Thursday, November 30, 2006

And Ernie...

You Are Ernie

Playful and childlike, you are everyone's favorite friend - even if your goofy antics get annoying at times.

You are usually feeling: Amused - you are very easily entertained

You are famous for: Always making people smile. From your silly songs to your wild pranks, you keep things fun.

How you life your life: With ease. Life is only difficult when your friends won't play with you!

And Miss Piggy...

You Are Miss Piggy

A total princess and diva, you're totally in charge - even if people don't know it.

You want to be loved, adored, and worshiped. And you won't settle for anything less.

You're going to be a total star, and you won't let any of the "little people" get in your way.

Just remember, piggy, never eat more than you can lift!

I am a Mud Pie!

You Are Mud Pie

You're the perfect combo of flavor and depth

Those who like you give into their impulses

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

breast feeding and transplant

OK, no, I am not pregnant. But this is something that's been bothering me lately, ever since the Delta debacle with the breast-feeding mom. ALl these women are out talking about how breast-feeding is the best, the most noble, the most natural way to do it, and if you don't breast feed then it's like you're denying your child these vital things.

OK I was not breast-fed. My brother and sister weren't, either, and you know, we all turned out OK. Breast-feeding never really had an appeal to me, and when I had CF, we couldn't breast-feed because we needed all the calories we could get. Breast-feeding would physically hurt us.

Pregnancy post-transplant is a risky thing, anyway. I'm sure that's something we'll end up discussing more here, but even if you get pregnant and have the baby, you cannot breast-feed. The immunosuppresant drugs are present in the breast milk, and after 9 months of walking the very, very fine line between suppressing and trying not to hurt the baby, doctors want to get you back to a normal med schedule as soon as possible. So breast-feeding is, again, out of the question, in order to preserve your own health.

I just wish people would udnerstand all that. When some of us use formula, it's not for some vain reason. Some of us have legitimate reasons for not breast-feeding. So get off our backs and stop telling us that "breast is best" and if we're using formula we're akin to child abusers or whatever. Some of us have no choice. It's a fine line.

OK, off my soapbox now. :) But it really does make me mad. Think people!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

This is cute...

Not directly transplant related, but what the heck? It's my blog and I can post what I want!! :)

New Children's Book Tackles Cystic Fibrosis

November 14, 2006 3:07 p.m. EST

Ayinde O. Chase - All Headline News Staff
Miami, FL (AHN) - Author Leah Orr tells the heartwarming story of a little boy's first school crush on a beautiful girl who has cystic fibrosis in her new book, "Kyle's First Crush."
In the story Kyle falls in love for the first time in Miss Irene's pre-k class.
The girl who makes his heart go "pitter pat" and his palms sweaty is named Ashley Elizabeth. She's a very special girl who makes Kyle feel special.
However, Ashley has cystic fibrosis, and Kyle learns from his teacher how this disease affects her. With the help of his mom, Kyle finally gets the courage to tell Ashley how he feels about her.
Orr's book has been widely praised for its beautiful illustrations by Josephine Lepore and shows in full color the story of a boy's first love.
The story, heartwarming in all aspects, is even more touching since Orr is the mother of Ashley Elizabeth, and Lepore, is Ashley's grandmother. "Kyle's First Crush" is the first in a series of seven books that the author plans to write about her daughter Ashley Elizabeth and cystic fibrosis.
"Children born today [with cystic fibrosis] are expected to live much longer [than in the past], but scientists, researchers and the CF Foundation are looking toward a cure by 2012," says Orr. "So, I will write a book every year until a cure is found."
She plans to donate all of the profits and proceeds from the series to the CF foundation.

Don't you just know I am going to be buying some of these???

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


OK, so maybe not famous but whatever.
My story will be up on the Lifeline website sometime this week (avec art!)...on the homepage, click the "more stories" link to see it if it's not on the main page.
Also, be sure to sign up for the Buckeyes-Wolverines challenge at the top of the page if you're not already an organ donor (and if you read this, you better be!!!)

:) :)

AND---I had my 16 mo. anniversary on Saturday!!!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

ENT update

So, as I said earlier, I went to my ENT's office today for the last check-up before surgery, which is now scheduled for January 17...what a way to kick off 2007, eh?? Anyway.
I had a CT done of my head, one taken while I laid on my back and one while I was on my stomach, to make sure the ears were good and that there wasn't any ossification/calcification in the left ear (the one that's getting the implant) that would impede surgery. After that I met with a woman who had her C.I. done in June, and she's very happy with it. She said that your hearing continues to improve for a year after the surgery...they're always tweaking and making sure the "map" of your ear is at its best. Even though I will still need to lipread and I won't have perfect hearing, it will definitely be better than it is now. I'm going with the behind-the-ear transmitter, which looks like a regular hearing aid, only a little "fatter". It even has a spot to plug in an iPod. How cool is that? (Of course I need to get a new iPod to take advantage of that.... :) ) I need a pre-surgery physical (bloodwork and all that jazz) a month before the surgery, but that shouldn't be a problem since I get pretty much a full physical every time I go to clinic! I swear, I'm definitely healthier than most people I know (TX notwithstanding!).

So that's the "ear" looks like I'll be out of work for about 4 weeks until they activite the C.I. It takes about that long for swelling to go down so they use the magnet part correctly. Woohoo! (Well, OK, "no woohoo" as Troy would say, but whatever.)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Another reason to donate life...

From Canada:

Monday October 30, 2006
Two sisters fought back tears at Queen's Park Monday as they pleaded for stronger organ donation laws, which could help save their mother's life.
Sherry and Sarit Kind called on the Ontario government to introduce so-called "presumed consent," which forces people to opt out of organ donation rather than the current system of only using organs from individuals who have signed donor cards.

Their mother, Suzi Kind, is in critical condition in hospital, waiting for her second liver transplant after contracting hepatitis C from tainted blood 15 years ago. She waited five years for her first liver and is now waiting in a Toronto hospital for another one after suffering major health problems.

"One person can save eight people's lives," said 26-year-old Sherry Kind. "We have to do something about it. We have to help."

Suzi's older sister Sarit, 28, feels that despite a recent increase in donor rates the presumed consent system, which the NDP's Peter Kormos introduced in a private member's bill, would boost rates even further.

"I'm sure the majority of the population would want to give this second chance at life," Sarit Kind pleaded. "They want to be heroes. Why take your organs to heaven? Heaven knows we need them here."

Kormos feels the issue is one of political will.

"There is some squeamishness about it. I, for the life of me, can't understand why people are squeamish about saving the lives of mothers, daughters, sisters, brothers, children and parents," he said.

A fellow liver transplant recipient, George Marcello, is walking from Toronto to Ottawa to raise awareness about organ donation and help the Kind family before it's too late to save Suzi.

"It's about time we tested it here," Marcello said of presumed consent, which has seen a 94 per cent success rate in countries where it's been introduced, including Spain. "The results of using this kind of system in any country have always shown a dramatic improvement in the rate of donation."

But not everyone is as enthusiastic about the idea. Mark Vimr of Trillium Gift of Life Network, which oversees the province's organ donations, believes the system isn't needed in Ontario yet.

"We have looked at this issue very closely and carefully," Vimr said.

"We did not feel we were prepared to support implementing a presumed consent approach in Ontario."

Vimr added that a survey found people had mixed feelings about the presumed consent policy.

Kind is one of 1,700 people in Ontario currently waiting for an organ transplant.

Her daughter Sarit knows time is running out.

"We want her to be around for many years," she pleaded. "We want her to see us getting married. We want her to see us having kids. And if we don't do something to change this, she's not going to be around."

To find out more about what George Marcello hopes to learn during his walk, you can call (416) 509-5719.

Ear stuff

One of the other benefits of transplant (ha. ha) was the ear "stuff"--i.e., the cochlear implant (hereinafter referred to as the "CI"). I'm going in to Dr. Willet (my ENT)'s office on Wednesday to have a CT scan, more tests, and to meet with a person who's had a CI. I gotta say, I hate these things. Meeting with a person who's had one never helps me. It never has, it never will. They did this to me pre-tx too, and I hated it. It's just not my thing. Never has been. But I have to do it, it's "part of the process." So whatever. I'll keep you posted as to how it goes.

Last year about this time, we were getting ready to do the skin graft on my right arm to fix that problem...fortunately we're not having the CI implant until after the holidays. Thank God!

What you see isn't always what you get

Especially when it comes to handicapped parking.

This is sort of a beef of mine, since before transplant (my senior year in college, actually), I applied for a state handicapped parking permit from the state, and was granted one. Now, to most people, by just looking at me, you wouldn't think I needed on. I could walk fairly quickly, for short distance, but it didn't last very long. And I still looked "normal," so you know, most people thought I had stolen grandma's parking pass or something. I was actually never on oxygen before transplant, so most people would have never known.

Now most people never said anything outright. I might get some odd looks, but most people just went with it. It wasn't until after my transplant (about two months after), that I got questioned. And it was at work.

I get a parking pass to park in the underground parking garage, so I do. One day it was kind of crowded, so I decided to use the handicapped placard I have. So I did. Morning, no problem. All good. The problem came in the evening.

I was walking to my car, and I get stopped by the state trooper that guards the parking garage entrances.

"Is this your car?"

(I"m thinking, "duh, I'm getting into it.") "Yes."

"U,, why do you have a placard?"

I was a little floored. "Excuse me?"

"Why do you have a placard? What's your handicap?"

I could not believe this kind of interrogation from a cop of all people. So I looked at him and got a wee bit saucy.

"I just had a lung transplant two months ago," I said.

His mouth dropped, as I knew it would, and I went on my way.

The point? Don't embarass yourself by asking dumb questions because someone doesn't "Look" handicapped. Because most likely you're just going to look stupid. And end up irritating someone pretty good.