Sunday, October 27, 2013

A view from the window seat...

Survived another Southwest airlines trip to North Carolina last week.  It was the first time I've flown without a direct connection.  So because we waited too long to buy non-stop tickets, I can now say I've been to Chicago--if only the Midway airport.  Unfortunately, it was overcast and misty so my view wasn't the greatest but I saw the Chicago skyline from my over-priced window seat. It looked amazing.
What my concentrator looks like.

Oh window seats.  I have a love/hate relationship with you.  I love being able to look out the window and see the farms--especially with their center-pivot circles, the highways, rivers, mountains, clouds, etc.  To get such a different perspective is refreshing.  But I hate being told I "have" to sit there.  Customers lucky enough to take POC's (portable oxygen concentrators) on the plane are asked to sit in the window seat for safety.   I guess if we were to crash, my hand-pulled machine along with its air-sucking owner won't jam up the escape route of those who can race out of a burning aircraft.

Since I have to maneuver/tuck/stuff it under my front seat, it not only takes up all my leg room but also makes a quick bathroom run completely impossible. So of course, guess who began to feel those unmistakable urges shortly after liftoff.  The complimentary in-flight beverage only added fuel to the madness.  By the time my 3 1/2 hour flight landed, I had goosebumps I had to go so bad.  I know, too much information, but I was seriously wondering if the air traffic tower would receive an emergency distress call from my pilot informing them that a passenger trapped in the window seat had exploded.  Yes, it was that bad.

Heard back from my transplant coordinator on Tuesday.  The team still believes I am too early to relocate--just what the doc and I discussed.  I was able to delay my next trip for four months to save some money and to minimize my exposure to circulating germs in the plane.  I will need to stay in contact with them should I need to be seen earlier, however.
Met my good friend, Cheryl, in the clinic hallway.  She is 1 year
post transplant and doing fabulous!  Cheryl was on hospice
and decided to pursue a transplant.   She is my miracle.
This trip we stayed an extra day so we could drive to Virginia and visit Christina.  We got to see her new apartment and meet Sandy's parents.  They were great people and we enjoyed getting to know them. Christina took us on a tour of her base and was I ever impressed.  She works on the helicopters (or "birds" in Navy speak) in a large hangar which opens out to the ocean.  I am in awe of what she does and how she does it.  Way to go sister!!

Outside of Christina's squadron hangar
on the Norfolk Naval Base.

This is one of the helicopters that Christina works on. 

Christina and Sandy in front of her squadron's "show bird." 

Standing on the middle deck of the USS Bataan Aircraft Carrier with
the USS George H.W. Bush carrier in the background.  These ships
are huge!!  Walked up steep ramps to each deck level.  Sandy
will deploy on this vessel in the coming weeks.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Off the grid and in the air...

What I've been up to lately:

1.  I've learned computers really aren't that fun without an internet connection.  It's true.  They just sit there about as exciting as a bag of rocks!  Being off the grid for almost three weeks, thanks to some heavy-duty problems with our neighborhood Century Link box, made me nostalgic for the typewriter of my youth.  At least with my Olympia I got the satisfaction of scrolling in the paper, listening to the sounds of pecks, dings, and carriage returns, and unjamming the crisscrossed keys locked up from typing too fast.

2.  Finished a month of another round of IV's this Tuesday.  So glad to be free of these little bulbous guys.  Started out with Ceftaz, Merrem, and Linazolid.  After several of days on the Linazolid, I woke up with my world on the move again.  If I dipped  my head at all, I became dizzy and laying on my left side brought about the same results.  Honestly, this balance/dizzy problem is for the birds.  So frustrating.  Got a week of that drug under my belt when we decided to stop it so the dizziness would ease.  Then at three weeks when I should have been finished, I still had a productive cough so we added Vancomycin on a very slow drip to reduce my bronchospasms.  Adding that for an additional week made the difference and I felt like I improved enough to stop all the meds finally.  Hopefully this clean out will last longer...I know I've said that the last two times but I really mean it this time, body!!

3.  Got flights booked for Tuesday morning to North Carolina for another check-up at Duke.  Besides the usual xrays, bloodwork, and pulmonary function test, I will be seeing a new pulmonary doctor, a new dietitian, my transplant coordinator, and a new psych doctor.   My medical day begins at 7:40 a.m. and my last appointment is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.  Hopefully everyone stays on time and I get outta there before dark  Wednesday will be a long doctor-filled day no matter what happens.  Not sure what they will say this time, just trying not to stress about it too much.

4.  I taught a group of Relief Society ladies how to index for  Dusted off my rusty Power Point skills and put together a presentation to show how fun and easy indexing historical documents can be.  Indexing genealogical records gives researchers a way to find their family information easily without having to scroll through rolls and rolls of microfilm just browsing images hoping to find one that may be related.  It's a great volunteer opportunity which helps others and who knows, maybe someone else will make something you've been searching for available as well!