Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sound Off Saturday: Treatments and Vacation

Being a holiday weekend, we couldn't help but think of a great Sound-off Saturday topic: Vacation and Treatments.

When we're not in the routine of work (which is really just on vacation or during holiday weekends), treatments are the one part of our routine that must stay the same - which isn't always easy while trying to enjoy a break from our normal day-to-day routine. Obviously, when we travel, go on vacation, or have a "staycation" during holidays, treatments are still a must. For some reason, vacations are the only time that I really notice treatments. When we're in our normal routine, I never really notice Ronnie's first 2-3 treatments during the day. He does them back in his office, while we both work in separate rooms, so it doesn't affect my day, routine, plans, etc. The night treatment (which Ronnie always does right before bed) I notice more because I normally wait up for him to finish so that we can fall asleep together - maybe silly, but I just really love going to be together. I hate the thought of Ronnie crawling into bed and not having his wife say, "Goodnight" and "I love you" right before falling asleep. But all in all, on a typical day, treatments go unnoticed by me and they don't affect my daily life and routine.

But the reality of 3-4 treatments a day sets in when we're on vacation. And I will be honest, I am not the biggest fan of all the treatment time when we're on vacation. Often times we'll have to push off breakfast, come back mid-day regardless of what we're doing, or rearrange plans to make sure that we get all of the treatments in, while still getting out and enjoying vacation. I start to feel even more aggravated (maybe a harsh word, I can't find the right one. Annoyed? Perturbed?) when we're with other people (friends or family), and I feel like we're holding up the whole group because we have to get treatments in. And I'll be honest, I always feel a little guilty on vacation because I get annoyed with the treatment schedule, but then I realize that it is only my reality for a week, while it's Ronnie's reality every day. And that really puts into perspective that me feeling inconvenienced is silly and selfish.

ANNND now that I've let you into my horrible, inner-most thoughts, let me now give you the flip-side and what I constantly remind myself when these nasty little thoughts creep in. The rational side of me knows that the treatments are necessary...and maybe even more necessary because we're generally thrown off our workout routine as well - so we're not working his lungs with as much exercise either. And whenever the thoughts start to arise of, "Maybe he could just do 2 treatments today?" or "How about he just does 3 instead of 4?" I always step back and remind myself of one thing: I'd rather get home from vacation and have him healthy, than get an extra two hours a day of "fun," only to get home and have him feeling like crud; having to climb and uphill battle to get feeling good again.

I feel a little bad verbalizing my not-so-positive thoughts about treatments on vacation, but I know that I'm not alone in my thinking. Sticking to treatments during vacation (or anytime your routine is thrown off) is simply just not easy. But I always find that when I really step back and think about it, doing the treatments is far more awesome and beneficial than anything we could do with the two extra hours we'd have if Ronnie skipped his treatments. So this holiday weekend, Ronnie will be getting in all of his treatments, but you better believe we'll be packing the other 22 hours of the day with TONS of fun!!

Ahhhhh yes, treatments and vacation, my ultimate double edged sword...

So which side of the sword should I describe first? Let's go with the side that cuts some of my fun time out of vacations. Now, let's be clear, I'm the first to admit that I'm not Mr. Vacation and rarely am I the one chomping at the bit to go on one. We'll get to the reason I'm that way when we get back to the other side of the sword, but for now let's stick to the side that cuts me away from what I enjoy about vacations. Generally when I'm away and enjoying some other place I'm around family. That has to be the number one thing that I like about vacations. It's nice to be able to be around family 24/7 and the fact that you have the option to go out and "explore" with them is a bonus. One bummer about treatments and vacation is that it takes some of the spontaneity out of just "getting up and going". Things need to be more mapped out to make sure I have the time to get in my 3-4 treatments for the day. Whether it's 3 or 4 usually depends on the altitude, weather and how I handled the flight to where I was going. That's the thing with this CF life - there's really no "getting away" which is the biggest reason why most people want to go on a vacation in the first place.

Alright, enough of Debbie Downer. Since only about 7% of me feels the way I was talking about above, let me get to what the rest of the 93% of me thinks; the other side of the sword if you will. I love treatments on vacation because they feel like they restore some order or a sense of routine while away from home. I know that I've mentioned this before, but I am a routine guy. If my routine is thrown off, my whole day seems thrown off. It's especially that way if I miss my morning treatment - which probably happens 1 out of every 365 days. On the rare occasion that I do miss that first treatment, or heaven forbid, my coffee, you can pretty much count me "off" for the rest of the day. I usually like to go all out on vacation and pack in as much stuff as we can, so it's nice to have 3-4 times throughout the day that I can recharge my battery.

Another thing I think about while doing treatments on vacation is the more I consistently take care of myself, the better chance I will have to enjoy more vacations down the road with my family. Plus, being at the top of my game while on vacation gives me the energy to "keep up" with the rest of my family as they are doing the "vacation thing". I've always found that if I get out of whack with my treatments on vacation, not only do I not feel as good during the activities, but that it's hard to get back into rhythm when I get back home. You guys know how it works - one missed treatment leads to two, leads to 4, leads to a week, leads to a month. I don't know about you, but I can't afford to even miss 2 treatments in a row. I figure the longer I can keep up my treatment routine, the longer I'll have to feel good while on vacation. Does that all make sense?

Anyway, we thought it'd be fun to bring Sound Off Saturday back. Keep in mind that we just threw out a general topic to each other and then agreed to "sound off" on it. I have no clue what Mandi wrote and she has no clue what I wrote. The first time we read it will be the same time that you do.

Now it's your turn...sound off!!!