Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's Spring Let's Check Our Body Image

I am ending my 8th week on peritoneal dialysis and I have to say other than a few learning experiences this whole PD thing is fantastic. Now don't think you will go on PD and immediately feel like a regular I thought, of course. Every day you feel more energetic and all of a sudden you stop itching, I don't  have to wear readers anymore and best of all no nausea. I have learned how to supplement my protein, that restaurant food is full of insidious I didn't drain!!! and I still have to watch for kidney stones. If you have been a stone former in the past it doesn't necessarily stop when you go on dialysis. Do not stop checking the toilet after you urinate for foamy urine, cloudiness or pink tinge. I had gotten complacent about it and one day last week stood up, turned around and was met by a toilet bowl full of very bloody urine. At this point all you can think of what..why can't this stupid body just behave. My temp was normal, my dialysate (stuff you drain out of peritoneum) was clear, I was draining fine...what the heck.  So I filled up a little specimen and called Barb (PD nurse at W. Beaumont Troy). We talked it over and decided to let the lab figure it out..obviously I wasn't infected. It gradually stopped late in the day and a light bulb went off..... The day before while I was changing the wash over I had a big cramp pain in my back right flank which I totally ignore anymore unless it doesn't go away. Truly after hundred's of stones I pretty much have the pain tolerance of an alien. Which is bad...pain is God's way of telling you to do something.

 The best thing is that through it all my Barb  is there for everything. I mean if she doesn't answer when I call I get a call back w/in 10 minutes AND if I don't call her she calls me. I just don't know what I would do without my Beaumont crew. So she called me the next day and said everything lab wise was fine...did I think I could have passed a stone??? Great minds think alike..hehehehe. I didn't pass one but when they move around in your kidney they rip and tear tissue and I know that is what happened. I have actually passed stones with kidney tissue hooked to them. Barb made a great statement though...when you are on dialysis of any kind or have a chronic illness anything out of the ordinary health wise that happens you tend to blame it on your condition... that is so true..I wouldn't have given it a second thought if I hadn't just started on PD. I would have said wow damn stones. Another example of not letting your illness define everything you do....

I had my second clinic Tuesday......I am the STAR QUEEN.....I even got an Excellent on written on the top of blood work!!! I felt like a little kid back in elementary school. LOVED IT!!!! Barb called yesterday to tell me my blood work was amazing...But you know what was special????She was as excited as I was....that is what makes the difference in this battle. Even Jerry (Dr Dancik the hero) was thrilled....All the team was so happy for me and that makes me want to walk the straight line with this PD. I do not want to disappoint any of them because they work so hard for me. If you don't have this kind of support as a kidney patient start looking around because it makes the difference.

So any's spring (supposedly)which for the ladies means breaking out the razors or hitting the wax salon...for the guys lets just hope they cut their toenails before putting on the sandals...I don't ask for much. Those of us with chronic disease can easily lose track of our body image. Even if you are feeling relatively well the simple knowledge that you are fighting with your body can tend to make you let yourself fall into the blando world..You know..constant baseball cap, pony tail, BIG don't wear anything that isn't in the laundry basket you just washed...Anyone recognize themselves???? Or if you have had physical change because of your I have a hose in my stomach, we all tend to obsess about that area. So I gave away 8 bags of clothes.and took out my scissors and chopped my hair off  (myself with a pair of Fiskars) so I couldn't put it in a pony tail.I am sewing new things to make me stay in the fashion lane and camouflage my recharge unit. If you don't sew I have another hint...the Salvation Army...go Fridays for the tag sales. It is such a blast to walk out with a bag of great items for 10 bucks, Just make sure you don't buy back  something YOU donated....EMBARRASSING!!!!!

Honest, no matter what your challenge a little spruce up helps...earrings, a cheapo new lipstick, scarves are amazing.....If you dress like you are sick you will feel sick and people will do the lower their head, nod with a sad how are you doing??? thing I talked about at Christmas...ugh.Positive living invades all parts of your life...Try to put zest in everything you do...even if you feel like a stepped on dog's better to look as good as you can even laying on a gurney in the hospital.....People realize you care about life if you care about yourself....and if you don't care about yourself how do you expect others to???? People like us are amazing, wise and strong...I am proud of all of us! We must represent our challenges by looking oh so fine.

The most important thing I have found since finally hitting end stage renal failure is to stop putting toxic things on my body. Really it only makes sense. When I think of the years and years (since I was about 12 and discovered good old hydrogen peroxide) I have been trying to hide the red that pops out in my hair....oh lets just be truthful....I have red brown hair. Obviously my temperament came from somewhere....and my mom's family were a bunch of red haired Scottish settlers. So when I started feeling really rotten and Scott lost his job I quit going to get the hair done which I hated doing anyway...AND I discovered the wonderful world of natural hair coloring and I figured out how to cut my hair into a really cute shorter style myself!!!!!(After the nutso Fiskars attack) What a blast. It's cheap, it is wonderful for your hair and your body and best of looks amazing.!!!! Many cultures believe that henna, indigo, amla, cassia, walnut powder, sage powder, clove powder and all the other myriad essential oils, teas and powders you can use to create wonderful hair color also detoxify the body. Well, I don't know but when I make my batches of henna and other ingredients and use them I sure feel amazing after. I really mean clear headed and more vibrant. It is def more labor intensive and it takes a bit of time but it has  such a positive effect on your whole outlook.Even blonds can use cassia powder to brighten up their hair plus other herb rinses. All these things have been used for 1000's of years by many civilizations.The Internet and You Tube are a gigantic source of all kinds of info about natural hair color and care. I learned most of my methods from a wonderful woman, Khadija Dawn Carryl. She is a Mendhi artist and lovely caring person. . Her products and You Tube videos are amazing. Make no mistake, I receive nothing for mentioning this. It is an honor to be able to share all of the many creations she puts together which make me feel so very much better PLUS look terrific ;o) These are kind extremely knowledgeable people.If you have any questions Henna Sooq or the discussion site Long Hair Community can help you start to detox your hair.....Such wonderful positive moves to make your life more brilliant.

Then I took a look at my shampoos, body wash, conditioners and gels.....there is a lot of rotten stuff in those. I have made my own face oils, perfumes and body creams for several years  but I just didn't want to get into the soap deal. There are many great natural soaps on the market. You don't need foam to get clean...Kadija Dawn makes one that has saved hubby from scratching himself nuts. For Kidney patients dry skin is a never ending problem.....PLUS I am naturally dry anyway. I use rose hip oil and evening primrose oil on my face and fractionated coconut oil and kokui nut oil on my body. These items are not expensive, are organic and toxin free and work. I also use no bottle shampoos anymore. Natural shampoo bars that create little or no suds....I can't tell you how much better my hair and I feel...I know you are saying it is all in my head (hahahaha) but so what if it is...which it def isn't because people have commented on my 'head o' hair more than ever in my life....well except when I modeled for Dodge in the 70's and they bleached my hair WHITE....oh it was attractive with my dark olive skin....not..but I did love the white boots and shortie white pants cowboy outfit...thank God they put a white cowboy hat on my head. My point is just these little things can make you feel better and change your whole attitude which in turn holds whatever chronic illness you are challenged with at arms length.

Of course I have many more idea's for blogs after talking to Loretta my social worker at Beaumont Troy....I am fighting the fight for Kidney patients with her help. That story will be next week after I go and straighten out the Medicare office..IN PERSON....Back off Will Robinson she is on a tirade!!!!!!
Hey I don't have red hair for nuthin'.

Until Later My Friends,
Elizabeth the world is less bright without you. You will always be my favorite.


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