Monday, February 27, 2012

Wrongful Life? Is There Such a Thing?

*Warning - This may be a controversial topic and the views in this post are strictly that of the blog author.*

At the top of this blog, you'll see a box that searches through stories in the news that involve Cystic Fibrosis. I like to read those stories to keep up with everything that's going on in the CF world. This morning I was quite shocked when I read the headline "Parents of child with Cystic Fibrosis file lawsuit against medical professionals."
My initial thought was, "Really? This must just be a misleading title" Nope. It's exactly what it sounds like. Its an article about a couple who had prenatal screening done and all the tests came back 'normal', but when their child was born, he/she had CF. The parents claim that they "were previously excited about the prospects of raising a normal, healthy child, were prepared neither emotionally nor financially to raise and care for a child with cystic fibrosis."

Guess what, neither were my parents, but they did it! And they didn't sue anyone for it! Sure they struggled emotionally, and I know they had medical bills up the wazoo, but they took care of me and never once have I ever felt like they wished I was never born!
To think that someone would rather not have a child or be a parent just because their child isn't 'normal' just drives me up the wall. It makes me feel like they're saying that any person with a chronic illness, chromosomal defect, mental illness, or anything just a little different doesn't deserve to live a life. I'm sorry, but I feel like I'm a productive member of society, maybe even more-so than some 'normal' people I know. Sure, my parents and I are pretty lucky because of how healthy I've been, but that doesn't mean that those who are less healthy shouldn't be alive.

I'm going to stop it there before I go too far or get myself too upset over something I cannot control. I just thought I'd bring this article to your attention and maybe get your reaction/feelings on the topic. (I understand that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I'm not trying to change yours, I'm just voicing mine!)
Do you think it's okay to sue the medical professionals after your child has been born 'abnormal'??

If you're interested in reading a fiction novel on this same topic, I strongly recommend reading "Handle With Care" by Jodi Picoult. It's about parents who have a daughter born with OI (Osteogenesis Imperfecta) and the struggles they face with her medical issues. It's controversial, but definitely very thought provoking.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Snow Day

I knew there was no way that winter was over for us! We live about 65 miles directly west of Chicago, so winter for us could really keep showing itself well into April, but we've had a pretty mild winter so far. There's probably been maybe 8-10 inches of snowfall since November and lots of above freezing temperatures which is pretty unusual. I knew it was all too good to be true and that we'd get at least one more good snowfall before spring officially started. Yesterday they were calling for about 4-8 inches of wet, heavy snow overnight right on top of all the rain we got during the day. Many people at work were talking about and wishing for a snow day, but I was not getting my hopes up. Four to eight inches really isn't the end of the world when it comes to a snowfall around here, and right before I went to bed last night I checked the weather report one more time and the predicted amount of snow for our area went down to 2-4 inches.

All bundled up!
Below: Our outside entrance
to our apartment - those
are the slipperiest stairs ever!
The sidewalk along the
side of our house that I
shoveled. Thanks to our
neighbor, she used her snow-
blower to do the front of the
house (to the left). You can see
my car in our driveway at the top
left of the picture.
At 5:30 this morning I got that wonderful automated call from the superintendent saying that due to the rapid snowfall and icy roads, it was too dangerous to drive so school was canceled! I was pretty surprised because I didn't expect it to get that bad. When I woke up and looked outside, we had only gotten about 3-4 inches of snow, but the roads were not plowed at all. Tim still had to work because he works for a property management company so I'm sure they'll all be out there clearing all of the properties' parking lots, sidewalks and stairways. I was debating this morning whether to go out and shovel, or to see if it would melt a little first. Last night on the news the meteorologist referred to the snow as 'heart-attack snow' because it was going to be so wet and heavy, so he encouraged those with medical issues to use caution when shoveling. Well since I'm not doing a darn thing today, I decided to go out and give shoveling a try. I bundled myself up with several layers because of the high winds, put my iPod in with my 'gym' playlist and headed outside. First thing I noticed was how warm it felt outside. It was probably only about 30 degrees, but the wind was not as bad as I thought it was going to be - it didn't take me too long before my hood came down, and my hat and gloves came off because I was sweating. The snow was definitely heavy, but not as bad as I thought it was going to be either. Thanks to my iPod, I was able to sing along and actually somewhat enjoy myself outside. I shoveled the entire sidewalk along the side of our house (see picture) and our next door neighbor used her snow blower to get the front sidewalk for us (thanks!). I also shoveled our half of the driveway and cleared off our outside entrance stairs. Clearing all of this took me about an hour and fifteen minutes, but it definitely didn't seem that long. I felt really good about myself for getting all of it done! I was also able to breathe really well the whole time I was out there, brought up some lovely mucus, and got a great arm workout - they're killing me now! I'm glad I chose to shovel instead of walk through it to go to the gym (across the street from our house). Now I have the rest of the afternoon to do some reading, watching TV or just relaxing. I love having a snow day on a Friday - yay for a three-day weekend!! :-)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Compliance, Doctors, Exercise & Great Strides

First of all I want to say how excited I am that I hit 200 days of compliance with my Vest and nebs yesterday!! Of course the past month or so there have been a couple days where I've only done one treatment in a day, but that was because of my little bought of hemoptysis which I'm happy to say has been gone for a while now. I'm still counting those days as being complaint because I was following doctors orders!

Today has been pretty eventful so far and it's only 3:15. I had the day off work today due a teacher institute day, so I've been taking full advantage of it. I woke up at my usual time of 5:45 today because I had two appointments this morning beginning at 7:45. I got my treatments done, finished my '30 days of blogging' post, got dressed and headed out the door. I had to be at the local hospital at 7:45 to begin my oral glucose tolerance test at 8am. This is a two hour test that tests for diabetes. Patients with CF have a higher chance of getting Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes, so my doctor wants me to get checked annually to make sure that I'm not developing CFRD. This is the second time I've had this test done and I'm really not a fan! I had to fast for 12 hours and if you read my post about irritating things, you'll know that you shouldn't mess with my food schedule. I couldn't eat breakfast this morning before the test, so I wasn't a happy camper, but I survived.
Just looking at this is making my stomach turn.
First they make you give a urine sample to make sure there's no sugars in you, then they take your blood and make you drink the most disgusting "orange" flavored glucose drink. (Every time I burp, I still taste that nasty stuff!) Then an hour later they take my blood to test my blood sugar, and then after another hour they take my blood one more time; so that's three pricks in three hours. The last time I had this test done, I think they had to poke me about 7 or 8 times because they kept missing my veins and I was not happy! This time, the lady was awesome and only had to stick me three times. They should be faxing the results to my doctor this afternoon and we'll discuss the results at my next clinic appointment in the beginning of March.

My second appointment this morning was to get a bone density (Dexa) scan. I've had this test done a couple times in the past also and it's to make sure that I am not developing Osteoporosis or the milder form called Osteopenia. I think it's kind of like an x-ray, but there's no vest or anything that I had to wear. I just had to lay down on the table and the machine scaned my legs/hips - very easy. A few years ago when I had it done, the results showed that I had Ostepenia so my doctors put me on 2 calcium + D vitamins a day. I had the test performed in December 2010 and it showed that I had normal bone density! I didn't get the official results from today's test yet, but I took a peek at the technician's screen and it showed a little mark in the green area, so I think my bones are still going strong!

After I left the hospital I met with Michelle from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation who is in charge of the DeKalb Great Strides walk this year. We talked about the progress being made about local sponsors, donations and how many people/teams are signed up so far! Looks like we're doing great so far with everyone signing up, but now it's time to focus on bringing in those donations and getting some companies to donate/sponsor us for the walk. I'm really excited about the progress we're making, but there's still a lot to be done. I'm planning on going around the town on Monday to a couple different businesses to see if I can get some more sponsors and donations. Oh, and for those of you on Colleen's Friends & Family, the t-shirts arrived today in the mail, so I'll be getting those to all of you shortly. :-)

And because all of that wasn't enough, I decided to take advantage of the above-average temperatures today (about 50 degrees) and go for a run outside. I ran/walked the Great Strides route which is about three miles. It was harder and much windier outside than I thought it was going to be, but it still felt really good to get outside to run. It was also nice to run outside because I was able to cough and spit while running (sorry to be gross, but it's true). When I run in the gym, if I cough and bring up something, I usually just have to swallow it because I don't want to gross out the other people there. Running outside was excellent airway clearance and I think because I was running against the wind at some points, my lungs worked even harder than on a treadmill. I'm still going to keep running at the gym, but I'm going to try to keep increasing my outside running time each week, until it's warm enough to always be outside, to get myself ready for my first 5K. I've found a 5K in a local town that I want to sign up for that's June 16th - so I've got about four months to get my butt in gear!

30 Days of Blogging: Day 30

Day 30 - A photo of yourself plus 3 good things that happened within the last 30 days

It's really hard to smile when you have a neb in your mouth!

  1. Kalydeco!!! I could go on and on about how amazing this advancement is, but I know I've blogged about it before. I cannot wait for the day that I get to start taking this. I'm going to talk to my doctor about it my next clinic visit in the beginning of March!!!
  2. Great Strides planning! I've ordered 36 shirts for my family team and there are about 20 people signed up from work! This is the most support I've ever had and I'm so thankful for each and every person who plans to spend the day walking for an amazing cause! :-)
  3. I'm getting closer and closer to my goal of being able to run a 5K. I'm nowhere near being able to run all 3 miles without stopping, but I'm slowly training my lungs and legs to handle the distance. I just wish they'd work together all the time; most of the time my legs are killing me long before my lungs (not a bad thing for my lungs!) and sometimes it's the other way around. Today, it's supposed to be 48 degrees and fairly sunny, so I'm going to take advantage of that and try to complete a 5K outside using a combination of walking and running. I'll update later, or sometime this weekend about how it went. Wish me luck!
This is has been a fun little blog challenge, but I'm kind of glad it's at the end. I'm ready to get back to regular blog posts. Hope you enjoyed learning all of these random things about me. :-)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

30 Days of Blogging: Day 29

Day 29 - Something you could never get tired of doing - Of course I thought of two things

1) Listening to music - I would absolutely love if I could have music playing around me all day! I think it would put me in a such a better mood when I'm having a rough day at work or just in general.

2) Going on walks/spending time with Tim - Sure, sometimes we drive each other crazy and want some space from each other, but I think that's pretty normal. I don't think I ever have turned down going on a walk with Tim when he brings it up. They're just the best - getting a little exercise, sight-seeing/people watching, and lots of good, deep conversation with my husband without too many distractions = great combination if you ask me! :-)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

30 Days of Blogging: Day 28

Day 28 - In the past month, what have you learned?

  • I have a pretty amazing life! :-) After sharing so many stories about my friends and family with my readers, it's really opened my eyes to how lucky I am to have all of these wonderful people in my life.
  • Also, that I don't thank all of those wonderful people enough, so here it is again - THANK YOU for being such great support systems for me!!!
  • It's really hard to blog every single day! (Having a set topic to write on is easier, but I couldn't do it everyday otherwise.)
  • I love adding pictures to my blogs - makes things much more fun. 
  • I carry a lot of crap in my purse!
  • The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation & Vertex are wonderful and that there's a new treatment, Kalydeco, available for me when the time is right!!!!
  • It was fun to share all of these random facts about me with my readers, but I think 30 days in a row was just a little too much for me; I'm ready to get back to regular blog posts.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Story of Tim & I

So I'm jumping on the bandwagon of my other blogger friends, Megan and Inhaling Hope, about telling the story of how we met our husbands. I thought for sure that I wrote a post about this before, but I can't find it anywhere so if I did, well, here it is again!

I graduated high school in June of 2006 and I was very much looking forward to moving out of my parents' house. I was excited to meet new friends, start new classes and start a new chapter in my life, I had no plans of starting any relationships, but of course that's not how things work...
A few weeks into my freshman year, my roommate was on Facebook searching for guys at our college that she found cute/interesting...I don't know what she was looking for, I think she was just browsing. She came across a guy who went to a high school close to our hometown, was a lifeguard (like her) and who she thought was cute. She started messaging him and asked if wanted to hang out sometime. They decided that they wanted to get together, so he, his roommate (Tim), and two of his friends came over to our dorm room to hang out one night. (Looking back, this could have been a really bad/stupid choice for us!) it was a pretty awkward night because we were just a bunch of random college kids all crammed in our tiny dorm room, but it ended up to be kind of fun. I didn't have an immediate attraction to Tim, or any of the guys, but according to Tim, (which I found out years later) he 'called me' when they left our room that night. That weekend we all went out to a party together -my first college frat party- and Tim stuck by my side all night. We had a lot of fun together and it made me feel good that someone showed interest in me, but I didn't think too much of it.

As the weeks went on, Tim and I talked a lot online and got meals together in the dorm cafeterias. I definitely started having more feelings for him than just a friend the more we hung out and kept talking. I think I was more hesitant to start a relationship with Tim than he was with me because I didn't expect to meet someone I really liked less than two months into my college career! I knew that if we were going to be together, I'd have to tell him about my CF because I didn't want him to find out without me telling him. Unfortunately, I was a huge chicken about it and I told him in one of our online conversations. I was afraid of his reaction, so I think this was easier for me. Looking back, I wish I would have just sucked it up, but it worked out okay. He asked me a couple questions about (and of course, I knew he was Googling it) and I tried to ease his mind about it. I told him about my treatments, enzymes and doctors appointments and tried to make it seem not so scary. I'm sure he was freaked out about it, but he fooled me if he was. He asked questions when he wanted to learn more, he encouraged me to do my treatments and keep myself healthy and reminded me to take my enzymes. We were 'officially' together on October 10th, 2006, even after I told him about all of my scary CF issues, he still asked me out. :-)

We spent a lot of time together all school year, and a lot of the time we spent together was going on walks around campus. It was our way of being together without any distractions from other students, homework, or technology. I definitely think we were able to learn so much about each other because of these walks. Going on walks with Tim is still one of my absolute favorite things to do! I was dreading summer break when I had to go back to my parents' house. It was a rough summer for both of us (probably more so me than Tim), but we made it through! We lived about two hours apart, so about every other weekend or so we would go visit each other on the train and we wrote letters to each other all summer. I think after that summer we both knew that we'd get married and always be together. It was an amazing time/growth for our relationship.
That fall we celebrated our one year anniversary. One night we went to a jewelry store to get my necklace chain inspected, and they strongly encouraged me to look at rings while they were looking at my necklace. I felt really uncomfortable because I didn't want to be putting pressure on Tim about getting me a ring (it had only been a year), even though we both knew we'd eventually get married. I looked at the rings casually and tried a couple on per request of the saleslady. I showed her a couple that I really liked, but tried not to make a big deal out of it. Turns out, that weekend, Tim went back and bought my engagement ring! Good thing I picked out a couple I really liked instead of not paying attention!

The next two years we were pretty much inseparable while Tim finished up his college career and I got further into my education classes. In the summer of 2009, we had been together for almost three years, Tim surprised me with a weekend to Wisconsin Dells for what I thought was for my 21st birthday. On Saturday night, 4th of July right after the fireworks, Tim proposed!! It definitely caught me off guard and I was so excited! When my friends and family called me the next day for my birthday, I was able to tell them the amazing news! A little over a year later, October 9th, 2010, one day before our 4 year anniversary, we became Mr. & Mrs. "V-eye-ta-dooder" :-) Now here we are almost a year and a half into our marriage, and I'm happier than I ever thought I'd be! I love my husband so much, he's the best!!!

30 Days of Blogging: Day 27

Day 27 - What kind of person attracts you - kind of appropriate for Valentines Day, right? (I don't really know where to go with this one, but I'll try my best.)

This guy! He's been by my side for five and a half years now and I've loved every minute of it and look forward to many, many more. He makes me so happy, makes me laugh all the time, supports me, loves me, 'gets' me and through all of that he doesn't complain...too much. ;) I couldn't ask for a better husband! I love you, Tim!

Monday, February 13, 2012

30 Days of Blogging: Day 26

Day 26 - A photo of somewhere you want to go

California - Tim and I went there on our honeymoon, to the Anaheim & San Diego areas. I'd love to go back to other major cities that we haven't gotten to.

Hawaii - Tim's grandparents are there right now and they have some beautiful pictures! I've always wanted to go to Hawaii and I hope that I can make it one day. :)

Colorado - This is a picture I actually took when I was there in 2009. I went with some of my family for my cousin's graduation from the Air Force Academy. I'd love to go back with Tim to just do some sight-seeing.

There are many other places I'd love to go, I'm pretty open to anything. I'd love to go out of the country at some point, don't really care where. :-)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

30 Days of Blogging: Day 25

Day 25 - Five of your favorite movies/books
Since I've already named several of my favorite movies here, I'm going to focus this one on my favorite books.

Robyn's Book is written by Robyn Miller who had CF and was born in 1964. This is an autobiography of her life and what it was like to live then with CF. It's pretty powerful and emotional, but I highly recommend it. Tim got me the book for Christmas several years ago, and I'm thinking I need to read it again because it's been awhile. I'm willing to lend it to anyone who'd like to to read it.

This is probably the best series I've ever read! The books are so well-written and so detailed! I cannot believe that one person could come up with all of this! I've read all of the books and I've seen all of the movies, and the books blow the movies out of the water! Highly recommend these books to anyone, any age.

The Guardian is written by Nicholas Sparks, but it's not his typical 'chick flick' style writing in this one, which is why it's my absolute favorite by him. It still has the love story in it, but it has an element of suspense which his other books don't have.

Something Borrowed is a total 'chick flick' book written by Emily Giffin. It was turned into a movie, which I never saw because it looked really cheesy. I really enjoy Giffin's writing style and I think I've read almost all of her books. Other books she's written include: Something Blue (sequel to Something Borrowed), Love the One You're With, and Heart of the Matter.

I know I'll probably get a lot of criticism for these, but I don't care. They're nothing compared to the movies, at all! I know they're definite chick books, and probably meant for 14 year old girls, but so what. I've read them all (twice) and I really enjoyed them. They're very easy reads but addicting. As far as the books go, I'm Team Edward. As far as the movies go, I'm Team case you were wondering! 

Right now I'm currently reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and I'm about 100 pages into it. After I finish the three books in the series, I'm planning on reading the Hunger Games Trilogy. Any other great books that I should read, please let me know - I'm going to need something to do this summer!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

30 Days of Blogging: Day 24

Day 24 - A photo of something that means a lot to you
My support system:
2007 - This was probably one of the coldest Great Strides
I've ever walked! 
2008 - Friends & Family in Chicago! That was a cold year!
2009 - Friends & Family in Chicago - at least the sun was
out this time!
2010 - Our friends Chris and Allie, me and Tim at the Chicago
Walk - it was gorgeous that day!
2011 - All of my family that drove an hour or two
just to walk with us in DeKalb! :-)
2011 - Friends & Co-workers!
Thank you to everyone who's ever attended a Great Strides walk with me! It really means a lot to me to see each and everyone of you out there walking with me.They've always been a great time and I hope that our groups continue to grow each year! I can't wait to post a picture of the HUGE group we're going to have this year!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

30 Days of Blogging: Day 23

Day 23 - 15 Facts about you
This is going to be tougher than I thought, because as I sit down to write this, I feel like I've pretty much told you everything about myself through all of my posts, especially during this '30 Days' challenge.

These were my wedding flowers
and I LOVED them!
  1. I actually enjoy running now - If you would have told me a year or so ago that I'd say this, I'd think you were crazy! It's still tough running for longer distances each time, but I'm so proud of what I've been able to accomplish this far.
  2. I have 3 scars on my stomach, 2 tiny ones on my neck and a couple little ones on my chest from my meconium ileus surgery right after I was born.
  3. I've never broken a bone. 
  4. I love macaroni and cheese!
  5. I hate very cold weather and very hot weather - if it could be anywhere from 60-80 degrees everyday, I'd be a very happy person. 
  6. I'd much prefer flowers over chocolates. Orange lilies are my favorite. (See picture)
  7. I love when I hear certain songs and they trigger specific memories! :-)
  8. I'm absolutely terrified for when the day comes when I have to go to the hospital for the first time and get IVs. 
  9. I love my CF doctor and nurse, Penny, and I don't ever want to move too far away because I never want to go to another clinic. 
  10. My favorite candy bar is Snickers, but I enjoy them in moderation - I'm not a huge chocolate person.
  11. My iPod is orange and my phone case used to be purple, until it broke, now it's just black.
  12. I frequently have dreams where my teeth crumble and fall out - if someone could tell me the meaning behind this I'd greatly appreciate it because it totally freaks me out each time!
  13. I enjoy writing checks, taking care of the bills and being organized, it makes me feel like an adult. :-)
  14. I had a dream last night where I was going somewhere overnight, and two hours into the trip I realized I forgot my Vest! I made whoever was driving me turn around to get it because I kept saying, "I've been compliant for almost 200 days, I can't stop now! We have to go get it!"
  15. I cannot wait for Tim and I to become parents! 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

30 Days of Blogging: Day 22

Day 22 - A letter to someone who has hurt OR made you happy recently

To: Every one of my blog readers, every person who's ever donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, all of my family, friends and co-workers:

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for all of your love, support, and encouragement! Without each and everyone of you in my life, I'd be a different person and I wouldn't be where I am today. To my blog readers: thanks for all of the comments/encouragement throughout the past year of my blog - it definitely keeps me going to know there are people out there reading (and enjoying) my posts. To anyone who's ever donated to the CFF - you are making my life wonderful! Thanks to all of your donations, I now have Kalydeco as a treatment option for myself (I'll go more into detail about that in another post)! To my family, friends and co-workers: Thank you for listening to me when I complain about my CF, supporting me in my recently goal to be able to start exercising and run a 5K (I think I found one in the summer I want to run! - More about that later, too). Thank you for the continuous encouragement to do my treatments and keep myself healthy, and giving me a reason to live!

A very healthy, thankful, Cyster! :-)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

30 Days of Blogging: Day 21

Day 21 - A photo of something that makes you happy 
There are a lot of things that make me happy, but here's one of my favorites:

These are flowers that Tim got me for our one year anniversary when we were dating!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

30 Days of Blogging: Day 20

Day 20 - The meaning behind your blog name

Well, the blog started out as "How I Live, Laugh and Love with CF" because I wanted to go off of one of my favorite quotes "Live, Laugh, Love". I wanted to show people out there that it's possible to live a 'normal' life despite having CF and how I make it work. I like to try to mention one of those words in every post to try to tie it in all the time, but it doesn't always work.
After I had the blog for about nine or ten months, I noticed there was a big focus on my CF in the blog (which is what I wanted), but I wanted the title to be something not blatantly "CF". So I played around with some things and came up with *Live*Laugh*Love*Breathe* because not only am I doing the first three all the time, but my other major focus in life is to breathe as deeply and best as I can - I just thought it was very fitting for me. I've grown to absolutely love this phrase and I wish they made things in stores that had "Breathe" tacked on the end of it, too...but Tim says we have enough "live, laugh, love" stuff in the house already! :-)
I always want it to be a constant reminder to myself (and him) that that's what life's about: living life to the fullest everyday, laughing things off and not taking them too seriously - basically, just relax!, loving each other through everything, and breathing deeply & being/staying healthy.

PS: This is my 100th post - I think this is the perfect topic to sum it all up so far! :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

30 Days of Blogging: Day 19

Day 19 - Your reflection in the mirror

This is probably my least favorite day so far because I don't take pictures of myself in the mirror. I have a webcam on my computer that I've never used. I was messing with it this morning while doing my treatments and this is what I could get:
It's all grainy because my Vest was going at the moment, sorry.
Not too bad for 6:00am!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

30 Days of Blogging: Day 18

Day 18 - Five things that irritate you
I'm apologizing in advance because it's so long, but I have to explain why these things irritate me.

1) Smoking (of any kind) - I've blogged about this before, but this is something that really irritates me. Now I have a couple friends who smoke, so it's not like I won't talk to someone because they smoke, but it still really drives me crazy that they still do it!
-You were born with a beautiful set of healthy, clear lungs to keep you healthy and last you your entire life. I was born with diseased, mucus-clogged lungs that might only last me thirty, forty or maybe fifty years, then hope that I can get a new pair before they completely fail me.
-You take your healthy lungs for granted and breathe in, by choice, harmful toxins and God-knows what else because you think your cool, or because it makes you feel good, or whatever your reason may be. I do at least an hour of breathing treatments a day and exercise regularly just to keep my lungs from deteriorating any faster.
-Your lungs still could last you until you're in your sixties, seventies or beyond, where you'll still end up with cancer and have to go through some pretty rough treatments, and you might still smoke...My lungs steadily decline while the amount of treatments I do will increase. Eventually I may need a lung (maybe double) transplant where I face the possibility of dying before receiving a transplant, or get another three-ten years out of my new lungs before rejection takes over. Hmm...see why this is a little irritating to me? I know this sounds harsh, but it's the way I see it and it's something I feel very strongly about. Maybe I should have put this in my 'passionate' post.

2) Parents who don't parent, leaving me (the education staff) to deal with their disrespectful children - Since I work in a school, I deal with all different types of children that come from many different backgrounds. It just kills me to see children as young as five who can be so disrespectful. Now before I go too far, all I'm going to say is if you're going to have a child, raise it! Take responsibility! You are the parent, not the teachers/school staff. Sure your children might hate you right now because you're making them do something they don't like, but they'll learn (even if it's years down the road) that it's because you care about them. I gave my parents a heck of a time with my treatments and all that, but looking back I know it was because they were trying to keep me healthy. Don't try to be their friend - you're not! That's why you're called the parent!

3) Changes in my eating routine - Yes, you'll probably think I'm crazy when I explain this to you, but it's true. I get very irritable/crabby when my meal routine is thrown off or when I'm hungry. I have to have cereal or oatmeal every work-day morning for breakfast. If I don't eat, it messes with my blood sugar around 9:30 or 10:00am (I don't have diabetes). If we don't have milk in the fridge, I get uneasy because I like to drink milk with every meal just about. I'm really weird about making sure that my husband and I have equal amounts of food when he makes dinner. I have no idea why I'm like this - the only thing I can think of is because I don't like feeling hungry. Ask my husband about this one and I guarantee you he'll sigh and roll his eyes!

4) When people misuse the words 'your' and 'you're' and spell 'definitely' wrong - Especially when they're education majors/teachers!!! Let me show you the correct way so you know for future reference:
Tonight we are going to your house. Your - it belongs to you
You never told me when you're (you are) coming over. You're - contraction of 'you' and 'are'
Definitely = definite + ly
And just for extra clarity:
The car is over there. There - a place
Their house is blue. Their - it belongs to them
They're in the blue house. They're = contraction of 'they' and 'are'

5) When a really good song comes on the radio right when you have to get out of the car - This one isn't as annoying and intense as the others, but it is one of those things that drives me a little crazy. I love music, as I've mentioned in many posts, and it can really set/change the mood for my day. Usually if I can spare the three minutes, I'll sit in the car and listen to it really loud!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

30 Days of Blogging: Day 17

Day 17 - How you hope your future will be like

This post could be so long if I went into detail about what I want my future to be like and everything that I would want to happen, so I'm going to try to put it in a nutshell for you - I want to be happy every day of my life, no matter how long or short it is. I want to laugh everyday of my life, no matter how many days I get. I want to surround myself with people I love and just enjoy the life I was given. I want to keep myself healthy for as long as possible, and I hope that's going to get easier with the new drugs being created. No one is guaranteed a long life, anything can happen, so I hate to think that I have to be cautious just because of my CF. I'd love have children, experience being a mother, and maybe even one day a grandmother. I want to travel and experience other places and people in the world. So my hope for the future is for it to be: fun, enriching, healthy, new and exciting for many years to come. :-)

Friday, February 3, 2012

My First Blog Award

My awesome blogging buddy, Kayla, recognized me for this Liebster Blog Award the other day. Liebster is German for 'dearest' or 'favorite'. I thought that was so awesome to receive a cute little award for blogging about my life, and that someone likes my blog enough to recognize it, so thanks again, Kayla! Kayla is a 24 year old CFer from Tennessee who also has a degree in Elementary Education, and graduated in 2010 -- weird, huh? So I love reading her blog because our lives are so similar, I love to see what she's up to - she recently just increased her PFTs by 9%!!!. You can read her blog here. :-)

So here are the rules for the Liebster Blog Award:
1) Acknowledge the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them. (Check)
2) Give this award to 5 other bloggers who have fewer than 200 readers. Let them know through a comment on their blog. (Check - below)
3) Post this wonderful award on your blog. (Check!)
4) Bask in the glory bestowed upon you and appreciate all the amazing bloggers out there. (Okay!)

Without further ado, here are the bloggers that I have chosen to pass the award onto:

1) I Have CF. So What?! - I met Lauren through CysticLife, I believe, or maybe another CF online group, I honestly don't remember anymore. She's definitely the one who inspired me to write my own blog and I don't know that I've ever thanked her for that, so THANKS LAUREN! Your blog is so inspirational to everyone, not just CFers. You go girl, keep up all of your hard work!! :-)
2) Breathing Deeply, Laughing Loudly, and Living Fully - I met Megan through CysticLife, she has a degree in education, is married to a teacher, and it turns out she only lives a little over an hour away from me and we go to the same CF clinic! (I love the internet!) We are at very similar places in our lives right now and we talk all the time. She's an amazing person and I'd love to meet her one day, as long as we stay three feet away! :)
3) Inhaling Hope - Inhaling Hope is another great friend from CysticLife in her 20s with CF and recently pregnant! She is currently working in a school (notice all of the education connections) while blogging about what it's like to have CF and be pregnant. I love reading all of her posts because she's not afraid to leave out any details - it's wonderful. Can't wait to see your Peanut!
4) My Life as a Livingston - Jenny is a mom, wife, step-mom and a CFer - woo! I love reading about how she deals with her CF and two girls and just life in general. She's also a person I found through CysticLife.
5) So Much For the Plan - I honestly don't remember how I came across Young Grasshopper's blog, but I instantly added it to my favorites! She's a recently diagnosed CFer and if that's not enough change in her life, she has five month old triplets!!

Each of these ladies has been an inspiration in my life in one way or another and I look forward to all of their new blog posts! It's wonderful to know that there are other people in the world that are going/have gone through through similar things as me, or are experiencing things that I hope to experience one day myself. If you've got some time, I strongly suggest checking out each of their stories.

30 Days of Blogging: Day 16

Day 16 - Describe a passion you have

When I see this, two things come to my mind automatically: 1) Teaching/Education and 2) Spreading awareness of Cystic Fibrosis.

Teaching/Education: I graduated from college with a degree in Elementary Education in 2010 and I have yet to find my first teaching position, but have been a teaching assistant for the past two years. It's not quite the same, but I know that I'm in the right field. I love working with kids everyday whether they're five or ten, special ed. or regular ed., I've worked with them all. I don't refer to my job as 'work', when I say I'm leaving I say that I'm going to school - it just doesn't feel like 'a job'. Yes, some days are tough/hard, but then I think about what I'm doing and how we all have good days/bad days, I try to go back the next day with a better attitude.
I love watching students learn and grow, especially the younger ones because everything is new and exciting to them. I wish I got so excited that I jumped up and down anytime someone understood what I was saying, or because I had a banana in my lunch, or because a staff member is wearing a hockey shirt - they're just so fun!! The absolute best though, is when you know they've been struggling with a concept and then there's that one day when they finally 'get it' and you just watch their face light up! Priceless. I cannot wait to have my own classroom one day so that I can make an impact on more than two students per school year. But until then, I'll just make the best out of what I have and work with the best staff ever!

Spreading Cystic Fibrosis awareness: This is something fairly new that I would say I'm passionate about because I used to only tell the people I was close to about my CF. I never know how people are going to react when they find out about my CF - sometimes they ask questions, sometimes they get that face where you can tell they feel bad for me, sometimes they just nod, walk away and go research it - I think it's different for each person and the situation. Personally, I'm not afraid to answer questions about it when people find out - I'd much rather they ask me than go looking online at worse case scenarios and freaking out and thinking that I'm going to die. Don't tell me you feel sorry for me either - I haven't encountered this one too much before, but sometimes I can just tell by the way people look at me that they kind of feel bad for me - don't. This is something I've lived with my whole life, I don't know any different, plus there are many, many people who are worse of than me, and I'm doing the best I can with what I've got and that's just life.
I've also been really trying to spread awareness of just CF in general. I really don't like that a lot of people don't know what CF is because they've never heard of it. I wish there were commercials on TV promoting awareness, especially around Great Strides season. This is a disease that affects so many people, young and old (yay for the old people!) and it just needs to be brought to attention. Thankfully, with all of the recent drug developments, I think the word is spreading a little more. I hope to be spreading awareness about CF to pretty much anyone I meet (I'm not talking about the cashier at Target or Walmart) but the people that I work with, and all of my family and friends because chances are they'll tell someone else and the chain keeps going and eventually it won't be, "Cystic Fibrosis? What's that?" It'll be "Cystic Fibrosis, oh I work with someone who has that, she's doing so well (or whatever they'd say)."

There are other things that I'd consider myself passionate about including taking care of myself and my relationship with Tim. They kind of go hand in hand because I want to take care of myself so that I can live as long as I can to be with Tim and hopefully have a family. I take care of myself because I have him in my life. He motivates me, whether he realizes it or not, to be the best person I can be each and every day; I love him very much.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

30 Days of Blogging: Day 15

Day 15 - Something you don't leave the house without

My enzymes! I can't eat without these because they digest my food for me. Every once in a while I forget if I've taken my enzymes before I eat because it becomes so automatic - you'd think I'd remember, but sometimes I feel like an old person when I'm half way through my meal and I think, "Oh no! Did I take my enzymes?!" Haha. Then usually I just take a couple more to be on the safe side. If I forget to take my enzymes, especially with a high-fat/calorie meal, I'll have pretty severe stomach pains and a trip to the bathroom (sorry, but it's true). So I'd rather take a couple extra than none at all!
I started swallowing my enzymes when I was three or four, but before that my mom had to open the capsule and mix the contents into applesauce so I could take them. I also used to swallow them one at a time for the longest time, but now I take up to six at one time. I take more enzymes with bigger, fattier meals. My mom would always use a little film canister (the black ones with the gray or black lid) to carry my enzymes in her purse. When I was in high school, I used to leave bottles of enzymes at my friends' houses in case I ever forgot to bring some or ran out. So if you ever see me popping pills (especially if it's right before I eat), I'm not on drugs - illegally - I'm just taking my enzymes so I can digest my food. :-)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

30 Days of Blogging: Day 14

Day 14 - TV Show (or shows) you're currently addicted to

This show is really awesome! We started watching it last  year and it became addicting really fast! The second season should be starting up again really soon and I'm very excited about it. Basically, it's about a girl, Rosie, who was found murdered, and each episode is a day in the investigation to figure out who killed her. But at the end of every episode, you have a different idea of who you think did it - it's crazy, but very well written. I strongly suggest this one!
Tim got me hooked onto this show. We started watching the first season from the beginning and I wasn't really hooked, but I gave it a shot. The second season is half way through and it's much better than the first. I definitely recommend this to anyone who has an interest in zombies ('walkers' as they call them in the show) or even if you don't. I'm not usually a fan of zombie movies/shows, but this one goes beyond that and develops their characters well.
I've watched both seasons of Teen Mom since they first started, and I'm hooked on both. As my cousin described it, "It's like watching a car crash - you can't help but watch." I know a lot of the girls are not the best examples of moms, but I honestly think because it involves children, I watch it. I love kids and I love seeing the kids grow on these shows. And yes, I do get sucked into their drama and I yell at the TV when the moms do stupid things, but I just can't help it.  It's a guilty pleasure :-)

I also enjoy a good (nasty) episode of Hoarders (preferably the A&E version) from time to time. We also watch a lot of crime shows on the ID station. I love Law & Order:SVU, Criminal Minds and 48 Hours Mystery. And I have to admit, sometimes I enjoy watching gun shows with Tim. As much as I hate guns and would probably never touch one, I really like the show Sons of Guns and I've watched One Man Army several times. And finally, our newest show that we watch is Ink Master which is a reality show to find the 'best tattoo artist' where they have challenges and eliminations every week. It's really interesting to see how much work/detail/art goes into every tattoo and how they get critiqued every week. Makes me a little nervous to get a tattoo because I'm afraid I'll start getting really picky the more I watch this show!