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Monday, January 11, 2016

Age and Health

Last week I was admitted into the hospital with acute renal failure and stage II kidney disease. I left work early on Monday and Tuesday with abdominal pain and left flank pain. I knew I was trying to pass yet another kidney stone as the flank pain was all too familiar. However the abdominal pain was new. The last kidney stone I had about a year and a half ago passed within a matter of hours and I assumed this one had passed as well Monday evening. Of course my husband feels powerless when I'm having an episode where I'm either writhing in pain or pacing and rubbing my back so hard it leaves bruises. 

Kidney stone pain comes in waves. I've read and heard from woman that the pain is worse than childbirth. In my case, it typically starts on either the left or right side of my back. You can't sit still when the pain comes and it's difficult to explain what it feels like. Thankfully I've never been punched or stabbed before but that's probably the best way to describe the pain that comes and goes for hours, or in this case, days. I've tried unsuccessfully to treat the pain on my own with over-the-counter meds like Advil. However, each bout (I've had 3 so far) has resulted in trips to the ER. 

This last stone, actually there were two stones, couldn't even be tamed with morphine. After about 20 mins, the pain would return. The ER staff decided 2mg of dilaudid would put me out of my misery. And it did - well into the next day but not without a severe nausea reaction. 

Instead of sending me home to pass the stone on my own, the ER doctor admitted me as my right kidney was in renal failure after reviewing the CT scan. I had a 3mm and a 1mm stone stuck in the UVJ (ureter junction). The nurses were all pushing me to sign surgery consent forms without yet meeting and taking with the urologist. For two days my urine was strained and measured. And after a much painful Wednesday night, the stones finally passed. Thank goodness I did some research and knew what they looked like as not one nurse on the floor knew what to look for and like the previous two times would have flushed away the stones. When I did pass them, you would have thought I put up crime scene tape. I supervised the head nurse into how to retrieve the stones (small ones will crumble if you reach in directly with your fingers). I knew how important it was to keep these little bastards in tact so that they could be analyzed. Knowing the composition of a kidney stone will help determine what part of my diet is causing them. Of course heredity also plays a part as my late grandfather was also a sufferer. 

But I know that I've brought these on myself with one terrible vice - Diet Coke. Diet Coke and other dark colas contain phosphoric acid, a food additive, as well as a rust removal. It's corrosive and its chances of contributing to kidney stones and kidney disease increase by 15% when two or more cola beverages are consumed per day. I had an unhealthy habit of 3 - 4 cans per day. I could go through a 2 liter bottle in two days.

Water? What was that? To me it was the blandest of all beverages and I only craved or consumed if I ate ice cream, chocolate, or exercised. It simply was not a part of my diet. Until this last episode. Over the last few days, water has been my only beverage. I am determined not to have another kidney stone attack. I don't want to keep going through this and my body can't handle it anymore. I'm typing this post on the eve of my 44th birthday. Kidney disease is not reversible. But I can do things to keep from entering the final two stages. So my aim this year will be to focus on my health. I'm going to once again part ways with you so that I can stay focused on what matters. It's not fashion or outfits of the day, but making myself well.

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Friday, December 18, 2015

Holiday Lunch

My department at work had a casual holiday lunch yesterday and I wanted to wear something that had some traditional holiday colors without being too "hey look at my red and green obvious Christmas outfit."

I've only worn this shirt a couple of times as I'm not a big fan of anything too close to my neck. Hence the reason why I don't wear a lot of scarves (and I live in flippin' Florida), turtlenecks (again - Florida), or anything that feels like it might choke me. I'm also not a fan of thin or sheer fabrics as I feel they just enhance my chest and that is one area that just doesn't need additional attention.

So I may start to rotate this blouse out of my wardrobe. I also adore these shoes but they killed my feet yesterday. 





{Blouse: J Crew | Pants: Gap | Shoes: Alice and Olivia}


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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Tux

I know at least one of you who will be drooling over my boots. I love them, too. They were pricey but so worth it. Been through Connecticut winters and any chance I have to wear them down here.

And the tuxedo jacket actually belonged to Lissy from A Girl in Boston. I bought it off her last month and had the sleeves shortened cause I have dyno stumpy arms. 

So why the tux? We had a holiday luncheon at work and thought it was a good excuse to pair with some jeans (normally only acceptable on Fridays). I've said it before, if I could wear jeans and blazers every day, I'd be a happy camper.







{Tuxedo blazer: Stella McCartney for H&M | Shirt: J Crew | Jeans: Old Navy | Boots: Dolce & Gabanna}


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Friday, December 4, 2015

Prison Stripes

Horizontal stripes on a plus-sized woman?! Gasp!

I actually love these Gap pants. They are extremely comfortable and for some odd reason, quite flattering. Maybe it's because I always pair them with a dark too that covers my hips. And can we talk about the sleeveless top?  Do you remember when Target did their collection with Philip Lim? I think this was the only piece I ordered and love how thick it is. Very nicely constructed as well. Too bad I don't like my bare arms. I also don't think it's professional to wear sleeveless tops to work. It's too casual, even in Florida.






{Pants: Gap | Top: 3.1 Philip Lim for Target | Sweater: J. Crew | Shoes: Zara}


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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Little Camo and Eddie

Today was a pretty cool day. Nice weather, easy day at work, and a hilarious time with Eddie Izzard. Unlike the last comedy fest we went to in a big stadium, this one was at a small concert hall in Clearwater with Q&A after. Much more our speed. Eddie gave a great performance with an hour and a half of belly laughs, intermission, and another half hour to wrap things up. Well worth the money and great seats.

And although I don't talk religion on my blog, I will talk a bit about it now. I was raised Catholic but am now Atheist. I don't believe in a Christian God or any deity. It took me awhile to get to this place but I feel very free and believe it or not, more enlightened. I believe in being good and kind to one another, although I don't always practice that. I believe in science, education, and questioning things that just are or stuff I grew up hearing. I don't believe in Pascal's Wager and I have no fear of what will become of me after death. It's a calm and peaceful way of living that I know doesn't suit most but works for me.

Eddie Izzard also feels this way and has a lovely way of presenting his ideas on religion. And he's just fucking funny.




{Shirt: J. Crew | Pants: JC Penney | Shoes: Tom's}







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Friday, November 20, 2015

Go Enjoy a Turkey!

Friday before Thanksgiving week and I am so looking forward to next week. Hubby and I consider Thanksgiving our own private little holiday. I know you're supposed to spend it with family but we buck traditions. Except the ones we created when we lived up north. 

It started when we lived in West Haven, CT. There was a Texas Roadhouse not too far from our house. For a few years in a row, we would go there on Thanksgiving Eve. I highly recommend going out to eat on this night. No crowds to deal with. Turns out there is one near my work so we're gonna go eat some tasty yeast rolls and chicken fried steak.

On Thanksgiving day, hubby and I camp out in bed all day long. I'm not kidding. We grab the paper, take our time reading through all the Black Friday deals, eat, watch movies, eat some more, take a nap, eat some more. You get the picture. It's wonderful. So nice to decompress for a day. And for the first time, I'm ordering a pre-cooked turkey from The Fresh Market. Apparently the bird is better than any Butterball. We will see. I'm psyched not to have to get up at 6 and slather butter all over some bird's breasts.

And speaking of birds, I leave you this week with some swans. Enjoy your holiday!
Niki

 



{Shirt: Target | Pants: Macy's | Shoes: Vans for J. Crew}



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Monday, November 16, 2015

Tuxedo

Why do manufacturers insist on sewing pockets shut on pants? What is the point? Do they present better in the store? Do they lie flatter for shipping? Cause you know we're just going to cut them open while we have them on and are contortioning our bodies into frustrating positions cause taking them off and doing this would be too rational.

I do love me some tuxedo pants, though. These are a little gem I got a couple months back at Gap. Aren't they adorbs? Black and blue, paired with another one of those Loft Utility blouses and my ever painful Prada brogues. I swear I will beat the blisters one of these days.





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