Saturday, December 31, 2005

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The bad as the infection

The infection was bad enough but the cure was a new low. I'd been through much in my life - diabetes, amputation 1st of my right leg below the knee and 5 years later the left leg, heart failure and a 6 vessel by pass, numerous eye surgeries, a fractured right hip, numerous infections, a kidney transplant 16 yeas ago -I'd always managed to bounce back but, all this coming so close together really threw me. I wished I'd just not awaken from the surgery. I seriously considered shooting myself.

Sue, my wife and soulmate of twenty years, kept me sane during all this. She has been a rock. It's been really hard on her. She's slept in chairs in my hospital room so Iwouldn't be alone at night. She's cleaned up my soiled clothes and cooked for me. She's always worked to keep me going and my spirits up. I owe her more than Ill ever be able to give. She does it because she loves me and I love so deeply it hurts.

The cure was massive doses of antibiotics. So much that it killed off all the microorganisms in my gut. This caused ten days of diarrhea. Which of course led to dehydration and yet another hospitalization.

All this combined for a new low. I never felt so lost and helpless before. I was about to give up but I didn't want to leave Sue alone. , although in reality she might be better off.

This brings me to today and is the reason for this blog. It's a kind of therapy for me. Iit helps me sort through my feelings and let others know where I'm coming from. It lets me share some of my photos which gives me grsat joy. So bear with me and my ramblings.

Some more photos tomorrow.

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Rollercoaster Ride

I had a comment in my e-mail that I should describe how I have felt emotionally about this process of waiting for a transplant - so here it goes.

The only thing I could compare this to is a rollercoaster with a lot of hills and many very steep drops. I've been on dialysis since November of 2004. Things seemed to be going along fairly well until about two months ago, that's when the trouble started.

The trouble - the catheter I use for my dialysio bad I thought had become obstructed. To fix this I would have to a routine and simple endoscopic operation. Only a couple of small holes would be needed. Not so bad I thought. Was I ever wrong!

The operation itself was a success but, I started bleeding internally. I lost about 70% of my total blood volume. I was near death - they rushed my back into surgery and had to open me up to recover the blood and stop the bleeding. This left me with a large scar from about two inches above my belly button to my groin. I survived this and a few cays later was sent home good as new.

The following week they removed the staples. I thought it was a little soon because diabetics don't heal as fast as normal people but, the doctor said it looked fine. I was eating breakfast two days later and felt cold. When I stood up blood and dialysis came pouring out. I was scared - So was Sue. My shirt and pants were covered in abloody mess. My parents had come to visit and help out, so we wrapped a towel around me and headed off to the hospital emergency room.

I was sent back into surgery to reclose and restich the wound. A few days later I was allowed to go home. This time they waited a week before removing the staples and I used smaller volumes in my exchanges. I started having pain whenever I drained the dialysis fluid from my body. I told the doctors this - they said it was just tenderness from the operation not to worry. ong! It turned out to be an infection. I was having sver back pain Icouldn't walk or even stand. This is where the morphine in my last post came into play.- back into nthe hospital again .

Friday, December 30, 2005

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Requested Photos

These photos were requested. The're of my baby Miss Kitty. Here she's enjoying her Thanksgiving turkey. She is a sweetheart!

Tomorrow some art photos and a dose of my life too,

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Barn Photos II

As promised - some more photos. These are a continuation of the Barns of North Georgia series. I will add to these as I find more subjects.

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Up Early

I 've been up since a little after 5 am. - couldn't sleep anymore. it's about time for some more Aleve, it's the only thing that seems to work on this pain.

This pain in my chst comes from the CPR I recieved in the hospital after a morphene overdose' About a week ago I had gon to the emergency room with extreme back pain. They gave some pain killers but, they didn't seem to help. then they gave some morphene - I've had it before without any problems. Since my kidneys don't work and I had no exchanges during this time, my body can't rid itself of this stuff.

When they gave me a second dose of the morphene 4 hours later I quite literaly died in my wife's arms. She was there holding me and she said I fell over into her arms and was as stiff as a board. My breathing and heart had stopped. She told the nurse something was wrong. They called a code blue and a team worked to revive me.

They took Sue out of the room and brought a priest in to sit with her. After a while, the doctor came and told her it was a reaction to the morphene and they had given me something to counteract the morphene. They told her I was responding to the drug ans was coming around.

I was literaly dead for about 3 minutes. In doing the CPR they broke/cracked some ribs, thus the pain in my chest. They said it might take 3 months to get over it. It hurts just to breath deeply and mt ribs make a clicking sound every time I do. It's getting better with time but, it still hurts.

I want to say my Uncle got me started in this blogging thing. He has a great blog with his photography info and his pulp fiction stories. Be sure to check him out at: I think you'll enjoy his blog. He host a photo challenge which I and others submit our photos. It's been a lot of fun.

I will post more photos when I can get upstairs and on my main computer. right now I'm on the laptop in the kitchen.

By the way Sue is feeling a little better but, still has a terrible cold/flu. More tea and chicken soup for her!

play black jack
my counter

Thursday, December 29, 2005

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The Red Cross

I have a comment on the Red Cross.... My wife and I both gave to the Red Cross for the two recent disasters and were happy to be able to do so. Now I've seen and read about some contract workers the Red Cross hired to man one of its call centers. It seems there was an effort by 50 or so of these cotract workers to sent relife funds to their friends and relatives.

There is not a punishment just enough for these people who would steal from those in need. They should be sent to prison for a number of years - say five or more and upon release serve community service in one of the disaster areas cleaning up.

I hope this will not adversly effectdonations to the Red Cross as they perform a great service to hose in need.

This is how I feel.

Sue is home sick with the flu.. it must be really bad because she never misses work. I'm doing what I can to care for her. it's time to make her some more hot tea with honey and lemon. Photos for today will have to wait a while longer. It's almost time for another exchange too.

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A Typical Day

I thought I'd go through what a typical day is for me.

I usually am up by 5:30 because I cannot sleep. I'll go into the kitchen and fix some tea and check my emails on my laptop. I'll putter around in the kitchen until about 6:30 - then I return to the bedroom for my first exchange of the day.

An exchange is the dialysis fluid that I put into my body to remove the toxins and extra fluid that a functioning kidney would normally do. I fill my abdominal cavity with this solution. It's basically a sugar-water solution that removes the waste and excess water from my system through an osmosis process. For me it's 1.5 liters per exchange and you carry it in your body for 4 hours at a time. This is done 5 to 6 times a day every day.

Then I take the other medications and insulin injections after checking my blood sugar level.

Finally back to the kitchen to fix breakfast and take more medication. I see Sue, my wife, off to work and this is a typical morning routine for me. After this, it's time to pay bills and do other household chores.

Then, when I have time I play with my camera and the computer. Now of course I write into my blog too. Then it's time for another exchange and lunch. That takes me to now which means I have to stop for the time being. Later, I will try to post some mor photos and a comment on he Red Cross and their troubles as I see it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

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This is a forum to describe my life as I await a renal transplant and a outlet for my photographs. i'd like to hear any comments on my photos - likes or dislikes. There will be other comments about current events as I see them from time to time.

So it begins - I'm a 46 year old male in need of a kidney/pancrease transplant. This last year of my life has been quite a struggle. In the past 3 months I've been hospitalized 6 times for a total of29 days. I'm doing a little better now and decided to record my feelings about this illness and share my love for art and photography through this blog with anyone who cares to read it.

most of my photos will be from the North Georgia area as I live just outside of Atlanta. I use two digital cameras a Panasonic DMC FZ-20 and a DMC FZ-30. My film camera is an old Minolta X-700 and Pentex K-1000. I'm using an HP 2410xi scanner.

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Barn in North Georgia

This is a series of barns in the north Georgia area. I like photographing them because they are quickly disappearing due to development of subdivisions in our area.