Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fall Happening's

Fall is my absolute favorite season! I look forward to it all year long and really try to enjoy each and every day. We've had an eventful Fall thus far...

I had my Picc line in for 3 weeks which made me feel great!

Poor Scott got a nasty cold and was sick for over a week..

He then passed it to his lovely wife (ahem, me) and I'm anxiously awaiting it's departure ;)

We went to our local Renaissance festival and ate our hearts out

We have went to several Fall festivals in our area

Drank countless glasses of hot apple cider

Picked apples at an orchard

Went on a Hayride with my nieces

Tried apple fritters for the first time (YUM!)

Picked pumpkins off the vine at a pumpkin patch

Went to our favorite yard sale fall festival about an hour away and cleaned up

Made a few loaves of pumpkin bread

Enjoyed a band at our favorite local winery

Next up:

Carving Pumpkins

Dressing up for Halloween!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Blog lock-out is over

Yikes, for the life of me my blog has NOT let me sign in for about 2 weeks now. I've racked my brain for reasons why, but for some reason today it let me sign in. Great! It hasn't let me comment on other blogs either, so I do apologize for that. I have to say I'd just sit here and hit "Comment" after "Comment" and nothing. Here's hoping she's all fixed now :)

A lot has happened lately, so in my true to slacker-not-able-to-log-in-fashion, It's a list on the blog type of day..

-For starters the Picc is gone! Yay! It was removed yesterday at work, which was exactly 3 weeks from placement. Feeling good and hoping things continue in that direction.

-Our CF community lost a very near a dear person to me recently. Nicole lost her battle as did her little boy. It's been very difficult lately thinking about her and everything that happened. She is on my mind so very much.

-I officially entered the world of CFRD on August 30th. Been feeling it for a while now, so we decided I needed to keep track of my sugars. Sure enough I landed myself on a carb counting adventure with the help of a Novalog insulin pen. Her name is "Penny." ;)

-I've been trying very hard to enjoy every moment of my most favorite season, FALL! We went to a pumpkin patch, apple orchard, did a hay ride, and have been to 2 Fall festivals. Love this!

-I ran the 2nd annual "Out Run CF" race. I chose to do a 5K with the picc line in tow. It went well and I was so happy to have been able to do it.

-I've recently begun to start "couponing." Not crazy hoarding or anything, just watching for deals on the things that we actually need. So far so VERY good! It's pretty cool to see all the $ we can save.

-Being the crazy person I am, I've started getting some early Christmas shopping done. I've gotten all of my nieces and both of my Goddaughters finished already. Definitely a good feeling :D

-I continue to run at least 4 days a week and love it. There just isn't anything else that makes me feel so great.

That's it for now. Just coming off of IV's yesterday has officially made me feel like I've been hit by a mack truck. I can't remember the last time I felt this exhausted, or slept so deep. Shew. Back to relaxing :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

PICC time

On Thursday I woke up feeling pretty congested. I just chalked it up to the change in seasons, but still was on the look out during the day to see how I felt. I was getting a patient ready when I felt what I'd call a "jab" of pain in my left lower lung. It was enough to take my breath away. So I decided that definitely warranted a listen with the stethescope.

Sure enough my lungs sounded pretty gross in the lower and mid lobes. They had lots of crackles, gurgles, and tons of expiratory wheezing. I usually have clear lungs, so I knew something was up. I gave Hopkins a ring to see what they thought, and of course they wanted to see me and take a listen for themselves.

I didn't even do PFT's because of the shooting pain. The Dr. took a listen and basically said "So what kind of IV's have workded in the past?" Awesome. I was definitely open to having a PICC line right now. I don't want this to have a chance to turn into something awful. And because we are officially in flu season I want to be safe.

So I went to a new place yesterday for my PICC placement. Other areas couldn't get me in until next Wednesday. Or, I could get admitted. I'd rather not be in the hospital anyway because of germs, but even moreso because I don't feel bad, just playing it safe. So I'm PICC'd and ready to go. Bring on the drugs and "roto-rootering" I'm ready for these lungs to be happy again :)

I'm going to take a few days off from exercising. I think rest is important right now. But I ended this week with running 6.5 miles :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Colonoscopy Day ;)

I started my day out with a lovely colonoscopy today. What a breeze! The worst part is definitely the day before being allowed only clear liquids since this girl LOVES to eat. The prep wasn't even a big deal. I did Miralax and Gatorade and since I like Gatorade and drink it frequently it was a piece of cake...ohh cake. Sorry side tracked ;)

I had to have the colonoscopy due to my history of bowel obstructions in the last 2 years. I had intussusception when I obstruced the last 2 times. So to be safe we did the procedure to make sure there wasn't something in there causing it (ex: Mass, huge polyp, lipoma, etc).

Good new is, no bad news. I did have 2 "tiny" polyps, so no biggie. I'll follow up with the doctor in about 2 weeks and we'll go from there. It was a great experience if I do say so myself. The sedation (Propofol) is wonderful! You literally fall asleep, and wake up in recovery. It doesn't get much better than that.

Being a GI nurse who does this all day long, I knew what to expect. In fact, I totally felt like I was a work. I was even taken care of by a nurse I went to nursing school with. Of course, it still makes you nervous, but I think that was because I was afraid something was going on in there. So overall, good day, great nap, good results :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Think Before you Speak, pretty please.

Today was a rough one I have to admit. Work was going well, and I was taking care of my patients just moving right along. I was getting an older gentleman ready and he started to ask questions about me. After some chatting he asked me If I was married, long I was a Nurse, and so on....Then he asked me if I had any children. I replied No. He responded by telling me how I'm really missing out and that I'm really missing something not having children. I held back my tears (not for long) and told him I had lost a baby 2 years ago and have had a tough time ever since. Of course he felt terrible, but I don't care.

I composed myself long enough to finish his IV and get out the door. I could feel it brewing and one of my fellow Nurses asked me If I was ok, and bam the flood gates open. I couldn't hold the tears back any longer.

It's been a very long time since I've cried like this over pregnancy/miscarriage stuff. I think about it every single day, but today was difficult.

I just really really wish people would think before they speak. You never ever know what kind of battle someone is fighting on the inside...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I WON!!!

The results are in and I officially won the "Biggest Loser" well, "Biggest GAINER" challenge at work! I beat everyone in the office in percentages. I gained 6 lbs total, which for you CF'ers out there know is a BIG deal. I even got a lovely certificate as my prize. Woo Hoo!

Notice the pics of food on my award, especially the Mac-N-Cheese. Boy, do they know me or what? ;)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Swimming and a new 10K plan!

Yesterday we utilized our beach yet again, but this time not to lay around on the sand. Instead we decided to get in the water and swim! My goal was to swim a certain amount of laps, well that didn't happen, but I stayed in the water for 30 mintues swimming and doing different things. What a difference swimming is than running! Whoa, I actually feel out of shape when it comes to swimming. Crazy. It certainly worked me, but It felt awesome at the same time. I'm hoping to go swimming a few times a week while I can in between my running schedule.

Speaking of running, I signed up for the Outrun CF Fall edition yesterday. Super excited about it too! I've decided to kick my running plan up a notch. I found a running plan today for a "10K in 10 weeks" and I'm going for it. I figure I have 10 weeks as of Saturday until my next race so why not!?

Today was day 1 for me, and it was a 30 minute jog...done :) I like this plan because It's only 3 days a week of running which will allow me to do other things and take some classes at the gym.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Zumba experience

I went to my first Zumba class on Monday with a co-worker. It's something I've been wanting to try for a while now and finally bit the bullet and went. It-was-awesome! The class lasted a little over 45 minutes and was pretty much non stop moving!

I've been a member of my gym for a few years now, but have never went to a group class. I guess I'm more of an independent "worker outer" if you will. I like to pretty much just run which is a solo task. Well the instructor spotted that a few of us were new to her class pretty much immediately.

She pointed to me in the middle of our set and with her lovely microphone attached to her head and loudly said "Hey you in the blue are you new here!?" Umm yes, I replied nervously. I though I was off the hook at that point of any more call outs. WRONG! The next set was pretty intense little did I know and guess who gets called to the front of the class to "help" the instructor? Yup, that'd be me.

It was a set of non stop power jogging, jumping all around, and doing all kinds of punching and kicking moves. It kicked my butt for sure. I have to say it totally helped being in the front of the class because it pushed me so much harder to give 110% I felt like the others were looking at me to keep going. It was a pretty cool feeling and worked my lungs so so so hard.

I can't wait to go back next week. It was pretty nice to mix up my running routine a bit. Here's to more Zumba!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Biggest Loser (Well Gainer, for me that is)

At work starting about 3 weeks ago a bunch of the ladies decided to start a "Biggest Loser" challenge. I gave it some thought and decided to join in this challenge. The catch is, I'm working hard on being the "Biggest Gainer." That's right, thank you CF, I am working my butt off trying to pack on the pounds. Are my co-workers thrilled? Nah, haha, just kidding they are VERY supportive. However I can't help but feel those evil looks being shot my way when I load up a plate of whatever with a stick of butter ;)

So far so good, I've gained 5 lbs!!! Very exciting stuff. I weigh in tomorrow so hopefully I've gained even more!

As for exercise, I was pretty bad last week about blogging about it, but I did post in my accoutability group. I ran a little over 6 miles last week. Last week was one of those busy weeks (especially at work) where you feel like you're head is spinning.

It's been only 10 days since my last post, but a buys busy busy 10 days. We celebrated a birthday party at a brewery, did an Annapolis ghost tour, boated on the Chesapeake, celebrated 4th of July, also suffered a tragedy as someone had a boating accident at our beach and died. We had dinner dates, birthdays, and even went away for the weekend to Ocean City. Shew, I'm tired just rehashing it all, and I know I left things out.

That's about it for now...I'm back to work tomorrow after having a lovely day off. Which also means, back to the gym after a 3 day break! :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Was it something I said!? Geez.

Yesterday was one of those mornings that rarely happens around here luckily. I totally started my day off on the wrong note and not by my doing at all. I rolled over Thursday morning to snooze my alarm clock only to get clocked in the nose by my husband. OUCH! Of course it was an accident and he was totally asleep (so he says, haha just kidding Scott) but man did it not only throw me off guard, but hurt. I then get my morning routine all finished about a half hour later. I go over to him (still sleeping as I leave earlier for work) to give him a kiss and get knocked in the head. Man! I know he was unconcious but damn (haha) did I do something to him that he's getting me back for in his sleep? Luckily the day got better as it progressed, well It got better once my husband aka Mike Tyson fell back to sleep and I left for work.

I got a good amount of mileage this week which feels great! I totalled 6.5 miles, not counting my 5K on Sunday. I hit the gym on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. I mostly ran, but mixed things up a bit with the Elliptical and bike today. My knees needed a break from running.

I'm hoping to get some swimming in at our beach this weekend as well! That has always been a great form of exercise for me and definitey challenging.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Guilt and Happiness of a 5K

This morning I ran a 5K for "New Balance Women's Health." I was very happy with my time and more importantly how I felt. As I was running I thought to myself, wow, the only thing really bothering me right now are my knees. How lucky am I? I kept focusing on my lungs and thinking to myself how they weren't bothering me at all. Are they just used to exercise and my running? I kept reflecting (yes, still) on February and the flu and how bad things were. As I was running I kept thinking to myself how lucky I am that my lungs recovered the way they did and how much I depend on running to feel this way.

Insert the guilt part...Sometimes I do feel guilty for how I am able to run. Sometimes I feel guilty recording my exercise on this blog and my accoutability group. I fear people are going to look down on me or think negative thoughts. CF is and can be mega b*tch and I know sometimes others aren't able to run or exercise like this. That makes me ache sometimes. But on the flip side it motivates me. I push myself for the others with CF who I consider to be my friends who can't run. I push myself and run that extra mile not just for me, but for us. This is not meant to be a blah post at all, but It's honestly how I feel sometimes.

I push myself to the limit and know I have a different mindset about things. It's just how I am. I reflect and realize that 4 months ago my life flashed before my eyes and that fear pushes me every single day. So here I am running my heart out and pumping those lungs, making them give me all they've got. I do think we make a great trio If I say so myself ;)

Friday, June 24, 2011


Wednesday night was one of the best nights ever. We went and saw U2 and it was hands down the best concert of my entire life. I'm still beaming when I think about it. Every song I hoped that they would play they did. The energy in that stadium was amazing and something I hope never to forget. I'm so grateful we were able to get tickets to the show. The opening act was wonderful as well. Florence and the Machine opened for U2 and I adore them. It really just couldn't have gotten any better.

This was my exercise for Wednesday night for sure! My lungs definitely got a fantastic workout too! Those windbags sang their little hearts out for about 3 hours straight. I'm proud of those lungs they love U2 and didn't let me down ;)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

7 miles

Yesterday was quite the busy day for us. I feel like I'm saying that all the time lately. After work we headed up to Hopkins to visit our nephew who had his brain surgery on Monday. He looks amazing and is progressing wonderfully. He's definitely not his normal self, as he's in pain and really sleepy, but overall everyone is very pleased.

I had to skip the gym in order to make it to the hospital on time for our visiting slot. So we decided afterwards we'd go for a long bike ride to get our exercise in. We live close to a beautiful park that's right on the Chesapeake Bay. We biked there and rode around the whole park. We rode on a giant fishing pier, stopped at the beach, saw tons of deer, and tackled hill after hill. Definitely a fulfilling ride. All in all it was 7 miles and boy did I feel it ;)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Brain Surgery and stress

What a stressful weekend. It was nice in that it was Father's Day and my Dad is certainly someone to celebrate. I had a nice time with him on his day. Otherwise it was such a busy non stop weekend that by Sunday night my body was physically exhausted at every level. I even started to get chills, that's my sign of enough is enough.

I helped my parents this weekend by cleaning and preparing their house for a cookout. As happy as I was to help, it was a lot of work and it consumed most of the weekend. Top that with lack of sleep (big time) and worrying about my nephew's upcoming brain surgery and that about sums up the weekend. Tiring.

On a happy and more positive note my nephew had brain surgery today for repair of Chiari Malformation. He did wonderfully and is making great progress just hours post-op. That's a huge weight off for everyone. Hopefully he keeps up his resiliance and will be home in a few days.

Today I went back to the gym for a good run. They were closed a few days last week for renovations but the doors were open today! The place looks great, and they have a ton of brand new cardio equipment. I broke in a brand new treamill with a 2.2 mile run! I have to say it felt pretty good to run off some stress ;)

Monday, June 13, 2011

From Toyota to Bowel Obstructions

We had a very eventful, both good and bad last week. The good being that Scott bought his brand new Toyota Tundra and is in LOVE. I'm so over the moon happy for him. He's wanted a truck for so long, and finally treated himself to his dream last week.

Insert the ugly part which is where I thought I may be starting to obstruct while we were at the dealership. I was confident that I was ok since I was able to eat and drink without problem. This is something that doesn't happen with a "normal" obstruction. So after a few hours at the dealership and driving around to show some of our family/friends our new toy I felt pretty good. I even went home and ate a giant bowl of cereal and had plenty of bubbly and gurggly sounds so I was pretty happy.

The next morning I woke up feeling like I was having contractions. Not cool. I was feeling super dehydrated too (classic) so I headed to work had one of the Nurses start a quick IV on me for some fluids. It didn't do a thing for me unfortunately.

I worked most of the day then decided to head home after lunch and just relax to see how I felt. No doubt it was progressing horribly. I called my Nurse at Hopkins and she suggested I go out and buy the Miralax/Gatorade solution and drink the entire 64oz. of joy...(insert sarcasm here). Ok so it's actually not bad at all and I like Gatorade, my nerves were just shot.

So after drinking all of that liquid I thought I was going to explode, correction...I WISH I would have exploded but nothing. Then I knew I was in trouble and needed to get myself in gear for the ER.

We get to the ER and by now I'm just a sobbing mess in so much pain and having so much anxiety over this impending doom of an ordeal. Scott had to go park so I walked in the front door to be greeted by a tiny elderly lady offering me a wheelchair because "you're pregnant and can't breathe" hmm, well you got part of that right little cute lady. My stomach was sticking out so far I really did look about 6-7 months pregnant. The pressure was so bad that It was taking my breath away. Really just not a good combination I must say.

Skip ahead a few hours and lots of pain medication later. I was finally comfortable but the usual tricks of my obstructions weren't working. I got scared. Fast. Then came the dreaded statement that had I not been drugged I may have just lost it..."You need an NG tube" gah!!!!! I had a horrific experience when I was 19 with an NG tube and really wasn't trying to relive those memories but alas I did.

The Nurses were great and so supportive, but still missed and it took 3 tries for the NG (a blood bath horror scene and a lot of vomiting) to be successful. Once it was in about 500cc of fluid came off my stomach. Ahhh. I had visitors the next day but I can barely remember to be honest. I was upset, drugged, emotional, snappy (apparently) and miserable and I barely remember any of it now.

Vaguely I remember a doctor coming in to tell me that they were going to have a surgeon come evaluate me. I've had about 6 obstructions and never had to have surgery. Apparently my small bowel and colon heard those words and got scared. A few hours later I was home free if you know what I mean ;)

Luckily I was discharged from the hospital on Friday after going in Wednesday night. Not too shabby considering how bad this one was, and how bad it had the potential to be. All in all I'm so grateful to be home and NOT recovering from bowel surgery right now. It could have been a lot worse than it was, I recognize that.

After not eating for almost 4 days I'm happily indulging once again, but of course being careful :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I'm Featured In...

A Baltimore article HERE. It's about those with chronic illness and the use of social networking....Check it out :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"Take a break Today" well, yesterday actually.

I called Hopkins yesterday since I don't feel like we're making much progress with the Levaquin/Prednisone combo. My lungs have been super tight and we can't figure out if it's a bug, or Cayston caused inflammation this time? Anyway, we decided that after double checking my last culture I'd probably respond better to Bactrim. With all this going on yesterday my CF Nurse advised me not to exercise for the day. Definitely not something I'm used to hearing, but listened to her advice.

I ended up getting in 2 doses of Bactrim yesterday and already see an improvement! Very very happy about this. I also decided to go to the gym today to see how I did. I'm SO happy that I decided to go. I coughed up a lot of stuff that's been lurking in there and feel great. I did 2 miles total on my lunch break today.

Let's hope we continue on the "Up and Up"

Sunday, June 5, 2011

8.5 miles biking

After our weekend ritual of coffee on the back deck my husband asked If I wanted to ride bikes with him. I was hesitant at first for a few reasons. My lungs are currently being a little stubborn in dealing with an Asthmatic flare up. Yes, on top of CF I have the asthmatic component. So I was pretty tight this morning but decided I'd still go with him. He rides his bike for miles and miles and miles so I was slightly intimidated by his mad skills ;)

However I decided it was best to go and push myself to my limits and I surely did just that. I was happy with myself because I was pretty much right behind him the whole time. There were plenty of hills to keep me working hard. By the end we had finished 8.5 miles round trip. It felt great, I definitely gave my lungs a mega workout on what is our normal day off.

Here's a pic of the half way point....just outside of the Chesapeake Bay by Gibson Island. I love that we live surrounded by tons and tons of water.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Clinic Visit = :)

I had my quarterly clinic visit at Hopkins on Tuesday. Overall it went very well and I was very pleased with the appointment. This was my first big appointment since the flu fiasco in Feb-March that attacked my lungs so badly. I was told back then I may have suffered permanent lung damage due to that virus. That terrified me as I've said many times before.

However, I knew (THANKFULLY) that I hadn't suffered permanent damage due to my trusty old home FEV1 monitor. I've been tracking my lung function for a long time now and knew I was back at baseline, again THANKFULLY!

I am back at baseline and even a little better. This made me ecstatic of course for many reasons, but also because my Asthma is flared up right now as well. So despite all that I was able to get the wind bags to show what they're made of ;)

I go back for my routine follow up in August. That works for me!

As for exercise this week I went to the gym 3 days and ran at home 1 day. My total mileage for the week is 8 miles. I may jump on the bike this weekend and ride around the neighborhood and down to our beach. Well, that is if the humidity stays away that is.

Happy Weekend!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Run (definitely different)

Yesterday was a fun filled day celebrating my best friends birthday. I made it to the gym in the morning and did 2.2 miles on the treadmill. Afterwards was a day of birthday celebrating, hence I didn't make it to the gym early this morning as planned.

I debated running outside but then quickly realized how awful the air quality (code red) and humidity is here and chose differently. Instead I did something I've never done before. I made a course at home in the basement and garage and got my run in that way. I jogged in place for a bit, then started to run around the garage and basement enjoying the lovely air conditioning. I put my Cardio Trainer app on my phone so I could track everything.

In the end I ran for 24 minutes and completed my 2 miles. According to my FEV1 meter, my lungs really enjoyed the run too ;)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

What I am no longer...The Boss!

This week marks the 1 year anniversary of me saying yes to a job that I didn't truly want. It also will now mark when the new boss started and I was purely a Registered Nurse again! I am thrilled at the decision I have made and have zero regrets. I began training our new boss yesterday and we immediately had big issues on our hands. The beauty of it is, I no longer have to take it home with me, have huge worry, and feel like garbage because of my stress level. It was such a relief to drive home yesterday and think to myself that I just get to go home and be normal again :)

I'm so happy to think about the stress level decrease! I think I actually feel a tad bit lighter not carrying around such stress and burdons. (Insert sigh of relief here)

In other news I did a lot of good running this week despite some obsticles. I started on Levaquin on Thursday due to my sinuses being nothing short of insane. I feel like I have a faucet running down the back of my throat and have been waking up congested. No bueno.

Exercise wise I went to the gym this week and ran a total of 7.2 miles. My legs needed a mini break at the beginning of the week due to last weekends running. I'm hoping to get to the gym tomorrow and Monday (Memorial Day) to get some morning running in.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Weekend of Racing

This weekend sure was a busy one, but a great one! Especially since I challenged myself to running in a race on Saturday and on Sunday. Granted, my legs pretty much don't want anything to do with me right now but that's ok with me! ;) Overall this weekend I completed 4.1 miles :)

After the 1 mile Special Olympics benefit race

After the 5K with my shadow, my Greyhound Hooper :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Where do I even begin????

Ok so I've officially crowned myself as the worst blogger in history. I don't know what my deal is here lately. Perhaps I'm just feeling a little bit boring? I'm not sure. So, yes I'm doing the generic gigantic update in 1 post. I haven't been posting my exercise here, sorry. I promise I just slapped my own hand. However I log my daily activity on Facebook in a group started by one of my Cysters. It's so convenient, and motivating too! Ok ok, as for me lately...

VEST-After having the same Vest since 1999, I got myself a sweet upgrade ;) It's rather small, and doesn't weight 800 million pounds. I'm pretty excited about it, especially since I'm so far behind the times Vest wise.

ZENPEP- I started the new enzymes since Ultrase is no longer available. So far so good I have to say. I still have some adjusting and figuring things out but overall I like them. What I like even more is the Z-points program. It's pretty awesome getting HTS, Vitamins, etc. Loving that.

WORK-I made the decision to step down from my current position as Nurse Manager. It's just so not my style at all. I do not have the personality that a manager has to have. The biggest part of my decision to step down was that I miss being a Nurse SO BADLY!!! Being the manager means I am a "paper pusher" and I'm so not a fan at all. I miss my patients. So as of May 24th I am no longer Nurse Manager and indeed, RN again!!! YAHOO!! I can't wait for that level of stress in my life to be gone.

RUNNING-I've been running at least 4 times a week at the gym still. I decided to restart the Couch to 5K plan a few weeks ago. I completed the program and am running a 5K tomorrow in Baltimore. I did a 1 mile race this morning in Annapolis to support special olympics. It was really touching. A young boy with Downs Syndrome slapped me a big high five after the race and told me good job. My heart melted slightly. I signed up for another 5K in June. Keep em' coming :)

GRADUATION!!-This is by far the most important and biggest news on this blog. My wonderful husband graduated college for the, ahem 2nd time!!! I'm so proud of him. He now has another degree in the Computer field. I am SO SO SO SO SO proud of him! He has worked so hard and had a lot of obstacles this semester (mainly with my health scare in February). I think he is amazing!!!

HEALTH-I can't express at all how fortunate I am for how I've been feeling. I think about that flu I had in February I mean it, not a single day goes by where I don't stop and count my blessings. There were so many things I was uncertain of and afraid of. It hit me hard, but gave me the most amazing perspective I've ever had in my life. I will remind myself daily of how rough and scary that was. It pushes me harder and harder to go after everything I want in life. My only gripe right now is Mr. Prednisone. He's visiting me right now because of my insane allergies. As much as I love him, I sort of hate him too. You guys who've been on it understand!

Well that's it for now. I am certain I forgot to mention big stuff, but that's ok. I'm just happy I dusted off this dusty blog and showed it some love again!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Outrun CF!

I Outran CF on Sunday at the gym. I chose to do a 5K for my race. Overall I'm very happy with myself considering a few weeks ago I wasn't sure when I'd be able to run. It felt wonderful, and was great kick CF's rear by pounding that treadmill ;)

Getting ready to RUN!

Making my way to 3.1 miles!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Treadmill and I reunite!

Today was a big day for me. It was the first time in nearly 5 weeks that I got to go running!!! I actually couldn't wait to get to the gym after work today and was watching the clock like a hawk. I was somewhat nervous since It's been a little while, but was just happy to be there and be able.

I knew my tolerance would be lower, and it was, but surprisingly not by much. I was very happy about that. There's not much more to say other than It felt great and I can't wait to go back tomorrow! Today's accomplishment was 35 minutes, totalling 2 miles.

It's so nice to feel like me again :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

One Month Later = :)

Here's a pic of the line...surprisingly a lot of people asked to see it. Gross eh? ;)

On February 14th I was admitted to the hospital and tested positive for the flu. I had no idea how bad it would get. One month later, March 14th I am IV free as of 9:30 am!! Goodbye to Mr. Jugular line, and thank you for getting me back to being me again. I was terrified that I may not see that again. I still have a little ways to go (not much) but I'm working very hard and my FEV1 is getting back to baseline. Tomorrow, for the first time in a month I am going running!!! Ahhhhhhhh!!!! So excited!

I am BEYOND words of gratefulness!!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The best news I've heard in a month!

It's been quite an adventure these last few weeks to say the least. Each day is getting better and I think I can say I feel, well, GOOD!! So happy to be able to be functioning without feeling short of breath and like I'm struggling. It was no doubt, the sickest I have ever felt in my entire life. I don't think I've ever been so scared.

Last week I had a follow up appointment at Hopkins and I knew it wasn't going to be great. It was only 2 weeks post flu, and they said it would take a while to feel better. So, no real surprise but still disappointing. My IV meds weren't really doing the trick, so we did a little switch-a-roo ;)

I'm happy to report that it's working!!!! I feel a ton better and couldn't be happier. Yes, I still have work to do to get back to baseline, but I will do it! I've already been back to the gym and on the treadmill. I'm only walking for now since I don't want to over do it, but my plan is to be back to running by next week. I miss running so much and know my lungs will be happy with me exercising again. It's been like nails on a chalk board for me not to be active at the gym.

So that brings me to today. My CF Nurse called me to check on me and see what our plan is going to be. We decided to do my antibiotics through the weekend (fine with me) and....DRUM ROLL PLEASE......Remove the Jugular IV on Monday @ 10 am!!! WOO HOO!!!! Best news I've heard all month long!!! Could this flu/exacerbation be hitting the road?? I think so! ;)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Baby steps are still steps...

Today I took a rather large step and went back to work. Granted, I didn't work with patients, and just sat at my desk catching up on paperwork, but I did it and it felt great.

Getting up this morning was a little rough and I was afraid it was going to be too much. But then again, any morning lung wise for me is the worst time of day. So I took my time and crept along at a snails pace and got to work.

It was so great to see everyone and was even a little bit emotional. This flu and virus stuff really knocked me down to the lowest I've ever felt. I think the fact that I even got in the SUV and drove today was monumental.

Overall I'm tired, but don't regret it at all. The doctor's cleared me today to go back at light duty and I'll do just that. Hoping that each day only gets easier from here on out. I still have a long way to go, but I'll take these baby steps for sure.

Now on to doing a whole lot of nothing for the rest of the day and night.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Train Wreck, me.

There has been so much going on for a bit now, that I've just had zero energy or desire to blog. It all started a couple of weeks ago, Feb. 10th to be exact. I was driving home from dinner with a friend when I literally felt this illness hit me. Sudden onset of chills and shaking to the point of not warming up. I knew I was in trouble.

In the middle of that night, I woke up at 3am with a fever of 101. I RARELY get fevers, so again I knew something was up and I wasn't liking it. I spent the next 2 days in bed, just praying and hoping I would be sick on my birthday (the 12th).

As it turned out by Friday I felt pretty darn good. Prayers answered and I was thrilled! So we spent my birthday very low key, and ended up going to the movies and bowling. By the time that evening hit, both Scott and I felt sick as dogs....again. And the next day, it just progressed even worse.

Monday came, and I knew I had to make the dreadful call to Hopkins because this was not getting better, but getting worse, and scary. My FEV1 took a sudden hit which scared me and hasn't ever happened before. I made the call and they wanted me in immediately as a direct admission. I knew it was the right thing to do, but still I hated it.

By the time we got to the hospital I was so short of breath, that It burned for me to even walk a few steps. We had to walk a long way to get to where we needed to go, and not to mention the 2 escalators were broken. Awesome. When I coughed, my chest hurt so bad that it felt as if chards of glass were coming up. I can't think of any other way to describe it.

I just layed there and cried. What the heck is going on with me!? The Nurse came in and did all the paperwork, so many vials of blood drawn, blood cultures, swabs, you name it, I was probed. Later that night I was told that I tested positive for Influlenza A. Wow, no joke, this flu is serious business.

So I was in Hopkins for 4 days, slowlyyyyyy feeling better, but barely. I was discharged home on Thursday. I thought things were getting better and then on Monday my PICC line started to really hurt, and my fevers came back yet again. Called Hopkins and was told to pack a bag again since I'd probably get re-admitted for a new PICC insertion. Blah!

Turns out I didn't need to get re-admitted. The Nurses set me up for an outpatient PICC the next morning. That turned into a huge nightmare. I should've spoken up because I just didn't feel confident in the resident at all. It's like I knew he wasn't going to do it. Sure enough I woke up after conscious sedation I had 4 holes in my left arm, and a new line in my neck. Good thing is, is that it works, but it sure is not comfortable. At this point, I'll take what I can get.

So here I am, thinking that I may actually start feeling better. My lungs are still the tightest they have ever been which I don't like. Good news is that apparently with the flu this is normal. They said this could take weeks before my lungs bounce back. Not the greatest news, but as long as they do I'll be happy.

Despite how awful things have been most of this month, I am still beyond grateful for the love and support so many people have shown. I've gotten so many sweet messages, texts, videos, care packages, calls, cards, flowers, and snacks! It's a wonderful thing to have such loving people in my life.

Hands down I give all the credit in the world to Scott for being a wonderful husband to me. He's had to juggle work, school, and me which has been so overwhelming. I couldn't ask for a better partner in my life and am thankful for all he does.

Thank you everyone who's been there sending well wishes. They sure are appreciated!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

10 miles

Luckily I'm pretty much always motivated to go to the gym and work out. Lately, with having such a loss in our CF community, It sort of upped my motivation. Granted I do have other reasons for this right now as well, however, moving on.I WILL work hard, I WILL stay positive, and I WILL keep going and not let CF get in my way.

This week I did over 10 miles at the gym. I am very pleased with this result. My rib pain/muscle pull is so much better which has helped in the exercise department. I spoke with my doctors and said that I needed alternatives to exercising with this pain. They said running wasn't especially smart right now, considering how much my your arms move while running. So I've chosen to do the stationary bike, and the Elliptical (minus the arms moving) as my exercise.

To kick It up a notch, I've increased the resistance, and done the "Cardio Mode" for both pieces of equipment. Holy sweat! It has been fabulous! I feel very satisfied, considering I can't run. Heck this might just be kicking my rear even more, and I couldn't be happier.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pain and Loss

It has not been a good few weeks in the CF community. We've lost 3 people who I truly cared about and was friends with all in the matter of just over 2 weeks. This weekend brought such sad and tragic news as we lost 2 CF'ers who were actually best friends, just 2 days apart. The shock, and sheer hysterics doesn't even begin to cover these feelings felt lately.

I hate this. I hate this so much. I don't know any other word to use to attempt to describe it. Infinite tears have been shed, and I know It's not the end of them either. It's just not fair. I won't ask "Why" but I can't help but wonder....WHY!?

I've contemplated taking a break from the CF forums, and even from Facebook. But then I wonder, am I running away from this? I don't know. I love, and I really mean this when I say it...I love the relationships and the friendships that I've made over the years with my fellow CF'ers. It's times like these though, when I feel like I can't do this, I can't watch this sadness around me. I can't watch people lose their lives with the disease that I have. I can't stand to feel helpless and just watch this sorrow. This is a dark place.

Last night I just couldn't shake the feeling of just not wanting to be alone and scared. Scott is back to school, but I just could not sit in this house alone. So I turned a lot of negatives into positives. I went up to the gym last night with my best friend and stayed on the treadmill for 50 minutes. Infact, I did a 5K. Take that CF!

Please, whatever your faith or belief is...If you could please take a moment out of your day to remember those who have lost their battle lately. Remember their families, children, life, and friends they've left behind.

Missing Geneva, Tom, and Tina.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ice Skating and other weekend ponders..

Well my heart broke slightly with the Ravens losing last night. Wait, my heart broke with them giving the game away. Ahh well, there's always next season. The good part is, we still have a few weeks left of football. I love football season, and am always sad to see it go. So here's to the playoffs then the Superbowl :)

Despite my accident prone week, I managed to survive ice skating today. Granted, I've never had any problem ice skating, but given my track record this week I had the helmet and bubble wrap ready ;)

All in all it was a great weekend of friends, family, food, fun, and football. It doesn't get much better than that!

My nephew and I skating :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I should start wearing a helmet

I don't know what my deal is this week but I have been a major clutz. That being said, I've got tons of battle wounds to prove it.

As I mentioned earlier this week I ended up at the doctor due to my rub/muscle pains. I'm still taking Tylenol and Ibuprofen around the clock. Sure I feel better with the meds, but during the night not so much.

So as if that weren't enough I added more injury yesterday. It's so ridiculous that I have to laugh. Problem is, the laughing turns to coughing, and the coughing kills the ribs. Alas, I'm a laugher and always will be so I'll just splint and continue to crack up.

Yesterday I stopped at Target to purchase a "fitness ball." I thought It would be something good to do perhaps in the evening, especially to work on the abs. Yes they have these at the gym, but I figured I'd just pick one up in addition. Well brain-iac that I am sat on it without shoes, mistake #1. Then decided to lie back on it and see how my injured back did on it, enter mistake #2. Well soon after leaning back on the ball, my socks were slipping on the hard wood floor. I lost control of my feet, and fell over. Doesn't sound too bad right? lol. Well I fell on my right side (because you know, I wouldn't want to hurt the left side that's already messed up). Sheesh. The right sided fall flipped me over, hit my head on my desk chair, scraped my elbow along a rug (hello rug burn) then landed on a huge vein in my arm which immediately turned black and lumpy. All I can say is what a dummy, oh and ouch.

I run to the freezer, wait I trotted limp-like to the freezer, yeah that's more like it. I grab a bag of brussel sprouts and iced the elbow area. It was pretty gross, swollen, and turning black. For a second I thought I'd broken my arm the way it had twisted.

So I took my regulary scheduled Ibuprofen/Tylenol combo. Only this time It had double work to do. Fix the rib/mucles, oh and the added swollen black elbow and arm. This morning I woke up after not sleeping too well because every move I made was followed by @#$%*#&! ouch!!! haha.

When I got out of bed today I hadn't realized how this fall had hurt my knee. I'm suddenly realizing how much I sound/feel like a 90 year old lady. But It's true, my body is aching today. Perhaps I'll put myself in a protective bubble, and strap a helmet on with a chin strap. Sounds like a plan to me ;)

On a happy note, I still made it to the gym 4 days this week despite this stuff. And I got in a little over 6 miles.

Here's to a non-injured weekend...GO RAVENS!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Great run, but embarrassing.

Today was a great running day for me. I'm not sure what It was, but I just felt great running today. Perhaps It helped tremendously that my back/rib pain was so much better!? Whatever It was, It sure was welcomed.

Today's run according to my plan was for 30 minutes. I ended up running 2.5 miles today!! I was really pushing to get to that 3rd mile, but my feet were hurting so bad. Side note-I'm over due for getting new running shoes. Must get new ones, like now :)

Here's the embarrassing part. I have my IPOD on shuffle and was rocking out to, well, rock. During shuffle "A-Ha's" song "Take on Me" comes on and I got pumped. Yes yes I'm a HUGE 80's music lover! Anyway I was so digging the song I didn't realize I was singing it outload on the treadmill. Yup! I was THAT person today. Let's just say that I was happy to be done my workout at that point ;)

Overall It was a great run and I felt awesome afterwards. Maybe It was the fact that It was snowing outside and I felt super excited, like a little kid?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Pulled muscle = OUCH!

I still am not 100% sure how I did this to my back. All I know is that the pain in so intense that It forced me to go to the doctor today (Which I totally try to avoid). When I woke up this morning I couldn't take it anymore.

I went into work and got the opinion of one of our Anesthesiologists. Turns out he just scared the you know what out of me because "well normally I'd say It's musculoskeletal...however with your Cystic Fibrosis you'd better get checked out." Rats! But being the good, overly worried patient that I am I obeyed his request.

I went to our local "Patient First" center and they were great as usual when I've been in the past. It's quick, no appointment, and It costs me all of $5 with our insurance. Awesome.

They wanted to make sure I didn't have a PE (Pulmonary Embolism), Infection, or Pneumonia eventhough I don't have those symptoms. Better safe than sorry, and I'm all for ruling out. So we agreed I have a severe muscle pull that they had to give me Flexaril. Yikes. I've never taken this before, but I was told It's either going to make me mega loopy and/or knock me out.

At this point I just want the pain to go away. I'm not a huge fan of it hurting when I breathe. It's like awful rib pain on Inspiration, not cool. Luckily a change in position and the pain goes away for the most part. Now If I could just sit or lay comfortably and we'd be great ;) Here's to the meds working!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Feeling of Loss

I don't think we ever get used to the feeling of losing someone. I think in our hearts and in our minds we try to prepare ourself and use past experiences to "cushion the blow" if you will. It doesn't work.

Yesterday we lost a wonderful person in our CF community, Geneva. My heart goes out to her lovely sister and close friend of mine Laura, along with her new husband and extended family. It's never easy to lose someone you care about, even if you've never met them in person. These bonds form with having this disease, heck maybe that's one of the positives to pull from having CF. I don't know.

I wish there was more I could do, more I could offer for them during this time. Living across the country doesn't make it easy to be physically available. I just hope they know how loved they all are, and they are not alone in this. These feelings of anxiety, sadness, and helplessness are only a few adjectives I can even think of at the moment. I strongly dislike this, you know what, I hate it. There.

Here's to a beautiful person. I hope you are breathing easy now Geneva.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dear rotten sinuses of mine,

This post is dedicated to my (misbehaving) sinuses.

Dear Sinuses,

What was your deal today at the gym anyway? Really? I can't believe how you behaved once we walked in the door. Did you think it was appropriate to throw a tantrum like that and cause a stir? Why did you wait to start draining and make me cough my head off for 25 minutes during my run?! If you would have acted up earlier in the day I could have calmed you down much easier. You really put me in a predicament today just so you know. What, were you just jealous because I was running so you wanted to run as well!? How dare you try to cut my run short today. I hope you realized that you WILL NOT cut my run short, and I will win this! Bwah ha ha!

I want answers! ;) Ok ok, fine, be like that. Try as you may little rotten sinuses of mine to interfere with my exercise and running. Go ahead, you will see who will win every time. What, was today not proof enough!? Go ahead try me again and see what happens! You're going down!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The New Plan

I thought I'd share the link to my new running plan that I've just started. Every so often I have to change up my running routine a bit. It's always nice to have a new goal, plus It gives me that little bit of excitement to go work out. Who doesn't like a bit of fresh motivation right? So here's my latest endeavor:

My Half Marathon Plan, check it out ;)

Monday, January 3, 2011

First Run of the Year...check!

There were a ton of new faces at the gym today. I'm thinking a lot of people made resolutions to start exercising, I sure I hope they stick with It. I made a promise to myself a long time ago to not give up on running, I haven't, and I won't.

Today I started a new running plan to really challenge myself. To me It's intimidating, but I won't give up. It's a pretty great 1/2 marathon plan that actually looked doable and not completely scary, haha. I'm ready for it!!

Here's to the completion of day 1 which required 30 minutes (Run 1 min/walk 1 min) which for me was 2 miles. Feeling great and looking forward to the challenge!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Can't think of a better New Year's weekend

We spent this weekend celebrating Christmas (and New Year) with friends. Saturday night we went out on the town to Annapolis and did our gift exchange. We ended up going to a quaint Irish pub/restaurant. It was probably built in the 1700's, old stone walls, very cool. Afterwards we went to a haunted tavern. It was indeed creepy, but oh so AWESOME!!! We then headed back to our friends house to relax the rest of the evening, enjoy champagne and eachother's company. It was perfect.

Today my best friend and I headed out to celebrate Christmas together. We exchanged gifts then headed out for coffees and manicures. It was pretty sweet to sit there and have someone massage your hands and arms while making your rough old hands look oh so pretty ;) We then went out to lunch, and did a little shopping. Looking back I'm thinking to myself, I don't think the first weekend of the new year could have been any better. I am so blessed.

Tonight It's back to reality as work is tomorrow. However I'm going to enjoy these final few hours of my mini break parked in front of the fireplace watching football. There's no place I'd rather be tonight then here with my husband and pups. Happy New Year all!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcome 2011!

We had a fabulous New Years Eve celebration with Scott's family. We rang in 2011 with tons of family, friends, lots of love and laughter. I have to say it was the perfect start to our new year. Here's to making 2011 simply marvelous ;)