abrynne: (Default)
It's been pouring rain outside all day long. Perfect writing weather.

I've had the itch to write in the back of my brain for the past week or more. But my fear of diving into it again has trumped the itch so far. I'm not sure what exactly I'm afraid of. I suppose I've been away from it for so long now, it's hard to get up the courage to try poking at it again.

I went into the hospital at the end of March. It is now the end of July. Maybe it's the idea that my motivation is completely gone. I can't even come up with a reason to pick up a book and read it. What with all of this change in my life, I've been having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. Sometimes it's difficult to see the point when all you do is sleep, try to eat, make sure to get your four dialysis treatments in (Don't forget those!) and then go back to sleep again.

Yet, there has been this itch.

And I still don't know what to do with it. I think I'm also afraid that this whole medical experience has sucked all of the creativity out of me. Yes, that may be an irrational fear (fear itself is typically irrational) but I've been trying to come up with a reason for my complete lack of motivation to do anything that I used to enjoy.

With that though, I'll just be talking myself in circles. I want to try waiting on it a little more. Writing was the only thing that I really wanted to do. Now, I'm very afraid that that's not the case anymore.

I've been living at the parents' house since May. It's been okay. I have my own little bedroom, where I've hung up some posters and where Becca also brought me a life size cardboard cut out of Jared Padalecki. He stares darkly at me from my closet. For a while I had a scarf wrapped around his head so he'd stop staring at me while I put my underwear away.

Living at the parents' house comes with the instinctive "helping out" feeling. And I try to when I'm feeling good. Mom has a hard time going up and down the stairs, so I've been doing more of the laundry lately. I'm kind of a weakling, but stairs don't bother me at least.

I've also learned a lot about Halo and other video games through Sean. He's let me play some, and while I'm not horrible, I would be a major handicap to any online team I joined. But that never bothered me. I just enjoy blowing things up.

In return, Sean's been watching Supernatural with me. He's never seen it before, so I've been very excited about getting him to watch certain episodes. We're in the middle of season six.

My treatment is the same as I stated before. I'm doing it at home four times a day. It's not bad, but sometimes it can get in the way of things. Cecily took me down to Ashland for some of the Shakespeare festival a couple of weeks ago and I had to bring all of my stuff with me so I could do my dialysis in the hotel room. Once we were there it was okay, but it took a bit of planning ahead, which I'm not prone to. We also had to plan out or days while in Ashland around the times I needed to stop and ... dialysize.

Hopefully it won't last much longer. Next week, I'm going to start training on this machine they call a "cycler" which will do my treatments at night while I sleep (Hopefully I'll be able to sleep.) so eventually I won't have to do anything during the day.

I'll still have my catheter that goes around with me. I know what I thought of when I first heard the word "catheter" but it's not what you think. This catheter goes through a small hole in my abdomen about six inches to the side of my belly button. The tube inside drains the old fluid and fills me up with new fluid for dialysis. The tube outside is about eighteen inches long. And I have to coil it up and tape it to me in order to keep it from catching on anything.

After having that tube for almost three months now, something interesting came to mind. I thought of that line that Tony Stark says in The Avengers. Tony points to the glowing arc reactor in his chest and explains that it's keeping him alive and then he says, "It's a part of me."

That's what my catheter is too. It's something artificial that was put in to keep me alive. And it is a part of me. It's nowhere near as awesome, of course. And I doubt I could power a metal suit with rocket boots with it. Regardless, it does what it's supposed to. And it's been part of huge changes in my life. It's a part of me now. Although... maybe if I ran into Tony he could think of something cool I could do with it. :)

Hm. Maybe that writing thing will come back after all.
abrynne: (Default)
I just read through my last post. Wow, that is depressing. Justifiably so, but still...

Instead of going to get my blood cleaned three times a week, now I do my treatment at home. I have to drain and fill my peritoneal cavity (It basically holds all of your organs. Yes, everybody has one.) with a special solution, which pulls the toxins and extra fluid out of my body. So I drain the bad stuff out and then fill up with a fresh batch every time I do it.

It took some getting used to. I started on this about a month ago. That was a really hard week, when I first began the training. But I got used to it. I'd say that's been the biggest idea behind this whole process, "You'll get used to it." I can't say how many things I've had to "get used to" within the past three months. But that statement has yet to be proven untrue.

"Home" is also very different now. I moved out of my parents house when I was twenty-four years old, back in 2007. I'm thirty one now, and back in the house with Mom and Dad, and the youngest bro, Sean.

Like with anything else, there are pros and cons to this transition. There is usually someone home with me, which is nice. (I've had a hard time with being by myself since I got out of the hospital.) Yet Sean takes over the TV downstairs almost immediately after coming home from work.

I'm really grateful though. I've been completely dependent upon them since I moved in here, Sean included. He brings the boxes of supplies into my room when I run out; Dad's taken over my car payment and insurance; and Mom's gone to every appointment with me, she brings me food and helps me with my laundry.

I would not be surviving without them.

What's frustrating though is I feel like that's all I'm doing. Surviving. I haven't written a single thing since this insanity began. I don't draw anymore; I just sit and stare at Netflix. It's understandable. But I can feel my brain getting restless because my body is still weak and requires a lot of rest.

I wake up in the morning, thinking of things I want to do. It's usually just simple things - wash my hair, put some laundry in, maybe get out my sketchbook - and, like yesterday morning, my body stopped me. My blood pressure dropped dramatically that morning, and I didn't even have the strength to make my bed. Cec had bought tickets for a One Republic concert ages ago, so I had no choice but to try and rest before it was time to go to the concert last night. Thankfully, I was able to go and didn't have a hard time. It was a great concert.

Maybe that's just what I'll have to do. I need force myself to get back into the things I liked to do. It's so easy to get complacent and just not care anymore.

Trial

Apr. 19th, 2014 12:13 am
abrynne: (Default)
I should probably be sleeping. It seems like that's all I do. I sleep a lot now. Eat, sleep, and poop. Like a cat.

In my faith we believe that God gives us trials for a purpose, not just because life sucks and that's how it is. God's trials for us are meant to teach us, to help us in the long run, or maybe even to knock us down a few pegs.

At the end of March, I was checked into the hospital with the highest blood pressure I've ever seen. One of the nurses said it might be a record.

For five days before that I had been home sick, vomiting, unable to even stay standing up in the shower I was so weak, and feeling generally horrible. I thought it was some nasty stomach flu. The parents insisted I go to the doctor when it was clear that my symptoms were lasting way too long.

I went to the doctor, who referred me to the hospital where I was admitted and my blood pressure dealt with. I was checked into the ICU at first, which was odd for the nurses as they were more accustomed to their patients being non responsive and needing help to go to the bathroom.

My BP was knocked down gradually and tests were done to figure out the root cause of my sickness and BP.

Turns out that I was suffering from acute renal failure. Which also means kidney failure. My kidneys are dying because of dealing with the high BP I've been wrestling with for so long. And that, it is theorized, in turn was first caused by inflammation in my kidneys.

I haven't been to work in a month. J, my boss, is the best boss I've ever had and he's been really understanding up to this point. (He even sent me a huge bouquet of flowers when I was at the hospital.) But something has got to give.

Since I was in the hospital I've been getting dialysis treatment three times a week. Dialysis is a process for cleaning the blood, getting rid of excess fluid, which is what your kidneys normally do. So Monday, Wednesday and Friday I go to a local clinic and sit for four hours to get my blood cleaned. It usually throws me for a loop because my BP is still being closely monitored and medicated.

I am hoping to move on to the home dialysis treatment. I have to do it every day, but it's gentler and not as restrictive as going to the clinic.

After that, I'll be set on the long road that leads to getting a transplant. My siblings will be tested first for a donor match. It still sounds so surreal. Transplant? Don't we only see those on prime time medical dramas? No one actually knows anyone who gets one, right?

When I first heard the news I was surprisingly okay. I felt calm. I can't say the same for the parents, but that was expected. The doctor came in to tell me when Cecily was there. And thank heavens she was the only one there. Out of all of them, Cec was probably the best person to have there at the time.

Now, I'm only about three weeks in and I'm scared. I don't think I'm scared of all the procedures and treatments. That's not it. I'm scared of all the changes that will happen because of this.

I'm going to be moving back to my parents' house. It's the logical choice because of all of the equipment that needs to be stored for home dialysis, and if/when I have to give up my job for a little while.

I like visiting them and hanging out there, but I like living with Cec. Although right now I'm becoming more of a burden to her and her finances, so it makes sense for me to go back home. The change will be massive. And that's just the one.

My diet's changed pretty drastically along with my body itself. Dialysis makes you lose some weight in the liquid it takes off, but I also lost weight earlier when I was sick and was in the hospital. I hardly ate anything. And now, none of my pants fit. I'm not skinny by any means, but I'm now the size I was probably in 2002-2003. So, in a way, it's good that I'm not working because I literally have nothing to wear right now. Nothing that stays up at any rate.

The clothes thing is way at the bottom of the list, though. I find myself faced with insurance policies, Medicare, and social security benefits. Thankfully I have my family to help me, but it's all so nebulous and strange, with so many rules and exceptions.

And here I am: Being told to not worry about things now and just concentrate on resting and eating what I need to eat.

It's hard. And I'm tired. I'm always tired now. It's the strangest feeling when your 60+ parents, who have a hard time getting up and down the stairs in the hours, act like you're going to fall down any second and offer to carry things for you.

I never would have imagined it being this way. And yet here it is. Now, it's all I can see. I have no choice but to keep going. Because if I stop, quite literally, I die.

Feeling completely helpless is the most humbling thing in the world. It is terrifying and frustrating and so many other things. I don't think that's what God wanted me to learn through this. Helplessness. No, no. That was only part of the process.

I'm scared and sad and tired, yes. But God saved me. He made my body strong so that it would withstand that internal abuse for as long as it did and still not give up on me until I was forced to do something about it. God also forced my hand. He kicked my ass and made me look at this and nothing else.

Though now, it is all I see.

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abrynne

January 2015

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