Wednesday, January 28, 2009


In between dropping into clinic for bloods, following two people into an examination room - both of whom thought the other was holding the door open for me- the door then closing in my face and knocking me back slightly with a *clunk* noise, clearly making me question my foot-door coordination (and my feathery body weight); having the new doctor profusely apologise to me when I managed to enter the room, and then having him drop the empty test bottles on the floor causing them to roll every which way and having him apologise profusely again (in a crazy, mad scientist way/voice, but really, really friendly) and then having him get my blood first time, I'm rather tired.

Only joking, I did manage to accomplish slightly more than that with my day (actually a LOT more than that) and I blame that for my tiredness. Plus it's 11pm so that's a natural 'I'm tired' time. I have enough excuses, OK?!

Oh also, this is my 601st post. Seems I have an uncanny ability to type when I have absolutely zilcho to talk about - it reflects real life really...

To Begin...

It isn't going to 'all about me' (geddit??) as it usually is. My health is, in general, good. I have a constant cough and I'm still productive and I fear I've fallen into the hole that is 'acceptance', a hole which is a dangerous one to be in. This cough isn't right. But I'm putting on weight, it's not stopping me so why bother bothering about it? But that's all for another day... I'll mention it when in for bloods tomorrow, so we'll see. The brake pedal isn't working on my life right now and so I continue to spin into insanely busy days! Bazza....

A while ago a topic about being labelled 'inspirational' came up on a message board I lurk on. Some people found this label annoying and some, bizarrely, found the term offensive. I would never, ever see myself as inspirational or inspiring in any way, shape or form and if someone were to claim I was then I'd kindly ask them to put their glasses back on. But aside from the arguing of what, who, where, how a person/place/thing is inspirational, I think this has far less to do with that person and what they do, and more to do with the person who takes inspiration from that person/place/thing. Does that makes sense? I think not. Let me put it this way:

Suppose you are someone who clumsily tripped on a banana skin and twisted your ankle, ending you up on crutches. Not that that has happened to anyone I know but, anyway. Every day you take your elderly neighbour lunch. Today is no exception, except you have to do it while on crutches. A horrible nuisance.

Now view it from a bystander who sees a crippled person (is that PC?) on crutches slowly make their way to a neighbour's house, carrying with them lunch for the elderly neighbour. To them, they see this as a 'wow, look what that person has to do and here I am, perfectly able, and perfectly lazy'. They see you and are inspired to do something good.

And yet, you're just simply getting on with what you usually do, albeit slowed down, ultimately due to your clumsiness.

Not exactly getting my point across here very well, but what I'm saying is a person doesn't have to scale mountains, run around the world in 30 days, survive 18,092 diseases with no arms and no legs and then go on to enter and win a triathlon (I don't know why all my examples involve sport...) to be viewed as inspiring because fundamentally it's not about what they do but rather how people perceive them.

And so brings me to the next three things I've seen recently: 1. Slumdog Millionaire.
2. Auschwitz: The Man Who Told the World
3. The Pursuit of Happyness.

Now if I hadn't rambled, I'd be able to say what I wanted to say in the first paragraph but for now I have to go to bed. So I'll say in fancy italics, followed by three tantalising fullstops....To be Continued...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Unoffical Interview Debrief

Following an job interview I had on Saturday:

"If I was going to give you a debrief, the one thing I'd say is that, I know myself that I talk fast but good grief, you talk incredibly fast"

What can I say? I have a lot of things to say and just not enough time to say them all!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Beginnings

We finish class at about 12.50 every Tuesday and so the day became known as 'Cinema Tuesday'. We'd head down to the cinema, get cheapo prices and see a good film. Today was no different, except that I had to go watch Barack Obama's inauguration at 4.30. And yes, I had to go.

When I told my friends the reason for my absence, they mostly stared at me in silence, and a tumbleweed floated by. I apologised but told them I had to watch it, because I had to watch it. One half of my friends really haven't much interest in politics of any description which is fair enough, I have very little interest in football - each to their own.

So I was driving over to my friends house to watch the ceremony and was running a little late when I got a text from one of the cinema Tuesday groupies saying "We don't like giving presentations, imagine speaking in front of that amount of people". I was highly confused not knowing what he was on about and then I clicked, he must be watching Obama.

And that's a pretty incredible thing- someone who has zero interest in politics was swept up and became interested enough to take a peek at this momentous occasion.

And that's just the beginning...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Another Aspect

Amongst other things, I'm an accomplished belly dancer. I don't have a certificate that proves that, but it's true. I've never applied for any jobs as a belly dancer, and really, I don't know why. But I'm a bendy person- my arms bend too far, if I weren't so against gymnastics, I'd be able to do the crab with ease, but alas at nearly 5"4, I'm a bit of a bean pole to people in that world.

So anyway, back to the belly dancing. I can belly dance at the drop of a hat, except on rare occasions such as today, where the only thing it looks like I'll be dropping is a baby. **Let's make it perfectly clear I'm not planning on dropping a baby, but I wouldn't look out of place shopping in Mothercare judging my appearance**

It's shocking really. And it's uncomfortable. The only way to describe it is if you ate a massive lunch which gets no further than your stomach. You're still hungry for food at dinner but your head tells you that there's nowhere for meal two to go. But you have to eat! So you do.

I knocked back some anti-acid, some creon (for digestion) and some motillium (to speed up the bloatiness). My baby look has decreased somewhat, but I reckon I'd still get (a) dirty looks from older ladies and/or (b) a seat offered to me on the bus.

These problems are very common to people with CF, I'm just (thankfully) not much of a 'digestion' girl so this is a bit of a rare occurrence. I'm actually not allowed see my CF team anymore, which seems a bit hard to believe- I still have CF right? Digestive issues related to CF aren't the speciality of a lung transplant team after all. As it happens, I actually went and saw my old CF team last year anyway, slightly behind the backs of my transplant team (who said i shouldn't go - hi to any of my transplant team who may be reading this by the way- now you know how I know that my vitamin levels good enough that I don't need to take vitamins ;-) ), but it frustrates me that I have to do it in such a way.

I may point out that I'm very fond of the transplant clinic staff who look after me and who always accommodate me whenever I ring up and feel like giving them riddles to solve, but whether it's a control thing, politics or frustrates me that teams can't all sing off the same hymn sheet.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


As I think I mentioned before, this past week has been totally and utterly mental. Starting this week however, I will get Wednesdays off. I will therefore, from now on, view these as my sleep in until stupid o'clock study days.

I still managed to find time to go out both nights this weekend which was great. Although on Friday, having eaten a whole pizza, two kit-kats and 3/4 tub of ice-cream, I seemed to develop a head cold over the space of a few hours. Just very sinus-ey and sneezy. But I don't know if that could be from the ice-cream- the dairy causing me problems. I mean I've never had a cold develop over the course of about two hours like that, but I suppose it can happen!...can't it?

But there's about two weeks or so left of January and then I can offically say I've had a good start to the year :)

I have a very, very long list of people to call this week ranging from the insurance companies to booking my surgery (again) to former employers. So it will be slightly less manic but mental all the same. With a Wedensday off to break up the week :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Pre-warning: This blog is about nothing.

I got my flu jab. Apparently I'm the only one who calls them 'jabs'. I was told that next year I should get it in October and not leave it so late. Which is a fair point. In my case, this has been the first opportunity to receive it as you have to be well or....something. And every time I asked I was told to wait. Which is a fair point too.

So it's Thursday already and I've got a list the length of my arm of things I have to do. I feel accomplished a lot this week and yet still feel there's a mountain to climb with getting on top of everything.

I have my full, 9-6pm day tomorrow, followed by babysitting. I have a job interview of sorts next weekend so I will be spending the time leading up to that organising/getting that dreaded medical, a background check...gulp - I'm praying I don't do something awful with my car between now and then, or insult a policeman...and going over application forms, smiling for passport pictures and hunting down my references. It's quite a fun process really. I just hope something comes out of it all.

Oh actually, something already has- I signed up for my 10 week first aid course! I think everyone should have some sort of basic training anyway and we had a few sessions in school but I've never been certified with anything. And I was in school a million years ago. But because I want it to look good on my CV and application forms to (be able to) save lives, it if nothing comes from any of my plans for the summer, I'll be a bit more educated on how to give the kiss of life!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Falling through the gap...

I finished school in 2005, which makes me feel rather old, because it's my ten year primary school reunion this year. Well the reunion that has yet to be organised and nobody will probably organise it except that I've dropped LOADS of clever hints to primary school people I'm still friendly/in touch with. You know like 'Oh so have you heard anything more about this reunion yet? I heard it's in "name of pub"', that way it sounds like someone has been organising something but secretly nobody has. It's kind of like me passing the buck, except I never had the buck to begin with. I don't want the buck!

Anyway, all that aside, I'm getting old. Well, not old as such, but not any younger. Except that I look so freakishly young, that I'm able to pass as a 16 year old still. But that's not the point either. So I graduated school in 2005 and along with all my friends started college into either 3 or 4 year degree courses. Except about two months in, I took a detour to hospital and skip the long story which has been told a Brazillion times before, I ended up restarting college two years later.

My best friends are ones I went to school with and our group has, so far, survived the leaving school goodbye and we keep in touch really well. But those friends all went and did the travelling things at all the proper stages. The year I had my transplant, some of them went interrailing. The year I was recovering and not allowed back to college, half went to live in America for the summer, and the others went travelling through Asia. Then last year I got to do interrailing with the girls who hadn't been before and it was definitely fun. But it also marked the end of the student travelling and having fun life as most of them knew it.

My two best friends are working (in a proper grown up job) and studying for a Masters (hello!!! Yikes). My other...'options as travel buddies' (it's easier then going through how I know each person specifically) are also either Master studying or working or on placement.

My friends who I'm in college with are all working through the summer to earn money, which I totally respect them for I might add.

But it kind of means I have fallen through the gap. The girls are past the stage of travelling and road tripping and the next stage for them (possibly in a year or two) will be Australia. And then they will be proper, officially, scarily grown up. The college group aren't (this year, anyway) organised enough to go travelling.

So where does that leave me? Well I did a lot of research and thinking and researching and thinking and discussing and option analysing and I found what would be a great solution. As long as I can pass a friggin' medical. Me. A medical.

Excuse me while I get sick from laughing.

Actually, laughing aside, I'm pretty sure I would do great in a physical medical - my heart/blood pressure/pulse are definitely all perfect. My sight is pretty perfect too, I'm not even colourblind (I hope everyone loves my new red font by the way)! BUT, if medical history counts for anything, well...the problem may be that the doctor runs out of ink before he's finished writing it all down so thus the medical will be deemed incomplete.

But we'll have to see. It's not like I'm trying out for the army or anything. The mystery will be revealed if I don't pass out while they try to get blood from me during my medical anyway. But, I guess what I'm trying to say is that if we sit around waiting for the ideal time to come our way and for it to present us with the ideal opportunity on a plate then we could be waiting for a while. And that in my case anyway, life is about seeking out and stepping outside the comfort zone if you want to see what life can really offer you.

Friday, January 09, 2009


So I've been eating a lot lately. And I don't mean bigger portions, or indeed extra portions, I mean bigger meals and extra meals. Being that the stomach is an expandable muscle (I remember that from school, not some cheap wikipedia-ing I might add), it makes sense the more you put into it, the bigger it gets and thus the more it expects.

It's really in the last few weeks (since Christmas) I've noticed that I'm hungry all the time. If I was an ordinary person I'd probably consider this a problem and seek medical advice, but being that I'm not an ordinary person, I won't.

For one, if there's something medically wrong which is causing me to eat like a horse, I probably already know about it. Diabetes, steroid use, digestion issues, being a greedy person - they all cause excessive hunger.

Secondly, even if there is another underlying (or under-under-under-under-underlying in my case) cause, I actually could be doing with putting on weight anyway, so I'll leave it a few months before I go investigating I think. I mean, if it ain't broke, whaaa fix ut? Or if its brokeness has advantages why go meddling.

So anyway, I have noticed I've put on a couple of pounnds since Christmas to be fair. Well, a few more than people probably expect. So, I contacted a little known, hide away American TV station to tell them about my problem. They listened with compassion and generously offered me help. I need help. So they whisked me to a photo studio and took my photo in a bright illuminous t-shirt and most unflattering bicycle shorts (which would make any skinny-malink look like a potato in) and I'm not sure what's going to happen from here on out but I already feelbetter about myself. You can judge for yourself.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Back to the real world

I'm actually more excited today as I discovered I only have four months left until summer! And I haven't miraculously discovered how to jump ahead in time (having jumped from five months left on Saturday to four today), I've just discovered how to read the college diary. That four months of course excludes Easter and Midterm holidays too. Gah! Freakaaay...

I had clinic today too. My wheeze/rattle/whatever you want to call it seems to have mostly settled itself. My lung function blows were down a smidgen (from 3.25 to 3.06 Litres), meaning a few weeks ago they were 104% predicted, now they're 99% predicted. And while that's 5% down, it's still fantastic (in my opinion). So we shalln't complain!

I've been put on two oral antibiotics - one week long course and one permanent antibiotic to be taken every other day. That spells disaster for me as it sounds easy enough but I'm an easily confused person. But I suppose, if in doubt, go for the overdose maybe?...Or just take it Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Yes, that makes sense. Until I start second guessing myself and asking whether I'm on the Monday, Wednesday, Friday week or the Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday week, or whether the week starts on the Monday or the Sunday and how does this help or hinder my confusion.

The secretary then glared at me when I told her I wanted an appointment for two months time. She muttered something about 'Oh they'll be on to me to double check that later'. I'm supposing this is reference to the fact that I'm always there, all the time and nobody can remember the last time I was set free for more than a few weeks. I was then reminded by two people to 'call if i have a problem or if I feel unwell' and 'be sure to call if you're not right'. I call that cautious optimism. What's the worst that can happen to me?!

...oh wait, something about two mysterious blood clots and a dose of septicemia sound familiar alright...

PS: Greetings to (not my) Aunt Karen!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

The Last Weekend...

...Before I head back to college. I'm pretty excited that I only have 5 months left, which in all context is very little. And then I'm officially half way through my degree! Next year is when the really hard work begins, but I'll be pleased to get this year behind me. I got some college catch up work done the last couple of days (which is a first for me, considering I need a deadline with a cattle prod over my head to convince me to do work). I really, really, reallllly need to catch up on a lot of work I've missed so far this year, and the thought of sitting repeat exams at the end of the summer is definitely not an appealing one.

At the same point, I'm going to (hopefully) get a bit of work covered tomorrow, and then go down the country for the last of my Christmas break. In fact, if I time it right, I should be back up to Dublin within 15 minutes of my lecture- talk about getting the most out of my break!

Unfortunately - and I worry about how often I use that word in blogs these days - that cold (which despite still feeling really strong despite-can I say 'despite' twice like that?) seems to have travelled a bit. I seem to be experiencing asthmatic symptoms - wheeze, etc- but there is an undeniable rattle in my breathing at the moment.

I'm off to clinic this week anyway, so as I say, considering I feel otherwise great, it will be down to lung function tests to determine treatment. Let's hope *this* year will be the first year in history of having no IVs, but if I have to have them, then so be it. I'd rather be healthy and fixed than be breathlessly trying to make the point that I didn't need IVs in 2009 after all!

Besides, if I were Chinese, I would have until the 26th of January before the new year began.

And anyone will tell you, I've always been a fan of Chinese!

But what do they call their good china in China one wonders...

Thursday, January 01, 2009

A New Year!

I've just finished ringing in the new year here (Hootenanny!). I can't believe it's 2009 already - 2008 was a year filled with incredible highs and experiences which I hope I will never forget. My health was a bit naughty at times but thankfully, I am SO fortunate that overall, despite everything, I'm actually standing better than I was this time last year (lung function up, weight about the same!). And it is of course, because of the 'blips' in life we experience, that we are given the sight to treasure and appreciate the good times even more- they are not without their purpose.

I would make resolutions but for fear of feeling terribly guilty about not fulfilling them or sticking to them I won't. I'll make a 'hope' list instead.

As always I see the marking of a new year, the marking of a new beginning: a chance to make changes for the better or, a chance to identify the things we are doing good in in life and work at keeping them this way.

Life is all about balance - well for me it's the ever illusive goal (it has replaced the 'get my lungs to function at 100%' goal I was chasing after and which I attained last year). To find the happy medium between work and play, health and enjoyable risk, party and sleep, not caring about eating but still maintaining my weight, and a million other fine tunable boundaries, that's what a happy life is all about for me.

And if I could refrain from using cheesy mottos and expressions, I'd feel a bit more intelligent. But the puns can stay. I like a good pun. And bad jokes. Those too can stay.

Happy New Year! May 2009 bring you everything you hope for in life :)