Saturday, July 24, 2010

What's in a Google?

I thought I'd share with you guys a great way to pass time when watching paint dry is your only other option. I call it "What's in a Google?". It's simple really; type one word into Google and see what the magic bot suggests for you. Once in a while, you can get some pretty funny suggestions. What's crazy, is I'm pretty sure that it means these are the most common searches.

Word: Why

Top suggested searches:

why is a raven like a writing desk
why did I get married too
why is the sky blue
why is my poop green
why do we dream
why did I get married
why do dogs eat grass
why do dogs eat poop
why lyrics

I've highlighted my favorites. What exactly were they looking for? Better yet, what did they think they'd find?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Flash Me Friday - "The Daddy Chair"

This week's addition of Flash Me Friday call for pictures of our favorite piece of furniture. I picked this piece because I use it everyday and I probably experience the most joy while sitting it. Now, before you let your mind wander, I'm talking about the chair I sit in every morning for breakfast. Mandi and I make it a point to sit at our dining room table for breakfast, and dinner, everyday (lunch is generally a free-for-all). Sitting in this chair, which we've coined "The Daddy Chair", is pure joy cause it generally involves my first cup of coffee and a freshly made breakfast sandwich.

Are you interested in also participating? This brainchild of Jen over at The Groettum Family blog is going to be a weekly series in which we have to take a picture of her choosing without any cleaning up whatsoever. If you want in on the action, please visit here for the "rules".

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thankful (again) for Clinical Trials!!!

It's been long overdue and I think it's time for a Thankful Thursday...

I'm thankful for the advances in CF medications. Yesterday I had the opportunity to be pre-screened for a clinical drug study for a new anti-inflammatory. The hope is that this new drug will have all of the benefits of other anti-inflammatory medication with none of the drawbacks. I for one am really crossing my fingers that I get the drug. I have a 66% chance so the odds are in my favor, but you never know. Nevertheless, I'm just thankful for the opportunity to do the trial and hopefully be a small part of something much bigger. I've heard from other fibros and cysters in the community who feel that they were randomized the drug, that it kept them healthy for longer and made it easier to breathe. I'd love a piece of that.

I'm thankful for the rainstorm I drove through on my way to Tucson. As we made our way to Tucson, it was raining kittens and puppies. I had my wipers on full speed and it barely made a dent (that is rare for these parts). I was saying to Mandi that this was the first time I've seen a rainstorm first hand for about 5 months. Now, I'm a clear blue skies and a bright orange sun kind of a guy, but I must admit, I'd love for the skies to open up again and let it rain. We haven't experienced a rainstorm together in our first house and it's something I'm definitely looking forward to.

I'm thankful I'm not a landscaper. I have SO MUCH respect for the guys and gals that choosethat profession here in Arizona, heck, anywhere. I may have sweat 15 gallons of sweat while mowing the lawn yesterday. Here's the problem though, it was slightly overcast, with a breeze and the coolest it's been while the sun is going down for at least the last 2 months. Still,
I was barely able to open my eyes to mark out my path because of the mixture of liquid and salt pouring into my eyes. I made it through the torture and even had the courage to edge using the weed whacker, but then the old trusty blower wouldn't start. Now I have grass clippings kicking it all over my sidewalk. I can't tell you the level of frustration I felt on my 135,009th pull to try and get that stupid blower started. I finally gave up and swept all of the grass clippings off with my sandal. I'm so thankful I'm not a landscaper.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What the _____?: July 21st, 2010

About a month ago we started a little contest on this blog in which I post a picture and whoever comes up with the most clever/funny/witty/etc caption gets put into a drawing for prizes at the end of the year. Still don't have everything figured out as of yet, but we do know a couple of things 1) There will be multiple prizes 2) I love the participation so far 3) If you think your submission is inappropriate for others to see, you can always email your answer directly to me at :) 4) I've literally LOLed both weeks so keep it coming!

This week's picture:

Alright, what do ya got!?!?

Last week's photo with the winning caption:

Winner: "Look babe! I manscaped."
submitted by Karen

2nd: "The tortoise called it wants it hair back"
submitted by Michael

3rd: "Wow!! I didn't know that Cf'ers coughed up hair-balls!!"
submitted by Carolyn

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How I REALLY Feel!!!!

I wanted to follow up on a great post that Mandi did yesterday with my thoughts on the subject. If you didn't read her post, make sure you click here. It was basically about Mandi, for the first time, really exploring how CF really felt for me. First thing I want to make sure you guys know, is that Mandi is very attentive to my every need and she has asked me time and time again how I feel and what my lungs feel like. The fact that yesterday was the first time that she felt she got a deeper look is completely my fault. As she eluded to, I'm not one to really think about how I feel and if I do, I usually the last one to verbally express it. A fellow cyster put it well today when she said

"imagine u cut your finger pretty deep while chopping veggies one morning. u would notice it alot at first but if , say , you've got into a really good show on tv u would stop noticing as much quickly. probably u would think about it more in the commercial break..etc i think cf is like that and things have to be newly or excessively bad for us to REALLY notice"

I think that's a really good analogy. Often times when I'm not feeling great, I just try to distract myself. I don't sit around thinking about all of the parts of my body in pain or the fact that my lungs feel like they weigh 400 lbs. No, I choose to either do things that can possibly help that pain or sickness go away or I simply don't acknowledge it. Actually, I shouldn't say that, I'm very in tune with my body and generally
know exactly what needs to be done. So, I acknowledge my pain or sickness within myself, but I rarely verbalize it. It's of course important not to ignore our bodies and pretend nothing is going on. That's how we can crash and burn pretty quickly (just look back to the beginning of 2009 if you want to see that in my life). Yes, it's important to acknowledge what's going on, but then it's equally important to respond in the correct manner. If you're felling bad this usually means increased activity, treatments or a trip to the doc. One thing I will say, as I've gotten older, I've learned to respond better.

Which leads me to my next and most important point- just because I feel this way from time to time or sometimes often DOESN'T mean your child feels this way. I repeat, I may have lung pain almost everyday, your child may NEVER have lung pain. I saw too many comments yesterday that led me to believe that parents were freaking out that their children felt horrible all of the time and just didn't know how to express it. While this could be the case, chances are, it's quite the opposite. Your child probably feels absolutely fantastic most of the time.

I didn't "feel" CF until I was in my early to mid-20's. That's not to say I didn't see the affects of CF. I've been doing multiple treatments every day from the first time I was able to form a thought. I've been in and out of the hospital for tune-ups since I was 8. I've been consistently coughing up blood since I was 12. I
"died" when I was 17. This isn't to scare you, this is to show you that although that stuff was going on, I still felt FANTASTIC. I often said that "I don't really know I have CF unless I'm in the hospital or doing my treatments". I was too busy hiking 10 mile hikes every Sunday at the age of 8. Too busy playing football, baseball, basketball and soccer at the age of 12. And most importantly, graduating from high school and figuring out what college I would attend at the age of 17.

It wasn't until I was out of high school and started blowing off taking care of myself that things started to change. I must stress however, I've always been faithful with hospital stays and treatments. Here's what I wasn't though, flexible. I thought since I only had to do 1 to 2 treatments a day in high school to feel awesome I could pull off the same thing in college. (Sound buzzer) I was wrong. When my activity level dropped, my treatments should have increased. They didn't. Then I got sucked into the faulty thinking of, "well, I'm getting older, lung functions will drop as I get older". Seriously, screw that! I'm so mad that I fell for that crap. My lung functions didn't drop because I was getting older. They didn't drop because I had CF. They didn't drop because "that's just what happens". They dropped because I was immature and didn't adapt to my circumstances. They dropped because my favorite bar to go to was full of smoke. They dropped because I stopped working out. I didn't start to "feel CF" because I had CF, I started to feel CF because of me and the choices I made.

I'll leave you with this quote from our sermon this past Sunday as I feel it really speaks of my CF journey these past handful of years:

"Being mature isn't how much you know, it's what you do with what you know"

Monday, July 19, 2010

You feel like WHAT?

The other day, in the mist of another conversation, Ronnie made the statement, "I know I am carefree and happy, but many days I don't feel great." We continued our actual conversation (what is was about is irrelevant to the story, so I will not bore you...perhaps I'll save that for another Mandi Monday?) but that statement resonated with me.

Now, some of you might be thinking, "DUH!" And I get that that does seem like a "DUH" moment. But for me, the statement didn't sit with me as a "DUH" this time. I "get" CF in general. I get that CF can make you feel bad. I work with CF 40 hours a week and live with it "around" the house 168 hours a week. I feel like I have one of the best handles on CF as a non-CFer because I just see, hear and talk about it what feels like most of the time.

But his statement all of a sudden made me realize I maybe didn't get it as much as I thought I did. I guess I didn't know how it REALLY made people feel, and on top of that, I realized that I really didn't get how Ronnie feels. Ronnie is ALWAYS carefree and happy. I wish that was an exaggeration, but it's not. It's hard to find Ronnie having an emotionally "off" day. As I've said many times before, he's my steady-eddy. So it was hard to imagine that he may actually be feeling bad from time to time. Somehow I knew that people with CF can feel bad, but I guess I thought Ronnie was the exception to the rule.

After letting these words run around in my head for several hours I decided to just ask..."So what do you feel like if you don't feel good?" I'm sure he was a little blind-sided, since I was asking a follow-up question hours after a statement made in the midst of another conversation. "Uhh," he looked at me, initially puzzled where my question came from. "what do you feel like? What do your lungs feel like when you don't feel good." I repeated again. "They feel heavy. Sometimes with shooting pains across them or sometimes it feels like I'm being stabbed. Like right now I feel like I'm being stabbed here and here," he said as he pointed to two places on his lungs. That rocked my world. I guess in all of my talking about CF, I never stopped long enough to get some real details. I must say, I got a little choked up. "I don't like that you feel like that." Ronnie quickly jumped back to his usual self, "well it's not all the time." "I have learned how to not focus on it." "I only really think about it when I think or talk about it." "I don't want you thinking that I feel really bad all the time." "I don't like talking about it because then I think about it and when I really think about it, I can feel pretty bad."

With that, I took my cue and figured I'd stop asking a ton of questions but just said, "Well I like knowing how you feel. I don't like not getting it. I don't like not understanding or being able to feel what you feel. So can you tell me how you're really feeling sometimes so I can kinda get it?" And with a smile and a few kisses (EWWW, lovey dovey newlyweds, I know I know) that was that.

The point of my story? There is none...which Ronnie will tell you is the case with most of my stories. I feel a little silly that in 2.5 years I never thought to ask what it REALLY feels like.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dad Life- This is my dream...