Jan 17, 2017

CLICK,CLICK, CLICK, CLICK....WHEEEEEEEE!

It's been quite a long time since I was on an actual roller coaster, but I distinctly remember the sensation of going up that very first hill...slowly...before plummeting down the other side into oblivion.

(I never liked roller coasters much as a kid, and now that I have reached GOLD status (*) in my life, I don't think I am likely to change my mind.)

So...testing Friday, surgery on the 31st, and then appointment after appointment after appointment with the dialysis and transplant teams to figure out the next steps.  All in all, my life will be composed of lots of waiting rooms, medical equipment, and quiet time while the trained professionals figure out a way to get me back into the relative shape of a semi-healthy 50-year old spinster.

(But no way, no how am I giving up my GOLD status (*).  It was waaaayyyyy too hard to come by, and I am not going to repeat the orientation classes or extensive testing process required to get it.)

(I am, however, lobbying for 30-year old blonde triathlete rather than semi-healthy 50-year old spinster, so keep your fingers crossed for a miracle, kids.)

The surgery on the 31st will be to create what's called an AV fistula in my arm.  This basically means that the surgeon will re-route an artery and a vein and will splice them together to create a bigger "pipe" to receive the dialysis.  And yes, we've confirmed that we can do this in my left arm so that my right will be free to stitch!

(Talk about a complicated conversation...I'm actually left-handed, which means they wanted to use my right arm for the surgery.  But I explained that the only thing I use my left hand for is a fork and a pen...two things I can totally live without as long as I can still hold a needle and thread in my right hand!)

Stitching while getting dialysis might be a little more complicated, but once I get the lay of the land, I promise you (as sure as I am the Spinster Stitcher) I will figure out a way to do it.  I'm already thinking about the types and sizes of projects that I will fit into my new Vera Bradley Dialysis Activity Tote.

(You know, I'm thinking that my Gramdma Loukos might have been onto something when she nicknamed me "Little Bull Head" when I was a kid.  I get so damned determined to plow my way through something that I almost feel a little sorry for any obstacle that gets in my way.  As a kid my plowing usually involved grim determination only.   But now as an adult, that grim determination is nicely accessorized with scarves and pretty quilted tote bags.)

Many of you have emailed me with two questions in particular...

1. Hey, Spinster Stitcher!  Where is your sister in all of this, and why aren't you getting a kidney from her?

My sister is actually very much in the mix, and wants to be my donor if at all possible.  She will begin all of the testing very shortly, and even if she is not a match, she wants to donate into the "pool" for a possible piggy-back donation. (That's where she donates to somebody she matches with and I get a kidney from somebody I match with.)  There isn't enough space on the internets for me to write about how I feel about this, but I'm sure one day I will be able to explain it.

2. Hey, Spinster Stitcher!  Why haven't you gotten another dog yet?  You need another little creature to love and care for!

This one is a little more complicated, but right now I am using all of the gas in my tank just breathing in and out.  Yes, I agree that I am capable of loving another little dog (without diminishing my love for Stewey), but given my upcoming journey, methinks I better just concentrate on keeping myself fed and watered and looked after. But if it's OK, I reserve the right to miss my BabyDear.  I've learned that it' OK for me to sit in my Happy Chair and sob, provided I find a moment or two of happiness in remembering him as well.  Besides...it's only been two months since his passing, and he was pretty much my entire life!  If I'm still doing this after two years, we'll talk.  Right now, though I think I'm eventually going to be OK.

So, that's what's happening here in Hoosierville on a gloomy Tuesday.  I didn't make it to the grocery or Guild yesterday afternoon/evening, and it's not looking any better today in the productivity department, but I'm perfectly OK with that.  I am going to have my bagel, a little juice, a nice hot bath, and then a snoozy nap in the big girl sleigh bed, and then we'll see about some stitching and Housewives on the TeeVee tonight. 

Thanks for indulging me with a therapy session.  Please send me your bills and I'll have my secretary submit them to insurance!

Hope your needles are flying and that you're prancing onward!

(*) GOLD = Grumpy Old Lady Division

51 comments:

  1. Coni, you're in my thoughts. My sister received a kidney from my brother almost 14 years ago and is much happier and healthier from it. Kidney Day is a day of celebration for my family! I hope surgery on the 31st goes smoothly and your sister is a match.

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  2. GOLD status! I'm a year younger than you and my family and coworkers would tell you I've had that for 20 years!

    You please hang in there and get better!!!!!

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  3. Bahahahahaaaaaaa @ GOLD status! That is pure gold, as us Aussies say. I may have to steal that one. I've made room for you on the stubborn couch. You do what you need to do and phooey on anyone who thinks you should do any different. Same goes for how much of your personal life you divulge on your blog. Sending you a hug....the ghostly kind, you can't feel it, but you know it's there.

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  4. my mom's on dialysis and unfortunately the fistula didn't work for her, so they have to use a different site. her quality of life is way better on dialysis! there are still good days and bad, but the bad are fewer and far betweener!

    I think the FAQs you are getting are kind of rude. Nice of you to answer them, I guess! But family donating is a personal choice for each person, and getting a new pet is also a very personal decision!! It took me a year and a half to even think about getting Emma after Bandit had to be put down. Same with my cat. Weezi didn't come into my life until years after Tomis. We are all different!

    The surgery will go well and I hope you do indeed find a way to stitch at dialysis! :) Take care, Coni.

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  5. I'm sorry that you have to go through all of this, but you will feel so much better! As to Stewey, the time will come and you will KNOW that it's time for you to have another roommate. You pretty much Know yourself well, Coni. Do as your gut tells you....all the "Spinster's Stitcher stitchers & fanclub have your back!! Prayers for the forthcoming tests and surgery!

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  6. Coni, you are very wise to deal with your health issues without the complication of another dog right now. Just have Bosco over for a visit periodically for now if you are up to it. Here's hoping all goes well with your surgery and this is the beginning of a new road to better health.

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  7. I used to visit with a friend while she was doing her dialysis. At first, she had a hard time staying awake. Other times, she seemed normal except for the needle in her arm. I recommend a book in that stitchy bag for the times you aren't up to needle and thread. You also might want to look at some lap stands (as lightweight as possible). I have been known to tote my Elan around with the stitching attached instead of the nice , neat little bundle it can be. But not everyone wants to do that or is as wacky as I can be.
    Don't worry about a new pet - as others have said, you will know when it is time. Adoptions are better when you feel the time is right. It took us two years to get another cat after Samson died. Now we wonder why we waited so long because Hunter fits in so well but I know it is because we waited until we were ready.
    Holler if you need visitors from middle Indiana.
    Jackie

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  8. While you're waiting for a transplant, you will settle into dialysis and feel better than you do now and have more energy.

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  9. Best wishes heading your way for your upcoming fistula surgery. I hope you will include something to read or perhaps puzzle books in your off to dialysis tote. As for bringing another dog into your home, you will know when it is right for you. Thinking of you!

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  10. Coni: No bill necessary. Your "co-pay" of entertaining us with your blog is all that is needed. You keep your health as focus number one. That is what is important. Rest, relax, read, watch your tv and do what you feel up to. We readers of your blog are out here rooting for you. And always, sending prayers your way. Have a nice relaxing night. Cindy in northern Illinois

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  11. I know you have heard tales and advice from many but from my experience with my father-in-law things will slow down and get back to a more normal existence after you start dialysis. Sorry you are on the medical conveyor belt but I am glad it is there for you.

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  12. Having the surgery on your left arm so that you can keep stitching? Now that, friends, is a dedicated needleworker!

    Best of luck, Coni. Let us know if you need anything.

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  13. You and your sister both are remarkable women, hope all goes well and she is a match or one is found very soon. Sending prayers that all goes well with your surgery. Recuperating will give you a great excuse to watch the Housewives of whichever city happens to be on now. Originally being from NJ I gravitate to the screwballs from NJ and NY, while trying to justify why I am actually watching them to my family! Some people just don't get it! Chin up my dear, it will get better from here!

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  14. Coni, I hope this does the trick and that the surgery and dialysis helps you feel better while waiting for the next step! I'm sending you all my good wishes. Xo

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  15. I think all of us followers need to start a "spinster dialysis support team". When you tell us your schedule we will all have a project of our choice we stitch on just that day. All the while sending happy thoughts and prayers to you. Anyone game on?

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    1. Count me in....I a, in Arizona too

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    2. Oops,my m got lost! I am in Arizona too

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    3. Count me in....I a, in Arizona too

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    4. Excellent idea! I am in from Georgia!

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    5. Count me in, I'm from Indiana

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    6. I'm in also...from South Carolina (when I'm not in GA babysitting)

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    7. Count me in too! Pam from Kansas!! We can be your cheering and praying section!!

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  16. It sounds as though the wizards have a plan and it is good
    they allow you to choose the arm...stitching prevails !!!
    Praying you through all the preps and actual treatments...
    also asking for the miracle for which you and we all hope.
    You are so intentional that I cannot see you wasting any
    effort in distractions ..... full speed ahead with our
    wind in your sails...Coni prevails !!

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  17. Wishing you all the best on the 31st I know it will be a great day as I pick that day to have surgery as well...total knee. I'm so happy that you will be able to continue to stitch, I will continue to keep you in my prayers Coni.....blessings

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    1. LaNelle - I am putting you and Coni both on my phone with a reminder to send prayers and hugs your way. Blessings to you both. Pam in KS

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  18. Continued prayers going your way.

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  19. LOVE Gold status!! :) I'm definitely there!
    You're in my heart every day, and I have the 31st marked. Laughing about your Activity Bag preparation ... the blonde triathlete plan may be harder to pull off.

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  20. We are here for you to talk to. Please keep us in the loop as much as you wish to share. Do let us know your schedule so we can "join" you during the time and stitchi and send positive thoughts.

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  21. We are here for you to talk to. Please keep us in the loop as much as you wish to share. Do let us know your schedule so we can "join" you during the time and stitchi and send positive thoughts.

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  22. Praying for you, Coni. A very good and wise friend told me, " if you can find one instant of joy in each day, focus on that and thank God for that in your prayers." As I fumble my way through the days with my poor Alzheimer afflicted hubby that has been advice worth heeding. I hereby pass it on to you. As you grieve, find joy in the memories of wee Stewie!

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  23. Much good luck and love as you embark on this new adventure.

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  24. As someone who has lost 5 pups in her lifetime I know that it's an evolving process and you should do it however feels right to you. For some of my pups it took a long time - years even, before I could really remember the good times without getting sad too. For others the hard grieving was faster or shorter or something. I don't know why. We love each of the people in our lives a bit differently, I suppose it's the same with our furry friends too. Personal health first seems like a good priority order to me. Your journey, your rules :)

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  25. Sending love and best wishes your way and cheering you on. Go Coni! xx

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  26. So sorry to hear that you are having such a rotten time of it, Coni. I hope that you can find the energy to stitch and keep up with your blog, although that last comment is a bit selfish. I'm one of so many who love to read your posts, and miss them when you aren't able to. Your sense of humour will see you through, along with that needle and thread! This comes with best wishes for the surgery and hopes for a match to be found soon, from a very chilly corner of England. Xx

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  27. So sorry to hear that you are having such a rotten time of it, Coni. I hope that you can find the energy to stitch and keep up with your blog, although that last comment is a bit selfish. I'm one of so many who love to read your posts, and miss them when you aren't able to. Your sense of humour will see you through, along with that needle and thread! This comes with best wishes for the surgery and hopes for a match to be found soon, from a very chilly corner of England. Xx

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  28. "Vera Bradley Dialysis Activity Tote" - that right there is why we love you so much. Instead of complaining about how crummy life is you just pack an activity tote and get on with it. I wish you all the best with this chapter of you life and that if your sister is not a donor that you find one quickly! xo

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  29. Best wishes headed to you. How does one find out if they are a match? Can it come from another state?

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  30. God bless your sister for offering to help with that kidney.

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  31. Prayers for you for this journey.

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  32. Prayers to you Coni. I can tell you're one tough cookie, but still I will be praying and holding you in my thoughts. In the meantime, get the activity tote loaded and ready.

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  33. Prayers and lots of hugs heading your way...and one more question...may we send cards or treats to shove into that Vera Bradley? <3

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  34. Is going the Peritoneal route and dializing while you sleep not an option for you?? I've got an extra kidney out here in California that's interested in relocating to Hooserville....she's O+.

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