Whole30 after transplantation

Is going through the Whole30 program after transplantation safe or not? When I started to think about taking this challenge, I did a huge research on this theme. Well, huge might be a too strong word as I didn’t find much information about this specific theme. I found some concerns that eating too much protein might be dangerous for people who have some kidney illness (well I knew this already as I went through this stage in the past) but no evidence of eating a lot of protein after transplantation being dangerous for the patients. Just warning that eating too much fat might be dangerous for their figure as they are taking corticoids which increase taste.

In the last two years I gained almost 7 kilos and lately I was almost constantly feeling tired but couldn’t sleep at night, often had some digestion problems, diarrhea or felt bloated and very bad mood swings. Almost all the symptoms that the creators of the Whole30 program claim might be caused by eating food that is not healthy for you, you are allergic to or sensitive to. I read the whole program to see what rules you have to follow and I decided to give it a try.

Today I have finished the first week so I can already tell what changes I feel. So far I have more energy than I had before I started and also I sleep way better. One of the rules of the program is that you should eat only three times per day which I wasn’t able to follow in the first few days. I had to have two fruity snacks – one between breakfast and lunch and the other between lunch and dinner. From the third day I needed only one snack and from the fifth, I am fine with three meals per day. Interesting is that I don’t feel hungry the whole day and I don’t have any cravings for sweets (and I was used to having something sweet every day) unless it is right in front of me directly attacking my nose with its smell (so preparing snacks for my daughter is kind of self-torturing process).

However, I would be lying if I said that I am not afraid if the program can’t somehow hurt my kidney. I am trying not to eat too much protein but protein and fat are the basics of this program as they keep you feeling full for a long time. So for the next week, I am considering lowering the amount of meat and protein overall and maybe contacting my doctor and asking for a special check.

During the first week I tried to measure my sugar the whole day (before and two hours after each meal) without taking the regular pills reducing the amount of sugar which the blood absorb from the food. I found out that my sugar level was almost normal and so I decided to try to go without them. Will measure my sugar more often now though. Just in case.

Another rule also is that you are not allowed to weigh yourself or measure in any way. Hah, kind of tough for someone who is used to weighing herself each second day. Oh well, a challenge is a challenge with all it takes. So, in the morning of the first day, I did my last measuring. I started with weight of 57.7 kg,

Overall I don’t have any bigger issues with following the meals rules, the biggest challenge is the breakfast though. I am having eggs every day in different variations but I am a bit afraid that soon I won’t be able to eat them anymore. And what would I do then? No idea. Well so far I am still able to eat them so will see what the next week brings.

The only complication was that on the third day I became ill. Nothing serious just some cold with a bit higher temperature and about 15 little but terribly painful herpeses on my lips (the usual thing in my case, unfortunately). So I was staying home (and had more time to prepare all the meals). Tomorrow I am going to work again.

Not sure if it is connected to the food or to the illness (or the terrible weather outside lately) but I am feeling colder. I am wearing more clothes than I usually do and need an extra blanket at night. On the other hand, I see a big improvement in my mood. I am almost constantly in a good mood (might be connected to the better sleep) and sometimes I don’t even believe my reactions. It happened few times that something didn’t go as I wanted or expected and normally I would get angry or started to yell or argue but I didn’t (and I honestly asked myself: “Did you really just say/do this instead of freaking out?”). That’s more than positive!

Here is my meals diary for the first week:

Day 1

Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs, cucumber, tomato

Snack 1: White grapes

Lunch: Stewed turkey meat in carrot with boiled potatoes.

Snack 2: Banana

Dinner: Beef soup with vegetables

Day 2

Exactly the same as on Day 1

Day 3

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with onion made with Ghee, tomato, cucumber, carrot

Lunch: Roasted onions, peppers, tomatoes, and eggs ( in Czech we call it “Lečo”) with potatoes cooked in the skin

Snack: Apple

Dinner: Vegetable salad (few types of green salad, cabbage, carrot) with salmon grilled with dill and garlic

Day 4

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with spinach (they may not seem good, but they were awesome!), cucumber, and carrot

Lunch: Roasted onions, peppers, tomatoes, and eggs ( in Czech we call it “Lečo”) with potatoes cooked in the skin

Snack: Pear

Dinner: Baked chicken leg (without skin), grilled vegetable (zucchini, eggplant, red and yellow pepper, onion), grilled potatoes

Day 5

Breakfast: 1 boiled egg, 3 slices of Schwarzwald ham, carrot, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, small bowl of raspberries

Lunch: Baked chicken leg (without skin), grilled vegetables (zucchini, eggplant, red and yellow pepper, onion), grilled potatoes

Dinner: Vegetable salad (few types of green salad, cabbage, carrot, cherry tomatoes) with shrimps and salmon grilled with dill and garlic

Day 6

Breakfast: Scrambled 3 eggs with onion and Ghee, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes, 1/2 red apple

Lunch: Grilled salmon with steamed vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrot), cherry tomatoes and boiled potatoes

Dinner: Baked duck (I have to admit I had a small piece of the skin as well), grilled vegetables (zucchini, eggplant, red and yellow pepper, onion, sweet potato), boiled potatoes

Day 7

Breakfast: 1 boiled egg, kohlrabi, cucumber, carrot, cherry tomatoes (woke up in a creative mood – this is supposed to be butterfly :D)

Lunch: Soup made with duck meat and vegetables (carrot, cauliflower, celery, green beans – most of the vegetables mixed)

Dinner: Vegetable salad (few types of green salad, cabbage, carrot, cherry tomatoes), baked chicken and duck meat (aka leftovers from previous days), small bowl of raspberries

 

12th anniversary, yay!

So it’s here again. My transplantation anniversary, 12th in a row. This year I really celebrated it as my mom was visiting me and we had a great time together. As I already wrote last time, there is a Memory of deceased day in the Czech Republic each year on November 2nd. This year this day was also connected to one special event in IKEM ( the hospital where I got transplanted). They officially unveiled a glass panel with names of all deceased donors from 1986 to 2016 written on it. Together it was 2652 names. You can read more about it here and see the pictures on IKEM’s Facebook here.

IKEM

As my mom was in Prague and this event was happening directly on my anniversary, we just couldn’t miss it. We were watching the ceremony and when it ended we lit a light for all the people named there. I also read all the names from 2005 as one of those was the one most important for me. The one whose kidney still lives with me.

When this event ended, we decided to properly celebrate my anniversary and have a great time. So we did! We went to the hospital cafe and ordered us amazing hot chocolates with whipped cream. Yum! We were chit chatting and enjoying.

IMG_3249

When we felt full, fat and sweet enough we went home where we were resting and digesting. And we took a nap. A long one and a strong one. So strong that when we woke up we were thinking about what to do next. And what do two women do when they have lots of time and a free coupon to IKEA worth 50 EUR (3 years old by the way)? They go shoppiiiiing!

We went to IKEA and many furniture, clothes, cosmetics, food and other shops and when my car was full enough, we went home where we were watching tv and talking, having great dinner and enjoying the rest of the day. I think this was one of the best days with my mom in a long time and I am very happy we had it.

I think it is really important to celebrate these occasions because you never know what happens tomorrow. Maybe there will be no such celebration next year so why not to enjoy this one?

World Kidney Day 2017

It is here again! Let’s celebrate our kidneys, they deserve it! They work hard 24/7 without any pauses or vacation. Did you know your kidneys filter 125 ml of blood each minute? It means 180 liters of blood daily! Wow, that’s amazing, isn’t it?

Over the last 11 years, it has become a tradition to proclaim the second Thursday in March the World Kidney Day. It is a worldwide campaign which aims to highlight the importance (and they ARE important!) of kidneys for our body and increase awareness of possible illnesses (or damage) and their prevention. Did you know most of the kidney illnesses don’t hurt at the beginning? The pain usually starts when the illness is serious and sometimes even uncurable. Ooops, scary, right? The kidney problems can be easily recognized from your blood or urine so think of prevention.

This year the World Kidney Day is on Thursday, May 9th (TODAY!). Like each year, also this year’s campaign is focusing on one theme connected to the health of kidneys, risk factors or illnesses. This year the theme is Kidney disease & Obesity.

World-Kidney-Day-2017

Obesity is becoming the modern age epidemy and is closely connected to diabetes and high blood pressure. It is also one of the risk factors for kidney illnesses as it increases the demand on kidneys work. They have to filter more blood than normally to meet the metabolic demands of the body. Logically, more kilos, more work, do the math!

The good news is that obesity can be prevented or reduced when already developed with a healthy lifestyle and physical activity! So don’t eat poisonous stuff (e.g. burgers, french fries, cakes full of white sugar, etc.), eat more veggies and fruits, drink lots of water or tea (without sugar) and move! Watch this or this video to get the mood 😉

Over the world, there are many activities and connected campaigns to support the World Kidney Day like open days in hospitals, possibilities to have your health checked on public events, meetings with doctors, TV and radio campaigns, sports events and many many others, so check them out in your area! Some of them are listed here.

I am definitely going to join the  #move4kidneys initiative. If you want as well, just do any physical activity and share it on your profile on Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Web…wherever! with the move4kidneys hashtag. So run (that’s what I love), walk, dance, swim, ride a bike, do yoga, aerobic, pilates, climb rocks (or trees), jump on trampolines, pump your muscles in fitness,  play football, volleyball, basketball, tennis, hockey, do handstands, do whatever you like, just do it! See you somewhere there!

 

 

Movie: Phoebe in Wonderland

Details about the movie at IMDB

I had to stop crying first to be able to write about this movie. At certain point I wasn’t able to stand it without tears.

Always when I am watching some movie, I am thinking about if it is worth writing about it on this blog or not. I think about how I feel about the movie, what I would write about, what rating I would give it etc. This movie caught my attention immediately. For first, I like Elle Fanning and her way of playing, and second, I read somewhere that the movie was about a girl with Tourette syndrome , which I read about in some magazine last week. That was kind of coincidence so I decided to watch the movie to see how such life looks like.

Basically the movie is about a little girl Phoebe who suddenly starts to act differently. At the beginning there are just small changes but in time they are getting more obvious and more often. Nor her nor her parents know what is happening. She starts doing and saying things that are improper and sometimes breaking rules, but she can’t help it and is confused. She also starts to run away from the real world, which is more and more stressful and alarming, to an imaginary world of fantasy, where the characters from the play Alice in Wonderland act and talk to her. The only place where she feels safe is in the school’s theater, where the kids are preparing a school play Alice in Wonderland, where she plays the main role of Alice, led by a drama teacher Miss Dodger.

 

 

The movie is showing the fight of Phoebe and people around her with the changes in her behavior and the different ways how they try to deal with it. Phoebe is trying to escape to the world of fantasy, the kids and her sister are angry with her, her parents are desperate, the principal is lost (it actually shows how inadequate people on important positions can be destructive)…only Miss Dodger is somehow able to make Phoebe calm and safe.

But what really made me cry was the moment when Phoebe found out what was happening with her and was explaining it to her classmates. I think it must be very hard for a kid admit that she is different and explain it to other kids. On the other side, they finally understood why she was doing those weird things and saying those weird words. Another thing is, if they decide to accept it and tolerate it or will use it as a apology for humiliation and mockery.

For me, the rating is 8/10

 

Sunny days are awesome

Especially in winter. On weekends. Like this one! On Saturday morning I woke up with my daughter watching me and asking me: “Mom, are you still sleeping?”. Well…not anymore. But I wasn’t annoyed as I slept very good and so I was actually glad that she woke me up. But as a punishment I grabbed her and was torturing her with my hugs and kisses for few minutes. Poor child 😀

And then I saw it through the window. The clear blue sky and the sunshine everywhere. After few weeks of grey, cloudy, snowy, rainy and whatever the hell sky, it was suddenly totally clear. It somehow made me happy, full of energy and willing to go out and do something.

It started with some great time outside with Ema (from throwing snow on each other through sliding from a small hill (about 5 meters long) to trying to build a snowman from a snow which wasn’t sticky at all). When we came back home after around two hours, we were tired, frozen and very hungry. So I baked us salmon with potatoes and vegetables that we both love and trust me, it tasted like heaven!

After lunch when her dad took Ema to his place, I went for a run. I think I am not able to describe the awesome feeling of running on crunchy snow when the sun is shining, the nature is covered with snow and everything looks so beautiful. It feels so great! No problems exist, nothing is bothering you, nothing matters at that time….just you, your feet and your breath (and where you step so you don’t break your leg on snow and ice)…for me it is kind of meditation. It always fills me with endorphin and I feel like life is amazing.

Well, when I came back home, I received a message that Ema had temperature and was probably ill so it spoiled my mood a bit and I decided to visit her and bring her some stuff she might need. When I saw that sweaty poor little creature I felt sorry for her but she was covered with blankets, slowly eating apple and playing on ipad so she seemed pretty fine. Not really interested in my company. So I started to talk to my ex-husband and his wife and we somehow ended up having great evening with lots of talks, jokes, wine and beers (well, they had…I came with car, so was just drinking water :D). I came back home after 11 pm. Very nice evening.

On Sunday I woke up at 8:30 totally refreshed and full of plans again. First of all I cleaned the flat and then started to work a bit. After few hours I started to write an article about the World Kidney Day which is slowly but surely coming and I promised to write an article about it for one magazine. However, all the time I was writing the article, I was looking through the window to the nearby park and was watching the sunshine covering the nature. Couldn’t focus fully on the writing.

And then I couldn’t stand it anymore and decided to go out. Without any plan what to do there, I just needed to leave the flat. So I did. I was walking slowly around without any particular direction, just enjoying the sun, the nature, the snow….for some time I was sitting on a bench and watching people passing me and just felt awesome. Everything was so beautiful and peaceful…I think I spent around two hours there until I started to feel cold and decided to go back home.

However, I felt so full of energy that I turned on Pink and Avril Lavigne on very high volume and started to dance around my flat. After a long time I had that great feeling of total happiness. It’s very rare feeling for me so I was enjoying it fully. At the end I even started to exercise…some squats, push ups, plank, jumping jacks….just needed to use all the accumulated energy! I think my neighbors loved me today 😀

Overall, this weekend was one of the best in a long time (except Ema being ill). I managed to do everything I had planned and even more just because of the sunshine. I love it! I feel very connected to sun and overall to nature which literally fills me with  energy and good mood. Especially in autumn or winter when the sun is not shining very often.

My life with transplanted kidney…

… is hard. I am very happy that I have her (in Czech a kidney is female and I just can’t write IT) and trust me, I do love her. Without her I would be dead now. Dead for 11 long years already. And I wouldn’t have the most amazing daughter in the world. Nothing. Just nothing. But the gift of life was not for free.

People with transplanted organs have to fight for a “normal life”. They have to put way more effort in it than healthy people. Each pill we have to take to keep the transplanted organ safe in the body has long list of side effects. From those that are just tiny little details like my hair and nails being weak, being more tired than others and needing longer time for regeneration after exercise to more serious ones like causing depressions or diabetes, to those that actually threaten me as they increase significantly risk of all possible illnesses like cancer, heart attack, stroke and many many others.

But still it’s worth it. At least for me. Every minute in my life I can spend with my daughter is the most awesome gift I was ever given and I am endlessly grateful for it. And it wouldn’t be possible without the transplanted kidney. So I am very, very much grateful for this as well.

 

2016 Overview

Well, I think 2016 wasn’t the best year I ever had but to be honest, wasn’t the worst as well, so I think I can say it was average.

It started with recovery from bladder inflammation and a break up (after just one or two months of dating but still it was painful for me). Well, one of the worst beginnings of new year. Full of depressions, sadness and tears. When I recovered fully and started to work and exercise again, another bladder inflammation surprised me in February. This time way stronger so I had to stay in a hospital. When I recovered again, thrombosis in my right leg stroke me in April and forced me to stay in a hospital again.

At that time I started to be really down – not being able to exercise for a long time caused some weight gain (well, nothing serious, around 2-3 kilos, but I hated it) and loss of condition. I started to prefer being alone in my flat and pity myself. I know it wasn’t the best idea ever but I just couldn’t help it. I just needed it.

Fortunately after few rivers of tears, roller coaster mood swings, hours of self pity and tons of used tissues, my brain decided to change the tactics and to try to run again. Running has always been my life saver so as soon as I started to run again, everything was suddenly better, even though I had to start almost from the beginning again.

I also started to do weigh exercises so my body became stronger and everything was covered with sun light. I finished few runs by myself, few with my dad, including 2run (me 10km + he 11km = half marathon together) in Ceske Budejovice and the most beautiful run in my life – Behej Lesy Karlstejn (12km).

Unfortunately another bladder inflammation brought me down in October but this time I didn’t take it that tragically. Just another visit in a hospital.

Work-wise this year was very good. Nothing really changed from last year but I do love my job and I hope I will be able to do it million more years 😉 The great thing is that I can work even in a hospital so unlike my running, my hospital visits didn’t ruin my work schedule.

Relationships…oh well, one ended right at the beginning of this year an none other appeared so this year was not really love/relationships friendly but I cannot force it. Hopefully it will come once (soon) but if it doesn’t, it will not ruin me anymore as I am pretty happy living my life as it is now.

Overall I think this year taught me some important things and I believe I am now mentally stronger and it is easier for me to overcome hard situations and obstacles. I hope next year will be better and healthier. I have many plans and I want to start doing some new things which I am excited about, so wish me luck 🙂

Anyway..to everyone who came or will come across this blog, I wish you all very happy, successful and healthy year 2017. May all your dreams come true. (And don’t forget to visit my pages again ;)).

Movie: Transcendence

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2209764/?ref_=nv_sr_1

This movie from 2014 attracted me when I saw Paul Bettany in the first scene followed by scene with Johny Depp. I never heard of that movie before and the theme sounded interesting to me. When I saw Morgan Freeman in the next scene, I decided to give the movie a chance despite the fact I was about to go to bed.

The beginning is pretty fast. You have no idea what’s going on, just people are dying. However, when it calms down a bit, the movie comes up with some very interesting ideas about the current world and all the new technologies the scientists come up with day by day.

It’s actually interesting to think about where are the borders between technology and humanity. Today, when it is being considered normal to use artificial hands, feet or any other part of the body (or at least transplanted organs ;)), and when robots are acting more and more like humans, it is just a matter of time when people will come up with artificial consciousness. And I bet many are working on it already.

I already saw few movies or episodes in sci-series on this theme so it was nothing new for me but I must say I did like this particular movie. I liked the story, the actors, the way the movie was made, etc. However, as it brought nothing new to me, in fact, the artificial consciousness became bad and was destroyed, a little bit of cliche, no?

My evaluation is 7/10.

Czech transplant community

Few moths ago I was writing about establishing some community of people with transplanted organs and people around them. Back then I thought I had to start from scratch but it turned out that there already exist some smaller or bigger groups who try to put these people together.

At first I found the web page Transplantsport.cz (in czech only) which seemed to be about transplanted people doing some sports (obviously). However, all the articles were 12 and more months old. So I decided to contact the person, who was signed under the pages, Martin Turek, if he agreed to cooperate and run the web (and associated facebook profile) together.

I was glad that he replied my email prety fast and was glad that I contacted him. He said that he somehow lost power and will to run the web just himself. That he tried to find someone who would cowork with him on it but was not successful to he just lost the taste to do it. However, when I wrote him and wanted to help him and cooperate with him, he found it again. And so we started to write articles, update the FB profile and tried to reach more and more people.

After some time, when the article about me was released, I received a contact to Tomas Drevikovsky from Czech transplant team (CTT). CTT is a nonprofit organization which unites people with transplanted organs who like to sport and who participate in European Transplant and Dialysis Sports Championships and World transplant games.

They wanted to contact me as they saw the article about my running and thought that I might become valuable member of their team which pleased me a lot. So I decided to join them.

None of these two groups/organizations/communities is exactly what I wanted to create, however, it is a good beginning and I believe that it is a good starting point. I believe that now it will be a lot easier to bring people with similar problems and dreams together.

 

11 years since the transplantation

A few days ago, on November 2nd I was celebrating 11 years since my 2nd transplantation. Well, I can’t really say I was celebrating, but each year I remember the day of the transplantation and evaluate the last year and all the years since the transplantation.

It is always kind of weird because in the Czech Republic 2nd November is the day of Memory of deceased. Which means that most people go to cemeteries to think of those who died, bring them flowers, clean the graves, etc. I always think of the man whose kidney I have. In the past, I used to go to church to light a candle for him but last few years I just think of him – what was he like, what actually happened that he died, etc. And I light the candle at home.

But despite this fact and also despite the weather which is mostly rainy and cold as it is already autumn, I try to stay positive and kind of celebrate. Mostly just in my head. I am really grateful that the kidney is working well despite the stress we went through at the university or at later at work, also we managed to go through pregnancy together and managed the hard birth giving. We also managed to go through the strong depressions during and after my divorce and last but not least, we managed to cure all those pneumonia and bladder inflammations and other illnesses during the years.

But on the other hand, from time to time it comes to my mind that the average kidney transplant life expectancy from the deceased donor is 8 to 12 years. Which means that I am actually already there and I just have to think about what comes when something happens with this kidney. When I think about getting back to dialysis, I suddenly start to feel very bad. My head starts to hurt, my blood pressure increases and I just start feeling terrible. I can’t imagine going back there…and… I don’t want to continue with these thoughts in this post as this post was supposed to be positive, describing what great success it is to actually have transplanted kidney all these years and live the life I live, which means going to work, having great daughter, being able to run and exercise…but somehow my thoughts are more and more leading towards the dark side….

Maybe it is because I can feel that my health condition is slowly but constantly getting worse. I was diagnosed with diabetes, lately also with high cholesterol, which I was told is connected with the diabetes, my bladder infections are getting more often and more serious…and despite the kidney is taking everything very well, the creatinine is still up to 100, I am starting to be afraid what kind of post I would be writing next year.