thefirstcaro: (garfield loves doctor who night)
It's funny how this weekend turned out because I ended up meeting a few friends I hadn't seen in a while. On Friday afternoon, I had lunch with a very good friend of mine and her year old son, who is a complete cutie. He's just learnt to walk so he's into everything but we kept him amused between us and when he caught sight of my pendant, well he was just mesmerised. He might be a young Artful Dodger, the way he wanted to grab it, I'm just not sure!
Friday evening, my mother and myself went out to dinner and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. Then on Saturday, a friend I'd been in college with and whom I keep in touch with mostly via email and phone calls these days, came down from Dublin and we met another college friend and went to the movies and had lunch afterwards. We went to see Twilight because even though we'd all seen it seperately, we thought we'd relive our old college days when we'd mitch from classes and head to the flicks. We snarked on it all through lunch and agreed to repeat the experience next year for New Moon. The morning screening was busier than I'd thought it would be. We had some German girls, students on a year abroad we reckoned, behind us and they reacted to everything that happened.  The reaction Mike and Jessica got made me wonder if they'd expire as soon as Edward and the Cullens appeared but no, their biggest squeeing was reserved for Peter Facinelli and the Cullen house! Architecture fans, obviously.
Then today, I met another friend whose third child is due next month. She's been a great friend to me over the years and not just when I was sick. Last year just after the surgery, when I texted her that my mother had to buy me a big flowing nightdress to fit over the bandages, she bought me one and because she couldn't get into me, she sent her husband in with it. She was so kind. So it was extra nice today because she'd left the other two children with her husband and we had a great chat. Not that I mind meeting her with her kids, they're very good and I'm extremely fond of them, but to be able to talk to her without both of us keeping one eye on them or having her three year old son come over to me mid-sentence to tell me that he's going to drive his invisible car and would I fill it up with petrol was nice. Though I do get a big kick out of it when he does do things like that!

The frost is gone and we're back to wind and rain. I nearly slipped on the sloped flagstones in the garden and trying to regain my balance lurched forward and started slipping again. It took banging into the large ceramic flower pot to stop me and my knees took the brunt of it. Ow. It was either that or fall onto the dogs and I made my choice. 

My grandmother is in bad from and although she is in bed, she is not attempting to sleep. It will not be a good night.

The Golden Globes are on Sky Movies live right now but I'm recording them because I have a brownie planning meeting tomorrow morning and I need to be up and organised. Which is why it's gone midnight and I'm still on my laptop. When will I learn??!!!!!
thefirstcaro: (lois & clark)
So like I said, I had my surgery on January 10th 2008.

What they did... )

How I live now... )

A stoma, whethere it's an illeostomy like I have, or a colostomy (where is when you still have some of your large intestine), is not the end of the world. It's not a bad thing. I know, you're might be thinking I've only had mine a year, it's a bit early to be telling other people how to feel. And I would never deny anyone their feelings about it because it is a big deal and does take some adjusting. I suppose in my case, it helps that it wasn't an emergency thing. I had time to think about it and realise that this was the only way I could ever get any semblance of a life back. I suppose the biggest thing it's given back to me are oppertunities and hope. It doesn't define me. I have a stoma. It doesn't have me. The scar on my stomach and the beige coloured bag to the right of it are actually things I'm proud of and I don't mind looking at them because I think they just make me a bit more interesting. Sure, some people might be put off by them but that's their problem. It'll make things interesting in any future relationships, and I have no problem in explaining them, but if any guy feels it's too much to handle, then fine. Go away. Because as upsetting as that kind of rejection is, the bigger picture says that I've been through too much to settle for that kind of nonsense from someone who wasn't around for the main event and would be benefiting from my awesomeness since the cure!

Like I said, the point of these posts isn't to be all TMI, but to show just because something isn't always talked about, that doesn't mean it can't be a positive thing. Information is power, after all. And maybe these posts will go out there into the ether and have a knock on effect and do some good. I don't know. But I do know that I got the chance at life that I prayed for on some really bad days and nights and I want to make it count. I want to make something good out of what happened to me. Because that way, it's my bitch and not the other way around.
The thing about Crohns is that it's a chronic illness and can affect anywhere in the digestive system. So it might come back in another place. I can't control that and I'm certainly not going to sit at home fretting over it. I don't have the time anyway because I have things to do. And it's a really brilliant feeling.


thefirstcaro: (little women laurie jo proposal)
Today is January 10 2009. On January 10th 2008, I had my panproctocolectomy and I got my life back. It's hard to believe that a year has passed since that surgery because I've managed to get back so much of what I had lost in the previous three and a half years. I'm going to post about this because without seeming like I'm tooting my own horn here, I'm proud that I came through those years of hell with my sense of humour intact and my sense of self. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't let it break me, that I'd somehow keep my spirit alive so that when I did rejoin the world, I'd have a better chance of getting back in step with it. I didn't want to be bitter or broken by it, I wanted to be able to appreciate what I had gotten back. If that sounds like teal deer, I'm sorry so I'm putting the rest of it under a cut that people can just scroll by. But another reason I want to post about crohns and life with a stoma is to maybe show that just because you have sometime different about you, it doesn't mean you don't have something to offer or that you can't have a life and go out there and do what you've always wanted to do. Crohns didn't hold me back until it got very severe which meant I had to have a permanent stoma. But that doesn't mean the end of me, it just means the beginning of a different me who has a different perspective now on things and maybe that's good. It's no harm to see things differently. Though if there had been an easier way to gain this perspective, I would not have minded that at all!

So here's how it was... )

This is a bit long so if anyone cares to read part 2 about life with a stoma, I'll do that in another post.

thefirstcaro: (lois & clark)
Christmas went well, It was drama free and the dogs behaved themselves excellently when we had visitors in the house, a fact that astounded my mother and myself no end, considering they were off the scale when it came to misbehaving earlier in the week. Trying to walk them was a battle royale of wills between us and I will freely admit that after each walk, I came home and cried in the bathroom to release the tension and frustration. They're seven months old, of course they're going to test me, I'd just rather it wasn't when I'm trying to teach them to walk to bloody heel! Anyway, they're in a good behaviour phase at the minute so I'll take any small victories I can. My aunt and my cousin arrived on Christmas Day, as planned. I think my cousin thought she was in for a hellish couple of days as she's not a dog person, but I thanked her for her patience when they were jumping around her when she'd be in the kitchen and I'd be re-emphasising the whole 'do not want!' as regards that behaviour. I could tell that surprised her and later on when they were doing it again, I apologised and she said "Oh it's fine. The more new situations they're in, the more they learn what you expect from them", which surprised me!

I got Russell T. Davies' The Writers Tale from my mother. It's a series of emails between RTD and journalist Benjamin Cook when RTD was writing series 4 of Doctor Who and launching series 3. It's very interesting to see how the series evolved from what RTD originally thought up and what he changed because of actor availibility or budget issues or because he simply changed his mind about the story. She surprised me as well with a Sony micro stereo system. My last one broke a couple of years ago and I never bothered replacing it, relying instead on my MP3 player. It's so neat and dainty and fits in nicely on my beside table.

I went to see Twilight last weekend. It was...different to what I'd expected. I went with a friend of mine who isn't very enamoured with the books either and we agreed that Movie Bella and Edward were a bit more tolerable than their book counterparts. We also agreed that there should have been more Billy Burke because he was a lot of fun and there were some nice moments between him and Kristen Stewart. I still can't believe she's only eighteen. For some reason, I always thought she was older.
While I thought the sparkling was a big let down - I was sitting there waiting for him to start sparkling only to realise he was already doing it - I did like the natural/cinema verite-ness of some of the scenes with Bella/Jacob and the kids at the school, and I must admit that I enjoyed the vampire baseball scene. Once the nomad vamps arrived, it got more interesting for me. There's only so much of Bella and Edward enjoying their special love that I can take in any medium. 
The score has grown on me as well. The track, Bella's Lullaby, is a real favourite. Carter Burwell's piece about it on his website is very interesting. I like reading things like that, the story behind stuff. It's my Gemini traits, the journey, how something came about, I find that kind of thing as fascinating as the end result.

Tomorrow I'm meeting three friends of mine from college. We keep in touch but we don't often get the four of us in the one place at the one time so we're doing lunch and having a major gossip. Am really looking forward to it.

thefirstcaro: (Jane Eyre & Rochester OTP)
This morning I met my mother and we went grocery shopping. I love grocery shopping and now that I can do it in comfort, it drives my mother nuts because I can wander freely around the shelves picking out new ingredients and generally trying to blow our household budget on condiments. We went to Tesco, which is nearer to our house, but personally I prefer the new Dunnes Stores supermarket that opened in one of the suburbs because it's bigger, the aisles are wider so you're not turning a corner about to collide with another shopper, and it's quieter in the mornings.
Having said that it's probably a good thing that we did go to the closer store because we had just pulled up on the street when we heard this wallop as a securicor van went down the hill at a good speed and then saw a black cat drag itself from under the van and into the empty yard on the other side of the road. The driver had to have known he hit something and the car behind him definitely saw the cat but neither of them stopped. My mother thought the cat was okay but, having watched enough of those Animal Rescue Phoenix shows on the Animal Planet channel over the past few months, I thought not. And I was right. The poor cat had hurt one of it's back legs and was miaowing tragically.
Naturally, this happened on a morning when we had a car full of perishables and about twenty minutes before I had to be at the hospital for my surgical outpatients appointment. But being the trooper I am in a potential crisis (seriously, if something bad happens or breaks down and it looks bad, call me and I will sort it out,  better than my mother too. She however pwns me when it comes to anything to do with the house so I think we compliment each other well), we got my aunt Sheila, who was on Momo duty, to take care of the groceries and I went across the road and ducked under a gate to get the cat. I wrapped him in a towel and the poor boy started crying when he saw me. He was very good though, let me pick him up and carry him to the car and we drove to the vets. I explained what had happened and they took him in. I'm going to ring later to see how he's getting on. He's not microchipped so no idea who owns him. But he was in great condition, was very friendly despite his injuries and had a collar.
So we sped off to get me to the hospital. My appointment was for 12.15pm and I was there around 12.20. However by the time, the woman in reception decided to stop whatever she was doing on the computer, it was nearly half past by the time I got to the clinic. The nurse saw me and said I was very late and she wasn't sure if a doctor was around. I told her my appointment was for quarter past twelve and I'd had an emergency beforehand. I sat in the waiting room and for a minute, I felt kinda guilty about being late. That's when I realised I was doing the old behaviour that I'd done in one of my jobs, feeling like I'd done something wrong because I didn't want to seen as difficult by someone in 'authority' even though it hadn't been done on purpose and couldn't be helped, and I swore I wouldn't do it again. So I thought fuck this, I was on a mission of mercy and they'd better get me a doctor to see because I wasn't leaving until they did. I don't know what that nurse's problem was, maybe she'd had a bad  morning and wanted to get to her lunch but a doctor arrived within minutes to see me, I was with him for less than five minutes and then I was talking to the stoma nurse, who also remarked about my being late. I told her that my appointment wasn't until 12.15 and all she said was 'oh really? I didn't know they gave out those late times'. Well they do. And I got one so leave me alone! I didn't say that, I just thought it.

Anyway, that was my morning. I've also realised I use the word "so" a lot. I need to break open a thesaurus and improve my vocabulary.
thefirstcaro: (flowers 01)
So now let's see. What's happened since I last posted.

Well, my mother was a bit perturbed at first that I'd exposed her RA love and Robin Hood hate on the internets. Then she decided it was cool and giggled away to herself. When I told her she wasn't alone in Robin Hood hate, she was well pleased. And she's just sorry [profile] scarlettfish doesn't live closer so the two of them could watch episodes of Doctor Who with Rose in them.

In the last couple of weeks, my mother and I went to the First Communion celebration dinner of one of my second cousin's.  He'd be the son of my first cousin so I think that's right.  It was in a hotel we hadn't been to before and the food was lovely. There was about thirty people invited and there were other dinner parties with kids so the hotel had laid on a clown to go around and make swords and things out of balloons to entertain them. Also included in the party was a girl who'd been in my class in secondary school and who was always a good friend of my cousin. So it was nice catching up with her and meeting her husband and two kids.
Then the following day, we went to the christening of another cousin's daughter. She's a beautiful baby. There were about five babies to be christened at the Church and I got to say, it was like a production line. The priest was cranky and he completely blanked one young couple, who looked like they might have been on the lower end of the social scale. Now they were very nice, well dressed but he addressed all his remarks to the corner opposite to where they were, barely looked at where they were sitting and announced their baby's name with much distaste. Frankly, I would have lamped him if it were me and the mother looked to be in her early twenties and she was obviously upset. We felt very sorry for her, her baby's day being ruined like that. The dinner after that was in a new restaurant and the food was gorgeous.
Myself and my mother noticed that on my father's side of the family, which is the side the cousin's having the events are on, seem to be split into two groups and we're the only ones that seem to bridge the two groups and we seem to get invited to almost everything going on. But there's one cousin who never gets invited to anything and frankly, it's a mystery because you couldn't get nicer than him. It's all very odd.
I went to an Illeostomy Association meeting in Castlebar at the weekend. The talks were interesting and some of the ostomy companies had stands and were giving out free samples of their wares. I got a few things that will definitely make taking care of the stoma easier and they're available on the medical card too which is excellent.

I got to see There Will Be Blood finally before it left the cinema and I was dead impressed with Daniel Day Lewis. I don't think the film would have had the same power without his performance and it might have been damn near unwatchable without him. Then we went to see 27 Dresses. I knew what kind of film I was going to and usually I enjoy them but this time not so much. I'm not a Katherine Heigl hater by any means but I think it was just the kind of dramatic shortcuts the film took to make the heroine's plight all that more poignant. And I was a bit distracted by the way the actress playing Jane's sister kept wagging her head about when she was acting, particularly when she was emoting towards the end. I found it a bit odd.
I usually love romantic comedies, bit of escapism, something easy to watch but I think my tolerance for them might have been removed along with my colon. Oops.

I bought a lovely black wrap dress from Next.ie for the wedding, but it didn't fit right, so I'm having to go for the next size up. It was way too tight around the stoma anyway and didn't camouflage the bag in any way. That's not quite the look I'm going for. Anyway, if the bigger size is too loose around the bust, I'll just bring it to a dressmaker and get it altered so everything fits right.
And in other stoma related news, I don't have to go back to surgical outpatients for three months. Go me!

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thefirstcaro

June 2010

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