June 18, 2022 – My Diary & Blog: My Newsletter

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Diaries (not mine)

7:30 AM 

It is Saturday morning, thirty minutes before 8 AM, and I have been up since 5:45 AM ready to begin my free period before JP gets here. I have to say that sometimes waking up in the morning can be challenging when I do not get sleep past 10 PM but by 12 AM. I did not get my eight hours of sleep last night, but I am awake enough to stay awake for the day with no nap later. 

9:30 AM 

At dialysis having treatment, so more details later. 

A Deja Vu moment 

About ten minutes ago, I had a moment, I thought I had dreamt the scene was seeing before, but it just happened at that moment. It mystifies my thinking process to think I have seen and heard and yet it just happened, but I have not seen or heard before. I know we dream when we sleep, but I know I did not dream what a technician was saying and doing as if I saw and heard it before today. 

Stranger Things on Netflix 

When it comes to science fiction and fantasy movies or TV shows, I want to say that Stranger Things on Netflix is a favorite. I watched the first three seasons last year before I even thought of moving out of Burbank Plaza. Yesterday I noticed that the fourth season had come out or at least the first seven episodes of the program. I made my afternoon a Stranger Things marathon. I was so engrossed in a part of the show, hearing my friend JM unlock my door to come made me look at the door and watch her come in and her say hello. I FORGOT she was coming. OOPS. LOL. Did the show have something to do with me looking at the door when JM unlocked the door? Let me say that I was a little spooked because the sound seemed louder, and she put the key in the lock. Because I forgot that JM was coming Friday after work, and I felt embarrassed for a few minutes, then laughed at the idea that Stranger Things was the cause of my spooked moment in time. Anyway, I watched all seven episodes and I loved it. It was the dream that I do remember having after getting to sleep after midnight. I rarely stay up late past 9 PM on the night before dialysis day the following morning. To tell the truth, I am always asleep between 8 and 10 PM each night because I fall asleep while watching TV. I sleep in the living room in my chair. My bedroom is warm all year round. 

Jurassic World Dominion Thoughts 

Even though I have already talked about the fact I saw the movie earlier in the week, I want to admit that seeing dinosaurs in commercials reminds me that I saw the latest movie in the Jurassic Park and World franchise. Computer graphic imaging intrigues my senses and mind how a computer program can do such graphics these days. I use a computer daily or my iPad, Kindle Fire. I am into electronics. I was introduced to Mac when I was in 8th grade and got a Commodore C64 when I was a junior in high school. My mom’s husband who I call ‘Dad’ or ‘daddy’ had taken my passion for computers seriously and helped me make my knowledge of computers grow through the past forty years. Now, as well, I have been getting Perdue chicken nuggets shaped into dinosaurs, LOL. My friend JM said, ‘so what’ the other day when I told her the nuggets were chicken meat with vegetables. Chicken is a clean meat in the Bible. Please understand that I am not shoving my beliefs and Bible knowledge down anyone’s throat. I am here doing what I want and need to do as a diarist and a blogger. 

My Saturday (Most of the time) 

After getting home from dialysis, I had a little bit of time to relax and get some lunch before my company came. My friend JM, my boyfriend KB, and his mother come over to worship the Lord with me since dialysis takes me away from going to church Saturday mornings and has been for the past four years. If KB and TB do not make it over on a Saturday afternoon, it is because she is on call at work during the weekend, but JM comes over after church or work. JM works at the hospital as the morning cook every other weekend. Also, depending on Magic’s mood and need to cuddle, Magic and I share a few moments of cuddle time and kisses. 

Today 

JM arrived first then a few minutes later because the security doors are made to let tenants in if their key fob does not work, TB and KB came in. We sat and talked for a few minutes, then we did Saturday’s daily Sabbath school lesson, and then chatted some until a little after 3:30 PM when JM announced that it was time for her to get ready for supper with her husband MM. TB and KB left at the same time leaving me alone to do what I wanted and needed for the rest of the afternoon and evening. 

After everyone left, Magic and I shared the same space in the living room for a couple of hours, watching TV and resting. I was watching movies on HMM.

Garden Court sign in front of building

Here we are, in the second to third week, the apartment building is at risk of strange people and the homeless getting into the building. With 132 apartments and tenants coming and going from the front and back doors, the unseen can see that the security locked doors are not working properly. There is a part that the security locked doors need and right now the part is on back order, and many of those strong minds know that when something is on back order, it takes time. I am glad I live on the third floor here at Garden Court, but because of the safety measures right now are questionable, and I am not saying that management does not care about the tenants’ safety. I keep my door locked when home. 

Also, as of Friday, June 17, I had an appointment with the management at 1 PM. It was time for my recertification for the year 2022. Every year, HUD subsidized housing apartment buildings and complexes have recertifications of all the tenants four months prior to the day they moved in no matter when they moved in. As of October 1, 2022, I will see what my rent will be raised up to, stay the same, or it goes up a little bit because the cost of living goes up every year in January. I have moved to Burbank Plaza in March of 1998 and moved out October 1, 2022, after twenty-three years. I am happy to be away from a place that took my happiness away and found my happiness at Garden Court. Even though right now the building has security lock problems that need to be fixed, Garden Court is my home now, and I love it here even though one room which is the bedroom is used seldom because it gets warm in there all year round, and it is hot in the winter because of the heat, and since I live on the third floor, heat rises like a fast volcano about to erupt. I have been sleeping in my chair in the living room at night. 

Being a tenant here for nine months since June 1, I want to admit that there are tenants in my age group here whereas at Burbank Plaza, before the rule changed to 62 and over, but those who are younger than 62 can continue to live at Burbank Plaza until they move. I have moved out from a place that has turned into a place that the management would not stick to enforcing the rules of living in a community, and there has been rule breakers and troublemakers that should have been evicted. Yes, a tenant and her boyfriend were legally evicted, but after that court case, nothing was done with other tenants who caused trouble. It even took a while after my former caregiver DFK and I had some difficulty with a tenant and his ex-wife, nothing was done except for a write up and a warning to both troublemakers at the time. The male tenant called DKF a bitch and tried to tell her that she was parked in a handicapped stall, and that it was reserved to a couple in the building. The management told us that there is no assigned parking for anyone. Okay, I get it, management at Burbank Plaza had her hands tied and had difficulty with the eviction of the tenant three years ago, but honestly, not being able to enforce the rules made for all the tenants made me feel uncomfortable living there for three years until I moved out October 1, 2022, to Garden Court. More thoughts later about Burbank Plaza. I am glad to be home where I am happy. Remembering also that I was afraid that I was not sure if my AR parents would be upset that I moved, so one day I texted them and told them that I was moving to Garden Court downtown two weeks before I moved. I got a response from my parents that they were happy for me, and I was moving to a new place and moving to a new home is always exciting. I am not sure because packing and unpacking for and from a movie is tedious and troublesome.

Gsmbro dialysis machine for hemodialysis
Dialysis Machine

June 14 

Treatment today went fine. The catheter behaved through treatment with little hitches that were easily managed. My blood pressure ran below 100/50 and the machine had to be put in minimum thirty minutes before I was taken off for the day. For some reason, my blood pressure runs low or cannot be read when the cuff inflates and deflates. Today, the cuff could not read my blood pressure. This happens with kidney disease. I asked Dr. A about it in my one of our appointments at the clinic when he was making his rounds to all the patients. Today, being a clinic visit with the doctor, I have to admit that Dr. A is not worried about my labs and wants to keep things as things are at this time. My labs from last week are excellent, and I got to see all my labs but one and that was my phosphorous level. When I got to the clinic, I asked the dietitian what it was because the result was not showable on Mercy MyChart this time. We get labs drawn once a month and hemoglobin and hematocrit twice a month. We will get, what the clinic calls it, H&H done again next Thursday. Labs are drawn on the second Thursday and two weeks later H&H is done a second time. 

June 16 

Before I go on to how dialysis went today, I would like to explain a little bit about myself beginning dialysis in 2019. Yes, I have been dialyzing for four years now since my transplanted kidney contracted kidney disease. My transplanted kidney is seventy-eight years old, and my mother was my living donor in 1988. I have had twenty-six years with the kidney when glomerulonephritis attacked the kidney. Also, my kidney was seventy-four years old. Today the kidney is seventy-eight years old has a GFR function of 5. That tells the nephrologists in my care and on my case that dialysis is necessary, and I am dialyzing three times a week. It is something I must do to survive from the toxins and fluid buildup because the kidney cannot do it anymore. Hemodialysis is where the blood is cleaned of the toxins and fluid buildup in the body. A person needs a fistula, graft, or catheter to do hemodialysis. When I found out that I was sick with total kidney failure in 1987, I had to do peritoneal dialysis because my kidneys were too far gone to wait for a fistula to mature. I was seventeen and did not know nor I was given any explanation between the two forms of dialysis. From 1988 to 2022, there has been some great strides in the medical field as far as nephrology is concerned, but I still have mixed feelings about thirty-four years ago when my kidney journey began as a patient. 

Today, choosing to have hemodialysis this time instead of peritoneal dialysis, I have made the decision because of my experience with peritoneal catheter, getting peritonitis twice, cellulitis once, and now I have a belly button hernia, and having cerebral palsy that limits my ability to hook myself up every night at home. My right side is weaker than my left, and my right side of my body, and so many changes have happened since 2011—eight years before losing my kidney enough to have dialysis a second time in my life. 

When it comes to kidney transplantation to mind, I have some mixed feelings about having another transplant right now. When Covid came about in the United States, affecting the entire nation, we had several months of businesses closing and reopening, and so many people have gotten sick and died from Covid itself. The world had to make some changes and ever since Covid, I have been wearing a mask while in public to my dialysis treatments three times a week, other doctor appointments, errands, and when necessary, at home. I have been careful and mindful of who comes into my home. I have no plans right now when it comes to a second transplant. I understand that the medical professionals want all their kidney patients vaccinated because kidney disease is a pre-existing condition and transplants are working with immune systems that are low, but my feeling about having to be vaccinated should be a choice and not be forced by medical officials. I see the understanding on the medical side, but some patients have other medical issues that may interact with the vaccine, and the vaccine may harm the patient. Because of the fact the transplant team want all patients to be vaccinated and have the boosters to the updated time to get on the transplant list. Also, how the government officials have scared everyone all around the world is beyond me when the Covid tests are updated flu tests annoys me. A former caregiver of mine had come over one day with her usual mask over her nose and mouth, and she said she want feeling well. It was the weekend, and the following Monday, she told me that she had tested positive for Covid, and her symptoms were a real bad headache and having no energy. I never got Covid although my chances were great because we were a mere few inches the Saturday, she was giving me a sponge bath, and I was not wearing a mask, but she was. 

Now, as far as dialysis is concerned for today, I have to say that I was able to have treatment and go home feeling safe, but tired and wiped out. My catheter worked through the three hours I was dialyzing, but it had a couple of quirks to get kinked out during the three hours I sat or reclined there. It was a little nerving, yet the catheter worked. Catheters are temporary forms of dialysis; catheters need to be replaced when they do not work well or as well as they have done from the beginning of placement can be nerve-racking. I want to praise and thank God for my medical needs and catheter working well enough to get through treatment each week despite the quirks and occasional issues that clear up with flushing, pushing and pulling of saline solution, and having medication call Cathflo (that is how it is spelled) put in the catheter after every treatment for catheter maintenance because my blood clots faster and easier for some reason. I may not be a complicated patient, but my case is. The technician was having some difficulty with my catheter today, so one of the nurses got involved to get the catheter working again. The catheter behaved after a tweak or two and when my blood pressure went below 100/50, the machine had to be put in minimum, and I was given a medication to elevate my blood pressure a little to get it above 100/50 before turning the machine back on to taking toxins and fluids. The nurse who was taking care of the patients in Pod 1 decided to lower my goal from 3.0 kilograms to 2.7 kilograms since had a few about an hour left of treatment. 

It always gets busy at dialysis. Technicians and nurses on the floor at times managing their assigned pods (there are four pods of four chairs a piece). When technicians go to lunch at 11 AM, there is always two other technicians and a nurse on the floor. I have my favorite technicians who seem to keep the anxiety at bay, and a couple of the nurses as well. Today, I did my best at allowing them to do their jobs by not worrying about what was going on with my catheter. I do not think I did too bad because I was able to get through three hours of treatment without significant issues. When I am upset or anxious, my catheter will not work properly. When I get in early, I can get out early and go home so I can relax and be with my Magic Kitty who hates it when I leave for a little over three hours on dialysis days. I do not like leaving him, either. I have separate anxiety from time to time, but it has gotten better since I moved in at Garden Court Apartments on October 1, 2021 

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about my dialysis and how dialysis works in my behalf. I know this was a long entry today, but I wanted to give more details of dialysis as an update. More on Saturday. 

June 18 

Dialysis went smoothly for most of the treatment. My BP does not always register on the machine these days, so the technician or nurse will have to readjust the cuff and retake my BP. During the week my BP did not register three times at one of my treatments. That does not bother me too much, but it is annoying. The reason why blood pressures do not always register on the machine is because the access points or area of the veins can be harder to detect with kidney disease. That scares me a little bit. 

While at dialysis today, I learned something about fluid in the cardiovascular area of the body. When there is fluid in there, the fluid is pulled from around the heart, the machine indicates by your blood pressure reading when it registers, and if blood pressure reads below 100/50, the machine needs to be put on minimum until BP gets back up above a little above 100/50. The clinic does not let a patient leave if BP is low. Low blood pressure causes dizziness and cramping, I have experienced both at the same time as well as separate occasions. Today out of 3.2 kilograms, I was able to dialyze to 2.73 kilograms leaving at 91.0 kilograms (½ kilograms to my dry weight). 

Author: ksmiley

As a diarist and blogger, please bear with me as I continue to upgrade my blog as time moves forward. Thank you.

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