Sunday, October 10, 2010

Things I Never Expected To Say... But Did

My life has obviously changed a lot over the past year, and a lot of things have come my way that I never expected. Among these things are some phrases I never thought I would utter… Below, in no particular order, are the top ten biggest surprises to have come out of my mouth.

1. “Hold the cheese, please.”
Cheese is one of my favorite things, especially when it’s melty. I became aware of the unhealthy relationship I had with cheese when every single card I received after my transplant somehow welcomed me back to the pizza-eating world. People often ask if I’m still on a strict low-sodium diet. I’m not, but I continue to watch my sodium and minimize my cheese consumption because I’m now at increased risk for high cholesterol and other heart-related problems.

2. “My cardiologist…”
End that sentence with anything and it makes the list. I don’t know anyone who expects to require the care of a cardiologist in her twenties.

3. “Hang on a second while I inject myself.”
I’ve never been particularly fearful of needles, but I definitely did not foresee sticking them into myself on a daily basis. Fortunately, my insulin is supposed to be injected into stomach fat, which is in great supply at present.

4. “I live in New Jersey.”
Okay, this one goes back a little further than the past year, but I still haven’t gotten over it. You don’t grow up in Atlanta and spend ten years in Virginia, then anticipate a move to the Dirty Jerz…not that there’s anything wrong with it!

5. “Check out my fake cleavage.”
For the record, I never expected to utter this phrase sans “fake” either (and definitely have not)! My chest scar makes it look like I have some serious cleavage, though, so showing it off is my newest form of entertainment.

6. “I’m nocturnal.”
I have been sleeping from 2 or 3 a.m. until 12 or 1 p.m. lately, with a brief intermission to take my vital signs and pills first thing in the morning. This is obviously not going to jive with my impending return to work, so I am striving to correct this owl-like behavior now.

7. “I was petting my dialysis dressing because I thought it was my parents’ puppy.”
This was never expected on several levels, but nevertheless it came out of my mouth the other day when reminiscing with my wonderful CCU nurses. As you may have read or might remember, I had some pretty bizarre hallucinations a couple of weeks into my first hospital stay last year.

8. “I need to take the elevator.”
I still use elevators for multiple flights of stairs, especially when my heart rate is lower, like when I’ve been sitting for a while. However, I hope not to say this anymore when needing to go up just one or two floors – at least not for MANY years.

9. “Pleeeeze leave the Foley catheter in for one more day.”
The day after my transplant, getting up to use the bedside commode felt too strenuous, so I begged the nurses to let me keep my catheter in a little longer…not a request they heard very often!

10. “Yum, this sugar-free cookie tastes great!”
First of all, I never could have predicted that I would one day voluntarily consume sugar-free cookies. Enter: Diabetes. Secondly, I never dreamed I would actually think one tastes great, but I found these magical cookies at the store this week. The brand is Murray – check them out at if you are interested. I’ve only had the Pecan Shortbread cookies, but I intend to sample other varieties soon - stay tuned!

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