Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sickboy's 2009 In Review

Here's the best that I can remember 2009....

- I came back from China on the 17th and promptly went into the emergency room. I had been coughing up cups of blood at a time for 3 days in a row and couldn't walk more than 50 yards without having to take a break. My incredibly low sats and inability to breath without a bi-pap landed me in the ICU.

February- I celebrated my 29th birthday in the Hole. My PFTs were steadily improving, but not at the rate I was accustom to. At that point I would take just about anything though, since I checked in with an FEV1 in the 20's. This is when the light really started to flicker.

March- I got released from the hospital exactly 50 days from the time I had entered. It was my longest trip ever and one that I will never forget. At my release, I had an FEV1 of 51%. I knew I had to make a change. I started as a way to hold myself accountable while taking on the task of running one full mile.

April- Within 5 weeks out of the hospital I had gotten my FEV1 up to 61%, not quite where I wanted to be, but definitely moving in the right direction. I had still not run a mile and was wondering if running was really the monster that I wanted to take on.

May- This month was full of fundraisers for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I've been very honored to be invited to speak at many events over the last handful of years and hope to continue to do so.

June- June was a big month with the annual family trip to Rocky Point, a trip to Flagstaff with Mandi and also the celebration of one year together with the love of my life. This was also when I realized that other people were starting to benefit from hearing my story and wanted to know more than just how far I was running. The transformation of RSR begins.

July- This was a big month for my "running career". I was seen by a foot doctor who was able to craft me some specially made orthotics to help with the extreme foot pain I was having while running. I also went back into the Hole for a short two week stay, but this time I entered with an FEV1 of 59%, 8% higher than when I left the Hole in March!

August- New structure for RSR is fully implemented with added features like Spotlight Sunday and Top Ten Tuesday! On a personal note, I started a clinical trial for the TOBI vs AZLI study. I was randomized to TOBI, so now I simply get paid to do my treatments :)

September- This was a turning point month for both me personally and this blog. While visiting Mandi's grammy down in Florida, I ran my first mile!!! In fact, I ran 1.5 miles that day!! As for the blog, it got some national exposure when I was named one of five winners for the Nature Made: Fuel Your Greatness competition.

October- We had another good month in the press when a Tucson newspaper ran a story about Mandi and I and our desire to increase my lung function through running. We were also very fortunate that it was picked up nationally by over 20 print and online publications. The daily unique visitors to RunSickboyRun are really starting to swell. I also had an FEV1 of 68%, my best PFTs since 2005!

November- Let's see, what happened in November, oh, that's right, I got engaged!!!! We also had a busy month with CysticLife as we traveled to Dallas, Texas to serve as a source of education and inspiration at the CF Concert Series. Upon my return, I was hospitalized again and saw my FEV1 drop to 41% within my first two weeks in the Hole. We also hit the over 100,000 hits mark on RunSickboyRun!

December- I got out of the Hole just in time for the holiday's with an FEV1 of 60%. It was a great month full of shopping, family and friends. I also had sinus irrigations done for the first time and my house got robbed while I was in the hospital. It was definitely a different kind of a month, but certainly had WAY more good than bad. I've had trouble getting back into rhythm with my workouts but finally got back in the saddle late in the month. 2010 better watch out!!

I'm so thankful for this past year as it has taught me much about myself and what we as a community can achieve if we put our mind to it. I have met so many wonderful people through this blog that I now call my friends and have been able to form relationships that I hope last a life-time. This has undoubtedly been one of the best years of my life and many of you are to thank for that. Here's the scary part though, it's only going to get better in 2010!!!