Thursday, September 30, 2010

Frustrated Incorporated

The 4 months that I was in the IWK my music listening basically came to a stand still. I didn't have Much Music there, I wasn't really going to school, there was a teacher that would teach anything my school sent, but the school never really got around to sending anything. Because of that I was basically isolated from any new music being released. That was ok by me. It kind of sucked though, when I got back everybody was talking about these new bands like Oasis, and I was just like what is morning glory? Is it a prequel to afternoon delight? Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Jimmy Carter formed a band? Why do they like peaches so much? For me it was still all about the grunge, Nirvana, Peal Jam, The Offspring and some Weird Al was what I was listening too.

I think there was Soul Asylum too but it wasn't released until 1995, so maybe I've been getting my dates wrong and my transplant wasn't until 1995. I'm sure my Grandparents came up and I played Misery. My parents got mad at me for doing it because it made my Grandfather think I was suffering. I also thought I remember some White Zombie AstroCreep 2000 being played too.

I know I remember one night after my mom went home that my Blood Pressure was high. When it was high the on call doctor would normally get me to take Adalat, which is a drug that lowers your BP fairly quickly, I really didn't like taking it. That night I was refusing to take it, I was just sitting in my room, probably almost in tears just listening to Peal Jam's Ten. The Resident came in and tried to trick me into doing what he wanted by talking about how he was into Pearl Jam too and blah blah blah trying to seem cool. I thought I was smart and didn't fall for it obviously. I wanted to talk to my mom, and the only person that was going to get me to take it was her. I don't remember the end result, but I'm sure I probably ended up taking the medication.


I just can't win

Back in the first half of '94 when I was 11 I still enjoyed having baths, I would gather my Hot-Wheels and have races and wars all around the side of the bath tub. When April came along and I had to go on Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) I was told that I couldn't get the PD catheter wet. The way PD works is there is a permanent catheter is inserted into your abdomen and a fluid is then drained into you. I'm not sure what the fluid is, but through the magic of osmosis will use your own peritoneum membrane to filter all the stuff that your kidneys would normally filter out. In the morning all that stuff comes out when the fluid is drained in the morning.

I was told before starting PD that I would have to keep the area away from being submerged in water, and told that I would be able to shower. At the time I wasn't all that happy about that, I didn't want to shower, I liked baths, but it's what I had to do. I may not have always been that careful, I remember playing near the lake near my house and almost falling in, I didn't though so everything was good. Before starting Hemo Dialysis this time around I wasn't told much, and being the know-it-all that I am I assumed that the same rules applied, no baths, but I could still shower.

It was only after I had the line put in that I learned that, nope I now couldn't shower, I would have to sponge bathe, I was pissed. If I had been told prior I may have made a different decision as to what type of Dialysis I would be doing, because now unlike when I was 11 I would prefer to have showers over baths. My sponge bathing time is hopefully coming to and end soon with the use of the fistula in my arm. Once that starts being used the tube in my chest will be removed and I will be able to shower again. Until then I'm stuck sponge bathing myself, I don't even have the benefit of a sexy nurse.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

If the Blob only had Dialysis

Obviously the Blob was only the Blob because he had a lot of extra fluid weight from bum kidneys. All he wanted was a good ole treatment of dialysis to shed some of that fluid.

After my issues last week, and because it I wasn't getting proper treatments I'm walking around with about an extra 10 - 12kg of fluid weight. Thats really not the great of thing but my doctors said that as long as it's not permanent it's ok because I'm young and have a strong ticker. Its really uncomfortable though, I don't really feel bad, just nothing fits right, my calfs feel tight in my jeans, feet feel odd. It's like I'm having a baby and have baby weight, but instead of taking 9 months to loose it, it will be a week or so. It will come off with my treatments at home, its going to take a few however.

This is probably the first time I'm actually wanted to do Dialysis since I started 1 and a half years ago. Don't get me wrong, I still don't look forward to doing it, but I do look forward to shedding 4kg of fluid in 7 hours. Each day I'm on I will get closer and closer to my dry weight and start feeling right again. It will probably take 5 or 6 days to get there. Drop 4kg overnight during my treatment, gain 2 of that back during the day then repeat repeat. It's a real back and forth.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Not your run of the mill delivery

I always feel really useless when my supply deliveries come. Like today, there were 12 16kg boxes that had to be brought into my house and up the stairs. Thats 192kg, that 2.5 of me!. Today the delivery guy was smaller than me. Because I'm not supposed to lift things that heavy I had to just stand there and watch, I couldn't do anything. Sure, I have a perfectly valid reason for not helping out, but really is the delivery guy going to know that I'm the one the delivery is for, that I'm the one on dialysis. To just anybody looking at me I think I look pretty healthy, save for a few extra pounds. What can I do though, just say "yo I can't help because I'm on dialysis". I suppose I could, obviously he is going to know somebody in the house is, but it just seems like an bizarre thing to say to a total stranger.

I also wonder what is the tipping situation for something like that, hell what is the tipping situation for anybody that comes out to my house to either make a delivery or check on the equipment. They guy today is doing a lot of work, those 16kg is not light, so do I tip him? He is expecting a tip, there isn't any awkward moment after I sign, he just leaves. I wonder if a tip for something like that could be a tax write off where it's a medical thing? Also the biomed people that come out. Today I had a guy out because my filtration tanks were leaking, they needed some caps and O-rings replaced. It doesn't seem like it would be all that hard to do, but it's not something I could do on my own, so do I tip him? Maybe I should start offering pie or something, that will negate any expected tip.

Big Foot and the muscle machines

When I was growing up, I was a huge fan of Monster trucks, this was when they were really just trucks with huge fraking tires. I even had a bunch of Matchbox monster trucks. I don't really remember what any of the trucks names were anymore, just Big Foot of course. I do remember though that whenever I went to Halifax my parents would give me one before going to the hospital. I guess they were probably hoping I wouldn't remember the things like catheters being shoved up my wee wee if I got a cool toy before hand. Guess that didn't work out, I simply just remember both. Catheters were the worst part of going to the IWK, and Matchbox monster trucks were the best.

They were always up front with me though about the procedures I was going to have, nothing was ever a surprise, and that is probably why I like to watch when I'm awake whenever I get things done now. Whenever I give blood the nurse always says take a deep breath and look away, well I never do, I focus right where she is sticking the needle, I simple like to know the exact moment it's going to happen. Same thing when I was getting the fistula done in my arm, they don't out you to sleep for that, they just drug you up a whole lot, so I the beginning of the procedure I was still awake, and I watched the doctor cut my arm open. I find looking away worse, because I don't really know when it's coming and I need to rely on somebody else to tell me, if I see it for myself I'm much more relaxed.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mission Impossible

The thing that makes me the most nervous about doing my own Dialysis at home is, what happens if there is a power outage while I'm connected? Like I've said previously there is no backup power, I actually need to pump my blood back to myself manually, with a tunny plastic lever that snaps into the machine. I then have to hand pump about 100ml of blood back to me. I have been trained to do this, and during training and did do it once before.

There is however a huge difference between training to do this in a brightly lit room and waking up in the middle of the night with only emergency lighting and being conscious enough to do it. To make matters even worse, there is actually a time limit to do this. 10 minutes. Anything over 10 minutes and my blood will begin to coagulate because it isn't moving. Great! So not only do I have to hand crank the pump to give me back my blood, I'm also doing it under emergency lighting and now I have a ticking clock. I'd have to be Jack Bauer to not sweat under those conditions.

My plastic hand crank I would use to manually pump my blood

I have had to take myself off in an emergency situation before though, not just in training, actually in a real honest to goodness situation. About a month or so into doing my treatments at home I had been on for a few hours, and I had been sleeping when I woke up. As soon as I woke up I knew there was an issue and I was going to have to take myself off. It was another situation that I dread but non the less knew would happen someday and I'm sure it will happen again. I had to use the loo.

Since I do not urinate I'll let the fine readers put together what needed to be done. It was time for business. I did an emergency take off, but connected my lines to the medication ports so that as long as I was back in 10 minutes I could connect back up. I grabbed my iPod Touch and set the timer to 8 minutes. It was close, I was just finishing up at my timer went off saying I had 2 minutes left, I got back to my room, setup my sterile area, which takes another minutes or so, I was just connecting when the time went past 10 minutes, and I turned the pump back on. I watched as my blood flowed naturally, I didn't see any issues. I had done the impossible.


The Aulac New Brunswick Big Stop

The best part of the 5 hour drive to Halifax was the Irving Big Stop in Aulac, New Brunswick. From my earliest years I remember stopping at the Big Stop for lunch and it was always fantastic. In my early years there was just one meal I would have, chicken fingers. I loved chicken fingers, and I still do love chicken fingers, they are probably one of my favorite meals. Later on as my tastes matured some I would order the "Chicken Burger Deluxe" I don't know how I still remember the actual menu name, but that was it. It was a breaded chicken breast on a bun with lettuce, tomato, mayo and bacon. It was always very tasty. Of course both came with a side of crinkle cut french fries, coleslaw and veggies. I would never eat the veggies or coleslaw, my parents and sometimes the waitress would hassle me about it. I still wouldn't eat the veggies but I have taken to mixing my Coleslaw in with the french fries.

Once we got to Halifax we would still need to eat that evening. I remember going various places, but the one that really sticks out as the one we would go to most was Swiss Chalet. Of course being at Swiss Chalet I would get a chicken dinner, probably a children's but I don't remember for sure. What I do remember is what I always liked to drink. Not being able to drink colas and always having 7up or Sprite, this drink was the main attraction at Swiss Chalet. It was the Shirley Temple. A Shirley Temple is a "Virgin Cocktail" that means it doesn't have alcohol. The way Swiss Chalet made their Shirley Temple was with Sprite or 7up mixed with Cherry Grenadine, ice, a straw and a fruit garnish. I'm sure I felt mature drinking a "big person drink".

I felt even more mature when I didn't spill my drink... One night while my family and I were having a nice dinner at the Halifax Swiss Chalet, this was before my transplant so early 90s later 80s my clumsy father spilled his drink. This however was not the end, he reached for a napkin, now my memory might be foggy, but as I remember this napkin was under my mother's drink. Thats right, he grabbed a napkin under another drink, and of course he then spilled that drink, at this point there were no napkins left, they had all been drenched, not from cleaning anything up, but from simply being in the line of fire while my father self destructed in a wave of cold refreshments. Lucky for us the table right beside us (probably the whole restaurant) had seen the horror that just unfolded and was kind enough to provide what napkins they had while the staff rushed to clean up I'm sure the largest mess a customer has ever caused.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Medium is the Message.

I need ideas, that's right, I'm pulling the audience in right now, I'm breaking the 4th wall and I need you to help me out. I want to make a video of myself setting up my dialysis machine. Not just any video though, I want it from my perspective. I don't have any sort of head mounted camera though, and my best camera to take such a video is my iPhone 4 camera. Now there is such a head mounting device for the 5th Gen iPod Nano, but I don't have a 5th Gen iPod nano, I just have my iPhone 4. The gist of this is that I need your ideas of a way to mount my iPhone 4 to my head. If there is already a mounting device and its not too costly send me that info, if you have some while schematic that you drew up send me that info, I need your ideas no matter how cockamamie they may be. You can leave them as a comment, or send me an email at I look forward to your ideas.

Now I see that you are now perplexed. You say that I've said previously that I planned on publishing what I write here in my memoirs, so how will I ever publish a video? Well the obvious answer is it would be an extra for the Blu-ray edition of the movie based on my memoirs where Tracy Morgan plays me. Look for it by 2015.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Attack of the Killer Bacteria -- Part Six - The Conclusion

Over the past few days I've gone through my first semi emergency involving my at home dialysis. It all came crashing down Wednesday when I received a call at work from the unit saying they needed a follow up water sample right away. It now ended today when I got an email saying that my water passed the follow up testing and I could now resume my regularly scheduled treatments. It really opened my eyes to how much better doing dialysis at home is that having to go to the unit. While it does such having to plan out when I'm going to go to bed based on how long it take to get hooked up. It sure beats having to drive to the hospital to do it and then being completely exhausted from it.

I never did find out what actually caused the bacteria to show up. It could have been all kinds of things. From just being out of the fridge too long in transport, to possibly not being handled properly either by me, or by the lab technicians. Either way I guess it shows how seriously the team of Doctors, Nurses, Lab Techs, and Engineers take keeping me healthy and that makes be feel good. Right when there was a problem they were ready to give me a backup plan, to call me and get my ass in gear to help them fix the issue. At least somebody is on the ball.


Attack of the Killer Bacteria -- Part Five

Today was a long day, I was at the hospital for my Dialysis treatment at 8am to be hooked up and set to go by 8:30. Originally the treatment was going to last 4 hours, at the last minute however the staff made a change and decided to go longer. I ended up not being complete until around 2:30pm and then had to stay until my blood pressure (BP) was taken care of. I didn't actually get home until about 4:30pm, I had something to eat, and then passed out in bed. I didn't wake up until 10:30pm, and I will have to be up by 8:30am tomorrow to go to work.

The AV fistula in my arm was used again today, it worked well for the 2 hours then my Blood pressure began to bottom out. I experienced immense pain in my arm because of this. They opted to stop using it at that point and switch to the line in my chest for the rest of the treatment. It still didn't go all that smoothly and my BP was still too low at mid 60s over 30s. My arm however is really brused from the large needles, it doesn't look good at all.

They decided to discontinue any fluid removal and just focus on clearance (That's the bad stuff). They figure the reason for all the issues with treatments in the last 2 day is because my body is now just so used to the 7 hours I do at home. The 7 hours takes the fluid off much slower than the 4 hours and is easier on my body. Reducing that to 4 hours and going for the same amounts was just too much of a shock.My blood pressure medication has now been reduced so I'm hoping I wont have any other issues with low BP.

Tomorrow will be a normal day, I don't have to go back for a treatment, and hopefully I will have the results of the follow up water test by 7pm and the will be positive.. and by positive I mean good, and negative for any bacteria. If everything is good tomorrow it will being a conclusion to my "Attack of the Killer Bacteria" series. stay tuned for updates.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Bp was too low, needed O2, always time for apple facetime

Attack of the Killer Bacteria -- Part Four

Well I'm back at the hospital. I'm currently all hooked up for the next 5 hours. They also decided it would be a good idea to try and use my AV fistula again. This time I worked though! So I currently have not one but two of the needles from yesterday jacked into me. That's all the update for now. Type with one arm that is wrapped in a bp cuff is not easy

Sent from my iPhone 4

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Attack of the Killer Bacteria -- Part Three

I've been back home after doing my treatment at the unit for a while now. I'm still just super worn out though and tired. I've been on the in home hemo for about 6 months now and I guess I was just spoiled by that. I just don't know how to managed 3 days a week doing 4 hours and then going to work, I was just simply exhausted at the end today, I could barley stand. My blood pressure was 70/36 at one point. Hopefully tomorrow will be my last do that I have to go in and my whole water issue will be resolved Saturday. I'm told the final aspect of the tests will be complete by 6:30pm Saturday.

Speaking of killer Bacteria, lets switch gears and go to killer funny. 30 Rock returns to prime time tonight, with the always attractive Tina Fey. I recently read that Grizz, he is one of Tracy Jordan's body guards on the show was the recipient of a Kidney transplant over the summer. How cool is that, I have something in common with the Grizz. He got his transplant for a dude he didn't even know, just some cool cat that wanted to donate his Kidney to somebody in need. It wasn't a cadaver or anything, he just offered the organ transplant program in the States one of his Kidneys and the Grizz got it. Pretty cool if you ask me.

Read more about it @ people


Attack of the killer Bacteria -- Part Two

So I'm back to the hospital for my in centre treatment. Part of the test for bacteria came back. Good news! The bacteria dung levels are really low. So either there isn't as much Bacteria as the last test showed or the bacteria is constipated.

While here today the nurses decided to try using the AV fistula that I had created a few months ago. This involves using a large needle instead of just connecting two sets of tubes, the machine connects directly to me.

This is the needle that I'm going to have to stab myself with. For size comparison I've used a standard 3.5mm headphone jack

Sent from my iPhone 4

Attack of the killer Bacteria! -- Part One

A small diminished lab technician is on guard at the laboratory, when a strange sight is seen on the horizon... it's BACTERIA! Oh the humanity, what shall we ever do about their... shit?

That's right, to day I received an emergency call around 12 noon at work to tell me that my monthly water sample had failed because of bacteria being found. (not the call I was hoping for) What I didn't know about bacteria in the water is that it's not really the bacteria that is the problem, it's actually what they leave behind. Thats right, their dooty. The nurse that informed me of this was specific to say that what they leave behind is smaller than them. Well I should hope so, can you imagine a creature that leaves bowel movements bigger than it? That's insane!

I was told they would need a 2nd sample right away.  I proceeded to rush to the hospital to get a micro filter, and then run home, replace a total of 3 filters, the microfilter, and 2 diasafe filters. I then needed to run the machine for an hour, do a water sample and take that back to the hospital all before the lab closed at 4pm. I manager to get there just in time, 3:50pm, but I still wont have results back until Friday which means in centre treatments for tomorrow and Friday at the very least.

Work wise I had to leave early today, I've had to take the day off tomorrow because I'll be doing a long in centre treatment and Friday I now have to start 3 hours later, which means I end 3 hours later. They are understand but it still sucks. It may seem strange for somebody to not want to miss work but I honestly hate that I have to request special treatment because of a medical issue, I'd rather just be "normal" and not require any special considerations.

Maybe I'll do a 2nd update from the hospital when all hooked up.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The List

195.3      187.6      100/46 83      82/40 80

There is a surprisingly large number of items that are needed to perform a single treatment of dialysis. I've included a list, this list does not include any extras that I keep close just incase they are needed,  It's not exactly easy to move around once I am hooked up. These are simply the items that will be used for sure when hooking up. All the items except for a few are single use. I need to empty my large industrial size garbage can every 3 treatments, nothing but the 4 and 8 liter jugs is recycled. I also have a sharps container which I need to take to the Dialysis unit once a month and replace with another.

6 x 10cc Syringe
3 x 3cc Syringe
1 x 20cc Syringe
8 x 20 Gage needles
1 medical mask
3 x 2 pack of sterile 10cm x 10cm gauze
3 x 10cc Heparin bottles
12 x Chlorhexidine swabs
4 x Sterile towels
3 x Size 8 sterile golves
4.0l Naturalyte H-624 (Acid)
8.0l Bicarbonate
2 x 1l Saline bags
2 inch roll of tape
1 inch roll of tape
2 x Interlocking caps
Dialysis tubing
Saline bag tubing
F160nr Fresenius Dialysis filter
3 x scissor clamps
1 packet of Potassium additive
Vinegar for cleansing post treatment
Bleach for cleaning outside post treatment



Artsy After


Monday, September 20, 2010

What you want is what you get

197.8     189.2     106/55 78      86/49 76

What you want is what you get, this was the Mcdonald's slogan in 1994, when I was spending a lot of my time at the IWK in Halifax. In the spring of that year my parents and I were doing our training for peritoneal Dialysis. This was done on an out patient basis, I was not admitted to hospital at this time, there really was no need. Our home while there was the Ronald McDonald house. Sounds awesome huh? Living in Ronald Mcdonald's house, this absolutely has to be the most kick ass Mcdonalds in all the universe, it must have Mcdonalds room service, and your food is cooked none other than by the man himself, Grimace! Not so, there is no Mcdonalds in Ronald McDonald House.

Ronald McDonald house is a place for the parents of children in the IWK to stay that is less expensive than a hotel or even a motel. It has a kitchen, and laundry facilities. It's not too fancy but it certainly fits it's residents needs. It's walking distance from the IWK, along with Spring Garden road where there is local shopping, restaurants and entertainment. It's in a pretty good residential area that if you don't have a vehicle you can get to pretty much anything you'd want. It's along a bus route and of course there are also taxis. If you do have a vehicle there is limited parking in the back. It became a home away from home for a good part of my and my parents life in 1994. In the latter part of the year after my transplant I was obviously admitted into hospital so my mother was spending her evenings at Ronald McDondald house, while I was at the hospital. 

The normal stay length after a transplant at that time at the IWK was 3 months in hospital, because of other complications I ended up being there for 4 months. Because of the extra month I spent there in 1994 we spent Christmas at Ronald McDonald house, I'll leave that story for another time though.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

The iDialyspod

197.3     188.6     114/51 77     86/40 70

I entrust my life 5 nights a week to a 20,000 Dollar machine that uses a 10inch resistive touch screen and has a stuck pixel. The resolution on this screen is lower than the original iPod Touch, much lower than my iPhone 4. Did I mention it's resistive. To those who are not a complete geek like I, a resistive touch screen is one that you must apply pressure to in order for it to detect input. The other, and generally much better is a capacitive, these screens do not require pressure, they detect something touching it by detecting conductivity. I'm not sure of what OS it uses, but unless it's using something custom it could only be either a flavor of Linux or Windows CE/Embedded. No blue screens yet. The interface includes a "sleep" button which I can press when I want to sleep. No, it doesn't put me to sleep, it turns all the pixels on the screen black. Thats right, the pixels are still on, it doesn't actually turn the screen off, or even the side lighting (no back lighting) it turns them black and keeps the side lighting on. Again, 20,000 dollars and they can't figure out how to turn off a touch screen and have it wake up when being touched again?

There is no internet connectivity, which I was surprised about, I would think being able to constantly send my vitals to the dialysis unit would be a no brainer, but no, not even a a dial up modem. No USB ports either, it does have RS232 port though, it's used for programing it, so that is really it's only input besides the front control panel. It also doesn't have an actual power back up, nope no built in UPS and it cannot be plugged into one either. It does have a 9v battery -you know the kind of battery that goes in your alarm clock, that will alarm if the power goes out. I would then have to manually remove the battery to stop the alarm and then pump my blood back into me by hand. I guess it goes without saying that it has no multimedia features, no ipod dock to be found.

If I designed this thing the first think I would ad is connectivity, 3G at least, if not 4G, all the 802.11 standards, Gigabit ethernet, bluetooth, USB, USB, USB. I want to be able to plug a USB drive in this thing and download my treatment details, or connect a printer and print them, or simply send them over the internet. Higher resolution and larger capacitive touchscreen that when I say sleep, it actually turns off the backlighting (no side lighting here) and the pixels. I'd ad media functionality, if I'm going to be connected to this thing for 7 hours a day I want to be entertained that means the USB ports can be used for external storage. If a fridge can do it, this should be able too. Some sort of backup power, I don't want to have to manually pump my blood back to me, my mother's VCR had backup power. Some interface options, the current one is really drab. Thats it for now, maybe I'll send my suggestions for Fresenius see what they have too say.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Welcome to the suck pt 2

113/51 77     99/48 72

Things went well this morning, well as well as having to get up super early to go to the hospital to have your central line flushed can go. I am currently hooked up and pressures do seem to be good, although there is currently a strange vibration in the line. This would generally indicate a clot if pressures were higher but they are actually very good. It's an odd sensation, I guess the best way to describe it would be if you left your cell phone on it's lowest vibrate setting and set it on your chest when it received a call.

I hooked myself up earlier than usual tonight so that I could have a little bit longer to sleep after disconnecting in the morning before having to get to to go to work. I guess the worst part of having to do this 5 nights a week is that I can't go to bed when I want to. I have to plan my evening around what time I want to get up and the 7 hours that I'm connected. Plus it takes between an hour to and hour and a half for prep and to just get connected in the first place. Once the 7 hours go by its another hour or so to get disconnected and clean everything up. Thats 9 to 10 hours a day that I spend just doing this. Of course a little bit of that I'd be asleep anyway. It's still better than having to go to the hospital for 4 hours 3 days a week. I'll appreciate not having to leave the house so early once winter is in full swing.

This is how my evening went tonight.

20:30 - 20:45 Gathering my supplies
20:45 - 20:50 Water test for any residual chlorine in the machine
20:50 - 21:30 Setting up the machine
21:30 - 21:40 Connecting myself
21:40 - 4:50 Precious blood filtered by what looks like a computer from the 60s
4:50 - 5:00 Disconnecting
5:00 - 5:15 Gathering up the tubing to be thrown out
5:15 - 5:30 Acid clean
5:30 - 6:10 Heat clean @ 60C (I can sleep during this however)


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Welcome to the suck

My night did not go well. Arterial pressures would spike whether I ran my line straight or reversed. I have a feeling not many people will know what that means, so let me explain. Currently I have a blood line that enters my chest about halfway between my shoulder and my man nipple. This line has two sides, the venus and the arterial. One to take blood out of me and send it to my Dialysis machine, and one that receives the clean blood to go back into me. Sometimes, over time one or both sides of this line will develop a clot. There are precautions against this, the line gets flushed with saline after treatment and then filled with Heparin. Heparin is a blood thinner, it is supposed to prevent clots but they will still develop.

Tonight my line would not run correctly because a clot has developed in it. One way around this is to run the line reversed. This means that I hook the arterial side of the machine to the venus side of the line and vice versa. Tonight that still did not work and the pressures on the line simply were not acceptable. I've now ended up discounting. I called the off duty emergency line, and have made arrangements to go to the hospital bright and early. They will flush it with what is called cathflow. From what I understand this will basically dissolve the clot.

I would normally work tomorrow but I will probably have to do a treatment of dialysis while there since I was unable to do it tonight.  So I have had to use a vacation day. Most of my vacation time this year has been spent going to various doctors appointments or having various procedures done.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It was the summer of '92

193.8     186.8     105/49 69     93/44 85

I love eating things that I'm not supposed to eat. Growing up I had a very strict diet, maybe that's why I've ended up going in the opposite direction in the years after by transplant when I really didn't have a specific diet to follow. Growing up the big thing was no added salt and stay away from high salt foods. That meant if I was taken to a fast food joint we would ask for fresh french fries that didn't have salt. I didn't mind that at all, and to this day a lot of times will not ad salt to my food. What I do remember always wanting and never ever being able to have is Coke or Pepsi. I was not aloud to drink these because of the phosphate in them, something that is also in dairy. The only time I remember even being able to have a small sip was when I was on a family vacation driving to Toronto. That was it, all I was able to drink if I wanted pop was Sprite , 7up, and Root Beer. Maybe that is why it tasted so good that 1 sip I had, I was hooked. This was in about 1990, or 1991 and I would have to wait until April 13th 1992 to taste "Pepsi" again.

The summer of 1992, it would be the last year that the summer and winter olympic games were held during the same year, Whitney Houston married Bobby Brown, George Harrison found out that he was actually 1 day older than he thought his entire life, Batman Returns was released to theatres, and Crystal Pepsi made it's debut. What a Glorious summer! You see, what we were told is the reason pepsi is dark is because of the phosphate content of it. If it's not dark it doesn't have phosphate, I could drink Pepsi! I could finally have something other than a lemon lime softdrink. Up until after my transplant that was the best summer ever, Pepsi missed a huge opportunity with the original formula Crystal Pepsi, they should have marketed it direct to Kidney patients, sold it in bulk to hospitals they could have made a killing. Instead a few months later they gimped it out with a citrus flavour. WTF Pepsi?

They gave it to me, and then you just took it right back, well it was good while it lasted. It would end up only being about another 18 months and I had my transplant and was finally able to drink cola again, and it's been my Softdrink of choice since, even now when I probably shouldn't drink it, I just can't help myself.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Hooked Up

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I haven't dated a girl since I started Dialysis. I just don't know how to start the conversation to say that I have two tubes... and one of them is coming out of my chest, oh and by the way I'm 27 years old and I recently had to move back in with my parents. It's like the plot of a sitcom. There's been a few women whom I thought were attractive and under different circumstances I may have batted my eye brows a bit and made the duck face.

There was this one nurse at the unit when I was going, however that is a whole different awkward situation right there. While getting hooked up do I just say do you want to hook up later too? Am I miss reading the situation, are they being nice because they have to, or because I'm one of the youngest people there, most dialysis patients are of the older generations. I was basically, well who are all the women swooning over these days? Luke Perry is it? I was basically the Luke Perry of the dialysis world. So is it my cheetah like whit or my devilishly Luke Perry like hansom good looks?

So I guess that is the Ice Breaker for any attractive nerdy women reading this Blog who are into 27 year old guys that live at home and have a tube coming out of their chest.


Friday, September 10, 2010

The Rolling Stones

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Just recently I was informed that I have a, or a few Kidney stones. I've since found my mind wandering and wondering how many Kidney stones that the rolling stones have had roll on through their Kidneys. They are very old. From what Cosmo Kramer has said, when a kidney store is discharged it is excruciatingly painful, people even pass out from it. I have experienced pain in that area before (my penis). I've had a number of catheters growing up, and they always sucked.

A catheter is a long slender tube that gets inserted through the urethra (your pee hole) and into one's bladder. It can be there briefly just to see how much urine your bladder can hold, or for an extended period of time when there is an issue expelling urine. If it is going to be in there for a long time there is a balloon that is expanded to a size larger than the hole on the inside so as to no just slide right on out. I guess this could be described sort of like a balloon knot.

When I woke up after my 5-6hours of surgery for my transplant I had a catheter. Apparently when I woke up I was so concerned about the catheter that I asked if it was still their while motioning for my groin. Sometimes this story gets told with wink trying to imply that I was asking about my penis, I was an innocent 12 year old though. Hell I still thought a boner meant I just had to piss. I had to have been referring to the catheter.

Back to the kidney stone, it's not going anywhere, it's basically a seed in a prune. I barely urinate.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

I was an infant stud

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When I was born I was basically taken by plane direct to the IWK where my parents met with the children's doctor who would be my doctor for the next 17 years. I remember him as being a friendly doctor with big bushy eye brows, but that would have been my later memories, obviously I don't remember what he was like in 1983. What I do know however is what my parents have said, apparently the first thing he said when he saw me, was just how huge my feet were... and you know what that means ladies, thats right as a baby I was a huge stud.

This carried on later in my life to Kindergarden where I would show all the girls my "2nd belly button". You see as a infant I had a procedure to drain my bladder of excess urine. This left an indentation a few centimeters under my actual bellybutton that basically looked like a 2nd bellybutton. I don't remember these girls reactions, but I'm sure it drove them crazy. I would try that now, but after my first transplant I was loaded up on steroids and gained all kinds of weight because of it, on the plus side though it allowed be to grow a ZZ-top beard in 7th grade. I've lost a lot (of weight, not hair) in the last year, but I still do have a stomach that covers that scar. I'm sure it would still drive all the lovely ladies nuts though.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It's a mad mad mad... Magazine?

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I was recently asked "Do you worry" I answered that I don't. The person asking then followed up with some preposterous situation of having somebody put a gun to my head, and still my was answer no. In the words of the wise Alfred E. Neuman, "What, me worry?" Really? Why would I, it's not that I don't feel in control or that I have some external focus of control. To the contrary I'm in complete utter control, it's simply that sitting and worrying doesn't accomplish anything and can be a hinderance to clear thought out action. In the situation I am in I'm doing what I want to do, and will continue to do what I want. So I say again "What, me worry?"

Mad Magazine was great growing up. I had hundreds of them. I remember when going to the IWK I'd always have a few, or if I didn't I'd get one or two while there. I remember getting a Spy vs Spy special issue that all it was was Spy vs Spy. I loved Spy vs Spy. Those magazines definitely kept my mind off things while I was in Hospital. It really wasn't all that bad though. When I started spending more time there I started to make friends with the other kids. Sometimes in the evenings when most of the hospital staff had gone home we'd explore all over the place. We had LOTS of freedom to roam the hallways. I'm not really sure we were supposed to but we did anyway. Some of my best childhood memories are from the IWK, how fraked up is that?

I wish I still had a few of my old Mad magazines. The cover art was always really cool, I'd frame a few now. If anybody out there has any let me know I'd consider buying a few old copies from the mid 90s.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

1st post

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Welcome to my blog...

This is post number one, so a little introduction is needed. I'm Owen, I was born in the year Nineteen hundred eighty and three, but I am Forty years old. You may ask how the hell is that possible, well the answer is that when I was twelve I had a Kidney transplant, my father gave me one of his, so I average our two ages. "Shit son, you had an organ transplant when you were twelve" you say. Yup, I was born with bum Kidneys. You see the ureters, they are the pipes that allow urine flow one way to the bladder, they didn't just flow one way, they went both ways so my Kidneys were drowned in urine... Thats not a good thing.

Anyway long story short I had a transplant when I was 12, and then 14 years later it failed and now I'm here hooked up to my trusty old Fresenius 2008k @ Home dialysis machine. Yes as I type this I'm actually hooked up with about a liter of my blood just flowing out of me. Thats the point this blog, to talk about my experiences with my health, some times I'll make jokes (even though its very serious) some times I may get a little soulful (doubt that). Maybe it will help others that got the short end of the blood filtration stick cope with the shit they are going through, maybe it wont. I don't care, I'm just writing this as a way to get my ideas out and then publish them as my memoirs in paperback and hardcover.

Oh and hey, if any of you readers can spare a type O kidney just let me know!