Hey guys! So, I wasn’t kidding when I said I was back and in a big way! I’m here to stay! Woohoooo!
Anyways, as mentioned in my last post, quite a bit has happened to me in the last 9 months, and what better to share the gory details with you in a Lifestyle Lowdown post!?
I’ll start with the mundane stuff, then work my way into the bigger story and then finish off with some good news! Cool!? Yay!
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So, in terms of school and everything, not much has changed. I am still a university student, and I hope/plan on graduating in December. This is later than I planned due to a late change of major, but that’s okay. I’m extremely where I am and hope to use this extra time to figure out what the hell I want to do with my life (sorry for the curse, I had to put it in. It’s exactly what I’ve been thinking lately, and I just couldn’t write it out).
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In terms of work, that thing that, you know, gives me money so I can go out and buy new beauty products to obsess over try, I actually didn’t have a part time job this year. That sounds crazy to even me because I’ve been working since the ripe ol’ age of 15. Luckily, because I made some money last year and didn’t spend it ALL, I got to live off of those savings. The reason for my lack of job: I had a little bit of a late start in the job hunting game, because, silly me, I thought that it would be MUCH easier than it was. I had my previous part time job for 2 years before I had to quit because of my summer job last year, so I had obviously forgotten how hard jobs are to come by. And, by the time that I got seriously into job hunting, I had a little bit of a problem on my hands.
Which, is actually the perfect segue into my more interesting piece of news. I am going to cut this story down to the bare minimum, because I don’t want to relive it just as much as I’m assuming you don’t want to hear all of the details. Near the end of September, I was hospitalized for two weeks, and to this day I cannot tell you what they kept me in so long for. I originally went in because I thought I had had another stroke, which being in my situation is nothing crazy to think. Yes, I go for monthly blood exchanges and that is supposed to severely reduce and/or eliminate the chance of this happening in the future, but I had gone through a couple of issues with booking and getting my last few exchanges, so I wasn’t sure. I could feel everything okay, but I just was much slower than usual to respond to questions and I couldn’t think as clearly. Plus, I was slightly slurring my speech. My family now jokingly refers to this as my “drunk” phase, as I turned out to be completely fine, no neurological trauma, injuries or anything of the like. Obviously the person upstairs just wanted me to freak out a little and then would soon reassure me that I was fine.
Anyways, getting back to the point, 2 full weeks later, a very bored and increasingly annoyed me was discharged from the world’s most pointless hospital stay ever, and I began to feel better. However, my very rude, obnoxious and, did I mention, rude haematologist used this visit as a driving force to get me to do something I had been told I needed back in April 2012, but the whole idea scared me, so I delayed it as long as I possibly could. This something: get a portacath.
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For those of you who don’t know what a portacath is, it is pictured above. If you still don’t know what that is, trust me, it’s fine, I didn’t know, either. It’s a permanent line made of aluminum, titanium and plastic hubs that is inserted into your chest so that access to your blood is easier and faster. This can also be read as a painful, permanent thing that I did NOT want to go through. However, after much discussion and a few emotionally draining visits to my haematologist and sickle cell specialist, I reluctantly decided to get one.
The process was a long one, as the hospital needed time to fit me in and I needed to make sure that I was prepared for time off of school. When they called me to tell me that the surgery (day surgery, but surgery nonetheless) had been booked, I cried for days. See, the thing is, I have a fear of the unknown, as does everyone, and though, sure, the thing is in me and it’s fine now, there are still many drawbacks to have a piece of metal plating in your chest:
1. Airport security is bound to be a nightmare
2. When I lean onto the right side of my upper chest, it is often very sore
3. I have a nice, big, ugly scar where anyone can see when I wear most tops
4. The portacatch itself, if maintained properly, can last up to 25 years. Sure, that’s good, because it means less taking things in and out, but that is a long time and it’s bound to cause me some trouble, eventually…
5. Because of my medical history, I get frequent MRI tests done to make sure the ol’ brain is still working the way it should be. There is no metal allowed in MRI machines….do you see the problem!?
Gulping down a big sob of dread and sorrow, I went in for surgery in mid-October. I was the luckiest person alive that day, as I was “missed” by reception, so I ended up going in 2 and a half hours later than I should have. To you, this may seem to be a problem, and believe me, it was a problem to me at the time, too. However, I would soon find out that it was a blessing in disguise, as I got the best team possible: understanding, friendly and welcoming. Plus, very talented and put the thing in without me being awake and me only having 2.5 days of soreness (the average is 6 days).
Moving onto how the portacatch is now, it’s okay. I’m still not the happiest, but it is what it is. I have learnt to accept that it does keep me alive and well and it does mean a few good things:
1. I have a “sick-ass” scar, according to my best friend, Krisa. Apparently, it looks like I got into a knife fight on the streets or a brawl with Wolverine. 😉
2. Titanium is my theme song, as it was made for me, I’m convinced of it. The lyrics goes as follows – “…I am titanium”. I joke to all of my friends about this but I secretly tell myself this when I am down: I AM titanium. I literally have titanium plating sitting under my skin right now. Mhmmm, pretty cool 😉
3. Though the days that I get bloods are more painful now, they are quicker and easier to handle. It’s much better going into the unit knowing that you will get poked twice with two big needles than countless times with little needles.
Like aforementioned, overall, it’s okay. I have yet to travel by plane, and that will be truly fun (NOT). But, I take each day as it comes. At the end of the day, I’m still breathing and I’m relatively healthy, and that’s all I can ask for! 🙂
When you get to the end of that fiasco, we are at the end of October. Yup, October was a bit of a wash, but I bounced back! I enjoyed the rest of 2012 with a few exciting events! In November, I started a vlog channel (which I do a variety of non-beauty videos on, you should check it out), I went to IMATS (which was amazing and I managed to secure a press passes to this year’s IMATS! YAY!!!), I went to an Alex Goot concert (which was equally amazing) and I got to meet one of my heroes, Ingrid Nilsen, aka missglamorazzi on Youtube (she is probably the sweetest and most precious, down to earth gal you will ever meet). Then, December was Christmas with my family, which was so much fun and very relaxing and then it was the new year! I made a video on my vlog channel discussing my 2012 reflections and 2013 resolutions, which, I feel, was a good way to start the new year. I purged any negativity and was on my way to a new year, new goals and new dreams.
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Speaking of January and dreams, I should move on to my last exciting tidbit! I CAN DRIVE! Wait, what!? WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN!? That’s right, folks, little old Siobhan, who didn’t even get the first stages of her licence (like a learner’s permit) until July 2011, when she was 20 (which in my area, is practically unheard of, most people do it before 18), got her licence. Well, sort of. Haha! I can drive on my own now and I have no restrictions on the roads I can drive on, but I still don’t have a full licence. I have to wait until January to take a highway test, but, provided I pass that, I will be a fully licenced driver! WOOHOO! However, I don’t need that full licence to go anywhere I want at any time! Well, you know, I don’t own a car of my own yet, so I have to ask my parents to borrow one of theirs. But, they are really good to me and let me have it most of the times that I ask. Thanks Mom and Dad! So, I have been driving since January and it has been awesome!
I actually wasn’t sure I would pass because, though I felt ready, the day of my test, it was snowing pretty badly and that made me ultra nervous. However, I got a 96/100 and have been a freebird ever since! YAY!
Then, I went into ultimate school study mode, and have basically been living in a textbook for the last couple of months, but in April, I finished up my last exams and I actually was lucky enough to get employed at the same place I was working last summer! I really love the people and environment there and was thrilled when I found out that I would be going back. I started last week and I’m already feeling like I never left! 🙂 Love it!
Okay, so, that is it for me! You have literally been walked through the last 9 months or so of my life and I have now given birth to the baby that is my Lifestyle Lowdown catch up! 😉 I hope that you enjoyed hearing about the various things that went on in my life and if you’d like to tell me about how YOU have been, I would love to hear! Go ahead and leave me a comment letting me know what’s goin’ on and I’ll be sure to reply! Wooooohoooo!
I will be back very soon with another post! Until then, I love you and I hope you have a wonderful day!