Saturday, December 29, 2007

Health Articles You Might Want to Read

Here are a few health-related articles you may be interested in reading.

Preventing Stomach Viruses

Fingernail Fungus: Home Remedies

Remedies for Eczema

How to Control Asthma

Explaining Canker Sores

Anemia: Causes and Symptoms

Thursday, December 27, 2007

On the Upswing!

Yesterday I skipped work in order to get caught up on some of the sleep I missed while in the hospital. Now my sleep schedule is a bit out of whack, but with another long weekend coming up, I'm not overly concerned.

Since we ended up having hamburgers and fries for Christmas dinner, I decided that last night I'd make up for it. Brad wasn't expecting me to do that, which made it even more special I went to the grocery store and bought a Jennie-O turkey, some stuffing mix, baby carrots, and cranberry-apple cider. I donned my new frilly apron that Brad gave me (it's SO cute, I love it!) and did my best to be little Susie Homemaker.

While the turkey was in the oven, I ran upstairs to change out of the track suit I had been wearing all day. I put on my favorite black top, my "good" jeans, and a pair of cute flats. A quick application of some makeup, and I was ready for the final touch...earrings. Brad has a thing for earrings, so I knew he'd like to see me wearing the new pair he gave me yesterday. (I tell you, the man spoils me in the sweetest ways!)

Brad came home earlier than I expected, but that was okay. It gave me a chance to give him the last Christmas present I had for him. I admit, I purchased it just this morning, but so what. By the time he had peeled the plastic sheath off Frasier, Season 10, dinner was ready.

I didn't use the good china, but it didn't matter. We were so happy and blessed to be sharing a home-cooked meal together. Our dinner for two was as perfect as it needed to be. Everything was flavored just right. We both pretty much just sat there smiling at each other from across the table like we did almost 7 years ago on our first date.

I don't know what I did to deserve such a great guy in my life. I treasure and cherish every moment we have together. Our little routines and lifestyle are exactly what we both need, and we're thankful that we get to share it. I'm so glad that I have a husband who is flexible and understanding about the CF stuff. I know without a doubt that he's got my back every time, and that he'll never leave me stranded.

Here's to a healthy and happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

How I Spent Christmas

Getting out of the hospital is a lot like resigning from a book club. You're not out of it until the computer says you're out of it.

--Erma Bombeck

What a crazy couple of days it's been. On Sunday I ended up in the ER because of a pain in my side. A mere 9 hours later, after ultrasounds, CT scans and abdominal x-rays, bloodwork, they diagnosed that I was severely dehydrated. My creatinine was 1.5 (.8 is considered high). They also found that I had a bladder infection, and an ovarian cyst.


They started me on Zosyn and told me to be NPO for a couple days. AUGGHHHHHHHH!

The hospital stay itself was lousy. I didn't get any nebs while I was there. All my nurses were wearing perfume, and they didn't want to access my port to give me fluids because "they weren't sure how clean it was." So they stuck me with a periph. which blew after a couple hours. Big surprise. How the heck is one supposed to be rehydrated if you can't get fluid into them? I asked for water, which I assumed would be good for rehydration, but they refused because I was NPO. My bipolar meds that help me sleep were ordered for 9 am.

I was praying like crazy that I'd get to go home soon.

Yesterday morning (Christmas) they came in and said I was going to be released! Amazingly enough, they were true to their word and I was back at home before noon. My in-laws were planning to come visit me in the hospital, so we changed to have them come visit at the house. I took a quick shower, made some apple cobbler, and wrapped the last of the gifts.

Things are doing better now, though I suspect I'm still a bit dehydrated. I went to the grocery store today and stocked up on water and Powerade to help with electrolyte balance. Brad got me the cutest apron as a Christmas gift, so I christened it by making our traditional Christmas meal for dinner tonight. Mmmmm. I'm glad this whole event didn't turn out to be a big scary deal. I'm praying that this will be just a minor hiccup on my record and that I can cruise into 2008 and enjoy many more months of good lung health.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

So Much for the Ravioli!

Today was our holiday party lunch with our work group. Although the company is huge, we're broken down into smaller subsets and divisions. Our subset (about 30 of us) booked a lovely Italian restaurant near our office for this event. We're talking white linen tablecloths, the whole 9 yards. It's not often the company springs for something like this, so we were all pretty excited for it.

Our reservation was for noon. It was close enough to walk, but it being a bit drizzly and cooler than 60 degrees, I caught a ride with the Ed. We arrived, had the valet park the car (ooh la la!) and entered the restaurant where we proceeded to stand around for awhile. Eventually we were all seated...


Okay, so that wasn't too big a deal. They had those freestanding heater things, and I was toasty enough to forgo my jacket. But then it got colder. We asked one of the waiters to turn the heater up a bit. HE TURNED IT OFF. Back into my jacket I went, all the while my sinuses were beginning to tickle like crazy from the fresh roses and juniper sprigs (really, they were beautiful) on our table.

The waiters served some wine and brought bread. The bread stayed warm for all of 1 minute out there in the cold. No problem, it's only bread. Soon we'd order lunch and have our tummies filled with a nice salad, steaming hot pasta and the like. 45 minutes after bringing the bread, someone finally took our order. 45 minutes after taking our order, 1 waiter brought out our food 1 dish at a time.

One of my pet peeves--you other CFers probably hate this too--is that the fancier the restaurant, the smaller the portions.

I had ordered ravioli parmesana. My plate had 6 ravioli in a dish. No garnish, no side, just 6 limp ravioli the color of masking tape. It tasted okay for the first bite or so. I was trying so hard not to just inhale my food. I could have stuffed it all in my mouth at once and swallowed it without so much as chewing. I did my best to be lady-like and took small bites. I was ready to wash it all down with some water when I realized that the 3 ounces they'd given me with the bread had already been consumed. Oh well. So much for that. They were great about bringing the wine though, but I just couldn't bring myself to drink during work hours. Besides, my stomach was still so empty that I was sure my BAC would spike and I'd get pulled over faster than Lindsay Lohan can say "happy hour!"

My tummy now having been teased with those wimpy ravioli, I was getting hungrier by the minute. I snagged some bread from another table and tried to consume it as discretely as possible. Despite repeated requests, the heater had not been turned back on, and my nose decided to start a steady trickle. You know how it is...first you're stuffy on one side, then the other. I blew through the 4 tissues in my pocket and was desperate for more. I excused myself to the restroom where I promptly took a long drink from the water in the sink. I thought to myself I hope this isn't one of those places that uses the toilet to tap reclaimed water.

Ducking into the handicapped stall in the corner, I unwound as much toilet paper as I could to stuff into my pants pocket. Then I figured what the heck, might as well go for I unhooked the whole roll and shoved it into my jacket pocket. For the rest of the meal I had a steady supply of "tissues" that kept coming from my pocket. I bet I looked like I was doing a magic trick of some sort. Behold, the endless hankies!

Back at the table, people were leaving. We still hadn't received our dessert, not the mention the salads that were supposed to come with our meals. To top it all off, the restaurant would only validate our parking for a period of 2 hours. We had been there almost 3.

Cold, sniffling and still empty tummied, I returned to work only to throw up.

So much for the ravioli.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Be Careful with Those Christmas Lights!

If you're the type who uses twinkle lights, or any other sort of strand lighting to decorate your home for the holidays, please be careful! This time of year, injuries and death from electrocution tend to spike. An ounce of prevention is certainly worth a pound (or more!) or cure. In addition to prevention, educating yourself about how to respond in the event of an electrical emergency is quite valuable. Below is a link to an article outlining the proper response and first aid to someone who has experienced an electrical burn.

First Aid for Electrical Shock and Electrical Burns

Friday, December 14, 2007

Uh-oh! A Naughty Bunny!

I can't believe how good I'm feeling today. Yes, I'm still a little green around the gills, but not nearly as bad as I was on Wednesday. I went to bed early last night, all cozied up in my softest pajamas, snuggled under a pile of blankets on the bed. I only vaguely remember when Brad came home. I think I told him something about the laundry and then drifted back to sleep. I slept pretty solidly all night.

This morning I slept in until about 9:30, which my body must have needed. After that I didn't do a whole lot other than write, wrap some gifts and pig out to replace the calories I'd chucked over the last couple days. I spent the earliest part of the afternoon playing with Gimli. He still seems a bit wary after so much interaction from Olivia over the weekend. He hasn't let me pick him up as much as he usually does. That hasn't precluded him from begging for treats though.

Yesterday was laundry day, and since Gimli likes the adventure of running around the laundry baskets, I let him out of his cage when I was about to fold some laundry today. Just before settling in to tackle the whites load, my tummy alerted me to an urgent situation. I scurried off to the bathroom. Meanwhile, I left Gimli unsupervised in the loft. (Oh, I could KICK MYSELF for that!) Miraculously, he didn't nudge open the door to the guest room, which was ajar. Instead, he chose to snack on my patent leather red shoes which I had left in front of the television.


I suppose I could just do like in "Pretty Woman" and color the scuffed parts in with a red marker. Even if I did, they would forever have little teeth marks in them. At least they weren't expensive shoes, right? So, from now on Gimli goes back into the cage if I have to get so much as a tissue from the other room.

So kids, what have we learned?

1. Even a bunny can't resist a pair of great shoes
2. A quiet bunny is a NAUGHTY bunny
3. Never leave your bunny unsupervised
4. Put away the dang shoes like your husband wanted you to in the first place

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Shoo Flu!

Ever since last Thursday I've had a bit of a "rumbly tumbly" as Winnie the Pooh would call it. Really, it was quite uncomfortable. I thought perhaps I'd overdone it on the butter lover's popcorn (mmmmm) or maybe the weird little sandwiches they fed us at the port of Los Angeles were less than fresh. Nonetheless, it didn't really slow me down.

This week I've been mostly doing day-trips of field work. It wasn't too exhausting since I was in the car almost the whole time. When I got home yesterday afternoon I felt quite yucky. Dizzy, queasy, clammy...even a little bit feverish. I crawled into bed for a nice nap, which was interrupted by a lovely display of gastointestinal pyroctechnics. Seriously, I didn't know whether to kneel beside the throne or sit upon it.

When Brad got home he helped himself to some dinner and tucked me back into bed. He brought me my meds, including some Advil PM for the fever, and went back downstairs. I fell asleep almost immediately. I didn't wake up until about 10:30 this morning. Praise the Lord, when I woke up I actually felt BETTER! I'm still a little on the weak side, but the tummy issues are dissipating, and today I'm able to keep my food down. I'm a little pale, but that's nothing a little lipstick and makeup can't fix!

I can't believe I've actually weathered a flu on my own without it becoming something gross. I'm not even coughing any more than usual or congested. It was all just run of the mill, normal people type sickness. Best of all, I didn't miss a single day of work because of it! I'm quite optimistic that I'll be able to sail right into 2008 with ease :)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Thoughts on Being a Part-Time Employee

Today has been a pretty good day. I woke up quite a bit later than I wanted to, but that's okay. I stayed up too late last night talking to Brad and decompressing from the baby shower I went to on Saturday. (More about that in another blog...maybe)

So, I slept long and hard and was actually warm enough during the night for the first time this week. It's been a lot colder here lately, and me being the typical southern Californian, I turn into a popsicle if the temperature drops below 65. Last night I practically needed the jaws of life to pull back the blankets on the bed so I could crawl in! There were no fewer than 6 layers on the bed. Tonight I think I'll wear my longjohns underneath my flannel pjs.

I'm so glad I work part-time now. I'm so much calmer and less stressed. I love the freedom of being able to say "I can't do that now, but I'll be back on Tuesday," and not have to try to scramble to get something done before I leave at night. Also, being part-time, my supervisor knows that he needs to be aware to assign me only the short-burn projects, and not the long drawn out ones. My personality craves variety, so this new aspect of my work schedule is particularly enjoyable and suits me well. It's less frantic and less crazy-making.

I realize now that I have always pushed myself just a little too hard. In some ways that has been advantageous. If I hadn't pushed myself so hard I wouldn't have finished college or pursued my chosen career. If I hadn't pushed myself to stay healthy and do my treatments, I would miss out on so much more of the "normal" stuff that I get to do, like entertaining guests in my home, volunteering with the CFF, or even going to writers' conferences.

The biggest blessing I'm seeing right now from being part-time is that it's really developing my character and making me a better wife. I have the time (and usually the energy) to put a hot meal on the table every night. Tonight's fare is tri tip, mashed potatoes and veggies. I'm able to spend my days off taking care of little things around the house, like keeping Gimli's play pen neater, so that my husband comes home to a neat and clean place.

I'm glad we're at a place in life where we can afford this change in lifestyle. It came at the perfect season in life. I'm reminded continually how God works in my life and provides for my best interests at all times. Even the yucky stuff serves a greater purpose and teaches me something about myself, and ultimately, about God.

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