Goodbye 2018. Hello 2019

I am glad to see you go. The flu event and five days in the hospital was exciting. The sciatica pain in my left hip all year has been outstanding. The naproxen has helped some of the all over body pain. I was able to function most days and do things I wanted to do. Dialysis three days a week for six hours each time has been ongoing, into 20 years. The house renovations we found ourselves in were expensive, but the house was worth it. I am hoping it all stays together. We have had only two call backs for them. One for the back room leak and one for hot water leaking in our tub. Of course the house payment went up when we redid the mortgage to pay for everything. STRS is taking one check away December 31 from my retirement. It was supplemental. This has been one year not easily forgotten.

So Happy Birthday to me on the last day of the year. With my gift of the new year 2019 , facing me, I wish everyone including those who are mine and claim Augustmy family, that which you need for 2019 and some of what you want. Plus Blessings from the Universe, as much as you can handle.

This year:
December 31: I was 55 all year. I turn 56 today.
November: 33 years married on the 19th.  Celebrated 20 years on dialysis on the 2nd.
October: We won the costume contest at the dialysis center. We came dressed as each other.
September: We celebrated birthdays of both my sisters
August: The last of the contractors and projects were finished on our house.
March through July: House renovations
March: I spent five days in the hospital with pneumonia, flu, sepsis and low BP. My suggestion is to not pass out in front of the ER intake people with a BP of 49 as the top number. They tend to take you seriously at that point.
Also do not drive yourself the ER. My family was mad at me. I was jsut taking care of business.
February: We celebrated Violet’s birthday at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles.
January: Mom’s birthday 81 years old and the beginning of a new year.

2018 goodbye.
HELLO 2019!

52 Things

I have joined a website called The Mighty. They deal with subjects related to chronic illness. They are having a 52 things -one thing a week you will do to improve your life. I am going to try to do 52 small things this year. I am beginning my list here.

Goals

Write on this blog each day.

Step 1: Find time each day to write. Commit to it.

Step2: Use journal questions, write about the day, write a poem, write about your feelings, write about people in your life.

Step 3; Write everyday.

Putting some poetry out into the world.

Enter a contest once a month

Find your best poetry. Clean it up, edit and get it ready.

Use the email that comes for contest entries.

Keep track of the entries. Poem in an envelope with date, and where it went.

Write new poetry.

I want to eat healthier this year.

Eat a salad at least once a week for a meal.

Plan plates that are 50 % veggie or fruit/25%meat/25% carbs

Buy one fruit or vegetable to eat every day each week. Apple and bananas do not count.

Cook one meal a week

More to come as I think of it.

Take a walk at least once a week.

Start the day in a positive frame of mind.

No complaining when getting up.

Christmas Day

The day started with a shower and clean up. I dressed in my green mumu and waited for the kids to get here with Violet. MY granddaughter is adorable. Was played Christmas music and chatted. My Mom was brought over by Christy and we sat and talked. Then the gifts were exchanged. Violet made out like a midnight bandit. She has new clothes, play food, a balance bike, 2 marble run block sets. paw patrol toys and I am sure things I have forgotten about. Victor was so funny. He thinks the colors of the bags for packing are girlie. I knew I should have gotten a black set for him. He liked the grenade stool that Maria, Alex and I bought for his library. He has a new shirt and gift cards to Barnes and Noble. I received a few gifts. I have new nightgown, a Barnes and Noble gift card, a set of autographed quote with crystals to put them in from the Babylon 5 TV show actors, a dirty coloring book and crayons, a Hummel Christmas ornament, and a spice box. Danielle and Dave brought me an air fryer and we promptly made tater tots in it.The dialysis unit gave us a beautiful Christmas bag with a measuring cup and a set of measuring spoons,along with recipe cards. I had a good giggle over it.

We Skyped with Maria in Oklahoma and opened her gifts one at a time. Then we ate lunch. Ham, turkey, Dave’s famous mashed potatoes, salad, Swiss cheese and crackers, potato chips and dips. Chocolate cake from Costco for dessert. Everything was yummy. Violet played with boxes and her toys and her bike. We talked and ate. Then our guests packed up and left.

The house was quiet. We cleaned up as much as we could. I went to play computer games and watch TV. Then Victor and I opened up the IHD.com Holiday Gift Exchange presents. Victor received a beard care kit, a hat, some candy, and light house playing cards. I received candle holders, tea light candles, candy, and a nice tree ornament.

We are spoiled and tired. I played computer games and watched TV the rest of the night. Christmas was nice and I enjoyed it. Thanks to Dave and Danielle and Victor who helped with dinner and clean up. Thank you all for the gifts.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone who reads my blog.

Las Vegas Vacation October 7 to 17th, 2018: Ihatedialysis.com

Vegas 2018- October 7th-October 17th

Fly out of Ontario Sunday October 7th, 7:25am.  I was at the airport by 5:30a.m.   They wheelchaired me to the gate at the end of the hallway. I was grateful for the wheels.

Arrive Las Vegas 8:25a.m.  Las Vegas Southwest rep met me on the aircraft and wheelchaired me through baggage pickup and all the way to Uber pick up area.  I was impressed.

My scooter was dropped off at the condo property.

I ended up in a property update and bought more points. Sigh.  I am a sucker for this stuff.

Carolyn and Lena arrived around 3pm and we ended up in a condo that was not okay with us,..  King and queen bed.  I complained all the way up the chain of people to complain to, and on Tuesday night we moved to a better condo for us. with twin beds.

Worldmark Las Vegas Blvd. 8601 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89123-1635

Dialysis request: MWF– October 8,10,12,15,17

Desert Inn Dialysis  5am  Oh the joys of 5 a.m. dialysis.

I have been here before. Very friendly and clean.

.2545 S Bruce St
Ste 100
Las Vegas, NV 89169

Wheel chair accessible van rental- made reservations. Pick up at condo Oct 7, drop off condo Oct 17th .  I arrived at the van in front of the condo a attempted to start it.  It had a dead battery.  This van was my nemesis.  I am short so I had to practically leap up into the driver’s seat.  Wheelers Rental.

Grocery shopping for the week. We went on Tuesday after Carolyn discovered she did not have her meds with her. We had to do an urgent care stop for prescription then Walmart for meds..  Lunch, dinners and snacks.  Watch out for nut allergy girl.  I know there is a sprouts and natural food store in Vegas somewhere.  Walmart was favorite grocery store.  She found her meds a few days later in her stuff.  They made three Walmart runs and two Ross runs while we were out and about.

Chilli’s for dinner tonight.

Monday October 8, 2018

Take time to rest and relax, recover from jetlag while I go to dialysis. 

5am to 9am was dialysis. I slept through it today.

Went shopping and then off to Outback for dinner.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Rest before show/Call cabs early to go to Rio.5:50pm and have dinner at Rio.

SmashBurger dinner at the Rio.

Chippendales Show – Tues October 9- 7pm  Rio  $59/ ticket

We all had either hugs or a lap dance from the dancers during the show.  Hot flesh!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Dialysis 5am to 9 am.

Go to the Mob Museum and Fremont St.  I can meet you at Fremont St. for lunch or dinner and shopping there.  If not too worn out we can watch the night life weirdos come out on the street.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Sleep Late, relax and swim. Stick around condo today.

Stratosphere- Top of the World Dinner– Thursday, October 11-  4:30 pm dinner reservations

Dinner will average $100 plus drinks and tip.  For a dinner charge of 102 for prefixxe dinner the food could have been better.  The view while the sun set despite clouds was outrageous.

MJ show-Thursday, October 11 -7pm Stratosphere pick up tickets at box office    $70.00/ticket  This show was great.  MJ performed the entire time.

Lena and I developed a habit of a glass of ice with a half a glass of 7up and white wine coolers each evening.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Dialysis. 5am

Walmart trip

Ellis Island Dinner with Dave and Danielle

Saturday, October 13, 2018

IHD.com Luncheon 2pm  Bucca Di Beppo 412 E NV-592, Las Vegas, NV 89169

Great get together. We had a great time and great food.  We had a lot of food!  The restaurant serves family style in large portions so we shared across dishes.  We talked and shared stories and laughed.

Magic show-XAVIER MORTIMER’S MAGICAL DREAM

Saturday, October 13- 7pm Planet Hollywood    35/ ticket   This was vaudeville type show with a good story and magician.

Sunday, October 14th, 2018

Red Rock Tour and Picnic Lunch  Sunday- October 14

Address: 1000 Scenic Loop Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89161

Red Rocks and white rocks.  Nice drive on the loop through it.

Inn and Out for lunch and a 2nd trip to Ross.

Monday October 15th

Dialysis 5am.

 https://vegas.visitseaquest.com-  22.00 for behind scenes tour and ticket

Hours Of Operation:

Mon – Sat: 10 am – 9 pm   Sun: 11 am – 7 pm

3528 S. Maryland Pkwy. Las Vegas, NV 89169

The aquarium/zoo was cute.

 Tuesday, October 16, 201

Third Walmart expedition. I took a nap

I packed and did laundry to go home.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

I had dialysis in the morning. 5am

Van is to be turned in by 7pm. Keys left in it and pictures taken.  People will come pick it at Worldmark.  I drove it there after dropping Carolyn and Lana off at Silver Sevens for their last night in Las Vegas.

I flew out October 17, 2018, Las Vegas 9:50 pm arrive Ontario 10:45pm.

Home at midnight and I did not even unpack. I went straight to bed.

 

Holiday Letter 2018

 

Dear Family and Friends:

This December finds us sitting in our newly renovated house. The construction crews are gone and we are living with the massive changes.  We have completely redone the kitchen, one bathroom and have a new back porch room.  The house has been painted inside and outside, with a new roof, windows, and floors.  We upgraded the plumbing and wiring also.  Our house was built around 1958 and needed upgrading all the way around.  We figure if we sell it we can do it quickly and if we live in it at least the house is nicer now.

 

Katherine is doing all right.   Using a cane due to bursitis and sciatica in her left hip.  She continues three days a week dialysis. Having been on dialysis twenty years now; totaled up the visits to dialysis and it is 3,120 visits.  She celebrated by bringing treats into the dialysis center for patients and staff.  This is a long time for a dialysis patient to be on dialysis.  She continues to be the head admin for the Ihatedialysis.com internet site.   It has been five years since she retired from school teaching.

 

Victor is the lucky guy who has been my chauffer and help mate.  Wonderful husband, companion, flirt, and overall good guy.  We chase each other around the house slowly.  His sniper rifle research continues via the internet. Between email and Gunboards he is busy.  It has been a little over twelve years since he had his leg amputated due to a work accident and ten years since he retired.

 

Since we are both retired, we are not early risers.  We miss being parents a little bit, however the light of our lives is little Violet our granddaughter. We see her regularly and she is growing up so fast.  In this large house it is just us two and the two pets.  We could make do with downsizing.  However, neither of us is looking forward to the packing and moving sessions it would take.

We wish everyone a Happy, joyful Holiday Season.

Also:

I have enjoyed being 55 all year.

Victor turned 73 this year in November.

We celebrated 33 years of marriage in November.

This was a year of physical pain, 2017 was mental anguish.

Come on 2019!

Katherine and Victor

Trinket and Pumpkin

Rialto, CA

Family Letter Summer 2018

We have a family letter we send into my Mom’s large family.  Her Dad had ten brothers and two sisters so we have cousins galore.  Here is our summer letter.

Family Newsletter July 2018.

Hi Family:

We went crazy and began house renovations in March. We are almost done with pretty much renovating a 1958 ranch style house and upgrading everything to 2018 standards of code.  We must have gone nuts somewhere in the signing of paperwork!  We had several things done:

Water pipes replaced and upgraded to copper

All electrical upgraded with new box outside.

New roof

New windows

New paint outside

Popcorn asbestos ceilings removed

New laminate floors inside

New paint throughout house

Kitchen counters redone

Kitchen cupboards painted

Vinyl on kitchen floors and bathroom floors

One bathroom redone- new tub. new vanity, new tile

The back porch was taken out and redone

New set up for washer and dryer

New sink vanity in back porch hooked up

We had to pack the entire house and move out for ten days to get the asbestos popcorn ceilings out of the house by haz-mat teams.  We stayed in the Days Inn here in Rialto.  It is a cheap little motel and sits along the freeway  and near the train yards.  We could hear the train brakes in our room at night.

All I can say is the motel needs a little help.  It was an adventure.

The dog barked at every construction worker who came into the house.  We have discovered that if she does not like someone, then she does NOT like them.  I had had to call her off a few of the workers and lock her up.  She especially does not like the City Inspector who comes into the house to inspect.  He nicknamed her Dogzilla.  The cat went into our bedroom closet and did not come out until the workers were gone.  Both animals went to a Rover.com dogsitter for the ten days we were out of the house.  When I picked up the dog she howled at me for a half an hour.

We have been unpacking everything and finding things.  We have moved furniture and still need to set art up on the walls.  Victor is slowly putting his stuff together.

Thank God for my sisters and all of their help when we had to unpack two and a half storage units of stuff in two days into the house.  Of course we had help from our contractor company. However, Anita organized my library by author and Christy did Victor’s library by subject. It has been a project to get the house back in order with construction guys roaming in and finishing things up.  We spent money like we had money to spend on the house projects.

I ended up in the hospital for five days the last week of March.  Some where along the line I caught the flu which turned into sepsis and pneumonia and caused my blood pressure to drop.  I do not recommend passing out in front of the emergency room intake team. It tends to really upset them.  I went from a wheel chair to a gurney where they were putting all kinds of sensors on me.  They said my BP dropped in the 40s as a top number.  I had driven myself into the ER so I had to call family and let them know I was being admitted.  I was yelled at for taking myself and told not to do that again.  I was admitted into ICU and pumped full of antibiotics and drugs to bring the BP up to normal pressures. Anita had already had the flu so she came to visit me every day.  She had to wear a mask and do protocols to visit. I am now on blood pressure uppers and it is doing all right so far.  Then to top all of this up my left hip has sciatica and bursitis acting up in it.  However the combo of meds I am on now has taken away a lot of the all over body pain was experiencing for months on end.  I am feeling better and am able to do things now during the day.

Victor is doing well.  He is frustrated by his stuff being all moved and rearranged.  He is still doing research and keeps himself occupied online with his computer.

So life goes on here in Rialto, on second, one minute, one part of anhour at a time.

Have a great summer!

Katherine and Victor

Writing a Complaint Letter about your Dialysis Center

So, your are seeing something you do not like in your dialysis center and it has bothered you for awhile. You discussed it with techs and nurses and nothing has changed.  Or else something happened directly to you and you feel it needs to be reported.  I have found putting it into writing gets things taken care of  promptly.  There is a rule for dialysis centers from Medicare that says they must respond to written complaints with a certain time frame.  Letters of complaint reflect badly on centers when state or federal officials come to visit.

In order to write a good letter of complaint follow these steps:

Your name and address

The center’s name and address

Date:

RE: what this letter is regarding

Statement of who you are.

State the problem in a clear concise way.  Give examples and dates (if you have them).

States how it affects you as a patient. Be clear and polite.  No curse words or swearing.

Give a solution to the problem.  Give choices.  (Make a list.)

Tell what you need as the patient to make things right.

End it: Sincerely.

Your name and signature

I usually type up the letter and either leave it with the head nurse or with the FA directly.  Usually I am contacted within 24 hours with a solution or the FA explains what the problem has been and why things are the way they are.  Some things just cannot be changed, so be patient.

My example letter:

From: Katherine S- Patient

To: Fresenius Dialysis Unit

To Whom It Concerns:

I have been a dialysis patient at this center for a few years now.

I try to be a model patient and follow the rules and do what I am supposed to as a patient.

I am writing this letter to report an incident that happened in the clinic on

Friday. June ??, 2018, at 1pm.

I arrived at my appointed time and was placed into a chair. ??? was my technician this afternoon.

He proceeded to stick me with 15-gauge needles, when my prescription calls

for 16-gauge needles.  I use 16-gauge needles to protect the life of my fistula

under orders from my vascular surgeon. I did not catch his mistake until he

already had two needles in me.  I asked him “Are you using 15s on me, I use 16s

always 16s.”  His answer was “It won’t matter, we run you slow anyway.” This

tech has put me on before and should have known I use 16-gauge needles,

considering it is in my prescription and should be easily accessible to the

technicians putting me onto the machine.

Why do I have to feel like I need to follow up on what technicians are doing to

me in the clinic?  I thought they were trained to pay attention to differing

prescriptions for all patients on dialysis in the clinic.  Technicians should not be

automatically treating every patient the same way. We should all be

treated according to our individual prescription.

I am not being a demanding patient, but asking the  clinic technicians to be

sure to follow my orders and prescriptions while on dialysis is not too much to

ask.  As a patient I need to feel safe with who is taking care of me when I am at

the dialysis clinic.

Sincerely,

Katherine S.

I received almost immediate responses the this letter from the FA and the rounding nephrologist after I turned it in.  I think the tech was reprimanded and told to be extra careful in working with his patients.

 

 

 

My review of the Days Inn Rialto to Trip Advisor

Days Inn, Rialto

We were having renovations done on our house, we moved back in before painting was finished because this motel is not what the pictures show. We checked in and I asked if they could upgrade us to a suite and they downgraded us to a smaller bed and a huge tub in the room. We needed a handicapped accessibility room and this room was not it. The large whirlpool tub in the room was not accessible for either my husband or myself and not safe for us to use. We asked to be moved to a king size bed accessible room and we were told they had none available, so another night in an uncomfortable situation. The next morning we moved four doors down into a more accessible room with a king sized bed.
The desk people are nice however slow in doing anything. Expect a wait if checking in behind some people. The house keeping is good. We required few things while we were there by housekeeping,but when we did they were cheerful. Spanish speakers mostly. Never a sure time for when they came by each morning, so it is a guessing whether you can get a shower or not before or after they show up.
The entire place needs updating. Wyndham Corp people have not stayed here yet, or they would make changes. The ice machine works occasionally when people do not fill ice chests up or have a party outside. The pool area looks nice. There is a pool and hot spa available. Be warned breakfast is continental only. If you want a large breakfast go out for it. The motel is on a busy area. The ten freeway is behind it, plus the railroad yard is just beyond the freeway. You can hear the trains whistles and brakes as they pull into the yard and we were in the front of the motel. I cannot imagine the noise in rooms in the back along the freeway.

If Wyndham takes the motel in hand and updates it, it might become a property to be proud of, meanwhile it is on its way to being a sad place to stay.
Kudos- the bed was comfortable, housekeeping was there daily, friendly desk people, pool area is nice looking, breakfast was available and someone did keep an eye on it and replenish as needed.

Room Tip: Stay in front of motel if possible, probably less noise.

House Renovations

I have not been able to write much on this blog due to us being involved in major house renovations. Sigh! We are closing in on being done with it.
Our house was built in 1957/8 and everything had been mickey moused with throughout the house. We had to bring things up to code finally.
We did:
New roof
New windows
Paint inside and out
Popcorn ceilings removed
kitchen remodel
one bathroom remodel
new floors throughout
new back porch put in
New copper piping
New electrical wiring through out house

It has been an adventure. At one time we had 250 holes in the walls throughout the house due to electrical going in and copper pipes going in. Oh what a mess it was. The popcorn ceilings had asbestos so we had to move everything out of the house, including ourselves for ten days while haz-mat came through and did removal of the asbestos. What a wild time it was! We ended up in the Rialto Days Inn for ten days.

I keep telling myself this all almost over with. Stay calm and keep on.

2018 Why?

This year is trying my patience and my positivity.
I have now been diagnosed with bursitis and sciatica in my left hip. It hurts to do a lot of things.  I can walk but the first few steps hurt all the way to the toes.  I try to sty off it for the bursitis, yet walk on it for the sciatica.  I saw my internal medicine doctor and he gave me a whopping dose of Naproxen to take twice a day. News is it takes a few days to kick all the way in.

I am taking it slowly and resting as I can.

I have started saying Krakatoa for the F-word lately.  Part of trying to get positive.  It is May 2018.