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Showing posts from 2013

Here's To a Happy New Year -- 2014

'Here's to a Rockin' New Year's Eve, everyone. Hope you are ready for a new year and a new beginning. 'Cause I am, and I am going to make this year about giving and loving and being exactly who I am. So, I expect my readers to be who they are and not worry about what others think of you either.

You know, I knew that I wanted to wish you all a happy new year. I also want everyone to be safe while bringing in the new year of 2014. Please get a designated driver if you think that you must have alcohol. And also, stay away from difficult situations.

The main thing that I really wanted to talk about is about how to bring in your new year with a great vibe. The past several years, I have brought in the new years with my children and my husband. And each year, they would get mad because I had a ritual of having a glass of non-alcoholic juice and watching the ball fall in New York on television on ABC with my family.

I have always heard that what you are doing when bringin…

2013? or 2014?

Good evening, everyone.
Is everyone ready for 2013 to end? I can't say that I am and I can't say that I'm not.

You know, today has been a really busy and crazy day for me. I had to work for half the day, and then I had my dialysis treatment today. This is one of those weeks that they reschedule our appointments to coincide with the upcoming holiday schedule. But, the only thing is that I have two sick adult daughters at home. I had to go home to take care of them, cook, and then put a load of clothes in the wash.

What would happen if I got sick? Who would take care of me? Do I still have to cook for myself? Or do I go without?

Questions are always asked. But, do we get to get the answers that we deserve? Nope. I just hope that I have a way better 2014 than I had in 2013.

Ciao for now.

Where Do My Ideas Come From?

I have often wondered where some of my ideas come from. Have you?

In the last couple of years, I have had some big ideas. The question is "How often do my ideas pan out, though?

Seriously, it all depends on the individual and how much it is needed. Last year, my big idea was to have a fundraiser for myself (since this is what I am required to do with www.helpHopelive.org) but to be able to enjoy it with everyone that I know. I was able to get Myrtle UMC, Providence Presbeterian on Union Road, Faith in East Gastonia, and Lowell-Smyre UMC in Lowell. Most donated their time for the MusicFest (www.myrtleumc.org)  to help me in my cause. A few donated money. We raised $2500 on this first fundraiser. Yes, this was my first fundraiser, and it was a huge success.

Well, I have just received a great idea for my next fundraiser. I see music, dancing, a sale, and a raffle. This will be the first time that I will be implementing businesses to volunteer a few items. Now you are probably wonder…

Being a Team Player

Merry Christmas, everyone.
This may be a couple of days late, but hey, at least I made it before the end of the year.

I am here at home watching the Carolina Panthers play the Atlanta Falcons. I have been a very faithful fan of the Panthers for as long as I can remember them being a football team. But all in all, I can say that my family and I are having a bonding session with the football game. Usually, I am the only one who watches these games.  But, hey, if I can get my daughter, Jessica, to watch a game with me, I am doing great. Lately, I can say that Ashleigh has been watching some with me while playing her Nintendo DS.

And I can say that my daughters have been there for me these past two years. They have been my team players, if that is the best way to put it.

Along with my daughters, my parents have done wonders for me. They take me back and forth to the UNC Women's Hospital in  Raleigh. They are just there for me, in general. Every one of us that have kidney disease shoul…

Merry Christmas

Good evening, everyone.
Well, it is Christmas evening, and everyone has made it through the day. Our day started around 8:00 am this morning when I had to wake my daughters. Can you believe that? I have always had to wake at least one of them every year.

I went to the dentist a couple of weeks ago, and they have made me four appointments to get some of my teeth pulled every two weeks starting on February 12 and ending on March 26. I just hope things go well through all of this. I just have to remember that I will be a new person being made for God's purpose.

I hope you all have had a great Christmas and hope for you a wonderful new year. Here's to a rockin' New Year to all.

Ciao for now.


The Underlying Meaning of My Life

Good evening, everyone. I hope everyone is having a great day so far. Considering the long day that I had, I have been having a decent day. My mother and I had to take a 3-hour drive to a doctor's appointment for me. We left out at 7:00 am and got back at 4:00 pm.

Actually, I had to go to the UNC Women's Hospital in Raleigh this morning to speak to a dentist. Luckily, I had a great dentist for my first visit. I say this because of my past experiences with dentists. This young and newly graduated dentist was very courteous, understanding, and just had a nicer attitude about everything in general.

All in all, and unlike others, I am not afraid of the dentist. More or less, I just don't like dentists because they can be intimidating. The few that I have had has often made me feel like a small person being bullied. Has anyone else ever felt this with a doctor or a dentist? I am sure that there are more out there that could say that they have felt this way at least once in thei…

The Thanks and the Giving

Good morning, everyone. I know that it has been about a month since I last wrote. I am sorry for that. I truly am. I say this because I enjoy writing about different things in my life (living with kidney disease, at that). Take for instance, this year at Thanksgiving, no one ever wants to say the prayer for the food blessing. Usually, I hesitate when they call my name. Guess what, this time I didn't. I so wanted to say the blessing over our food and family. And I did.....without any hesitation at all.

The giving is another hurdle in itself. I love to give when I can, but this year I am not able to. With a husband that was out of work for 5 months and then out of work for 2 weeks more recently, our money is short. But, I can't say that I am short on giving love and just helping people in general. How many people can say that they give more than they receive? I hope that I can say that at one point or another. That is all I have for today. Gotta go to dialysis.

Ciao for now.

Kidney Disease Group Meeting

Good evening, everyone. Yes, I know that I have already made an entry today, But something came to my mind, and I needed to get it down on paper before I forgot about what it was. Lately, I have been having some crazy notions to come over me at the most inopportune times.

Take for example, I have been questioning what God has in store for me over time. I have also been getting hints about starting group meetings for different things. Okay, you are probably wondering what I mean by all of this, right? Well, it has come to me in different ways, but all in all, I am trying to get up some different group meetings on a regular basis.

The first idea that I have had is having maybe a bible study with some of the dialysis patients while getting our treatments. Would anyone be willing to do that? I wouldn't mind it. Another idea would be to get people involved by having phone friends. We pass out our phone numbers to a couple of patients and we use these to call if you are having problems …

My Team of Nurses

Is everyone having a good day? I really hope so.

Well, today is another one of those days, my friend. I do not have any specific thing on my mind as of right now. But once I get started good, I will have a feel of what is in my thoughts.

Tomorrow is Saturday and I go for a dialysis treatment around 11:45 am unless they call me in earlier than usual. I really do like going in earlier on Saturdays. This way, I can get out earlier in the day and still be able to do something with my daughter, Ashleigh. But, unlike some of the characters in my schedule, I do enjoy being there the three days during the week. These nurses are the kindest, nicest, and most lovable people that I have ever dealt with. I have never went into the center and felt bad. It makes me feel so much better just being around these beautiful people.

Can any of you say something like this about a doctor or a nurse that you have had to see on a regular basis? I can say for certain that I am very happy to have this team of n…

Getting Our Picture Made

Good afternoon. Today, my daughter and I will be getting our pictures made at our church, Myrtle United Methodist Church (www.myrtleumc.org). Of course, our church is not very big compared to a lot of other churches.

At first, I didn't know what I was going to write about today. I had something to talk about the other day, yet I put it off and totally forgot about it. Now, today, I tried to think what it was and couldn't come up with it. But, I realized after my first sentence that I needed to talk about respect for others and their places of worship.

You are probably wondering what I am thinking about now. Well, I will tell you. With our church getting ready to do our pictorial directory, you would think that people would love to get their pictures taken and get put into our directory. This year, I have heard more hoopla than ever. These older people donot want to get their pictures taken or put into the directory. I say, show respect to your church and just take the picture…

Energized and Yet Tired?!

Good afternoon. I hope everyone is doing well today. I am actually feeling well, also.

I had one of my dialysis treatments yesterday, and I ended up lying on the couch most of the evening. I get so aggravated with myself when I come in from dialysis and lay down most of the day because I am tired. You are probably asking what I am tired from. Well, the nurses say that since the blood is outside of your body, you will have a tendency to be tired once the process is done. So, therefore, the three days that I have dialysis, I am tired.

I do feel better than what I used to, but, the kicker is that I still feel tired and don't want to do much. I am getting out a little more than I used to but I still will stay home, too. The worse thing is that in order for my house to be straightened up, I have to have this energy and movement going forward. Since I don't have all of this, my house doesn't get cleaned up as much. I have a daughter that does her thing and a "husband"…

What Does My Blog Title Truly Mean?

Ok, I am going to give you an update on my chronic kidney disease and other useful information today.

Truly, I am one of many who lives with having to have dialysis to stay alive. We have to get our blood cleaned and filtered through a machine in order to stay alive on a day-to- day basis. I have to get these dialysis treatments three (3) days a week: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

So, if you feel as if you have had a hard day's work, think about this. I go to work every day of the week. I then go to my treatments afterwards on these three days. I also have to head home to cook, clean, do laundry, get groceries, remember dates & birthdays, make beds, take recyclables, pay bills, go to choir practice (I enjoy doing this), and deal with a moody young adult daughter, and an always-in-the-bed husband. This past weekend, though, I had to help my daughter get things ready for her weekend of selling at the Cotton Ginnin' Days in Dallas, NC. She had to be there early every …

A Day to Remember

Today has been a day to remember for me.

(Of course, what I mean and what I say should be the same. But sometimes my words get mixed up more so than my written words.  And I dare not say that my words are the final say. And trust me when I say that there is not a truer sentence to be said about me than this.)  I am saying all of this beforehand in case any of my words get mixed up anytime that I blog. My children and my family tell me that this tends to happen a lot. So please consider these words when you read any of my blogs. 

I will explain the first words of this first blog now. The day that I had was a happy day. First off, as my younger daughter and I were checking out at WalMart this morning, someone made me feel like a person with new hope. This person made me feel younger than I turned this past Friday. (I turned 46 this past Friday.) He told me that I didn't look my age. Now, people may say that I am naive. But, I just want to say that I am not being naive, I just like t…

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is the day.
What day, you say?
Today is my 46th birthday.

Wow! It's hard to believe that I have lived over half of my life already. It doesn't seem like it's been almost 30 years since I graduated from East Gaston High School with all of my friends. Oh well. We all have to get old sometime.

The time has really flown by for me, though. Both of my daughters are out of high school, and I am at the age where most of us become grandmothers. But, I can say for a fact that I would not have done things over. There are no ifs, ands, or buts. What's done is done. And I wouldn't have it any other way.  Where would I be without my daughters? I truly don't know, and I don't want to know.

As for plans for my 46th birthday, I have a busy weekend. Today, some friends have asked me and my girls over for dinner. Ashleigh has the Cotton Ginnin' Days in Dallas. So this means that she will be gone all three days. And then Sunday, we have church.

Happy Birthday t…

Government Shutdown

Good afternoon, everyone. You are probably saying to yourself right now, "She has already posted today." Yes, I have already posted once today. But, the fact of the matter is that I had to do something today that they told me I had to do before coming back to dialysis tomorrow (Thursday, 10-10-13).

I had to call social security to apply for medicare. I did this and do you know what they said? They said that the earliest that they could have me call them would be December 3 at 2:15 pm. And this is just the beginning. The reason is the Government Shutdown. I cannot believe the rotten luck that I have on this matter. I couldn't apply online due to my age. Doesn't that beat all? It urks me plenty....oh well, what can we do other than to get the government straightened out.

Ciao for now.


Secrets & Knowing or Not Knowing

Good afternoon, everyone.
I hope all is well with y'all. Everything is okay with me.

In case you don't know, my youngest daughter, Jessica, is at NCSU. But I have been keeping a secret, you know. Luckily, I have been able to keep my mouth shut with this secret. If anyone knows me well, they know that it is very hard for me to keep a secret. But believe me, I CAN keep secrets. And this secret is a nice secret, too. I am getting excited about it. When the time is right, I will tell all.

At first, I didn't know what I was going to write about today. Once I started the first couple of lines of this blog entry, it dawned on me what this one would be about. I guess this is the writer in me. Knowing or not knowing what to write about can sometimes be an issue with me. I think this is one of the reasons that I don't blog every single day. I try and make sure that I can write the way that I talk. Believe me when I say that it is easier to talk than to write. But, hey, writing…

WORDS

Good afternoon, everyone. I hope everyone is doing okay today. As for me, it has been a boggling weekend.

I will start off by saying that my dialysis treatments are going well, and the nurses are so nice and enjoyable to be around (especially since these treatments are going on for four hours). I can be my fun-loving self or I can be just a quiet version of myself. All in all, no one is there to tell me that I cannot laugh or cry.

This last statement that I just wrote can tell you lots about me as a person. But the funny thing is that the words that I use in my blog or at dialysis are my own and no one else's. Take for instance that I am able to tell some of my deepest and darkest secrets to these beautiful people at the Fresenius Dialysis Treatment Place in Gastonia and they just look at me and understand or either laugh with me. I say this because there are times when I am with family and can't even tell them these same thoughts. And if I were to, they wonder why I say suc…

Prayers Go a Long Way

Good afternoon, everyone. It has been over a week since I last blogged. I really am trying to blog more than once a week, but with all that is going on, I really am doing good to blog at least once.

Well, all in all, I had a shock earlier today. I had to order some paper today for the office here at work. When I told her that I needed to order some stuff, they promptly asked me if I was Crystal. I told her that yes, I was. She immediately told me that I was on their prayer list and that they wished the best for me. I heard that and I couldn't just believe it.

Of course, I have had a fundraiser with my church, Myrtle UMC, in June. I also had all the churches that I have dealt with in the last five years to add me to their prayer lists. This also includes my mother's church, Providence Presbyterian Church, and a previous sister church, Lowell-Smyre UMC. It includes our current sister church, Faith UMC. So, in total, I have five churches praying for me. Myrtle, Faith, Providenc…

What Boggles My Mind

Good morning. I know that I have posted once today already. But, I felt the need to let you in on a little secret. Unlike most people, I enjoy typing and letting people in on what boggles my mind.

I have recently started my dialysis for my chronic kidney disease (four to five weeks ago), and it has drastically changed my life. Take for instance, my family likes to have get-togethers for birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. With this concept, my daughter came home from college this past weekend. And I really enjoyed having her home with me for the weekend, too. With my family, they knew she was coming home and decided to get together. We all enjoyed it and had a great time. Another way that my dialysis has changed my life is when we have these gatherings. When we have them, I will have to make plans to go earlier or just be late for the shingdig. And anyone who knows me knows that I do not like to be late for anything. Along with this, dialysis is a fixture in my life now. Anyone w…

What Time Is It?

Time is something that everyone has.
Whether it is time for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or a favorite show, we all have time for that. But time is a factor in so much of our lives.

Why am I talking about time this time, you ask. Okay, I will give it to you straight. When I started this blog, I knew that I would at least be able to keep this blog current due to my involvement in dealing with my chronic kidney disease on a daily basis. Boy, was I wrong. I got on this morning and DID NOT realize that it had been two (2) whole weeks since I last blogged. That is way too long to be off of my blogging mind. Yep, I said it. I have a blogged mind at times.

But the fact is that time is very precious to us all. The time I have left with my parents are not as if they were still the age that they were when I was 16. Nope. When I spend time with my parents, I want to cherish that time like it is golden. And I hope that my daughters will see that time is golden with me and their dad. No matter …

Dialysis

Dialysis..
What goes on during a dialysis treatment? I am sure many of you don't realize what the process is for a dialysis treatment is. Well, I am going to give you a first-hand look at what I go through three (3) days a week.

I go to dialysis on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. And this is what goes on. Well, I go in and get weighed, wash my hands, and head to the seat that they have arranged for me. Once I have a seat, I get my arm hooked up to the blood pressure cuff. There is tape on one side ready to be put onto my blood lines to stay in place. They clean my arm with alcohol swabs and get all the lines hooked up to the machine. They prick me with the first huge needle and then make sure that the blood will go through the needle. (By this, I mean that they check to see if the blood gives a little and will run right through this to the line.) After this process, they find a good spot for the second needle to go in at and proceed the same as the first one. Once this is acc…

My Blogging

Today, I have had a decent day. I woke up having energy this morning, so naturally, Ashleigh and I went to church today.  Of course, Kim always has a good sermon for us.

As always, I try to talk about something that comes to me when getting ready for my blog. I want to be able to communicate with others who are dealing with the same issues as myself. Today, there has not been too much going on with me. I still have strong feelings about what all I am going through and why I feel as much as I do. Of course, I feel overwhelmed by starting dialysis, getting my daughter into college, not having money, and just being upset about personal issues. These issues will be brought up at another time when I am at a more relaxing place to explain  things better. All in all, I have been relaxing and have some alone time with my other daughter, Ashleigh. She is an amazing daughter. She tries to help me around the house. She also makes her own designs for her website, The Geeky Giraffe. Check it out s…

Of Sentimental Value

Today, I had my second dialysis treatment. I had to be there at 11:45 a.m. Along for my trip to the appointment, I brought along my panther pillow and a blanket. The blanket is tearing up, but it has sentimental value. My Grandmother Leigh made the blanket for me so many years ago before she died. I still think of her when I have this blanket by my side.

Sentimental value is a good thing. We all have something of sentimental value somewhere in our lives. I have several blankets and pillows that she made me for birthdays and Christmas. I also had several silver dollars that my grandfather had given me before he died, too.   So, there are a lot of things that have that sentimental value for me.

What about you? What do you have that has sentimental value to you?
Ciao for now.

My First Dialysis Appointment

Good evening, all! Tomorrow is the big day! My first dialysis appointment is tomorrow, and I am really hoping this makes me feel better. I have been tired, legs are restless, and I just want to not be so tired all the time. I have to be there at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning to get some paper work done. My appointment is actually for 11:00 a.m. I just hope that all things go well and that this helps me out in the long run. With me starting on dialysis, I have been informed that I should be getting on medicare and/or disability. This would really help me out tremendously if that happens. The only thing is that I have so much trying to get done and so little time.

Along with all of this, I had to go to the UNC Women's Hospital yesterday. The trip takes around 3 hours to get there and 3 hours to come back. We got there around 9:45 am and didn't get out until after 12:00 pm. If there had not been another appointment over 3 hours later, we would have stayed. But luckily, we reschedule…

A Trip to the Doctors & Specialists

Tomorrow, I have to go to the NC Women's Hospital in Durham. These trips are aggravating to me at times. Don't get me wrong, but a 3-hour trip is not the easiest trip for me these days. I just got through taking my daughter to NCSU for her freshman year. It was exciting, but the lines to get into the dorms were very, very long. We stayed with her and helped her get settled in. And yes, I cried some tears (tears of joy for a proud mother). And along with this comes driving back home. We were all so tired after this 11-hour round trip.

The sad thing about going to the Women's Hospital is that you see so many different doctors and specialists. That is not a bad thing, but it urks me even more when there are a few of these doctors that talk down to you like they are better than you. Yes, I have had the privilege to be stuck with one of these nutritionists that happens to be this way. They are not fun to be around. They assume that just because they can afford to eat right that…

From the Heart

Until two minutes ago, I didn't know what I was going to write about today. I have been trying to get things done so I will be free for tomorrow's trip to NCSU with my daughter, Jessica. A long 3-hour trip going, and a long 3-hour trip coming back.

The pastor that I work for is a very good man. He not only works around my crazy doctor's appointments, but he gives from the heart, too. Take this for instance. We have been trying to get the bulletin done a day early so I wouldn't have to come in on Saturday to get it done. I have been working hard, but the information didn't come in until about thirty minutes ago. He came in and perused over the bulletin. Luckily, he didn't find anything that needed to be changed. As he was leaving, he told me to have a safe trip. And then he did something that I didn't expect. He turned around and gave me a little bit of money to help with my trip. The man really gave from the heart.

What do we give from the heart? I try to g…

In Need of Prayer for One's Self

Today, I feel like I need a friend or someone to talk to. Don't get me wrong. I have "friends". But, do you ever just want that someone to kind of know that you need a shoulder to lean on without having to tell them? This is just one of those many days that I have felt this way lately.

My daughter, Jessica, will be leaving home on Friday, August 16 for NCSU. Don't get me wrong on this. I am so proud of her for going to college. And it wouldn't have happened without my parents' help. I am so indebted to them for this help. But, as a mother, I am going to start crying once I say that last "goodbye" for the day (probably before I can even get the words out!). This will be a good cry, though.

And on a very serious note, I have not had a relationship that you could call a relationship in a very long time. This is part of my on-going problem. When you are the one trying to put forth ALL effort, it takes away from that emotional balance of a love that shou…

Prayer For Others...

Good morning, everyone.  I hope everyone has had a great weekend. My weekend was full; but I was fulfilled in many different ways in just a span of three days. This past week, though, the United Methodist Women's group at my church met on Tuesday evening. It was on Wednesday that I found out that I would be having to go on dialysis for my kidney disease. 
What people that I came into contact with on that day didn't realize was that I was battling some deep-seeded emotions about everything going on in my life. I found myself wanting to cry over things that I really didn't need to cry about. But at the same time, I have been finding the time to read on a book about praying for strangers. I received this book at our UMW meeting; I immediately started on it that night. I have yet to finish this book, but it made me realize something...I am not the only person that needs prayer in their lives. Just put it this way. Why do we meet the people that we meet throughout each day? May…

My Mother's A Blessing

The time we have with our loved ones are so precious and dear to us. And I know that this entry is not going to be so much about myself this time. Today, I can truly say that my mom has been so much of a blessing to me these past few years. I am truly thankful that my mother did not give up on me when I was a teenager. We were never that close back then; I clearly can say that we are so much closer than I ever thought we would ever be, though. Moms carry a heavy burden for their children and give so much, and yet what do we give them? 
Two days ago, I received news about having to have dialysis for my chronic kidney disease. I haven't mentioned this but my disease is Iga Nephropothy. (Well, this is one of so many different kinds of chronic kidney diseases. Right now, I am not going to get into what all this entails.) One of the hardest things that I have ever had to do is come to terms with my illnesses. And before I can talk to anyone, I have to work it out in my head to make me …

The Appointment

Ok, today has been a trial at best. Trying to deal with the results of my nephrologist appointment yesterday has been really hard on me personally. Dr. Dashiell has always been a very sweet, understanding doctor. Of course, it doesn't hurt that he is a very handsome doctor either.
But all in all, he gave me the news that I have been dreading and knew was coming. I will have to start on dialysis. Yes, this is what I have been hoping not to hear. But, it has been a blessing that my kidney diagnosis has been decent since I was diagnosed two years ago. And yes, it has been two years to the month. Also, as someone who works, I have to admit that it is hard to set my dialysis appointments up due to the fact that my family owns only one (1) vehicle and my husband works nights. I let him know last night that he would probably need to get someone to pick him up and bring him home about three (3) nights a week. His response? "I probably can't get anyone to do that. They all want t…

Iga Nephropathy...What is it?

Two years ago, I was diagnosed with Iga Nephropathy. Iga Nephropathy is a chronic kidney disease that is not usually easily diagnosed. With this disease, your kidneys are supposed to filter out some things such as protein in your blood. Well, mine are not doing so hot. At that time, they sent me to a nephropathist and had to do a biopsy on me due to something being elevated when I had blood taken after one of my regular infusions for my Rheumatoid Arthritis. Yeah, I have that, too. If you must know, I was diagnosed this past year with Gout and Osteoarthritis. But, let's get back to the real reason for my blog. To tell you the truth, there are more days that I do not feel like doing anything. And there are some days that I feel great. Lately, though, I have had more not-so-good days. The doctors tell me that I don't need a lot of stress, but when you are married and have teenagers, how do you become stress-free? Believe me when I say that this is not an easy task. To beat all, …