Friday, January 26, 2007
Read What I Write, Help Support CF Research
Speaking of which, if you have the time, please visit these articles that I have written. Every linked article that gets viewed by my adoring public helps put a bright shiny penny in my piggy bank. But that's not all! I will donate a portion of the earnings from my highest ranked articles to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Get clicking and get reading! (I welcome your comments too, by the way)
Are Dandelions Safe To Eat?
Bananas and Their Many Benefits
What is Fermentation?
Keeping Your Brain Fit
Treating Cyanide Poisoning
Why Gums Bleed After Teeth Cleaning
Distracting Yourself From a Job You Hate
Finding Your BMI
How to Control Asthma
Why Some People Gain Weight and Others Stay Thin
The Qualities of Watermelon
Maximizing Antioxidants in the Diet
Causes of Migraines
Treating Diarrhea in Children
The Key to a Good Haircut
Tips for Reducing Trans-Fats Consumption
About Geothermic Energy
How Much Water to Drink in a Day
Why is the Sky Blue?
What Is Rust?
When You Believe in God But Not Church
Sin and God's Laws
Appreciating that Marriage is Forever
Jealousy: Love or Insecurity?
Pets and Allergies
How To Suppress Bad Thoughts
Poetry: A Wedding Song
View my COMPLETE list of articles here (150 total)
Monday, January 22, 2007
Writing Helps Pass the Time
I'm glad that I have writing as a creative outlook. Without it I'd certainly be going crazy. Sitting at home is NOT my idea of a good time, but since I'm still so worn out, there's precious little else I'm able to do. Also, the whole point of taking time off work to rest is that I actually sit back and REST. This is against my nature, and I'd be lying if I said that all this idle time wasn't eating away as my psyche.
Some people (myself included) have a hangup about the word "depression." It's hard for me to even admit that I am in a depressive mood lately. Part of me thinks that I'm weak or a failure for giving in to that feeling. I've had to be reminded that depression's roots are in the brain's inability to function properly. Although a depressive episode can be triggered by an emotional event or circumstance, ultimately it's bad biochemistry that prevents a person from feeling "okay."
I'm learning a lot about different health issues as I've been generating short articles for Helium. I like learning new things. Here are a few things I've written today.
Possible Harmful Effects of Fluoridation
Creative Writing Exercises to the the Pen Moving
Mental Health and Diet
Different Forms of Depression
Why Gums Sometimes Bleed
How To Distract Yourself at a Job You Hate
Exercising When You Don't Have Time
Understanding Body Mass Index (BMI)
How To Clean Your Toothbrush
What Are Diuretics?
Economic Benefits of Hybrid Cars
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Showing Off A Little
I have been invited to speak at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundations' Spring Gala. It's a very elegant black tie event. The theme is "Reach for the Stars." Not only will I be talking about my own experience with CF, the goals I have set for myself and the means by which I've achieved them, but I'll also be playing my horn! That's the part that really excited me. I haven't played my horn in quite awhile. I've been practicing like crazy to get my chops back up. The last time I played anything was Christmas of '05, and even then it wasn't a solo piece--just a little accompaniment to a male chorus singing "Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming."
Like I said, the event is black tie, which means pretty dresses! My mom brought over a variety of styles for me to try on, and Brad helped me pick the winner. The one we both liked initially on the hanger paled in comparison to the one I'm wearing in the picture. I can't WAIT to wear it for the Gala. When I tried it on I immediately felt like I was at the Oscar's or something. I strutted around the house like I was walking the red carpet! Even though the dress is sleeveless, I have a feeling it will be nice and warm since it's long.
Now all I gotta do is keep working out with those little weights so that I can put some more muscle meat on those scrawny arms of mine! Maybe I'm vain, but wearing this dress actually made me feel attractive--even with my fuzzed up hair! The last dress I liked this much was my wedding dress. Which, by the way was REALLY REALLY pretty.
Of course, even the most darling dress in my closet is utterly plain unless I'm wearing it while standing beside my attractive husband. We're one of those couples who just looks like we belong together. We've even had strangers say so.
****Updated just for Ruth! As you requested, here's a picture from our wedding!****
Thursday, January 18, 2007
What better way to bore yourself silly than wasting time reading what I've wasted my time writing!
The Qualities of Watermelon
Valediction (a poem)
Keys to a Successful Haircut
Tips for Reducing Trans Fats Consumption
How to Handle Rejection as a Writer
Top 10 Greatest Inventions of All Time
Why the Sky is Blue
How To Clean Out a Goldfish Bowl
Cystic Fibrosis Explained
Trying to Gain Weight
I lost a lot of weight. I'm thin as it is, but I was probably 50 pounds lighter; and if you're that skinny, your head starts acting sort of funny.
Ah, the dreaded CF topic of weight gain/loss. This is a never ending struggle for me. It seems as though I never have enough weight on my bones. Right now I'm so scrawny that my bottom hurts if I sit for too long. It would seem as though the simplest solution for weight gain would be to eat like crazy, but that's not as easy as it seems. Ever since my bowel obstruction in the hospital, eating is not exactly a source of enjoyment for me.
I used to be able to pack away a 2 cheeseburger meal and chicken nuggets and call that a snack. Junk food hasn't totally lost its appeal, but I don't crave it like I used to. I'm learning that food should be thought of as fuel, and not fun. That's not to say that I don't eat fast food anymore. Yesterday was an example of when the convenience of fast food makes the price seem reasonable.
I slept most of the day, which means I wasn't awake long enough to really do some "grazing" around the house. By the end of the day I was severely low on my recommended calorie intake (which, incidentally is upwards of 3,500) so I asked Brad to pick up some stuff from Jack in the Box for me. 2,200 calories later I was stuffed to the gills. I was glad I didn't have to prepare all that food myself, but I wish there was an easier way to pack on the pounds. I'm working on it though. (and by work, I really do mean WORK...it's a big effort and a frustrating one.)
Since I've got food on the brain lately, I've taken an interest in writing about it as well. Here are some links to articles about food nutrition and diet.
How Much Water in a Day?
CF and Nutrition
Vitamin Supplements and CF
Monday, January 15, 2007
What Do You Think?
Below is a link to my answer regarding love. I'd be interested in hearing what others out there think about this particular topic.
Is True Love Blind?
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Can't vs. Shouldn't: Setting and Meeting Goals
Read the rest of my thoughts on the matter here.
Monday, January 08, 2007
I Feel Like a Woman
I feel like I'm turning into more of a woman...It's an exhilarating time.
Yesterday was a great day. For the first time in months, Brad and I went to church together. Even though we had only visited that particular church a few times since we moved to the area, are overwhelmed by how quickly we were able to make some connections with people there. One young couple in particular made us feel so welcomed! While I was in the hospital they were a great source of encouragement to us.
At first we were hesitant about letting people in the new congregation know that I had CF. My usual policy is that I prefer people get to know "Lauren" and not "that gal with CF." God has worked a lot in my heart to help me overcome the adolescent fears about what people might think of me. My husband has been really great at keeping me from getting so uptight about such things. Although I'm sure that being an adult has a lot to do with how I incorporate CF into my social arena, I know that it's more than just maturity. It's about feeling safe and having a secure identity. My identity as a follower of God is strong, as is my identity as Brad's wife.
Life is good, even when my health isn't. Knowing that I have an incredibly supportive spouse, encouraging friends, and a God who provides for me-- each makes life worth living.
Friday, January 05, 2007
Laugh With Me (no really, go ahead!)
Allow myself to present...myself
This is what happened when Mom
let me dress myself for 2nd grade.
Holy pinkness Batgirl!
Some Reading Material from Yours Truly
Most of these are very brief and have been written mainly as a creative writing exercise. I take a topic suggested by someone else, and write on it quickly and briefly. Some of them are a little out of the norm for the things I usually think about, but that's what's nice about this exercise--it forces me to stretch beyond that which is comfortable or familiar. Enjoy!
Christian/Religious Concepts and Theories
God and Temptation
Christ's Death on the Cross
Christians and Christmas
Contemplating the Existence of God
Contemplating the Purpose of Life
Life after Death
What Happens When We Die?
Thoughts and Ideas that Have Influenced My Life
To Be Holy or to Be Happy?
Avoiding Communication Disasters in Marriage
How To Get Your Significant Other to Marry You
My Definition of "Cheating"
Teens and Safe Sex
Creative Writing/The Writing Process
Guide to Writing Term Papers
Getting Poetry Published
Waves (a Poem)
Diseases, Conditions and Mental Health
Cystic Fibrosis Explained
Taking Precautions Against Asthma
Remedies for Eczema
Using Spacers with Inhalers
Getting Rid of Bumps on Your Tongue
Coping With Stress
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
5 Ideas for Saving Money
Getting Kids Involved In Helping the Environment
Life on Other Planets
Thursday, January 04, 2007
A Real Slug-Fest
Then of course there's the brainless sort of activity such as surfing the web. I don't like to be completely idle, so even when I'm sitting in front of the computer I'm attempting to use my creative juices. I've written a handful of articles now for Associated Content, and I'm practicing the fine art of writing to a topic thanks to Helium. Here are links to what I've written. Nothing too spectacular, but hey, it's better than posting all over myspace or something. (*shudder*)
Associated Content Articles
Helium: Where Knowledge Rules
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
So Far, 2007 Rocks!
Being at home every day is a little weird, and I haven't quite settled into a routine. Most of my creative energy goes into writing or playing the piano. Having those two things as an outlet are really keeping me sane. The life of a homebody is something of a foreign concept, but I'm adjusting.
I have a feeling that even once I return to work in a couple months, I won't be doing much traveling. I'll miss that, but I know it's for the best. Maybe I'll still have a chance to do the semi-local stuff, like the project with the Army Corps of Engineers. But that's getting ahead of myself. Right now I need to continue resting because so far it's working.
Here's a fun little tidbit: so far I have not been hospitalized at all in 2007! Woohoo! (yes, that was lame, but humor me anyway...)
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Quality Improvement in CF Care
CFF Care Center Data
" Reporting data from our nationwide network of centers is part of a comprehensive quality improvement effort by the Foundation. Our goal is to help people with CF live longer and better lives. In fact, the Foundation is one of the first health organizations in the country to provide health outcomes data to the public, demonstrating an intense commitment to raise quality of care to an even higher level." --Robert J. Beall, PhD, President CFF
This effort has been more than 6 years in the making. The CFF hopes that this data proves beneficial to the CF community. By publicly reporting Care Center Data, everyone involved with CF can be encouraged and inspired to raise the bar to new heights. As the president of the CFF puts it "Quality CF care is more than numbers."
As a person with CF I have a unique perspective on quality being about more than numbers. Some of the numbers that I think about are my weight, body mass index, lung function, the amounts of medications I take and the number of days I have to put life on hold when exacerbations occur. Even as those numbers change, my overall quality of life is excellent, and that is, at least in part, due to the excellent care I receive at the CF Adult Clinic.
Currently, there is no cure for cystic fibrosis. The precious lives of children and young adults are being lost every day to this devastating disease. If you would like to help support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in its ongoing research to find a cure for CF, please consider making an online donation here. Approximately $.90 of every dollar is used effectively to fund research and provide many tomorrows for those who battle CF.
If you would like to read a brief description of cystic fibrosis, please follow this link.
If you are interested in learning what a typical day is like for an adult with CF, you can read my article here.