Monday, August 27, 2012

Of Lance Armstrong, tea parties, and visitors...

Here is a list of highlights (or low lights depending on how I feel at the moment) from this past month.

1.  My lower pft's and bleeding episodes earned me a seat on the IV/steroids train for the past 17 days.  I'm running three drugs by infusion for the pseudomonas and taking one oral drug to suppress the MRSA.  I've also been running a large bag of extra fluid (adds an additional 3 hours a day tied to a pole) to protect my kidneys.  Well hydrated kidneys are happy kidneys and I want mine to be ecstatic!  I'm glad I finagled my way into doing them at home this time.  I think it was the right decision and only 5 more days till I'm finished up.  I'm breathing much better and feel less congested.  Watching the Olympics helped pass the time while I dripped and I miss being able to cheer on Team USA.

2. I attended a nutrition class taught by the lady who came to give her lecture in Fort Collins. Exciting, I know, right?!!   I have been wanting to try green smoothies for awhile but never really knew what to put in them and why.  Well, I got so inspired to boost my energy levels, fuel my body with nutrients, and cleanse my system that I went out and purchased a boatload of spinach, frozen fruit, sprouted flaxseed, and plant-based protein powder to make my daily quart of green goodness.  A few hours after ingesting said greeness, I began to feel somewhat nauseous.  Oh, not to worry says the book I also decided to buy, it is just your body de-toxifying. So wanting to work the program, I even made one the next day--heaven only knows how many toxins my cells probably have stored that I need to flush, I thought.  Holy moley!  Two and a half weeks and an abdominal ultrasound later, the nausea finally abated.  Talk about being miserable and wondering if it was viral, gallstones, or a host of other ailments I didn't want to consider. Starting IV's didn't help any either. Needless to say, just thinking of downing another green smoothie makes my skin crawl and sends me seeking comfort in my stash of chocolate-covered cinnamon bears.

Popping the question at Leatherby's
3.  My nephew, Steven B., surprised us all by popping the question to his girlfriend, Tiffanie.  He is the first of the grandchildren on my side of the family to get married.  Fun and exciting news.  They are planning a December 28th wedding in the Salt Lake City temple.  Got to start praying now that this December is better than my last two have been because I will be there no matter what!  Another nephew, Kevin W., entered the missionary training center three weeks ago and will be leaving Monday to begin serving his mission in Missouri temporarily.  He is waiting for his visa to process so he can fly to Bangalor India where he was called to serve.  Love these young men of mine!

I'm trying to Live Strong
4.  My bff, Lance Armstrong, and I managed to walk the Senior Center track for a stellar 25 laps on Friday.  Seventeen laps equals a mile so you do the math--story problems make me break out in hives.  My Nike fitness app on my ipod nano keeps track of my times and distances and whenever I manage a personal best either in time or distance, my ol' pal Lance congratulates me on a terrific workout.  What a friend to take the time out of his busy life to let me know that he knows how awesome I am.  I used up all the beads on my high-tech lap counter so I might need to add an extension in case I ever feel the need to hear Lance's performance-enhanced voice compliment me on an IV and steroid-enhanced job well done.
A lady suggested these looked like prayer beads--
thinking a prayer each lap might not be a bad idea.

5.  Last night we had an unexpected visit from my son's former mission president, Elder Erich Kopischke.  After his mission duties were completed, President Kopischke was called to be a member of the Quorum of the Seventy.  Josh absolutely loved serving under his inspired leadership in Germany.  Josh never dreamed  President K would ever be in his hometown let alone sitting on his living room couch.  It was so fun to get to meet someone who has influenced Josh's life so much.  He challenged Josh to keep up his German language skills and jokingly added he also wanted to receive a wedding announcement in the next six months.  He prayed with us and blessed our family.  Wonderful.   During Stake Conference today, he mentioned meeting with Elder Schloss and his family.  Josh's heart almost stopped when it sounded like Elder Kopischke might bring him up to say a few words in front of the large congregation.
Visiting with Elder Kopischke

6.  Tonight we were invited over to Maggie's house for a tea party.  She had helped her mom bake chocolate cupcakes and wanted to share them with us.  We got to hear a little bit about her first two days of kindergarten.  She is a beautiful little girl.
First day of Kindergarten

Friday, August 3, 2012

What's up now...

I guess it's time to catch things up.  We were able to return back to Colorado a few weeks ago thanks to the fires getting under control.  The weather has tempered somewhat and because of some much prayed for rain, things are not so tinder dry.

It's been an adjustment coming back and trying to get into the swing of things.  I finally got myself a place to work out--the Senior Center.  The people there have been so welcoming and supportive of me being there.  The facility has an indoor track with good air movement so I'm not melting and running into the cracks like I was walking around the neighborhood in 90+ degree weather.

I've also noticed how much harder it is to exercise with the altitude.  Instead of getting by with one liter of O2 like I did in North Carolina, I have to use 3 liters and bump up to 4 if I start coughing too much.  To have such a drastic change does tend to build the anxiety when I get breathless.  It's something I'm trying to work through.  Unfortunately, twice I've started bleeding during my walks and that hasn't helped.

I was seen by my old CF team in Denver on Monday.  I wanted to impress them with my improved breathing but it was not to be.  I am back down to 27%.  I will be starting IV's next week to work on the infection that is taking hold.  It remains to be seen whether I will be doing the IV's  from home or starting them at the hospital like my doctor would prefer.  I think I can do more moving and exercising if I stay home since I don't feel too yucky.  They were impressed with my bulging muscles, however, and had heard how well I had done in rehab.

One of my good friends, Danyell, got listed last week for her double lung transplant.  I've been a facebook stalker waiting for her to get the call.  Another friend, who got her transplant just before I left Duke, passed away this week after being in the ICU for over 5 weeks fighting for her life. She was strong going in so it was surprising things went so wrong.

We celebrated Josh's 26th birthday on Tuesday with dinner at Famous Daves BBQ.  He was a good sport to wear his balloon birthday hat for the whole meal which thrilled his little cousins.  He got his first ever ice cream cake thanks to the fact our oven blew an element which tends to make cake baking difficult.  Thank you DQ.

Josh is ready for a pork attack.

The balloon guy was fabulous.

Put his birthday candles around the outside and took off my
oxygen so we all wouldn't go poof!