Day to Day Life and Dialysis

The blog of a 26 year-old dialysis and liver patient in Memphis, Tennessee giving a day to day (or week to week... or whenever she feels like telling you) recount of the ups and downs of life at the moment.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Ok... put the searching for a newspaper on hold... I wonder if Time comes in Spanish... Anyway, what is going on in my life at the moment? Nothing really worth talking about. I think I am like most offspring that are ambivalent towards family. One minute you love the next you wonder how and why you are related to them. I think that I am learning to accept them and the craziness (including my own) and leave it that. I didn't chose my family, but in the end my family sticks by me... even when I come up with the most outlandish decisions about my life... like law school... I mean, really, what was I thinking. And now they are backing me in my application to school in California. It's funny when other people know that you can and will do something but you, yourself, have no idea how and when it will come about. The application for my number 1 school has been kicking my butt mainly because I have no idea what my career goals are at this point in time. I just want to get my degree and figure it out later. But, apparently, that is not plausible. My mom even got on me to finish the application a few days ago. And I actually did part of it, amid the thought that I am 27 years old... why is she making me finish this application? But as I completed part of it I realized that she was looking at something that I wasn't. The road ahead. I guess it's different watching you child get back on her feet after a long stretch of being knocked down and kicked about. So, she sees this as my time to get up and run. And I am really trying to get there... hence the endless preparation, volunteer work, saving money to move. Given the circumstances failure is not an option. And that alone keeps me putting one foot in front of the other.

In other news... well there really isn't any other news. Men are crazy and I'll leave that at that. I love being me and having the confidence that I have now... the extra weight hasn't hurt either. I love the fact that I am working and I love the fact that I am becoming more and more comfortable with who I am, my family and friends, and all of the events that have made me who I am. Yea for trials and tribulations... that's a little strange to be glad that you have gone through some pretty strenuous events, but I honestly believe we wouldn't be the people that we are without having overcome some struggle no matter how big it is. On that note... I really need to get back to work!

Que Tal!

OK... so, I am applying to schools, working, and doing volunteer work! And am having a time juggling all of this, but things are going well at the moment! Things seem to be falling into place, but I can't let myself get comfortable because that's when life tends to dish out the curve balls and Lord knows that I have had one too many of those over the past couple of years. Right now I wish I could say I was coasting along, but there is too much work to be done to be in coast. Anyway, I have to find a subscription to a Spanish newspaper to keep up with the current events and so on... wish me luck because that will be hard to come by in Memphis!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Why do they get all of the attention?

I was flipping through the channels lasat week and stooped on Court TV to see what was on. (I am a Forensic Files fanactic). But there was some show about celebrities and their so called "trials and tribulations." Anyway, they were doingt a story about Pamela Anderson and how she is "bravely" dealing with Hepatitis C. It amazed me that these people were making such a big deal about this one person dealing with a disease when everyday people deal with things like that on a daily basis. I immediately thought of some media tinged caste system created for celebrities and the everyday individual. We don't receive commendations for making it to the next day. We don'ty have people calling us telling us how brave we are in the face of this "adversity." We don't have reporters at our door asking how we are doing today. There is no documentation of our struggles. No one cares that some of us can't afford the medications required to get us through the next hour, day, week, month. It amazes me that people make such an event out of celebrities needing transplants, battling cancer, having an incurable disease. Its like things like this are supposed to happen to everyday people because they are within the actual realms of humanity. People deal with these things everyday, and a lot of it is due to the sheer will to survive. Its as if these diseases are not important unless a celebrity is dealing with it. Yes, they are human too, but it makes me feel that most of the world doesn't really care about the things that are going on around them or in their own backyards. I guess it is a bit of the sign of the times. People care more about what is happening in the lives of Britney Spears and Patris Hilton that events that actually affect their lives like Bush vetoing the SCHIP bill that would have given a lot of children access to healtcare (God forbid they should have to go through anything like kidney failure) or the war in Iraq....

Ok... just needed to blow off a little steam... Logically speaking I am damn glad that none of those things exist in the world of the average person. We have strong support in family and friends and that is all we really need. They get us through the days when we don't want to get out of bed. And that there really is no one standing outside our door/window trying to take our picture... I think on most days someone would have gotten hurt for real. And, yes we have a strength to deal with all of this on our own terms and in our own time. I'm sure it's harder for celebrities because everything is documented and people have these unreaslistic expectations about who they are and what they are capable of. They should have no faults, no imperfections simply because they are famous, they are idolized by millions of people worldwide. So, I am thankful that I am me and no one else. I know that I am just as strong, if not stronger, than a lot of people. I told one person that some are better off than me and I am better off that others, so it all balances out somehow. And balance is what its all about in life. I am still learning to balance some things, but I am happy that I can do it on my own and in private.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Ok... so I just read an article about Bill O'Reilly and his "pleasant" lunch at Sylvia's, a black owned restaurant. Apparently he thought it amazing that blacks sat down, like whites and other races for that matter, with no drama. That amazed me because he also apparently stated that no one was screaming "Yo, MF get me some more tea" (I didn't quote that directly but anyway). And in the same breath stated that not all blacks acted like Twista, Ludacris, and some other rapper. What in the hell?! Please don't tell me that his perception of the majority of blacks in the US hinge upon the remarks, actions, and attitudes of people from the hip-hop community. If that were the case, then should I use Marilyn Manson, Ozzie Osbourne, or Britney Spears as a guide to my understanding and perception of white America? I mean, most of us do have sense, and we work hard to make a living, but to imply that we be held to the same standards as three rappers is ludicrous on his part. Yes, some are fueled by the lifestyles and mannerisms of those three people, as are members of white America fueled by Britney Spears and Marilyn Mason, but that doesn't mean that my next door neighbor, my colleague, or my classmate should be held to that standard. Why would he hold black America to the standard of three rappers?

He also stated that having dinner at this black owned restaurant was like eating at any other restaurant, like having a nice Italian dinner in NY. It was funny that he thinks that black people are so backwards that we do not have the sense or the ability to be successful. Being in such a highly publicized position, I thought he would be a little more open-minded... or intelligent for that matter. I guess ignorance and stupidity are bliss when you lack common sense. Then again, I am not surprised at all by his cultural ignorance. He probably thinks all Hispanics that come here are illegal and criminals. He seems to have a knack for latching on to one particular blight in a cultural community and panning it to somehow fit millions of people. I wonder what he thinks about white people. since he is one and is on the privileged side?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Working Girl

I've finally found a j-o-b! And it's with the government, which is great because in the end I plan on working with the Department of Homeland Security once I have received my MA. Other than that I don't really have a lot of time to spare with completing school and scholarship applications, working, and volunteering everywhere I possibly can. Hopefully I can get other people to pay for my MA program (and not other people that I have to pay back later). Anyway, duty calls. I have to go over the GRE! yay...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

No Title

Things have been a little weird in my world lately. I don't think that some people believe leaving the past in the past, others don't believe they are wrong... ever. I don't think I want to elaborate on either of those at the moment. I will say that it is funny when people think that you are wrong for believing in and reacting the way that you do. I am amazed at how small- minded people can be... especially people that I see everyday. I am learning to move through the world and not let things bother me so much. I figure when that person finally figures out that the world really does not revolve him and his views then may things may get a little better. But I decided that I am not going to die from any of my life experiences, and I am not holding my breath.

Other than trying to cope with the stupidity at home, things are going well. I have thrown myself into studying for the GRE and getting my applications ready. Its time to stop playing around and get on the career path. I have a few opportunities here, but I want to be the best in my field. So, I am trying to get into one of the few schools that actually offers a MA in translation and interpretation and not just a MA in a foreign language. I think it'll be a great help. I haven't thrown myself into the Spanish scene here like I should have. It's a little daunting for me for some reason. I know that I am really good at speaking Spanish and will make a damn good translator/interpreter but, for some reason, I have this weird hang up about speaking to native Spanish speakers. It makes my stomach hurt and I get really sweaty. I feel like I sound like the quintessential American but I have a fairly thick Southern drawl to add to my butchering of the Spanish language. Of course, all of this is in my mind. Most Spanish speakers end up asking me what Spanish-speaking country I am from. Last week a man in New Orleans asked if I was from Honduras. I am still trying to figure out whether that is good or bad as I have never met a person from Honduras. I may have sounded quite raggedy, as I like to call it. The problem is that I am not taking advantage of the offerings here to practice Spanish, which, as I mentioned before, is completely my own fault. So, I am trying to become more involved with the Hispanic community here. It can all go one of two ways, either I will reconnect with my inner Spanish diva, or I will completely bomb... Ok, well actually it can only go one way because failure is not an option. So, since I will not fail, that leaves me to reconnect with my inner Spanish diva... Now... if I only knew where to find her...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I'm still here... somewhere. I have a lot pf projects going on at the moment. I am working on a manuscript, finishing applications for school and practicing for some exams that I have to take at one school. So, I have very little time to do much of anything else! In any event, everything is going well at the moment, mostly because I don't really have time to stop and think about some of the things that have been going on. Anyway, I was just taking a bit of a break. I have to finish packing. I'm taking a much needed trip for the Labor Day weekend! Yeah me!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Where did he get that?!

It is a bit of a shock when you come to the realization that you have lost all respect for a person that is supposed to close to you. Ok... that's a lie. It wasn't really a shock. I have never really had any respect for my step-dad... fear, yes. But respect no. And believe me I have tried to tell myself that he has been here since you were five, that you're supposed to love him... blah, blah, blah. The past few weeks have made me realize that he uses emotion as a weakness. When you go against him, it seems you go against all that his "holy" in his book... and that, essentially, means that you are defying him. I have never been this resilient when dealing with him, but lately it just all seems funny to me. I feel as if I can see him for the person that he really is. He wants people to do things his way no variation, no questions asked. My brother seems to handle him with a grain of salt. He has had his own struggles with him, but I still think they were no where near the crap that I went through because of him. A lot of the things that happened to me when I was younger are still with me, sitting under the surface, ready to emerge at any moment. My therapy sessions, the teachings of a Buddhist monk, and my own will to survive and move on have helped me keep them under control and accept that they have helped make me who I am.

My step-dad, on the other hand, either seems to have selective memory about a lot of things, or he is so careless as to speak and not think about anything that he says since he probably won't remember what he told you three hours later. So, when he told me that I should get over having been on dialysis and move on with my life, it pissed me off. My normal mode is to shut down, which I did for a moment, then I went and talked to my grandmother for a while. And she made me realize that I had to start doing things for me without regard to what other will say or how they will react. So I took that and I ran with it. I started studying for the GRE like crazy, as well as a job search, and writing. I just stayed in my room and got what I needed to get done. I didn't really talk to my step-dad, but I did talk to my brother and sister. Yes, I stayed in my room alot, but my brother and sister had sense enough to knock on the door if they wanted anything. My relationship with them didn't change much. My step-dad, the wonderfully bright person that he is, decided that, somehow, I had forgotten that I had a family. I looked at him and laughed and went back in my room. I hadn't forgotten that I had a family, I just didn't want to feign some closer relationship with him based solely on the fact that I had had a transplant. Yes, there were times when I really did try to create a relationship with him, but he would do or say something completely off the wall and demeaning that I would just say screw it. If I've failed to do something so many times, I refuse to sit here and hit my head against a brick wall trying to figure out how to do it. I moving on. So, that's what I decided, since he decided that I didn't know that I had a family. He never asked me what I was doing while I was in my room, he jsut assumed that none of it was constructive and that it, apparently, did not warrant so much of my attention.

I think at that moment, I realized that I literally had no respect for my step-dad. It was a little weird, but I was able to let a lot of stuff go and focus on myself and my own needs. As a result, my step-dad has been complaining to my mom, and so she brings all of that crap to me. It's funny. I doubt that they would ever do any of this to my younger brother and sister. But it seems that I have been getting the brunt of their (mostly his) crap for so long, it would seem almost weird if something like this did not happen in my family. So she starts asking me why I stayed in my room so much and I pretty much answered all of her questions, and as usual, she hit me with the "we've always been here." I just looked at her with my mouth open. And immediately thought about my childhood. I tried not to laugh, and told her that I had never talked to her or my step-dad. And I wouldn't start talking to them. I have no idea why my relationship with them is supposed to change as a result of my transplant. All of their children have outlets that do not include them. My younger sister talks to me. My brother talks to his girlfriend. We all have a selective group of people that we intimately confide in. I don't think they know or understand this. They do not realize that none of us really have close relationships to them. Anyway, my mom started talking about what my plans were and I told her. Then she interjected about possibly moving. And I jumped on that. I told her that as soon as got on my feet, that I would move out. I think that is what my step-dad wanted more than anything, so I decided that I would give him what he wanted. It's funny because she said that it wasn't what she wanted and I looked at her. Whatever my step-dad wanted, she would comply with. But I told her that it wasn't a problem. There was nothing more to say.

It's funny because my step-dad is supposed to be an adult, but he acts like a five year old. When he sees me, he immediately storms to his room and if my mom is there he complains to her. The whole situation is funny to me. The other day he got mad because I took my little sister with me while running some errands and going to a doctor's appointment. So when he came home around 12:45, he told me that my little sister couldn't go anywhere with me without permission. I looked at him and laughed, told him "ok" in a comical way and walked off. Later on he told me that I would know what was going on if I came out of my room. I looked at him and asked him why would I want to come out of my room when you say ignorant things to me. And then he started saying something else and I told him I really wasn't worried about anything. That made him angrier. It was funny to me because a lot of his actions are just reactions to his anger. I think dealing with him has made me a lot stronger. I no longer fear him. In a sense I feel sorry for him because he always thinks he has to control people and situations. He has this mentality that he is never wrong, that the past is in the past and it should not affect you at all. It's funny because he does not understand that most things that happen to you have some long term affect on a person's life. And yes, I know I am not making the situation any better because I refuse to let him get to me anymore. So, I no longer wish to have any contact with him. In the book that I am reading, the author says that you should be the first to make the initial steps for a possible reconciliation. And yes, that is true, but at this point, I can't say that I care. Fear has ruled that relationship for so long that I think he still relies on it to a certain extent. And maybe the fact that I really don't care to repair this relationship, means that some fear still exists there. But at this point, I am trying to focus on myself. I feel like most of my life has been spent living in fear of him, knowing that my mom would be on my step-dad's side. That and the fact that dialysis had consumed two years of my life, made me want to focus on myself more than anything. There is only so much one can do before they completely unravel because they are not looking after themselves. I have been there and I refuse to go back to that point. I know that in order to do that I need to get out of here. And I need to continue embracing the events that have shaped me and put them to rest. So, I am focused on myself more than anything, and if that means that I have "forgotten that I have a family," then so be it, which is still funny to me. I have always been sort of a loner, even when I am surrounded by my family. I have been this way all of my life, it's funny that my mom and step-dad have not realized this and feel a need to force me to do things that really don't come naturally for me. I attend family events when I want to, but sometimes I want to be left the hell alone. Maybe we all have a lot to learn about each other... who knows... until then, life goes on as usual.