Movie: Wild

Wild on IMDB

This movie means the whole world to me. Not only that I love Reese Witherspoon and most of her movies but I saw it at the time of my divorce when I felt down, broken and didn’t know what to do with my life. Just totally the same like the main character.

Not that I would have sex with everyone I met or tried drugs or whatever, but I so understood her in the way that she needed to do something big to actually deal with her former life, with her anger and grief and other feelings that were messing inside her head, in order to be able start all over again. I felt the same, I just didn’t find the right big thing to do.

I must admit that I cried many times during the movie and it left really big impression in me. I was admiring how from the total shit what her life actually was, she was able to step by step find her new strength not only on the trail but also in her life in the way of actually sorting out her experience, thoughts and feelings.

As this movie was based on a true story, it actually helped me to believe that no matter in how deep shit you are, if you manage to do the first step out of it towards the change and keep moving even by little steps, things eventually change and get better. In the end I did somehow deal with my divorce and all the emotional roller coaster that came with it as well. Even without doing something this big. But her story and this movie that depicted it so nicely, helped me a lot. I know that I will definitely watch the movie again in the future as it really stayed in my head.

Just 10/10.

2016 – Training diary Week 3

On Tuesday I went to fitness to torture my muscles a bit again. At first I did 5 km run in 31 mins which was pretty much improvement from two weeks ago when I did the same distance in 33 mins.

After this cardio I did lots of abs and core exercises including 2x 30 sec plank, russian twists with 2,5 kg weight, crunches, reverse crunches, leg raises, hip raises, etc. After I totally destroyed my abs, I went for TRX.

This time I did only biceps and triceps exercises and moved to pull ups. Now, THAT was challenge! Last week I found out that I was not able to do a single one regular pull up so this time I used a machine which supports you when you go up. Well, better than nothing, I did three series with 50 kg support and was totally destroyed.

After TRX I did 2×20 squats on bosu, 2×20 lunges and went to machine for seated hip abduction exercise. Then just long stretching. In the end I went to sauna for 15 mins, took freezing shower and totally happy went home 🙂

Thursday and my regular training with Lukas. Of course we started with running alphabet, this time in a bit different way. Then we did some circular training with plank, side planks and squats on bosu. In the end we did some crazy exercises on TRX. Nice but this time a bit easier than last time. Nothing really hurt me the other day.

Finally after two days at home with my ill daughter, I went for a run on Sunday. Just had to go for it as the last few days I wasn’t feeling well mentally and also Ema being sick didn’t help me. I made a nice circle around the place I live and it was 6,2 km run. Well, could have been more but it was pretty windy outside which didn’t feel good.

On the other side I ran about half the way on field or muddy grass which felt great. Had to wash the shoes when I came back 😀

IMG_1132

Overall statistics for January is 24 km outdoor running, 10 km on treadmill in fitness and around 4 km during running alphabet. Nah, that’s terrible! I know I started later because of the antibiotics but anyway, these numbers are nowhere close where I want to be. Goal for next month is 50 km! (But thinking and dreaming about 100 to be honest)

 

About this blog

Hi, my name is Lucie. 

The main reason why I decided to write this blog is, that I have transplanted kidney and I would like to write about my life with it. When I was going through the process 10 years ago, there were not many information available about it. Today it is different but most of the information are written from the medical point of view.

In this blog I would like to write about it from the “patient” point of view, to write about my life and how the transplanted kidney does or does not affect some parts of it and maybe show some other potential other patients that it is possible to live normal life after the transplantation.

Also it is not always easy to explain what it means and feels like to live with transplanted kidney to people who never came into contact with it. And sometimes I just don’t want to. So now I want to describe everything here and in case there is someone interested in details, I can just say “Take a look at my blog”.

But this blog is not meant to be only about transplantation. I would like it to be more like a diary of things that happen to me, about my thoughts, feelings, ideas, opinions, about things I like or don’t like, etc. So, If you want to ask me something, discuss or comment something, you are more than welcome!

Maybe I should add explanation why I am writing this blog in English instead of Czech. Well, to be honest sometimes, actually many times, I feel like I can better explain my feelings or emotions in English. It just kind of has better or more suitable expressions. And also if this stuff is written in English, it can reach more people who might find it interesting or helpful.

Well, now something more about me. I’m (soon to be) 34 years old divorced single mother of a little girl named Ema, living in Prague, which is capital of the Czech republic.  I work as an office manager in Game Dev Hub, which is a co-working space for mobile game developers. It’s pretty fun working for gaming companies as part of my job is, guess what, playing games!

I am also enthusiastic runner and I love talking about it! I don’t run long distances and I don’t run very fast but I love it! In addition I like watching movies, listening music, reading books, dancing, cooking and going for loooong walks to nature.

Enjoy the reading!

Cheers.

My kidney transplantation – Part 2

I was sleeping in a very small wooden box. The same the gardeners use for transporting apples. I had to have my legs bent the whole time as there was not enough space to have them stretched. And so had the other patients around me. All of us sleeping in these wooden boxes, all in one line. And why were there so many nuns just walking around saying nothing, doing nothing, just watching us? This was not some christian hospital or was it? And the cold! Why was it so cold in this hospital? I was shaking from cold the whole time.

And then I saw the transplantation coordinator. She was always my main contact with the hospital during the whole pre-transplantation process and also was visiting me right after the transplantation. I was so happy to see her! I asked her why we had to sleep in those uncomfortable wooden boxes, why there were so many nuns, why there was such terrible cold and just wanted to know what was going on.

She told me that I was probably having some kind of hallucination as I was kept in induced sleep for few days. I was trying to tell her that I was not having any hallucinations as all those nuns and the patients around and especially that terrible cold were real, and that she just misunderstood me but she was trying to calm me down.

Then my parents and my boyfriend came and were saying the same. They looked so worried but I was angry and didn’t believe them. Suddenly there were no nuns, no patients sleeping in wooden boxes and no cold so I didn’t have any proof. How did they manage to change everything so quickly?

I was kept at anaesthesiology and resuscitation department but soon they moved me to intensive care for a short time. I was still having weird hallucinations but I wasn’t able to realize that. For example I saw caterpillars slowly coming down from the roof and was trying to touch them but they always disappeared when I was too close. And also there were tomatoes growing out of the wall..they looked really tasty. Also there were some weird numbers on the wall, constantly changing as if it was some kind of clock but it wasn’t. I could also hear someone knocking on the door or could feel my bed growing bigger or stretching so I could barely lay on it.

I had many other hallucinations I don’t remember anymore but it took me long time to actually understand they were hallucinations. And I kept convincing everyone around that all was real but they just couldn’t what I did. I realized it once my boyfriend asked me if it was more probable that there were caterpillars coming down from the roof or that I was having hallucinations. At that time I realized there was something wrong with me. But at that time also the hallucinations started to slowly disappear.

I finally realized that those were hallucinations but to be honest, if you can see something, hear something, smell something and almost can touch something how can you believe it is not real? In my memory all those things really happened and I keep them as a real experience because I was not realizing that in fact I was laying in a bed with all those lines in my veins and all those beeping and blinking machines around. That’s what my parents and my boyfriend saw. I saw wooden boxes, nuns and felt cold.

After few days I was feeling pretty good and I was looking forward to being released home. But I had no idea what was awaiting me. One day the transplantation coordinator, my parents and my boyfriend came to me and they looked very serious. I got scared.

Don’t remember who exactly but they carefully informed me that actually the other day after the transplantation they had to do thrombectomy (excision of a clot from a blood vessel) of the kidney artery and the second day they had to remove the kidney as it failed and keeping it in my body could cause poisoning. They also told me that they were waiting with this information because of my bad psychic condition.

Bang! If they punched me right into my face it wouldn’t hurt as much as this information. The whole time I was convinced that there was some complication which they actually solved and all was good. But it wasn’t, in fact, all was wrong. My mum gave up one of her kidneys for nothing, I was suffering all that pain and hallucinations for nothing and I had to deal with the fact that I will have to go for dialysis. This was one of the worst moments in my life.

As they waited with informing me about the real situation pretty long, they had to start acting immediately. The first step was putting pretty wide line into my neck artery to actually enable the dialysis. The doctor gave me lots of local painkillers but that pain was unbearable anyway. You can find description of the process here.

This line is just temporary to enable you to start dialysis any other way. Basically I had two options. Either haemodialysis – having made permanent arterio-venous fistula on my hand  or peritoneal dialysis – having inserted a tube through the skin in the tummy into the space (called the peritonium) which holds the intestine.

I didn’t like any of the options but it was inevitable. As I was sure I wanted to go for another transplantation in the future, I decided for the first option – the arterio-venous fistula. The doctor that did this told me that I had very weak veins and that it was almost miracle that she was able to do it. She also noted that if it was needed in the future to do the fistula again, she might not be able to succeed. Oh well, good to know.

Anyway, my dialysis period started. And it was not very happy period to be honest…

 

2016 – Training diary Week 2

On Monday it was heavily snowing the whole day. From the morning I was looking forward to going for a snow run. Right after I came from work I took my running clothes and my awesome and beloved shoes on and went for it.

From the beginning I was avoiding the roads as they seemed pretty slippery and to be honest, running in the snow is much more fun! I was enjoying the whole run and in the end it was 6,42 km mostly in the nearby park, in 44:22 mins with average pace 6:54 mins/km. I felt really happy again.

On Thursday I went for my regular indoor training with a trainer Lukas . At the beginning we did the running alphabet and then some core training and some kind of circular training. This time we also did pull-ups. I almost couldn’t feel my arms the other day and on Saturday as well 😀

On Saturday I was at my parents in south Bohemia. It is very nice area and my parents have their house right next to a forest. It was snowing the whole night and morning and all was covered in beautiful white blanket. Well, can you resist running in these conditions? I couldn’t.

I started in the forest and then came to nearby ski slope. Oh well, as I was in a great mood I decided to run up and see how much I was able to manage. In the freshly fallen snow it was hell but I managed more than half of it what made me happy. After that I had to walk a bit but then started to run again and went back home. In the end I found out it was ONLY 2,7 km but it felt like 10! The total time was 23:18 mins with average pace 8:28 mins/km.

In the afternoon, when it stopped snowing, we took Ema for skiing. As she was not yet able to use the lift, we had to lift her up the hill ourselves. Now that was another part of my training as she weights 17 kilos now and me and my dad were switching in lifting her up and running with her down..and again…and again…and again…

My kidney transplantation – Part 1

When I was 5 years old (1987), I was incorrectly diagnosed with flu instead of bladder inflammation, which eventually became acute pyelonephritis. This was matter of a long time but it resulted in an operation in 1988, which actually saved my life in the nick of time.

After that I didn’t have any serious health problems for many years. When I was studying at the university (around 2002), my blood pressure started to increase and so the doctors started to look for the reason. I was studying hard university (Czech Technical University, the Faculty of Nuclear Sciences ans Physical Engineering), eating traditional unhealthy student food and not doing any sports, so it looked like the result of my stressful life.

But it wasn’t. My creatinine (Creatinine is a waste product in your blood that comes from muscle activity. It is normally removed from your blood by your kidneys, but when kidney function slows down, the creatinine level rises) was rising, my blood pressure was rising and my energy was lowering. It took several months but in the end I had creatinine around 1200 umol/l (normal is up to 100) and usually slept around 18 hours per day.

The doctors started to talk about transplantation. At that time I had no idea what it actually meant. My parents stared to visit public speeches from doctors or people who already had transplanted kidneys, their families and friends, etc. I was too weak for it and I was barely realizing what was going on.

Basically I had two options – to undergo kidney transplantation or to start going to dialysis. My family decided that they would do anything to prevent me from going for dialysis. At that time I did not realize what this huge decision my family did actually meant as I was not strong enough to learn anything about dialysis, operation, consequences, about anything. I just wanted to sleep.  But today I am indefinitely grateful to them.

And actually to my boyfriend at that time, later my husband, currently my ex-husband, as well. All this what I was going through was not easy for anyone close to me as I was really exhausted and they had to take care of me.

Well, my parents went to tests to find out if any of them would be suitable donor. They found out that my mom would be, so she decided to donate me one of her kidneys. Both of us had to go through many additional tests so the doctors were sure her kidney would be suitable for me. Luckily all went good.

Today I can still remember the day before the transplantation. It was April 28th 2005 and I was sitting on a bed in IKEM in Prague. It is one of the hospitals where most of kidney transplantation happen in the Czech republic.

I was in another room, actually in totally different department, than my mom. At one moment the nurse brought me a pretty big light pink pill and told me it was the immunosuppressive pill (pills that lower the body’s ability to reject a transplanted organ). I remember the feeling – from now on for the rest of my life I will have to take these pills to be actually able to keep the transplanted kidney alive and working inside my body, in other words to prevent it from the rejection (the body treats the kidney as a foreign matter, it is the same like if you had wooden spill in your finger).

So I was holding that pill and was feeling very weird – on one side I felt sad and scared on the other side I felt hopefully and happy. At that moment I called my mom and told her how I felt. She wanted to be strong on the phone but I could feel on her voice that she was as scared as I was. We tried to support each other but it was too hard. At that time I saw from the window herd of mouflons, who actually happen to live in the area near the hospital, and I told my mom: “Look, they came to wish us luck!” and mom said: “You see, all will be just fine.”

And it was. For some time. I don’t remember much from the time directly after the operation but I know everyone was saying that all went well and all should be fine. Even my mom came to visit me. On a wheelchair. She looked terrible and I felt bad because I felt great. But she kept saying that she was fine and that she was happy that all went well etc. And doctors told me that actually the operation was always worse for the donor than for the receiver but that she would be fine soon.

I was happy that the doctors were right, after few days, don’t remember exactly, she was able to go home and she felt pretty good. Unlike me. Suddenly I started to have unbearable pain in the area where my transplanted kidney was (if you didn’t know, it is being placed to the belly side, near the hip bone). So I had to go through some tests and all I wanted was just the pain to be over. And then they gave me some painkillers and I fell asleep…

2016 – Training diary Week 1

From Christmas eve I was suffering from pneumonia and bladder inflammation. I had to stay at home, take antibiotics and cure myself and couldn’t do any physical activity for almost three weeks. Moreover, I bought me new awesome trail running shoes two days before Christmas to be able to run in winter. The whole three weeks I was going around them and couldn’t wait to go for a run again.

Boticky

Finally on Wednesday January 13 I did my first workout this year, yay! As there was terrible weather outside and I didn’t want to test my immunity, I decided to go to gym. I ran 5 kilometers in 33 minutes which surprised me, I thought it was gonna be worse. Than I did some TRX, core training and long stretching. In the end I went to sauna for 15 minutes. It was just awesome!

On Saturday I finally did my first outdoor run. In my new shoes! Such indescribable feeling! I went with my friend who helps me to train. This time he came up with pyramid intervals. Ha ha! It was about 5 centimeters of snow and still snowing outside and temperature around zero. The training was hell, I thought I was gonna die but I was glad to actually try something different. We ended the training with a slow run to the place where we started and in the end it was 8.6 kilometers in 1h 9mins.  When I came home I did some abs exercise and push ups and took well deserved very long and very hot bath. Such well deserved pleasure 😀

2016_FirstRun