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ATTITUDE
by Kimberly Wray

Hi Folks,

There are those of you out there that look at me and ask what happened.  When I tell people they stare at me with a look of awe on their face and tell me they admire me.  They wonder how I could have gone through so much and still keep a smile on my face and laughter in my voice. I keep it simple and don't let the little things bother me.  That's it.  That's all.

You are probably wondering, now, what has happened and how I got over it.  I was diagnosed with Diabetes Type 1 when I was nine years old.  This may sound like a lot of people you know, right.  Well, that is not the end of it.  When I was in my mid twenties I developed a couple of the many complications associated with Diabetes.

First, it was Charkot Joint which in time deteriorated the bones in my left foot.  I had to wear braces on both legs. (Preventive for the right)  The braces fit in tennis shoes only and ended just below the knee.  So they were not the most comfortable or nicest looking things in the world.  I could no longer wear cute shoes or heels to match my outfit. Dressing up is a bit difficult now. 

Second, my eyesight started failing with Diabetic Retinopathy.  I am not totally blind but have gone though many Laser Eye therapies, which can be pretty painful, but the shots to numb the eye were worse and I drudged through the ordeal without the numbing medication.  I still can not see the best and now have Cataract, but that is operable and not a big deal at this time. 

You are now probably thinking well that isn't too bad, perhaps one of your friends or family has been through similar complications.  I am not done yet.  

In my early thirties my kidneys began to fail and I ended up with ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease) or complete kidney failure.  So I went on Dialysis.  It was my choice to do Peritoneal Dialysis which is done daily or nightly, in my case while I slept.  During this time I blew up like a balloon, gaining over 50 pounds and ended up in the hospital several times for various reasons and complications. 

Finally, five years later, in 2003 I received a kidney/pancreas transplant.  The Kidney obviously to fix the kidney failure, the Pancreas...since it was the Diabetes that caused the kidneys to fail in the first place.  I thought this would fix that problem as well in one shot.  And so it did.  I was doing well for many years to follow then started with very bad infections in my left foot/ankle. (The one without any bones in it due to the Charkot Joint).  First it was MRSA off and on for 3 months.  I was in the hospital at least once a month for a week or two at a time. 

In January of this year, 2008, when this pink ooze came pouring out of the ankle I decided that was it, take the leg, I am tired and done with all of this.  Therefore a BKA (Below Knee Amputation) was performed and do you know...my health returned and I felt so much better and to top it off, a couple pounds lighter. 

However. due to all the harsh antibiotics they had given me over the past several months, my transplanted kidney is failing again and I am back on Dialysis,  This time I went the Hemodialysis way and now have a fistula to have the procedure done three times a week.  I have also been out of a job for the past couple years, too.  This puts a real strain on the budget with all the medical bills and unless I find something soon, I may lose my house.  I am sure my parents do not want me moving back in.  They finally got rid of me and turned my room into a sewing showcase.  Oh well.  McDonalds here I come even though I am trained as a CPC, CMAA and CBCS. 

Now you are asking yourself how did she deal with all that and still have humor and be able to laugh about all of it.  ATTITUDE!!!!   Yes, my friends attitude.  It occurred to me, not soon enough, that if you do not let the little things get you down the big stuff does not seem all that big anymore either.  And yes, there are time I get sad and think what am I going to do, but then I say to myself I have friends and family who love me and together we will work this out.  Besides being brought up to be independent I am able to live alone and take care of my self, my dog and cat without too many hassles. 

I can tell you, however, if you think the government will help because you have worked all your life, ehhhh, try again, the government will not help and if they do it will be minimal.  Unless you are in rags and live under a bridge they will not lift a finger to help.  I have found that out the hard way.  Anyway, smiling is a cure all.  It may not fix the problem totally but it will get you through the rough times and can get you laughing out loud during the good times.  ATTITUDE.  There is nothing else like it.  An aphrodisiac if you will.

I hope this finds you all well and happy.  As they always say "Donít sweat the small stuff".  Take care of yourself.

 

 

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