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The Day I Was Diagnosed as Being Totally Tubular – or How I Learned to Love RTA

Have I mentioned how much I dislike the urology practice to which I go?  No?  Probably because if I get on a roll about it, I won’t stop.  Let’s just say that today did  nothing to redeem this practice in terms of how much faith I have in them.

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So today was my post-surgical follow up visit after stones were removed from my kidneys.  The stones were analyzed, and they were deemed to be mostly calcium phosphate stones.  After further review of my medical records, the doctor diagnosed me with a disease called Renal Tubular Acidosis.  It sounds way more fun than I think it’s actually going to be.  When I hear “tubular”, I think waves and sand and sun kissed surfers with white blonde hair and a six pack (abdominal and liquid).  Apparently, this is not the case.

I have more tests to go through over the next few weeks, but I think the most important test that lies ahead of me is the test of my courage at finding another urology practice.  I hate starting over with new doctors, and there is a big part of me that thinks if I stay on top of my care with this office, I can negate any potential damage the incompetence of the staff will cause (like today, when I walked in, and they wanted to know about taking my stent out.  Ummm, you mean the one I took out myself after 48 hours, as instructed?).

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While untreated, this disease can lead to total kidney failure, I had a really awesome sign that made me feel so much better about the way things will go.  My dad, who died from renal failure as a complication of his diabetes, loved Tiny Tim from the Charles Dickens story “A Christmas Carol”.  I grew up loving the story, and even now, I will watch every version I can find over the Christmas holidays.  Driving home from the urologist, worried about this new diagnosis, I started furiously Googling to see what information I could find that the doctor didn’t give me (which, by the way, was none).  I found this:

One researcher has theorized that Charles Dickens may have been describing a child with RTA in the character of Tiny Tim from A Christmas Carol. Tiny Tim’s small stature, malformed limbs, and periods of weakness are all possible consequences of the chemical imbalance caused by RTA.1 In the story, Tiny Tim recovers when he receives medical treatment, which would likely have included sodium bicarbonate and sodium citrate, alkaline agents to neutralize acidic blood. The good news is that medical treatment can indeed reverse the effects of RTA.

Pretty sure it was a sign from my dad.

And on that note –

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Lesbians, Gays and Disney – OH MY!

I have a friend who totally knows I’m writing about her (or at least she will by the time this blog is published and other people start telling her about it!).  She was reading something online about Gay Days at Walt Disney World, and as she is just in the beginning stages of planning her family vacation for next June, she was expressing some concern for the timing of her vacation.

“I’m not sure I want to have to explain ‘that’ to my kids just yet.”

She’s right to question.  I mean, who wants their kids exposed to that?  

Gay Days

Who wants their kids to see families enjoying a vacation together after working and saving all year to be able to spend this time with each other?  Who wants their kids to see dads holding onto their little ones as they scream with delight on Splash Mountain?  Who wants to see moms wiping chocolate from yet another Mickey bar off the face of an overzealous Mickey bar eating child?

Be careful, those of you who don’t want their kids to see affection shared between families.  I said affection.  I even looked up the word affection in the dictionary.  Nowhere did it say that affection meant stripping naked, slathering in oil (or mud, if the mood strikes), clearing all the dinner dishes off the table inside Cinderella’s Royal Table, and doing the horizontal mambo right there in front of the theme park public.  Affection – you know – the thing those of us with the defective “straight” gene show by hugging or holding hands, laughing and smiling when we talk to someone, generally enjoying each other’s company.  Who wants kids to see that?

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Your kids will see people riding rides, watching shows, singing songs, enjoying meals, and you might even see someone pop the question to the one and only true love of their life in front of the castle.  Yeah, who wants their kids to see that?

Well, wait a minute, I’d want my kids to see that.  I want them to see happy families, loving couples, and Disney World.  How convenient that if you go to Walt Disney World the first week in June, you get to see all of that! 

So yes, person who may or may no longer be my friend after you see this blog post, you do want your kids exposed to that.  Love and family, in any form, is a beautiful thing to be exposed to.

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Disney Cruise Fish Extender Gifts – the Extra Stress Every Vacation Needs!

While cruising is one of my favorite vacations EVER, it is not without its stressful moments.  Does everyone have their passports?  How am I going to fit 3 outfit changes per day per person for a 7 night cruise into luggage that will fit in the overhead compartment of the plane?  Does my ass look big in this?  Okay, but bigger than it did before the last cruise?

As if there’s not enough pressure preparing for a cruise, I always like to go the extra mile, and that’s where Fish Extender gifts come in.

What the heck is a Fish Extender?  And why do we bring them gifts?

Fish Extender Fish

On the Disney Cruise Line ships, your “mailbox” is a sea creature – mostly fish, but I’ve also seen other animals, like a seahorse – where your cabin steward or someone else will put things like invitations to events, offers from the DVC desk, other envelopes holding information they want you to have.  Some amazingly pixie dusted person, who I’m sure came from the DISboards, came up with the idea of creating pouches that you could hang on your Fish Mail holder, and other DISboard members on your sailing could sneak by with little gifts to add an extra dose of magic to your cruise.  Oh my.  Who doesn’t want an extra dose of magic?  Who in their life is screaming, “No mas, no mas!” to more pixie dust?

So, my understanding of these Fish Extender gifts is that you just had to do a little something for each cabin signed up for the gift exchange – some little token or small surprise to make the people in the cabin all smiley and happy that you thought of them.  I gladly signed up, then poured over blogs – especially my Sister Disney Parks Moms Panel Mom Darcie’s at http://suchthespot.com/category/fish-extender/ – then joined the Facebook group.  Then wanted to die.  What had I gotten myself into?  These people were hand making stuff.  They were ordering engraved things online.  They were going on Etsy and having other people hand make and engrave things for them.  Kill me now, right?

Fish Extener

Here’s what it all boiled down to.  This really is meant to be just an extra sprinkle of pixie dust on what should already be an amazing vacation.  Whether your Fish Extender gift cost someone $1, $10, or $100, it should not define your choice of gift for your Fish Extender offering.  Little kids may want to pass out penny candy – and that’s fine!  It makes them feel good, and it should make you feel good.  It’s fun.

You should never give a gift with the expectation of what you will receive in return.  Just like pixie dust, the magic in the Fish Extender gifts is in the spirit in which they are given.

The greatest joy can be found in the simplest things.  If you let yourself seek.