Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas Spirit

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and weekend! We did - it was great spending time with all of our family and to be able to relax and enjoy this nice, long weekend! This year, I've really been looking forward to Christmas and I don't know why. I don't really have anything on my Christmas list this year, but I've been in 'Christmas mode' for a while, especially this weekend.

We avoided Black Friday this year because ever since working retail, it hasn't really appealed to me. I worked in a big-box hardware store for three years and saw a lot of crazy people shopping the day after Thanksgiving, it kind of turned me off. I did take advantage of some black Friday deals online though, and I ordered our Christmas cards (which I'll post once I get them) and a gift for someone in the family, so I feel like I did accomplish something Christmas-y that day. Instead of hitting the stores, this year for black Friday & Saturday, Tim and I painted (and Tim re-did some drywall) in his aunt and uncle's two bathrooms in their house. They've been out of town visiting some of their family and will be back tomorrow to see it all completed - I hope they're happy with it. It was a lot of work, but I'm really glad we were able to do it for them. :-)

Sorting through all of our Christmas stuff!
I've been bugging Tim for a while now to get our Christmas tree out of storage so that I could put it up this weekend, so that's what we did today. This is definitely the earliest I've ever put up a Christmas tree, but like I mentioned before, I've been in the Christmas spirit lately! I had the music going, all of the ornaments laid out and the lights on -- it was awesome! Now we've got dinner going in the crock-pot and it just feels like winter/Christmas is coming full force and I'm ready for it (until we start getting snow!). Today, while I was going through all of our Christmas stuff I this awesome ornament which I didn't even know we had! I was very excited when I found it, so of course I had to share it. :-)

In other news, I've been compliant with all of my treatments for 119 days now, been going to the gym twice a week still (oh, I went the gym on Black Friday, too!) and my next CF clinic appointment is December 22nd - a little less than a month away. I'm really looking forward to that appointment, hoping that my PFTs show how awesome I've been feeling lately. :-)  (And from the amount of smiley faces in this post, I'd say I'm feeling really good!)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What are you thankful for?

I'm thankful...
  • to be healthy
  • that I have a fun, supportive, awesome husband
  • and lucky to have found someone who loves me for me, despite my chronic lung disease
  • that I have some pretty great friends
  • to have a job
  • to have a job that's really fun and that I love
  • to work with great, helpful co-workers
  • to call some of my co-workers my friends
  • to have a roof over my head
  • to have a working vehicle
  • to have money for all of my medication
  • that I live in a place that allows access to the best medication and medical advancements
  • for insurance (as much as I hate it)
  • for all of my family - my side and my in-laws
  • for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation 
  • for all of my doctors/nurses who take amazing care of me :-)
  • to anyone who has ever donated to the CFF
  • that I'm able to exercise without getting too short of breath
  • to live across the street from a gym
  • to have such a great relationship with my doctor and nurse
  • to have learned so much about myself through writing this blog
  • to have so many people reading this blog and taking time to provide their feedback
  • to be able to live, laugh, love & breathe everyday!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Go Me!

I'm sorry, but I have to brag a little bit about my workout today. I don't think I've sweat this much since we decided to go hiking in over 100 degree heat index in July. :) I ran a whole mile straight for the first time since joining the gym - in about 12ish minutes, ten minutes on the elliptical, and then I went on the treadmill for another ten minutes which included jogging, a sprint, then cool down. I really think the sprint did wonders for my lungs (I'm still coughing!). I was already exhausted by then, but the person next to me was really encouraging and we did a sprint together (I would have never tried that on my own!). I'm going to try to add that into my gym routine each time, I could really feel it - even though it was only for about thirty seconds. I just feel so good, I'm breathing really well right now; I can't wait to see what my PFTs are in another month!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Things to Consider

I've always imagined that I'd grow up to get married, be a teacher, and a mommy. So far, I've got one of those goals accomplished, about half-way towards the teacher one, and not quite at the mommy stage yet. There are so many things to consider when having a child (more than I could even image as I was growing up): Do we have enough money? Do we have space? Will we be good parents? What will we do with the baby when I go back to work?...this list can go on and on, for a 'normal, healthy' couple. But add a mom with CF in the mix and the questions start looking like: Will our child have CF? How will my body handle a pregnancy? How will I keep myself and the baby healthy if he/she has CF? How far do we want to go to 'prevent' having a child with CF, or do we not mess with fate? Will I be able to go back to work after? Do we make enough money on one income if my health declines? Will our families and friends still be supportive if we have two CFers in the family?
It's a lot to think about. Numbers and probabilities start coming in to play such as 1:50, 1:602, or 1:2. Trying to make sense of it all, and trying to make the "right" decision, whatever that may be, is very difficult. I know I've posted about this before (here and here), but it's constantly on my mind and I wish there was an easy answer, but there's not - at least not right now. Isn't everything supposed to happen for a reason?? So, what's supposed to happen? What's the right choice??
By the way, I'm not looking for answers to my questions - I know that this is our choice, and only our choice but this is my way of 'thinking out loud'. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

100 and 5th

Today marks the 100th day in a row that I've done my vest (twice a day) and all of my nebulizers!!! Today also marks the fifth week that I've gone to the gym, two days a week! I am very proud of myself to reach these accomplishments, but I really look forward to continuing and making those numbers larger. I never thought the day would come where I'd say that I've done all of my treatments for over three months straight! I am also looking forward to my next CF clinic appointment which is December 23rd to see where my PFTs are at. My last clinic appointment was in August, and I was at 100% compliance for about three weeks at that point, so my PFTs weren't as great as I wanted them to be - even though they did go up a tad. I really hope that they have skyrocketed by the time I get tested in December.
A year ago, if you would have asked me how I would physically feel after being compliant with my vest/nebs for 100 days, I would have probably said something along the lines of having the best lung function I've had in a long time. Although I do feel great from doing all of my treatments, I don't think I felt much of a difference until I started going to the gym. I really feel like doing all of my treatments AND going to the gym has made me feel even better. I wish it hadn't taken me this long to figure this out!!! I've read it and heard it millions of times, but I was always too lazy to get up and exercise. I'm SO GLAD I finally pushed myself because I really feel like it's paying off with my lung function, and also my overall energy level.

So the moral of the story.... treatments + exercise = happy, healthy me!



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Questions for Tim

For those of you who have voted "yes" on the poll about Tim writing a post (so far there are 8!), can you please leave a comment about some topics you'd be interested in reading from him? I'm sure he's going to say there's nothing to write about so we must leave him with no excuses! :-) Thanks!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Day in the Life of Me

When I first started my blog in January I posted a blog called Day to Day where I talked about what it's like day to day having CF. I recently read a blog where a cyster broke down her daily schedule to show how much she does treatments. I really liked this idea, so I decided to dedicate this post to the same thing. This is what a typical (Monday-Friday) day looks like to me.

  • 6:00am - Wake up (If I'm on my Tobi that month -which is another antibiotic neb- then I get up at 5:45am to each day to fit it into my routine.)
  • 6:05 - 6:50 - Morning Treatments: 

                                      - 30 minutes of Vest (3-ten minute sessions)
                                      - Albuterol nebulizer (~7-8 minutes)
                                      - Hypertonic Saline neb (~10 minutes) -- Both nebs are done during the Vest time
                                      - Clean Albuterol and HTS nebs
                                      - TOBI - if 'on' that month (different neb cup & machine - Add 10 min to routine)
                                      - 1 puff of Advair
                                      - Clean TOBI neb

This is what I look like when I do my treatments. Nebs and
Vest going at the same time.

  • 6:50 - Make lunch for the day
  • 6:55 - Get dressed
  • 7:10 - Take allergy medicine, Zithromycin (MWF anti-biotic), Zyrtec, and 4 enzymes then eat breakfast - which usually is a big bowl of cereal or oatmeal with a glass of milk. 
  • 7:20 - Take the rest of my vitamins (~4-6) I can't take my vitamins before I eat otherwise I'll get nauseous

This is approximately how many pills I take each day. The left
hand has all of my vitamins, anti-biotics, allergy med, and Zyrtec.
My right hand has about the amount of digestive enzymes I take in one day.

  • 7:25 - Brush teeth & hair, make sure I took all of my meds and did my Advair puff
  • 7:30/7:35 - Leave for work - need to be there by 7:45
  • 7:45-3:30 - WORK! (Mondays and Thursdays I stay later at work, so it pushes my evening stuff back)
  • 4:00 - Come home, change clothes, wash hands, empty out lunch box, get PM nebs prepared
  • 4:10 - 5:00 - PM treatments:

                                      - 30 minutes of Vest (3-ten minute sessions)
                                      - Albuterol neb (~7-8 minutes)
                                      - Pulmozyme neb (~7-8 minutes) -- Both nebs are done during the Vest time
                                      - Clean Albuterol and Pulmozyme nebs
                                      - TOBI - if 'on' that month (different neb cup & machine - Add 10 min to routine)
                                      - 1 puff of Advair
                                      - Clean TOBI neb
A = Albuterol, P = Pulmozyme

  • 5:00 - 5:45 on Tuesdays and Thursdays: Go to the Gym for at least 30 minutes of exercise. 
  • 5:45 - EAT (but not without taking my enzymes first!) I eat lunch at 10:30am at work, so by the time I'm done with all of my treatments after work, I'm starving. On days that I go to the gym, I usually eat a granola bar before I go to give myself a little energy boost.
  • Shower - I usually take my showers after dinner (or when I get back from the gym) because I don't want to wake up any earlier in the morning, especially on TOBI months - 5:45 is early enough!

I really have found that if I do my second round of treatments right when I get home from work, I rarely skip them. It also motivates me to get them out of the way at that time, so I can spend the rest of the night hanging out with Tim.
Speaking of Tim, I've been strongly hinting towards him to write a post on his own, of what it's like to live with a wife with CF, or anything really that he can think of. If you'd be interested in reading a post (or two, or three, or however many I can convince him to) written from his perspective, please vote on the top right-hand side of my blog. Maybe if he sees that other people want/care to read it, then he'll do it. If you also have something you'd be interested in reading from his perspective, please feel free to leave a comment on this post and I'll make sure to relay the message to him. Thanks!
It's 5:00 and it's Tuesday = Time to go to the gym! This is my fourth week going and I've been going twice each week, yay!