Saturday, December 31, 2005

Memory Lane

Memories are the key not to the past,
but to the future.

--Corrie Ten Boom

New Year's Eve, 1999. The eve of the new millennium, and the beginning of the faintest stirrings of what has come to be my greatest happiness in life. Looking back on the events leading up to that wonderful evening, I can see clearly that God was at work making everything click together just as it needed to.

I was supposed to be in San Diego for Campus Crusade's Christmas Conference, but poor health put the kibash on that before finals week had even begun. By the time New Year's Eve rolled around, I was pretty much just sitting around feeling sorry for myself, thinking I had missed out on a great time of fellowship and an opportunity to meet some decent Christian guys at CCC's event.

I had only been home for a couple of days following a very lengthy stay in the hospital. It was one of my most frustrating hospitalizations--several different issues had cropped up and the doctors were having trouble figuring out which meds I could tolerate. In addition, I was struggling with a new diagnosis of "transient" diabetes and was learning how to give myself insulin injections, eat the right foods, etc. to keep my blood sugar in check. Needless to say, it wasn't quite the winter break I wanted after a grueling first quarter of college.

In the midst of my pity party, my phone rang and a friend from orchestra asked if I wanted to join him and his "band geek" friends for a party. After obtaining parental approval, I headed down the 15 freeway to a city I had only heard of because my church has a sister church there. I found the party and my friend, and did my best to blend into the crowd. Fortunately, this wasn't very difficult since I myself am a band geek and proud to be one! Jeremy introduced me to his friends, and one friend in particular piqued my interest.

The cute guy with the amazing blue eyes sitting across the room from me made me feel more comfortable than anyone else there. He told me about where he was going to school, we exchanged band geek jokes, and basically just sat and talked. For most of the night I was wedged between Brad and Jeremy on the little couch trying not to do or say anything stupid. I had never really been in a situation where guys were actually interested in talking to me. I hadn't dated much, (not that there wasn't anyone I'd had my eye on!) but for the first time I was able to be myself and not worry about trying to get someone to like me.

I can't remember ever having that much fun with a group of total strangers. The fact that there was no alcohol and nothing raunchy going on probably had a lot to do with that. It was a low-key, "good clean fun" environment, and just the right time and place for God to introduce me to the man who is now my husband. Brad I didn't have our first date until February 17th, (see photo) but in my mind, our relationship started on New Year's Eve, 1999. God has blessed us greatly in the time we've been together. I can't picture myself with anyone else. Brad is my Godsend and a tremendous blessing.

I sure am glad I had to miss that Campus Crusade Christmas Conference and got invited to a band geek party instead. :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Christmas Party Detox

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.

--Kurt Vonnegut

The last week has been absolutely filled with activity. I have no idea where the time went. My scientific mind tells me that most of it must have been lost as heat. A week ago I was settling into my new office at work, and today I'm here at home fighting a case of the flu. It's weird how things can change so quickly. I never cease to be confounded by how susceptible my body is to stress--both the exciting, fun form and the frustrating, infuriating variety.

Brad and I attended back to back to back to back Christmas events with little time for a break in between. We had a great time hanging out and celebrating with each of our families, and it gave me a great opportunity to try out the new digital camera. Today's picture was taken at Brad's grandparents' home, where we partied with his mom's side of the family.

For the last few days I have been more than just exhausted, despite the fabulous doctor's appointment I had last Wednesday. I think I've managed to catch the common cold with a twist of the average flu. This is rare for me. I never get run-of-the-mill normal person sick. It started with a sore throat and post-nasal drip. By last night it had escalated into a low-grade fever and some digestive pyrotechnics. The funny thing is, because I'm rarely feeling 100% anyway, I don't feel particularly lousy right now. Just run down.

Last night as I Brad and I were settling into a NyQuil induced slumber, (he was sick too but is in much better shape today), I was lying there thinking to myself how awesome our marriage is. Yesterday was a perfect example of honoring our commitment to each other in sickness and in health. Because we were both sick, we were both pretty out of it. In spite of that, whenever one of us would get up to stagger to the kitchen for a glass of water or reach for a tissue, we'd ask if there was anything we could do to make the other person feel better. I was amazed at how much love I felt for my husband, and how loved I felt by him even though we were never within 3 feet of each other, and didn't share anything physical except to pass the box of tissues back and forth.

This must be love. Or a fever. Doesn't matter. I'm happy.

Current mood: tired but happy
Current snack: kudos bar
Emotional weather: calm, clear skies
Health-o-meter: No CF issues, just a flu

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

This One's for Kristin Mac...

Interesting facts about yours truly, as inspired/requested by KristinMac's list of Sevens on her blog page.

7 Things I Hope To do Before God Calls Me Home
  1. Publish "Pools of Grace"
  2. Visit Europe
  3. Celebrate my 65th birthday
  4. Own a home
  5. Make peace with past hurt
  6. earn a Master's degree from Westminster Seminary
  7. Retire
7 Things I cannot Do
  1. Get into heaven by my own merit
  2. Chin-ups
  3. Take Cipro or sulfa medications
  4. Explain the gospel as clearly as it should be explained
  5. Imagine my life without my husband
  6. Express the appropriate gratitude to my parents for helping shape my character
  7. Forget the details of my wedding day and how fun it was
7 Things that Attracted Me to My Husband (and still do!)
  1. His quirky sense of humor, particularly the sheer volume of "band geek" jokes that he knows.
  2. His brilliantly blue eyes
  3. His heart for God and incredible character and integrity
  4. His cute butt
  5. His leadership ability
  6. The fact that he doesn't love me in spite of any particular circumstances. He just loves me.
  7. The way he looks in a suit or tuxedo (yeah baby!)
7 Things I say Most Often
  1. I love you. (to Brad)
  2. Can do. (to my superiors at work)
  3. Thank you. (to God)
  4. I know! ( a la Monica Gellar)
  5. God will put you where He wants you.
  6. Indeed!
  7. mrmmmmfmmrmmf (when I first wake up)
7 Books or Series That I Like Most
  1. Anything by Robin Jones Gunn
  2. Oxygen (Ingermasson)
  3. Life On the Edge (Dr. James Dobson)
  4. The 10 Commandments (Dr. Laura Schlessinger and Rabbi Vogel)
  5. He Chose the Nails (Max Lucado)
  6. The Problem of Pain (C.S. Lewis)
  7. The Bible (NIV)
7 Movies I Watch Repeatedly
  1. Anything with James Bond
  2. Kate & Leopold
  3. Finding Nemo
  4. Notting Hill
  5. When Harry Met Sally
  6. The Saint
  7. Shakespeare in Love
7 People I'd Like to See Make Similar Lists
  1. Kate
  2. MissmissmissMichelle
  3. Leah
  4. Rebecca
  5. Brad
  6. Jim C.
  7. Christy M.

Are We Having Fun Yet?

A hospital ... is a parked taxi with the meter running.
--Groucho Marx

Today is lab day. At 8:30 p.m. last night I had to stop eating and drinking in anticipation of the dreaded Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). Why is it dreaded? Several reasons. The main reason I loathe this test is because I have a tendency to become excessively crabby when I am hungry. The test consists of drawing some blood to see what my blood glucose levels are initially. Then I have to drink a bottle of the most disgustingly sweet orange "soda" known to man. I honestly cringed just now as I thought about it. Two hours after drinking it, I go back to the lab for an additional blood draw. Then I wait on pins and needles (no pun intended) until I get the results that will tell me whether or not I have Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes (CFRD). I'm fairly certain that I don't have it yet, because if I did I'd be feeling very lousy and excessively thirsty like I did when I had medication-induced transient diabetes.

But wait, that's not all! I also got to cough up a lovely sputum sample for the lab. That part always seems sort of funny to me because the nurse at the desk hands me the sample cup and tells me to come back and let her know if I've been "successful." Honestly, with CF, how could I NOT be successful in coughing up a nice juicy one for the lab techs to play with?

After the lab, it was off to the radiology department for chest x-rays. I've had so many of those in my lifetime that I'll probably start glowing in the dark eventually. Oooh, maybe I'll get x-ray vision. That would be sort of cool. Speaking of cool, there is really no way to be warm and/or comfortable in a hospital gown. However, I've got a handy little tip that may help. Ladies, if you know you're going to be having an x-ray, wear a pullover sports bra to the appointment. If it doesn't have any metal hooks or an underwire, you get to keep it on underneath your gown. This helps preserve your dignity and modesty (especially if the rad tech is a guy). It also provides some additional warmth in that cold, lead lined room.

This afternoon at 2:30 I have an appointment for my annual PFT stuff which will include--according to the paperwork--a 60 minute screening, and a 45 minute rest and exercise with pulse oximetry. I have NO clue what that means. I've never done those before. I'm guessing it's like a treadmill test or something. I guess I'll find out soon enough. The paperwork says to wear comfortable clothing an walking shoes, so I've got a gymbag packed.

I'll let y'all know how it goes!

*UPDATE* My FEV1 was 78% (which is normal! woohoo!); the oral glucose tolerance test turned out fine, and best of all, I gained 2 kilos, which brings me up to my target weight of >120lbs.

Current mood: moody blues
Current snack: *sigh*
Emotional weather: stormy
Health-o-Meter: 85% of baseline

Monday, December 19, 2005

There's No Place Like Home

To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition,
the end to which every enterprise and labor tends...

-Samuel Johnson

Brad's plane was delayed a number of times, but he finally made it home on Saturday evening. Even though he was noticeably worn out, he was in an agreeable enough mood to take me out to Chili's for dinner. I always enjoy when we go there, since that's where Brad took me on our first solo date. (Our first date was to banquet at his school.)

They say absense makes the heart grow fonder. Perhaps that is true. I think that's along the same lines as saying that hunger is the best seasoning. I had missed Brad so much the past week, and I was perfectly content to sit there looking at each other over dinner even though we were a little too tired for much conversation.

The rest of our weekend together was great. Brad went to "Bedside Baptist" on Sunday morning so that he could get over his jetlag. We pretty much just lounged around the rest of the afternoon. We made dinner together, which we hadn't done in quite awhile, we sat together at the kitchen table and finished getting our Christmas cards ready to be mailed out. Later in the evening we had milk and chocolate cake while we watched "Grey's Anatomy" together. It was a repeat episode, but Brad hasn't seen as many of them as I have, so now he's a bit more caught up.

I'm looking forward to enjoying some time off with him later this week, just hanging out and celebrating Christmas together. I can't believe another year has come and gone. God is awesome. He is always teaching me, shaping me into a better wife, and showing me how to be a woman who is pleasing in His sight. I'm so thankful for Brad and the leader that he is for our family, and the ways he encourages and supports me no matter what.


Current mood: content
Current snack: pretzels
Emotional weather: clear skies
Health-O-Meter: 85% of baseline (Dr. appt. on Wed, so more to report then)

Friday, December 16, 2005

Pacing Myself

Rest, rest, perturbed spirit!
--William Shakespeare

During our first Christmas season together, my husband had to practically force me to rest. I was still finishing up college, working part-time and commuting more than 150 miles a day round trip. Every spare moment I had was spent either studying or trying to adjust to life as a newlywed along with the usual routine of taking care of my health. I tried to tell myself that I could keep up with it all, but I couldn't. My body bailed out on me, and I become quite sick. My loving husband, knowing that unless I really, and truly rested, I wouldn't be of much use to anyone.

For almost an entire week during my break from school, Brad only allowed me to move from the couch to the bed. He made me dinner, brought me tissues, brought me stacks of videos from Blockbuster, and did everything within his power to make sure that I didn't have to expend any energy that I didn't have.

Most women would sit back and totally enjoy being pampered like that. I did enjoy it, but because I'm such an activity-oriented person, sitting still was completely against my nature. Brad had to continually remind me to stay put. I'll never forget how much difference it made to actually get some rest. So often I muddle through even when I'm not feeling my greatest.

In the last few years I have learned (albeit slowly) how to pace myself. Brad doesn't need to remind me nearly as often to just sit still. I've learned that in order to honor the part of my wedding vow to obey Brad, means to listen to him the first time when he tells me to rest, since he is doing that because he loves me.

This week, with Brad out of town, I have been responsible to remind myself to rest. I did have a few things on my to-do list that I wanted to finish, but beyond that, I don't do much besides come home from work, make myself a ton of food, and just stay put. Weeks ago, I had even scheduled a day of vacation from work for myself, so I took full advantage of that opportunity.

Resting isn't my natural inclination, but I've learned that it's an integral part of keeping myself healthy on all levels. All the medications can only do the trick for my body processes, but healing my spirit and resting requires something different. God gives me the strength, peace, and renewal I need when I rest in Him.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Putting Up the Nativity Scene

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
--Luke 2:7 KJV

Yesterday was a good day. I got a lot done. I finished cleaning up the living room and set up the remainder of the Christmas decorations. I think putting up the Nativity scene is one of my favorite parts, although for some reason I never seem to know quite how to position all the figures. Jesus, Mary and Joseph are centrally located of course, but it's everyone else that confounds me a bit. For example, should the shepherds be in the stable as well, or should they be located as if they are still arriving? Same with the wisemen.

Actually, I never really had that problem with the wisemen in the Nativity scene my parents had. They were all riding camels, so naturally they were in transit. I think one year I even insisted that we put them all the way across the room on the fireplace mantel so that the authenticity of "coming from afar" would be achieved.

I love the way our living room looks now that it has been straightened up and decorated. I can't wait for Brad to come home so I can see the look of shock on his face at how different it looks compared to the state it was in when he left. Maybe if the mood grabs me, I'll even do some laundry :) That's a bit unlikely, but you never know.


Current mood: satisfied and content
Current snack: honey roasted peanuts
Emotional weather: light breezes
Health-O-Meter: 82% of baseline with 1 week remaining of Levaquin

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Fun With Stickers!

My kids scotch tape worms to the sidewalk
and watch the birds get hernias.
--Rodney Dangerfield

When I was about 4 years old someone (probably my aunt) gave me a pack of "Property of Lauren" stickers in a beautiful array of colors. Before long, the house was "decorated" with them. My bedroom door, the coffee table, our little wooden chair, bathroom mirror--all of it quickly became a nightmare for my mom, who was stuck (pun intended) trying to remove all that adhesive without ruining the finish on the furniture. My mom forbade me to own any stickers for a long time after that. There are a few places at my parents' house that still display the scars of my sticker frenzy.

Today at work, I got to satisfy my sticker urge! I was given a box of brilliant white, blank labels and a felt tip pen and told to write my name and my new office number on them and place them on everything that needs to be moved on Friday. Not only do I get to put them on cardboard boxes (how unoriginal!) but I get to put them on my desk, my chair, my bookcase, my file cabinet. Maybe it's the fumes from the permanent marker I've been using, but I'm feeling a little crazy right now. I don't think I've had this much reminiscent fun in a long time. The only thing that could top this would be if someone were to give me a ball of yarn and ask me to tie it to every doorknob. (Don't ask.)


Current mood: practically giddy!
Current snack: pretzels
Emotional Weather: clear skies
Health-O-Meter: 78% of baseline (sinus headache)

Monday, December 12, 2005

Pre-flight Jitters

When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. --Henry Ford

Today Brad left for Chicago for several days for a trade show that his company is participating in. This is one of the biggest ones of the year, since it's geared toward introducing new products to the music educators who are starting to think about which material they will soon be ordering for the next school year. Brad has been the one to stay behind to hold down the fort the last couple years, but this time it was his turn to go, so he was pretty excited about it. I'm just sorry I won't be there to see him in his spiffy new suit and everything.

I woke up at 7:30 and helped Brad pack his suitcase. I'm 98% positive that we actually remembered everything this time. Usually we forget something relatively major like shoes or pajamas. Checklists are good things to have. I'm curious as to how he's going to pack it all back together for the trip home. I had every nook and cranny of that suitcase strategically occupied.

I'm trying not to wig out about him flying. I hate being away from him as it is, and with the recent accident at a Chicago airport because of snow, I'm even more out of sorts. I feel like Marilyn Lovell (wife of Apollo 13 astronaut Jim Lovell) who would do nothing but vacuum over and over again to keep herself occupied while her husband was out of radio contact during certain portions of his missions. I'll be okay though. I get to see my gal pals tonight for our bi-weekly prayer meeting. That will help.

Current mood: edgy
Current snack: Starburst candies
Emotional weather: variable
Health-O-Meter: 80% of baseline and climbing

Friday, December 09, 2005

The Moving Van Cometh...

I'm moving to Mars next week.
So if you have any boxes...
--Steven Wright

Okay, I'm not really moving to Mars. My group at work is being transferred to a different building down the road. We're at corporate headquarters right now, but we have to clear out so that the chief mucky-mucks (aka the suits) can take up this entire building. This means we get to pack. Hooray. There are several boxes and trashcans lining the very narrow hallway. Looks like we're going for a sort of refugee motif with all the cardboard decor.

I've only been here a year and a half, so I haven't accumulated much junk of the paper variety. (Some people's offices are a serious fire hazard with all the paper piled up everywhere!) I don't have any lingering attachments to every last rough draft I've ever written of a report, nor do I save all of the separate versions of whatever I'm working on. I wish I could apply this anti-packrat mentality to my apartment...hmmm...I feel a New Year's Resolution coming on.

I've spent most of the day packing a co-worker's stuff while he's out of town for one of our projects. Since discernment is one of my spiritual gifts, I feel confident that I have chosen the appropriate stuff that should be sent to the storage facility, and which should be deposited en la basura. Someone recently told me that we spend the first half of our lives accumulating things, and the second half throwing it out. Just goes to show that it's far better to store up our treasures in heaven than to just accumulate meaningless clutter here on earth.


Current mood: Indifferent
Current snack: Lay's BBQ Stax (thanks Dad B.!)
Emotional weather: clear skies
Health-o-meter: 78% of baseline

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A Bit Flushed

I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep. That's deep enough. What do you want, an adorable pancreas? --Jean Kerr

Actually, it's not an adorable pancreas that I'd want. A fully functioning one would do quite nicely. I ended up staying home from work today. When I woke up this morning I felt like ick on a stick, so after letting my boss know the plan, I crawled right back into bed and stayed there until about 1:30 this afternoon. Needing extra sleep is usually one of the signs that I'm fighting an infection of some sort. It's been a week now on the Levaquin antibiotic, and so far I'm not itchy or anything, so that's a good sign. I just hope I'm absorbing enough of it to be effective. Usually when I start a round of antibiotics I'm quite tired, but then I rebound.

I also flushed my port-a-cath today. I normally do that on the first of every month, but I was a bit swamped with the doctor appointment and stuff that day, and it slipped my mind afterwards. Having waited a week didn't seem to cause a problem though. I got the needle in on the first try and pushed the saline through at a respectable pace. It's funny, I've been doing my own flushing for so long now that it doesn't even hurt anymore. It feels more like putting in an earring. The needle just slips right in.

I try not to flush it too fast because if I do, I can taste the salt water. Blech! I followed the saline with heparin to keep the line clear for another month, and I'm good to go. It's seriously nothing short of a miracle that the port has been problem free for so long. I can't even explain how awesome it is to have that thing instead of fighting with a PICC line. I get the heebie jeebies just thinking about it. *shudder*

Now I'll just keep praying that the oral antibiotics do their thing so that I can avoid a tune-up for the next month or two. I've still got some other health related stuff I need to take care of before the end of the month, so if any of my praying friends are reading this, please pray that I won't hit any snags with scheduling my x-rays and stuff.

In other news, Brad and I decorated our Christmas trees today (yes, that's right...plural). There's a whole tree story that I'll tell later. Anywho, we put some ornaments up and strung the lighted garland across the top of the entertainment center. We still have to unpack the Nativity scene and decide where to set it up. That will probably happen on Saturday. Wow. Time flies.

Speaking of which, I should try to get some more sleep. Despite all my napping today, I still need to rest.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

*Hack! Wheeze!*

You have a cough? Go home tonight and eat a whole box of ExLax. Tomorrow you'll be afraid to cough. --Pearl Williams

Usually when we do a conference call at work, we all sit in the conference room and use the same phone. Today I think I should have stayed in my own office and dialed in separately so that I would have the luxury of putting everything on "mute" whenever I needed to cough. My chest really aches today. My back does too and I'm not sure if it's from coughing so hard, or if I'm really tight, or if I slept in a funky position. Whatever the reason, it has been a very uncomfortable morning for me and I'm considering finishing up my work at home so that I can cough in peace.

Despite being uncomfortable, I'm in a pretty good mood today. My husband really perked me up last night by taking it upon himself to do some straightening up around the apartment while I rested. He even brought me a double-double from In-N-Out! We had planned to watch "According to Jim" together, but "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was on instead. This is the 40th anniversary of that Christmas special, and although it's cute and has a good lesson, I wasn't interested. I'd seen it more than 20 times growing up. We ended up watching "Fever Pitch" and then I busied myself with gift wrap while Brad watched one of those icky crime shows. Later I ended up zonking out on the couch for a little while, but then crawled in bed and Brad tucked me in with plenty of warm blankies. I don't even remember falling asleep.

I'm so glad that I have a flexible job that accommodates my need to adjust my work hours. So long as I'm getting in a full 8 hours, it doesn't matter so much when I do them. God has certainly blessed me by putting me here. I enjoy the work and am thankful for the variety of projects I've been able to do with my coworkers.

Current mood: complacent
Current snack: BBQ chicken pizza; caffeine free Coke
Emotional weather: foggy
Health-o-meter: 72% of baseline

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Glyconutrients? None For Me, Thanks

Recently there has been some back and forth discussion on some CF blogs regarding the benefits of glyconutrients. Although some people feel very strongly about this "natural" approach to treating CF by means of nutritional supplements, I for one am not convinced that this is a beneficial route to take. Certainly there are benefits of supplementing the diet, especially for those of us who have pancreatic insufficiency, but based on what I've read, I'm not willing to fill my cupboards with more pills or supplements on the off-chance that they might work.

Here are what some highly reputable websites have to say about glyconutrients:

The Mayo Clinic

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (US)

Most of what I have read regarding glyconutrients is in the context of treating children with CF, and possibly those who are too young to eat properly to ingest the recommended daily allowances of vitamins and minerals. As an adult I make sure to eat a well balanced diet, one that provides me with as many of the biochemicals my body needs to function properly.

Until more research is available, the safety and long term benefits are assessed and this supplementation approach is endorsed by the CF Foundation, I'm going to "just say no" to the glyconutrient regime and stick with the vitamin supplements my doctor recommends. I trust his evaluation far more than that of a company that is just looking to make a buck.


Food is an important part of a balanced diet. --Fran Lebowitz

My appetite is finally returning to normal. Usually I'm a bottomless pit, but that hasn't been the case for several weeks now. I've had to really make a conscious effort to eat frequently, and not just eat junk. I've been drinking more milk (whole milk of course!) and I'm sure that extra fat will do much to provide me with some extra padding for the winter.

I read somewhere that it is better to have several small meals throughout the day rather than a few big ones. I'm finding that this really works well for me. I used to prepare HUGE meals at home and take a gi-normous lunch with me to work. Now I choose to eat throughout the day instead of completely stuff my face three times a day. By doing this I don't become nearly as bloated as I used to, and the instances of having a "soup poop" are far less frequent. Of course, now that I'm on antibiotics my whole intestinal situation might get very out of whack but oh well.

Current mood: pleasant
Current snack: Sub Sandwich from the deli at Vons
Emotional weather: Clear skies
Health-o-Meter: 75% of baseline. (wheezy and tight)

Monday, December 05, 2005

Countdown to Christmas

Advent, Advent
Eign Lichtlein brennt
Erst eins, dann zwei, dann drei, dann vier,
Und dann steht Weihnachten vor der Tur.

--Traditional German Christmas Poem

I enjoy Christmas. The account of Christ's birth in the gospel of Luke never fails to move me, despite the fact that I have had it memorized since childhood. Every year I find something new to ponder about the holiday. This year, the song "Mary Did You Know" has been going through my head quite a bit. Perhaps's that is because our church choir is singing it next Sunday. Before this year, I never knew the words to that amazing song by Mark Lowry. The words are truly inspired, and they knit together the daily with the divine in such a way that is indescribable.

For me, the Christmas season is not just filled with gift wrap and holiday parties. It is an opportunity for me to remember that the Savior of the world started His human life exactly as I did--as an infant. As I look at my life and reflect on my personal milestones from this past year, I am reminded that all of it-- the good, the bad, and the phlegmy--have been ordained for me as part of God's will.

When I am tempted to think that my life is too challenging or that it's unfair that I have CF, I need to remember that Jesus' life was chock full of unsavory circumstances. A King born in a smelly barn. That's unfair. Being laughed at for being from Nazareth. That's not fair. Being crucified for being sinless. The ultimate unfair act. Yet he endured all of it so that I might celebrate life eternal. Knowing that I have a place waiting for me beyond the trappings of this world is an awesome thought. The groundwork for that had to start somewhere, and it started visibly for the world when Christ was born in Bethlehem.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

You've Got to be Kidding

*gulp!* --Me at 2:30 pm

I dropped of my prescriptions at the hospital pharmacy. When I arrived to pick them up, the pharmacist told me that my insurance will not fill one of them in pill form. Ugh. But wait, it gets better...the pharmacy ran out of one of my other meds and won't have any until tomorrow at noon. That would be fine except I took my last dose on Tuesday and was seriously in need of it tonight. And yes, it's the one that keeps me from being a loony toon.

Emotional weather: TORNADO WARNING; anticipating a funnel cloud to touch down about 9p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

The Results are In!

Breathe from within. --Thomas Leonard

The fun began at 4:15 pm. I showed up a bit early for my PFTs. I gowned up, put on the gloves and nose clip and stepped into what I call "the phone booth." My first round wasn't too impressive. The second one was an improvement. After I coughed a bit to clear out some gunk, my FEV1 went up considerably. I had enough energy to do 5 trials. Each one was better than the one prior, and my competitive nature almost took over. I wanted to hit 70% and probably could have, but I let it stand at 68% of predicted. (In case you're wondering, that's an FEV1 equivalent to 2.30 litres.

When Brad arrived, we went upstairs to the doctor's office. There were a few other patients in the waiting room, which is not something I'm used to. To be honest, I was quite shocked how normal those guys looked despite the blue masks we wore to cover our mouths.

I was ushered into room 3 and fidgeted a bit while waiting for the gal to come get my height and weight. Then it came...the moment of truth...drumroll please... gained! WOO HOOOO!!! I'm still underweight--my BMI is only 19.5--but I had improved from my last visit. The doc was happy and said to just keep doing what I'm doing. To be honest, my appetite hasn't been all that hot, so if it improves, then I'm definitely on the right track.

One thing I appreciate about being at an adult clinic now is that I'm able to learn new things. When I was going to a pediatrician, I felt like I was calling the shots a lot of the time as far as when to start antibiotics and stuff. With the new doc, he jumps right in, looks at all my paperwork and says "here's what we're going to do..." Today I start on a round of levaquin antibiotic, as well as go back on the sporanox to get my IgE levels back down. I'm also going to be trying a new puffer called Spireva. The doc explained that it's sort of like serevent. I was quite wheezy when he listened to my chest, but I don't think it was because I was clogged up with a nasty infection. I think it was just residual Santa Ana stuff.

All in all, one of the best appointments I've had in the last 4 months. Still room for improvment, but at least I don't have to struggle to regain lost ground. I've got a short leash right now though--doc wants me back in three weeks. It's also time for all the annual labs: glucose tolerance test (yuck!!!!), vitamin levels, DEXA-scan, etc.


Current mood: ecstatic
Current snack: berry horns (600 calories, yahoo!)
Emotional weather: early morning fog and chill, sunny by mid morning

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