Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Time to Call In the Cavalry!!

It all started the night of December 22nd. Before turning it in for the night, I told Mandi that I would wake up with a sore throat that next morning. Despite taking some preventative measures, sure enough, I awoke the next morning with a nearly closed and sore throat. That's how it all started. It was closely followed by a runny nose, a stuffy nose, a "full" head and an ear ache. I knew that my only chance to fight through it would be increased treatments, rest and fluids. With the holidays fast approaching, I knew this would be tough.

Thanks to my wife, I was able to rest quite a bit in the weeks that followed. In fact, I was still in bed at 10:30am on December 23rd! I don't think I've stayed in bed that long since I was in college. I also stuck to my usual 3 to 4 treatment sets a day, but with Mandi's help, was able to extend many of the sessions from 30 minutes, to 1 full hour. It also helped to have so much family around to share of the burden of looking after Miss Mckenna. As you can imagine, she's as active as ever, always moving and quite the energy drain!!

I battled with all that I had over the holidays, but unfortunately, things continued to get a little bit worse. This cold/virus/what have you continued to make its way down my body into my chest, stomach and joints. My cough my junkier than normal. My mucus production had increased. My cough was more frequent. Every joint in my body ached. And food started to look less and less appealing.

I had some days that were better than others, but there has not been a day since December 23rd that I've felt better than 75%, with most days being closer to 30% or 40%.

In somewhat of a serendipitous moment, I happened to have a long-standing CF clinic appointment on January 7th. This was the same clinic appointment that just a few weeks earlier I was thinking about rescheduling into February, but never quite got around to it. I'm so glad that I kept it for this past Monday.

In the week leading up to clinic, I had gotten worse in terms of my cough and mucus production. I started sleeping upright with a cough drop in my mouth just to try and make it through the night. It didn't work all that well and most nights I was up coughing a majority of the time. I tried NyQuil, Tussin CF, Robitussin 8 hour cough relief, cough drops and a combination of all of those with no success. I'm sure that they helped, but not enough to get a decent nights sleep.

And for me, the biggest problem that I had during this two week battle with whatever it is - I've only been to the gym twice. That's just simply unacceptable. That's what keeps me at my best and out of the Hole.

I knew that I was going to have to call in the cavalry. And on January 7th, the cavalry agreed.

So that's where we are today. I called for help and help arrived in the form of a hospital stay. If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know that that is a-ok with me! I'd rather feel cruddy in here with a chance to get better, than cruddy at home getting worse. For me, it's so important to get in here before I hit the bottom and instead, catch myself on the way down. I'm very fortunate, that at least according to my PFTs, whatever this is hasn't affected my lungs negatively all that much.

They say I sound worse than I usually do, but they also say that I sound pretty good. I was expecting a low FEV1 for me, but instead I blew a 65%. I was shocked and relieved. I think the work I put in before I got sick and the work I put in during (with the help of my best ever wife Mandi) is the only reason I didn't see a drastic dip. We were joking at the clinic appointment that it could also be that I'm coughing more than normal and clearing what feels like gallons worth of gunk every day.

Anyway, I'm so thankful for the cavalry. I'm thankful for their trust in me. I'm thankful that they gave me the opportunity to put myself in the best position to succeed. I'm thankful for their support of me and my family. I'm so thankful that I have a cavalry that works as hard as I do.