My Double Lung Transplant

Thursday, November 27, 2008

An Ode to Coughing Fits

You've been there. You've done that. You've felt the urge creep up suddenly when you wake up, and in the late in the afternoon and early early evening. The longer you hold it in and go without, the worse it gets and the more desperate you feel. You avoid talking, or making sudden noises, sometimes movements, b/c it will aggrivate that tell-tale tickle. You won't eat certain things that set it off, or even take a drink of anything. You sit there and kind of hold your breath, letting it out in intervals until you start to literally sputter. These are generally never wet sounding. They are almost always dry and they sound horrible.

You know what i'm talking about, it's everybody's favourite - say it with me people: THE COUGHING FIT.

The best and funnest i have to say, is The Coughing Fit that Happens in Public. When suddenly, you realize, "Wow, i havent coughed forever!" and bam! You wake the Dragon. You feel it well up inside your throat and upper lungs. You gulp for air, and that keeps it at bay. It keeps it at bay well enough until your stomach bulges out from all the air you've swallowed, and with each bit more it makes a sound like you've let out a nasty fart and nipped a bud. You immediately avoid talking, or you make an excuse like, "Oh, i have to go to the bathroom" or something lame. You pray to god that no one is in the bathroom, and that the acoustics are terrible. You race so you can be alone, and you let it out.

And you don't stop.
Nope, you keep going.
You bend over to let it out and take the pressure and pain away from your stomach muscles. You can't stop and you feel like your face may explode.
You begin to wonder if your lungs can really hold this much air, why are they so crappy?
You begin to realize that you cough harder and with more force than you actually can blow your PFTs at.
And then you stop.
And hold your breath.
You know there's more where it came from but you try to hold it in.
You sputter.
You know people can hear you.
You unsuccessfully try to muffle it with something.
Cough into something or pretend to sneeze.
You know the people think something terrible is happening but you choose to beleive they never heard it.
And that makes you feel better.
You are finally ok to step back into public and act as if nothing happens.
When people ask what took you so long you make some dumb excuse, even though you're still panting and coughing slightly.

Another coughing fit we've all had is the extra special, One-on-One. When it's just you, and one other person, in a quiet room, and The Cough decides it's time to go outside. This happens either during a movie, a sentimental part during a tv show, when the phone rings, or generally during any time where there is the least amount of noise to be heard.

And so it begins. You're sitting there and it comes up really fast and there is no way to escape. Oh tell yourself that if you let it out slowly, in cough intervals more or less, that will lessen the shock and embarassment of it. You race through your head about what you'll tell them.

"Oh, it's a dry throat."
"Asthma" *point to throat and smile*
*insert fake sneeze*
"Oh my allergies are so bad today!"
"Yea....i think i'm getting sick"

It's all bullshit and lies. They know it, you know it, but again, it makes you feel better and that's all that matters. So out it comes and it just doesnt stop. It comes hard and fast and you almost want to roll around and begin slapping your thighs or any cushins in sight. You try to play it off. This is the most unsuccessful and embarassing of all coughing fits.

Tied to this, is the LOL Coughing Fit. This is induced by laughter, and laughter as some people know, it's the easiest way to invoke a coughing fit. If you're like myself, you generally try to avoid laughing and just smile when something hysterically funny happens even though it's hard to do. Sometimes, you actually laugh and sput out some, and then you can't stop. Not like 'normal' people who sometimes get coughing fits from laughing, who have the ability to stop. This one goes on and on for a good 5 minutes when people have forgotten what was so funny in the first place.

It's not that funny after all.

If ever a time rolls around to have a coughing fit (which preferably would be never) it would be in the presence of myself, in my bedroom where i can shove my face into my pillow or bedding and it can be muffled. If and when i begin to suffocate, i sincerely hope that the loud bang from my body hitting the floor will cause people to race up the stairs and rescue me. Though these feel the safest, i would highly advise against them, lest you leave your door open so people can hear you and not bother you, and let you have your litte fit in private, with the illusion that you, and only you, know what is going on.

After all, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it really make a sound?

If you have a coughing fit in your bedroom or when you're alone, and no one is there to hear it, does it really echo that much and startle everything?

I hope the answer is no. And i sincerely hope this put a smile on your face and made you laugh. As bizarre as these unpleasant things can be, there is humour in all of it.

Good night children!

I've been thinking....

I've been thinking.

There's got to be some formula - some code that has to be cracked, some nutshell, somewhere - that will lead me to getting my call. There's got to be. Plain and simple. This is what i've determined. I've noticed a pattern among people (and it's probably imagined but nonetheless) that those who get the call seem to be in some state of nirvana....and they've accepted the fact that they are waiting and they fully understand that their call will come when it's meant to. Well fuck, i've done that too, and not a call! Sure, I had one in Sept, but damn my horrible soul, I probably wasn't completely accepting of my situation.

Do these people commit some divine act that greatly benefits society? Must I step outside of my horrible, selfish little shell, and give willingly, or something? I do make a point to do a random act of kindness everyday, and these random acts usually consist of letting someone change a lane in front of me, or yeilding to pedestrians, or picking up the cheese when it falls out its space in the fridge door when I open it, but is that enough? What must I do?? I say my prayers every night (no lie). No doubt it's unconventional and doesn't follow any... thing, but i don't think that matters. I think it's the thought that counts.


What am I doing wrong? I know it's normal to feel this way; I know it's normal to feel doomed, to feel torn up on the inside about what I want and stuff, but....fuck. That's all I can say. That sums it all up perfectly, my favourite word in the English dictionary: fuck.

Oh well. It's entirely too obvious that I've sat and thought about this too much.

Today I go to the docs. My prescriptions have all run out of refills, so I am bringing them in a bag (b/c i don't remember dosages) and i'll lay it on the table for my doc to copy and we'll see. Also, I may fold and get a handicapped parking space. No, I don't have one. It won't only benefit me now as I wait, but i heard it's handy immediately post transplant so that's good. We'll see how it goes.

That's about it. I must go, my hands are freezing.

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Angry Shortbread

Did anyone watch The Tudors lastnight? My god, Henry Cavill looked like a bear. He must be the only man who is able to pull off a metal suit and still look outrageously sexy. Not only did he look like a man-bear, but the way he lept off of the stands like a monster when King Henry went down b/c he got packed in the face with a jousting stick....Remind me the next time I go jousting to request all men around me wear metal suits and chain mail helmuts, that way somewhere, i'll be assured that a Henry Cavill-like Bear Monster may rescue me.

*le sigh* And next week will be sad, as they take the beloved Anne to the Tower of London. Damn you Henry. Damn you and your 500 year old morbidly obese soul.

Yesterday I made more shortbread. It was angry shortbread, as somehow, somewhere, some inevitable way, the recipe fucked up and i was unable to make the short bread in shapes. I had visions people, visions of my short bread coming out like in exciting shapes of stars, bears, and a christmas trees...But no, they looked like fucking dumplings that wouldn't set or co-operate and i got so mad that i just squashed them into rumpled balls and threw them in the oven. My vision was promptly crushed, but they taste fine.

That's about it. I went to TO today. Stayed in my little allotted corner away from all people and all things. I started The Boleyn Inheritence, though it is hard to get into....I may go back to The Other Boleyn Girl.

My life is pretty boring. Here's hoping i get the call soon.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

At the book sale

So yesterday was our muchly anticipated book sale. I woke up at 8 something, got dressed, hauled ass, picked up Telly and Krystal and we made our way in my disintegrating Ford Tempo downtown to where it was held. I drove up to the 4th floor and parked right beside the elevator like a fucking genius, and we finally made it to the monstrous book sale.

By all accounts it was monstrous, and by all accounts we weren't the only losers there whoring and embarassing ourselves. Actually, I was shocked at the amount of old people who just grappled and snatched and ran off with books! I found things slightly frustrating b/c they were only separated by genre, not alphabatized by author but oh well. After 2 hours I only had 1 book that i found on my own - a gift from God this book is - and pretty soon i enlisted the help of Katey and then Jenna who helped me find 5 more! By this time my arms were sore, my lungs felt like they were going to break away from my trachea and bronchi and i had to sit or else i would just fall down and never get off the floor. And i probably wouldn't care. I brought a canvas bag which was full, and i managed to successfully drag it back to my car when all was said and done.

In the end, I spent $14 on 7 books and it's miraculous. I'm pretty sure 2 of the books i got i will never read, b/c i'm pretty sure i got them just to say that i have them, and i'm definately sure that one of them (The Faerie Queen) I only got b/c i liked the picture on the front and b/c it was massive. Yup. I won't lie, I still do that, and I still judge a book by it's cover, so there.

This morning I had a dream that I got the call. It wasn't like my usual dream where I get it, miss it, and generally speculate as to whether or not it actually happened. In this dream, my pager went off, but like when it really happened i wasn't quite sure until someone told me. Well, i waited for my phone to ring, except it wouldn't, b/c we were in a basement at a 'function', but then my mum's blackberry went off and yup it was the transplant people! They told my mum where to go and to take our time, meanwhile my heart was singing, people were congratulating me, and I thought it was miraculous that some kind soul found it in their heart to save a life and donate their child's organs.

At this point, a judge from So You Think You Can Dance Canada (Tre), came up to congratulate me, and she sat down with chocolate to talk. I informed her that I couldn't eat b/c i was going to have surgery, and she smiled and said that it was ok, b/c pretty soon I would be dancing again. And that was pretty much it, but it was pretty fricken real. So I hope the real thing happens soon!

That's about it for now. Hope everyone's weekend is good. Having the usual lungular pain when I cough, and my throat is a tad sore, but what else is new?

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I was greeted today a little after lunch, by the Spawn (aka Brooke), when she ran from the laundry room into the kitchen, hacking and coughing and sputtering.

Sometimes I question whether or not the Spawn was born with a brain, and this train of though was swiftly verified when she proceeded to hack and vomit up shit all over the floor. I'm not talking about food, or eating something random, I'm talking about dog shit. She eats it, and it's a female thing and is very prevelant among female dogs especially if they've had litters. It doesn't matter how frequently you scoop the crap in the backyard, somebody always has a secret stash somewhere, and apparently the Spawn found it, and ate it, and puked it up to my virgin eyes all over the carpet.
And let me tell you, it smelled rancid. I don't think I've ever screamed so much in my life. I don't think i ever gagged so much. I think even Zoey was so offended that she wouldn't even come near the kitchen. I coughed and I gagged and I almost lost my ham sandwich as i cleaned the shit up. Then she did an encore and barfed at the slider door...and into the runner and everywhere, and I fell to my knees and screamed like a demon child. I didn't matter how much OxyCleaner i sprayed, or how many candles i lit....the house smelt like shit, and opening windows for a long time isn't an option as currently, there'a bout 10cm of snow outside and it's -5!
Cleaning the crap up was tedious and painful. Not painful b/c it smelt like shit, but painful in the lungular region. God, it hurts so much to move my arms in a cleaning motion. It's the same pain i get when i do laundry...when i transfer it from the washer to the dryer, and when i'm folding. It's the same pain i get when i walk, the same pain i got yesterday when i was at No Frills buying ingredients for fudge and stupidly lugging around a basket. It's this feeling of pain that's so tremendous that you seriously believe at any moment you're going to drop and just die on the spot. It's a feeling like your lungs are being ripped from your trachea one bronchi at a time, and it's horrible and i can't really describe it. It sucks. Sometimes, it's a feeling like you've been kicked in the sternum from the some tiny little elf is trying to get out.
And i forgot to mention that when i got blood taken at the hosp last week (or maybe i mentioned it), the nurse informed me that my nails were blue - even though i had oxygen on. Spendid.
Oh well.
Hopefully i'll get my call soon. Hope you're all well.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pretty boring

My tongue has healed.

My day was pretty boring...

Though I saw a dog chase a deer through the parking lot at rehab..

And I saw a peacock.

Fuck my life.


Anyways, I had clinic yesterday. My mum took me and my appt was an hour in total, which is fantabulous b/c you usually wait in the room alone for an hour, and the appt usually is another hour, so the fact that i was seen and out the door in 1 is marvelous.

I confessed to the doctor my fears of becoming morbidly obese post tx. Upon a reflection of my poor diet choices as of late (like consuming a whole advent calendar on Sunday, mad making of fudge, and shortbread cookies, and no bake chocolate chip cookies on Sat, and finishing a bag of chips today, and massive amounts of pop consumption), post -tx obesity is a huge fear for me. My doc informed me that for me alone it wouldn't be a huge weigh gain since i'm small, but still, the thought of 10-15 lbs at most on my 5' foot frame is frightening. I want to be healthy post-tx, i don't want to be disgusting whale. Oh well, I know post-tx i'll eat better anyways and work out and all that, so i hope it's not a huge concern.

Today i entertained myself by watching Dr. Phil. It was a special that i have been looking forward to for weeks - obese children. Oddly enough, obese children make me feel better about myself (is that a horrible confession? it probably is, and i'm probably going to hell now) but it made me skip with glee on the inside to think that i'm 23 and 95lbs - i'm not 10 years old and 190lbs. And my parents don't have locks on the cupboards to keep me from consuming the shelves in a fit of rage.


Anywho, here's your sporatical dose of Henry Cavill scrumpulousness. Don't look too long or else you might just get pregnant:

And for generosity's sake, here's vid of a fat kill (kind of)falling out of rollercoaster. Made my day. Completely horrible, I know....but...miraculous at the same time:


Thursday, November 13, 2008

No Word of a Lie

Upon my journey home tonight from a Shoppers Drugmart Make-Up Gala, I suffered a serious injury in the car.

But first things first: the Shoppers Drugmart Gala. You could choose any makeup thing you liked, i chose Smashbox. There's food and drinks and blah blah, and it was fun, but the only downfall is a) i look like a whore at the moment, and b) the makeup is held in the same section that the perfume is in. Needless to say, les lungs are not happy and currently feel like they're burning in the flames of hell.

The makeup lady was nice, and listened to me when i informed her of my ultra sensitive skin, and the fact that it never fails to randomly break out into a rash, especially when it's touched by foreign things other myself. She listened but still put some foundation thingy on that almost matched my paleness, but i guess it's not a perfect match since i can see the fact that i have coverup on. Anyways, after she had put it on, she got me to look in a mirror to see how it was. And it was then as i looked that I stared face to face with a massive booger clinging to the front of my nose. It wasn't easily concealed, it was just there, at the front, for all to see, and it didn't help that you generally tip your head up so they can put makeup on you.

Yeah. I'm a winner.

So then, on the way home, i suffered a horrible injury. I went to yawn, and instead of yawning like a normal human being, in an ugly manner when your mouth gapes open and you sometimes make odd sounds, for some reason, i tried the closed mouth yawn, and that's when i pulled my tongue.

No word of a lie.

I thought i was dying. I thought my throat was going to collapse b/c my tongue was going to swell to ginormous proportions and suffocate me. I thought i couldn't speak, and I didn't cry out b/c what the hell would i tell my mum? "Mum, i might die back here; I pulled my tongue like a total douchebag". So i massaged my throat, swallowed a couple of time, and i could feel my poor tongue relax. I discovered that i can infact talk, and i also discovered that this is in fact a serious injury. The underside of my chin/throat hurts, and it hurts to touch. It also hurts to talk. So as a result, I'm going to take an extra strength tylenol and i hope the pain goes away.

I also discovered that I am in fact, a total douchebag.

No word of a lie.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Freeze Burn

Liquid oxygen is stored at -400*C. If it touches your bare skin, it burns it. It doesn't burn the way a hot burn does, when it burns you, it stings and turns white. Needless to say, I was slightly shocked when my finger touched the nozel on my big tank in the garage this aft when i went to fill my portable, and I felt a sizzling sensation in my digit. I took it away to see a white blister like thing, and resisted the urge to stop and cry like a child on the spot. In all honestly, it hurt, but not too horribly. Still, it was enough to make me post about it.

90's party was a blast. Everyone loved my denim pant suit and crimped hair. It took us 2 hours to crimp our hair, and I can honestly say that i sustained a hand injury like no other whilst in the hair crimping process. It hurts to grip things, but it could be worse. I felt utterly terrible all weekend, but for that small span of time at Chantel's party, i managed to shove it from my mind and enjoy myself.

Here's a pic of my get up - a denin pant suit. The pose is inspired by Sears circa early 1990's:
You'll notice that my face is flushed. Full credit can be given to Jenna and her generous dollup of rum to my coke. She put so much in it that it was practically glowing and alas, my face was set on fire.
There are more pics i could put up but i'm too lazy to. There'a lot that i want to talk about but I am to lazy to, as well.
Since Oct. 22, I have lost 2 tx friend. One pre (tonight, at 6pm) and one post, on the 22nd of Oct. Shocking is the best word to describe it. I hate the way the world works when suddenly the death card is shoved in your face. You never think your friends are gonna die - no matter how close you are to them. The fact that they were both young sucks even more. I hate that it challenges everything I know and feel. I can only hope and pray for them that they are both in a better place where this shit doesn't happen.
Crystal -I will always remember the story of when you got The Call, and how your dad made you leave your Care Bear in the car for your assessment. For some reason, both of those have always stayed in my mind and I wonder if when i get the call, will they tell me to hold tight, call my family, and call me back??? I will never forget that you had an inkling that the call was coming either....and I will never forget the shock i felt when i found out that you had passed away. It's unbeleivable and I'm sad to say I never got to tell you how much you have helped me through this transplant business. You ARE missed.
Kyle - Oh Kyle, I don't even know what to say...this is such a shock and a loss. I've been praying for you everyday since you got listed, and I've been praying harder since the day you went into the hosp. You words of encouragment to me never went unfelt, as I hope my words of encouragement to you never went unfelt as well. We so looked forward to finally being able to meet in person after we both had our transplants at TGH, and I'm so sad to know that now that won't happen. I can only pray for you and your family now, that you're in a truely better place where everything is better. You ARE missed.

Friday, November 7, 2008


There's nothing to report. Things are pretty lame. Feeling nice and shitty. Discovered i ran out of Advair today (how responsible of me) so i must call it in and pick it up tomorrow. My friend Carol (who's got listed when i did) got a call on Monday but the lungs were no good. So far we're neck and neck: both listed at the same time, both been listed for 6 months, both have had false alarms. Hopefully soon we'll get the real deal. Lord knows i can't continue feeling like this for much longer or I'll burst. And if i burst, then there will be mucus everywhere and that's not fun to clean up.

Chantel is having a b-day themed party tomorrow. It's 90's style. Lastnight Krystal, Jenna and I went to Value Village ( a second hand store) and scored some pretty disgusting 90's wear. I got a denim pant suit and the game KerPlunk. We got Chantel the ORIGINAL 90210 board game. Krystal got some disgusting vest and and a fanny pack and Jenna got a valore onesie that's gathered at the bottom and a fanny pack. She is contemplating returning b/c there was this blue business dress that looks like something Ashley Banks would wear on Fresh Prince. Shoulder pads and everything. To top this disgustingly wonderful marvel off, we're crimping our hair. Chantel will hopefully provide some scrunchies and slap braclets. Lord knows i'll need a scrunchie, since i'm gonna wear my hair in a side ponytail.

Oh 90's, now I know why I hated you upon looking back. If only I could have found stirrup pants.....

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Good Sunday

So far it's been a good Sunday. I just got back from Chapters (a book store) where I tried not to whore and embarass myself in the history section. I got two books - The Boleyn Inheritance (b/c I read The Other Boleyn Girl) and Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles. It's a historical novel and I'm greatly anticipating it's greatness and wonderfulness. To add to this, I scored a free book too! Some kind soul at rehab found out I was an anthro major (probably from myself) and told me about this book (The Clan of Cave Bear)that takes place during the Ice Age. Alas, it is a romance and i am afraid to open it for fear it will take over my love for Jamie and Claire (Outlander!) but i doubt that will happen.

But oh well.

I felt pretty shitty yesterday, and no, i am not implying the state of my stomach. My stomach is much, much, much better thank you. I meant in the lungular regions. I just felt like utter crap, like I couldn't breathe, and once again i raised and shook my fist in anger at the thought of Tobi and what it does to me. I could barely get from A to B, and I was getting hot flashes. I felt for a moment that this must be what it's like to go through menopause, but without the feeling of sudden suffocation. Today i feel slightly better but i'm incredibly phlegmy. There is no balance in this game of lung disease. It's just a nasty, nasty bitch all around.

I couldn't sleep lastnight b/c I watched some stupid movie called Dead Silence. It was stupid at parts but scary. I couldn't fall asleep for fear that things would go suddenly silent and Mary Shaw would appear in my room. If you see her you don't scream b/c she rips out your tongue. And what's even stupider is that i'm 23 and naiive enough to get scared by this shit. But I was - so shut up.

I'm off to go be unproductive. But before i go continue my unproductivness, I must extend my HAPPY BIRTHDAY WISHES to my Heidi Speidi who is 15 years old today! MUMMY LOVES YOU!

P.S: Got my false alaram 2 months ago today