Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pics soon

After a whirlwind of a week everything is starting to calm down now. Arish left on Sunday and I dropped off Nora and James at the airport today. We really had a full house for the past week, with Arish also being over all the time. We had some really lovely breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with everyone actually sitting at the dining room table. M and I quite often have breakfast while working on the computer - or should I say - surfing the internet :-).

I received all the pics from the photographer today and as soon as I have more time I will post some.
I am starting my clinical psychology course tomorrow, but it's only two days this week. All in all, I only have six times three days I think over the next 10 months. My internship doesn't start until November 1st, but I am still working for my husband's (now, how does that sound....) organization in September.

I will blog a bit more about the wedding and the past week too in the next few days - it was a very magical week and an even more magical wedding!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Wedding day!!!

This is it!!!
I don't really have time to blog - still have so much to do and get everything ready.

I have been having a blast - spending so much time with my dear friends and of course having my civil service wedding yesterday. So, yes, legally I am married - but today is my "real" wedding.
I am so glad am having a church wedding too. The civil service wedding was very formal and over in 10 minutes....

Pictures will follow soon!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A non-wedding update

Besides all the wedding stuff that has been going on, I have still been trying to come to terms with my new tube feeding formula. I realized more and more that it's not the formula that I am having problems with, but more the fact that it is a 1.0 kcal formula (as opposed to the 1.5 that I had before), and I have to tube feed so much more volume and therefore longer as well. Besides those few months last year when I was on tube feeds only, I have always been a night time feeder. I was used to being able to eat some foods orally and top up my calorie intake during the night. Unfortunately over the past six months my GP has gotten worse, and I have been able to eat less orally. Thanks to the 1.5 formula I was still able to feed enough calories during the night, but I have started to feel worse during the day now, simply because I lack energy. Yes, I am getting enough calories and yes, my weight stays stable, but I was getting most of my calories during the night with the effect that I felt like I had no energy during the day.

So I have come to the decision that it is high time that I add day-time feedings to my schedule. I've tried all summer to up my oral intake - no luck there. I guess after almost two months I have to accept the fact that I just can't go by with being a sole night-time feeder any longer.

I started my day-time feedings this past Wednesday and so far they have been going very well. I am feeding in the afternoon now for a couple of hours. That way I am still able to have a liquid (oral) dinner, before I hook back up again before going to sleep. I am now back to feeding my regular amount ml-wise at night, I am able to sleep better again, as I don't constantly have to use the bathroom now, I am usually done feeding by 4.30 AM, and I get a few hours of sleep without tube-feeding. That's something I really enjoy - having a few hours without pumping food into me during the night.

And yes, I feel so much better now with day-time tube-feeds. Of course I feel so much fuller, because after all I am feeding into my somewhat dysfunctional stomach, but I have been trying to go for runs after I hook up in the afternoon and before I have dinner. Exercise always helps my stomach to get moving!

I guess it all still has to do with acceptance. I had no idea that I would have such a hard time to accept the fact that just doing night-time feedings wouldn't cut it any longer for me. I have been hooking up my afternoon feeds to my IV pole, but realized today that I have to bring out my backpack for those feeds. I hate being tied to the pole during the day.

I also have to try to get used to "outing" myself as a tubegirl, when I am out and about with my backpack. Without the NG-tube in my face, I have gotten used to being "incognito".

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I am starting to get nervous!

Today is Thursday, a week from tomorrow my two-day-wedding adventure begins. On Friday we have our civil service wedding with only both our immediate families present (parents, siblings and their partners), Manu's best man plus wife - if she can get over her morning (all day long) sickness by then and my maid of honor plus boyfriend and the twins.

My mind is buzzing with things I still have to prepare, buy, not forget.... It's definitely time to dig out the valerian root capsules that I had used in the weeks before my diploma exam.

At the moment I am sitting at the hairdresser's getting my hair cut and colored in preparation for my big day. Tomorrow we have a private dance lesson with our dance instructor to touch up our dancing skills. Manu's stag night is on Saturday, and I am really hoping he won't be completely drunk when he comes home. I on the other hand will spend the weekend cleaning the apartment in preparation of the arrival of my Canadian friends. And of course getting everything finished for the reception. I still have to finish the menues, get some more deco for the table ready....

I really hope I won't forget anything. And yes, I have thousand lists already, but still I worry....

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A night to remember!

Yesterday was my stagette. Now I am not one for crazy, over the top, alcohol filled stagettes, and my girlfriends respected my wishes, and so we celebrated at Donata's house out in the country. Because Donata has the twins, and she can't very easily pass them off on some-one else, us girls drove out to her place. We already met at 3 PM, knowing that we wouldn't be able to celebrate that far into the night because we still had to drive back to Vienna. Cathi rode with me, and Iris drove out in her car.

At first, we just sat in the garden, played with the twins, and talked. Roland, Donata's boyfriend, was there too, he was taking care of the kids and also he barbecued for us. It was a perfect late afternoon to barbecue and Roland did a wonderful job with the barbecued goods. I was a good girl and pureed my chicken, so I wouldn't get sick again.

After dinner, Cathi asked me if I wanted to go for a little walk. Of course, I said yes, knowing that probably Iris and Donata had some stagette stuff planned for me and probably wanted to prepare that. And I am never one to say no to a walk after a meal, always helps with my digestion.

When we came back, we all sat together outside on the terrace and just chatted, and I really thought that I was wrong, that the girls hadn't had anything planned for me after all, when Donata started to say that this was a stagette and they of course I had to prove that I was ready for marriage.

First, I had to tie a tie - first a simple knot. The funny thing was that Donata had to use Roland's only tie - a late 80ies black fake leather tie! I did have some troubles in the beginning, when the narrow end of the tie ended up being on top of the broad end at the end of my simple tie. And I really had some troubles trying to tie a windsor knot. Thank god, they had printed out some instructions for me. But even with the instructions I still did not do that well. The girls timed me and we had lots of fun.

My second task was to undress a baby doll (that Donata had dressed up in lots of clothes), change the diaper and dress it up again - left-handed. While I tried to undress the doll, the mosquitoes started to become really obnoxious. Donata had mercy with me and had me take a break after I had undressed the doll, we moved all the stuff into the kitchen, where I got to dress up the doll again - at least, I was able to concentrate more without the mosquitoes. The girls were laughing hard, as I was not very gentle with the doll - how could I - only using one hand.

For my third task they asked me questions about cooking and house-keeping. I really surprised them though, knowing so much about cooking. I guess it helps going to a high school with a vocational focus - one part being culinary arts.

For my last task they had me iron a long-sleeved shirt - left-handed again! It took me almost 10 minutes, but I did quite well at ironing left-handed, I have to say.

In the end the girls surprised me with a housewife diploma!

At 10 PM it started to rain very hard with lots of thunder and lightning. But we were having so much fun that we didn't realize how severe the thunderstorm was. At quarter after eleven the girls and I decided that we should hit the road, as Cathi still had to catch the last subway. Iris asked to drive right behind us, as I know the drive quite well back into Vienna. Donata reminded us to drive slowly with the roads being so wet. And so we drove carefully through the countryside, it was quite spooky when suddenly the sky was lit up through lightning.
I was very relieved when we finally were close to the highway, knowing that the roads would be a lot better there. Just as I wanted to drive onto the highway and was already on the turning lane, when I realized that a police car was blocking the lane to Vienna. I could not do anything else but drive onto the highway into the opposite direction - with poor Iris in tow. Fortunately I knew that the next exit off the highway was not very far away. So we left the highway at the next exit and I tried to find my way back to Schwechat knowing that I could drive through Schwechat and take the rural road into Vienna. Unfortunately, I got caught up in a rotary and took the wrong turn again, driving onto the highway again - this time in the right direction, but when I saw the car before me stop and starting to reverse I realized that none of the cars on the highway were moving - big, big traffic jam. I motioned Iris behind me to reverse back into the rotary and so we tried finding the way into Schwechat. Cathi phoned Iris to tell her how I wanted to drive to Vienna, and Iris told us that she really had to find a gas station, as she was running out of gas quickly. It was really dark outside, raining very hard, a bit foggy, and we were completely lost. I should have never left my navigation device at home!

Iris did find a gas station, and I phoned Donata for help. Thank god, she was not asleep yet. Donata managed to direct us onto the right road and reminded me that all I had to do was drive straight from now on, until I was in Schwechat, take a left turn at the market place and then I was at the Simmeringer street - a road that would lead me right into the third district in Vienna - my district - where I know my way around again. You have no idea how happy I was when we finally were on Simmeringer street! I kept telling Cathi that we would be home soon! When suddenly the cars before us stopped and started to reverse again. Another road block!!! That's when I really started to get a bit worried. We were already in Vienna, but in outer part of the 11th district, where I don't know my way around at all. So we turned around again, and at the next intersection I saw a sign for "Schloss Neugebäude" (a castle). I remembered that I had seen a sign for this castle once close to our new apartment - which is in the 11th district as well. I decided to turn there and follow the signs. That was the way to do! I followed the road, took another turn and ended up on Kaiserebersdorfer street - I was so happy, as I know that street to be really close to our new apartment. From that on it only took another couple minutes until we were back on Simmeringer street - past the road block - and back in my territory! Cathi then got into Iris' car, as Iris actually lives quite close to Cathi and the last subway had already left. I was so happy when I turned onto my home street, found a parking spot, ran through the rain through our house and was back home! Of course, I had to wake up M and tell him all about my adventure!!!! (It was way past midnight!)

This morning I was really surprised when I read on the news that the thunderstorm had been so bad that the airport in Schwechat (where I was driving) had to be closed for an hour, the public transport in Vienna was stopped for half an hour as well, as they had deemed it not safe. Now I really knew how bad the thunderstorm really was we were driving in, and I was really glad that we all got home safe.

What an adventure!!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Galactorrhea - round 2

Oh yes, I did it again. After starting to lactate in April as a side effect of Domperidone, I stopped taking it completely for three months. It actually took three months for the discharge to completely stop. Then came July and with July came the heat and with the heat worsened my gp. And of course I fell back on the Domperidone, thinking that if I only took it every once in a while, this would not happen again.

That's what I thought. But obviously I have started to rely on Domperidone too much again, have been taking it more regularly again, and bang, once again, I started to lactate.

So I am off the Domperidone again, for good this time. Makes me sad, as it really worked for me.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A year old already

On Friday my best friend's twins turned one year old. They were born 8 weeks early and even though they had to spend the first few weeks in NICU they have been thriving every since. They are the cutest boys, and I have really enjoyed watching them grow in the past year. And of course, Simon, is my godson, something I am really proud of.

Yesterday, we attented the twins' 1st birthday party - a barbecue. It rained almost the entire time, but Donata had put up a party tent, and so we were at least dry, albeit a bit chilly.

M took a ton of photos - here are a few impressions from the party.



 Simon's birthday cake

 Unwrapping presents

Laurenz's birthday cake

 Love that eyebrow!

Laurenz gets his presents

Simon likes our present (I refused to buy a plastic toy)

The only downside of the barbecue was that I, of course, could not withstand tasting some of the barbecue chicken. Also, I didn't feel like attracting anyone's attention by not eating meat. I honestly did not have a lot of the chicken - just a taste, still got sick, had to take meds, and felt bad all night. Will I ever learn? I hope....

Friday, August 6, 2010

Time well spent

I love modern technology. At the moment I am sitting at the doctor's receiving my second iron infusion, but thanks to my netbook and my mobile internet I can spend the time surfing the internet and, of course, blogging.

After having such a hard time Wednesday night, I did indeed hook up my old formula, but of course this formula stuck around in my stomach longer, made me feel fuller and making me realize again the advantages of the new formula.

I e-mailed with my dietician, and she concluded that it's probably my allergies that are making me feel so tired and crappy - ragweed just started blooming over here. One week is not long enough to determine, whether the formula has any contribution on me feeling that way. Plus, I really don't have a choice at the moment. In reality I have to stick with it no matter what I think or feel.

Parts of my problems with this new formula definitely have an emotional source. I have a very hard time accepting the fact that my GI-tract is so damaged that I need an elemental formula in order to be healthy. I guess, as long as I only needed regular high-cal formula I still felt "normal" - as in - I can't eat enough orally, therefore I have to tubefeed formula during the night to meet my calorie needs. But having to use an elemental formula means to me that even if I were able to eat enough calories, my body wouldn't be able to use it, and I would have to tubefeed anyway.

I tubefed the survimed formula (the new one) again last night, it went well, today I feel alright, tired, but I guess that's nothing new here.

I guess I have to give my body at least 2-3 weeks to adjust to the new formula, before I really come to any conclusions.

I guess it is always harder, when you have no choice or control over something. Because really, if this is what I need to get my albumin levels back up, then this is what I have to do, and I can't just say "no, I am not going to do it".

For now, I just have to keep on plugging along.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Having a hard time

I am still having a hard time with my new formula. I just don't feel well on it. Yes, my gi-symptoms are actually better, but I am feeling worse. I have no energy whatsoever even though I am eating orally allright and tube feeding the same amount of calories as before. I feel as if I am constantly hypoglycemic. No, I just don't feel right.

I was supposed to stay on this formula for four weeks and then I was supposed to get my albumin levels re-tested. But I am really doubting that I can continue on this formula. I am really ambivalent in my thoughts because part of me actually doesn't want this formula to have an effect on my albumin so I can go back to my old formula and stop feeling crappy all the time. But on the other hand I know that living with hypoalbuminemia is not a good thing, and we need to find a way to get my albumin levels up. And what if the formula does help with my protein absorption and I have to stay on it in order to be healthy? AARGH!!!! Of course I want to be healthy, but I don't want to feel as bad as I have been feeling.

I e-mailed my dietican a couple hours ago and told her what has been going on. I am very tempted to just hook up my old formula tonight.

It looks as vile as it smells.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The best cities to live on earth

According to the Mercer report 2010 on quality of living Vienna was ranked 1st again. I have been living in Vienna for almost 9 years now, and even though I do miss the countryside and living in the suburbs of Linz, I would not want to live anywhere else right now.

This is what I love about Vienna:
  • the subway (we have five subway lines and loads of tram and bus lines on top of it)
  • the internationality - walking around Vienna you can hear so many different languages
  • Artis International - we actually have an English cinema (two to be exact) - no need to watch horribly dubbed movies
  • the Vienna old-style buildings (so beautiful)
  • how green it is
  • the (green) Prater - my down-town "forest" for running and nordic-walking
  • the roof-top terraces (we still find new ones when we go for walks)
  • the "walkability" - my word creation for the night - I love going for walks in Vienna, sometimes I get off early from the subway and walk a few stops to experience new parts of Vienna
  • the zoo :-)
Here are a few impressions of Vienna: