(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