this!"

Keep in mind that most laptop speakers don't have a capacity much beyond a 20kHz frequency, and obviously there are are a LOAD of compromising variables which could have adverse effects on the results and blah, blah (I've spent too much time sitting in Research Methods class I think...), but if you want to try it yourself, click here:

Needless to say I'm booking myself a hearing test next week. And an eye test while I'm at it.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sailing Along

I really have debated about whether to post this or not as I really do NOT wish to jinx myself. It being Friday, and the end of the week, I decided I should probably break the silence.

I went to the radiology department on Tuesday afternoon, where they (about 6 people!) did an ultrasound of my arm, found a vein and inserted the PICC line. I wasn't knocked out as hoped, but they used two bee-sting shots which completely numbed the area. In hindsight (despite the silent tears) they did the job very well, and having been sedated and wooopy wooo for an entire day would have been unnessecary.

I can't really feel anything when the drugs are going in which is fantastic. Because I take three infusions in total, it takes about 2 hours to complete each round, which I then do three times a day. I found this incredibly tiring for the first few days as it means going to bed at about 1-2am and getting up again at for about 8am. As well as this, one of the drugs (Ceftazadime) makes my eyes very heavy so it feels like I could sleep whilst taking it. I think I'm getting the hang of it now though and am employing different tactics to pass the time!

I won't post any pictures as I wouldn't want anyone to feel "the room spin" or cause anyone to faint (you know who you are!). I'm having the dressing changed next week so it will look a lot less dramatic then. I'll post a good diagram of what exactly a PICC line is, so to further educate everybody!

It goes into the arm and passes all the way up and ends just near the heart. My line has two bungs, one which is totally redundant but I think I could use it for bloods if I needed next week.

A normal cannula (or venflon) has the bung part and finishes at about the 'enterance to vein' part of the diagram. I think for this reason, they always succeed in collapsing my veins as it's a bit like them 'slipping out'.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Blog Away

Going in tomorrow to attempt the picc line. I signed the consent for the whole yoke today (since I'll be sedated and all that malarky) and have my slot in theatre for 10am tomorrow. My mom's coming with me to look after me (and my stuff!) so she can bring me home after. Probably a good thing that I didn't get done today as I drove and probably wouldn't have been up for driving home again.

I won't be on here for a few days, but should be back by the end of next week. Take care of yourselves :)

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Today I had the lie in that I've been waiting for since my exams, and it was nice! My anti-rejection tablets were a *little* late however. But the sleep- so nearly worth it.

We had our class party last night which was mental too.

This evening I've been sorting out my room which contains a forest of papers which I am S.L.O.W.L.Y. getting rid of. Among them I found notes for projects which were due when I was in first year two years ago, notes for school exams, two letters that should have been sent a LONG time ago and millions of bank stuff.

And among the 'bank letter pile' I found a loving letter from my credit card peoples. In companies the person who sends the letter usually concludes it with a photo-copied signature after the 'sincerely' bit. Probably because they didn't actually write the letter, but rather their secretary did, and so to avoid the whole 'fraud' issue, they write it once and then it can be put on everything.

This letter was dotingly signed 'Customer Service'. What a funny name.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Yesterday I went to the hospital to get my cannula (line that goes in to attach drip to) inserted and begin my 7 day course of IVs (Meropenum and Ceftazidime three times a day for those with medicy speaky). The doctor (one whom I didn't have much time for before, but was actually good today) searched for a vein (read: Didn't go looking for the worst vein, or a mediocre vein which might/might not stay up: but the best vein with the best chance of working) to insert the line into.

After much a treasure hunting, he found one in the side of my arm, half way up. We went with a blue needle (smallest size I think) and it was really promising. He got blood and it flushed with water well. It tingled a little bit but it was good.

I was then handed a GIGANTIC bag of paraphernalia and sent on my way with instructions on how to make up the potions and how to give them, seeing as I didn't get my first dose in hospital.

So I got home, the area was a little bit sore but again it was OK. I decided to wait until 4pm to do my first dose (making it midnight for the second, being a good 8 hours). When I went to make everything up, I did it well and highly hygienically and sterile-lly. But then I couldn't attach anything because of the angle of the line (needed two hands, so kind of like trying to lick your elbow antics).

Mum came home and put it in, and two MILS after my 10mil flush of water it burned. And stung. And was impossible. I said this can't be happening- I haven't even had any drugs yet. I told my Mum to leave the room as she was watching me intently. So she did. And I tried again. And I just couldn't take the pain. So I cried and bawled. I knew that if I couldn't get 3mils of a flush in, there was no way I could tolerate 20mils of Ceftaz being pushed in either (one that *can* sting even when everything is fine).

So Mum came back and we attached extra tubing on and tried to see if it would make a difference but it didn't. So I took the cannula out. As I was taking it out slowly, there was one point where it seemed to connect with the vein, making it bleed, which makes me wonder if it just needed adjustment. But I wasn't a medical person who was able to judge that and I wasn't going to start pushing more fluid in to a line that was now half pulled out.

So I got no drugs. I'm taking the weekend off and going in on Monday to try a picc/long line instead. These didn't work when I was younger but they may well do so now. In the meantime, feeling a LOT cheerier than yesterday afternoon, I'm going to enjoy this free weekend.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


I'm FINALLY finished, thank goodness *that's* over.

It means I can return to watching Survivor 16 Micronesia: Fans vs Favourites (or Favorites as the Americans say...) without an ounce of guilt. I'm on episode 9 now.

I do this while downing a pint of water to keep me really hydrated for prodding maximus tomorrow. I'll have another pint in the morning too. It should counteract that litre of Diet Coke Caffeine I had today (I think there's a scientific name for what caffeine something which sucks the water and calcium out of you or something) - never good.

I have got to find the strength from somewhere tomorrow not to bawl my eyes out. I'm a terrible loser when it comes to looking at needles that put stuff INTO you- I can do bloods without much (verbal) fuss, but the other stuff....ugh.

ALSO: Gutted that I went the ENTIRE 4th of May without realising the importance of the date: MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU!!!!! I realised it two days late, d'oh!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I had a good day and then my temperature has gone up tonight. My last exam is SO close and yet SO far away. I'm tired and wide awake. I have polished off four litres of Diet Coke since Sunday and bought another 2 Litres today which I'm going to get through.

I'm moody like nobody's business. As the saying goes "Studying seems as appealing as playing leapfrog with unicorns." I snapped at a person, and then I cried because I felt *so* bad about it. I don't know how people put up with me half the time!

Needless to say, I do *NOT* deal with stress well.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

4 Down, 1 To Go With a Bump In the Road...

Eeeek. Well to say it "seems only fitting" would make it out to be a positive thing, but I shall be ending this academic year as I started: on IVs. :(

Having posted last night, I checked my temperature this morning and it was from about 36.8-37. For a normal person, about right, but for me, ideally a twitch too high- especially when I have "not-so-nice-stuff" in my lungs.

I had an exam at 2pm but decided to give the clinic a buzz this morning and ask them if it could be weather related. They said, no, the sun didn't do it. So I had to go over.

Now imagine the scenario where you haven't studied and had banked on 4 straight hours cramming before an exam which are now required to be spent in a hospital. So I declined their offer to come over.

And then I felt bad.

So me and my mom scooted across. I had the laptop on my lap reading notes and I got seen by the head man himself. Bloods were taken, and despite good SATs readings (98%/85bpm) he wasn't happy that I've been having this 'grumbling infection' for over a month which isn't normal.

I told him I had an exam on Thursday so I'm to go in for prodding maximus, to find a vein and begin treatment on Friday. My class party is on Friday. Talk about frustrating. Now that I can drink again (see previous reactions) I had been looking forward to having one or two on Friday, but not on antibiotics which is a real bummer. And *yes* I can enjoy myself without getting sloshed, but it's just frustrating.

Doc said 7-10days of antibiotics. I'd say with my veins that will be 7days. Which means I'll be finished in time for the others to finish their exams so I'll just bandwagon their celebrations I think...

Monday, May 05, 2008

The Final Stretch

Ahhhhhh! Tomorrow is my second last exam! Yikeys and crikeys!

It is still incredibly hot here. This evening I'm finding myself with warm cheeks. I checked my temperature and it tells me it's 37.2. I get the other thermometer and it reads 37. I can't tell if that's because it's hot outside and my body is trying to adjust to the sudden burst of heat or if there's something wrong.

An evaluation of my other symptoms suggest I'm fine. Except that I've been bringing up pure not nice stuff from my lungs for about a week.... but yet, I don't feel unwell.

So why all the kerfuffle? Well, post transplant, you are required to check your temperature twice a day as having a temperature is a SERIOUS sign of something not right and must be acted upon immediately. I rooted out my old 'red book' for instructions and it says over 37, one must take paracetamol and read again in two hours.

I do *not* like having my body act in such a funny manner. Hopefully everything is fine, and the pesky weather is to blame.

I realised that I never mentioned my fellow bloggee, Jac, who only ten days ago received her lung transplant. Two years waiting and all. She's recovering really well at the same hospital I was seen at. Pop on over and wish her well!


I do realise that all these posts indicate a high level of non-study but going through my old email account I found an email from someone telling me my guestbook blocked them out from posting.

I swear this was purely accidental.

I discovered I had accidentally blocked out pretty much all of northern Europe from posting anything: whoooops!

Anyway it's all fixed now. And my email address has changed, should you have queries about the ker-waffle I post here.

I bet you're all going to rush to the guestbook now and have a goo. Not that I'm pushing or hinting you to or anything. At all. No subtle hints here, no sir-eee! It's not like I need distracting or anything, nope! Or crave a comment. In the guestbook. To the right. Heck, no!!

But I'm watching you.


Here is an example of my study process. I open the slideshow. Open my note-pad.*** I begin writing the information from the slide-shows into essay format. Below is an example of my study of 'memory':

On closer inspection, this simple and easy process is lengthened...

BY ONE-HUNDRED-AND-FIVE slides!!!! Ironic, but how am I supposed to remember all that?!

***the opening of pad action occurs approximately 3.7 hours after opening the slide-show as certain tasks like browsing the internet take priority.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Rest Day # 3: SUMMER!

Today was my third rest day, but with the excuse that it's over 20*C here today! Freakin' amazing!!!! Of course, this means that I haven't got a bean in my head to study with because it's just so hot.

The dog got a walk though.

We might have a BBQ tomorrow. We *could* have one today but it's Sunday so, no. In fact, we'll wait until the weather gets bad again, and then we'll say 'oh it's a pity we didn't have a BBQ when we had the chance'.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Rest Day # 2

Hot day today, yay. I went to college to change my access password so I could then access material from home.

I decided that copying out notes/playgerising other people's work (I'm sure they're long dead anyway)/ reading slide-shows beat sorting my room out.

I did have a gander at the variety of clothes I own (or total lack thereof) and decided that a shopping spree is now essential. But then I remembered I'm going stateside in 10 weeks time so I browsed some of my FAVOURITE American clothes shops' websites instead.

In 2006, I weighed as light as a feather. In 2007, my body got totally confused by the sudden tonnes of food which it began receiving per day and the weight went primarily on my tummy. With a bit of gym-ness and regulation training toward the end of 2007 and ever since, my body seems to be FINALLY moulding into some sort of shape.

Hence the reason why I have no clothes. Because nothing looked good. But now it might. Hence the new shopping-ness.

Can't ever beat trackie bottoms and big hoodies all the same though. So despite my new sparkling American wardrobe which will soon stand in my bedroom, I shall continue to try my best to look like a hobo. Or as my mom says about people 'someone on the way to the recycling bin'. So cruel.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Rest Day

I got my Delilah back even though I didn't want her back, ugh. *MUCH* prefer my rental car. Suppose there are perks to being knocked into.

And today was a day of rest. Also on a side note, but does anyone else find DVDs, no matter what the topic, impossibly difficult to stay awake to/for?? I fell asleep during Miss Congeniality tonight, I've fallen asleep during DreamGirls (have the soundtrack so would actually like to watch that someday) and also managed to sleep right the way through Sweeney Todd (don't think I'll bother with that one again though...) which I "saw" in the Cinema!!! Bah I don't know...

Tomorrow I will start some form of study that does not involve checking emails, checking Bebo/Facebook, chatting to peoples on msn ALL day or browsing holidays.

Or maybe I'll attempt sorting out my room.

No, NO, mussst study!

Actually I've so many bad options for tomorrow I can't decide which is worse...

Thursday, May 01, 2008

3 Down, 2 To Go

Way-hey, half way through. This is the first time I've had to drink some of my Coke (which actually is full to the brim with all my notes and answers that I can cheat with...oh but shush...). I don't know if I was actually having a hypo, but I couldn't think straight so took some anyway.

This one was psychology, which to date has been my best subject, so much so that I've already manged to pass the year having not done the exam. At the same time however, I like to do well, and so wanted to keep my grade point average up high so I did study. Six questions came up and we had to do answer three (three essays). I basically wrote and rewrote essays as part of my study process for two topics. I could have studied four (or six for that matter) but gambled and only studied three hoping those three would come up. Unfortunately only two came up, however the essays I wrote were very comprehensive, well rehearsed and contained referencing: everything I could do in order to get as high a mark as I could.

With regard to the third question, I decided I could waffle a little bit on some information and make it sound bit....bull. But instead I figured I would only get a handful of marks for that so I just went and made my other two essays as good as I could and drew some sort of spider gram for my third hoping I'd get some marks.

I'm relieved because I know I've passed but also because it's my last exam until Tuesday. It's unreal having the summer so close but sad in a way because all my 'old' (and I mean that literally, because they are actually ancient as I started school young) friends are now going to be finished college forever which means they're not allowed be immature like me anymore. Crikey!

Tomorrow I do NOT get a lie in as I have to return the rental car I've been buzzing about in. Delilah and myself are being reunited. To be honest I don't want her back having had my rental but at least she isn't banged up in an embarrassing fashion anymore.