Saturday, June 13, 2009

View of CF (and Me) from a Girlfriend

**Mandi left this comment on my last post, but I figured that I would post it on it's own instead**

I'm generally pretty silent on Ronnie's blog, I figure I am in enough stories and daily routines that my comments wouldn't be additive. But I feel inclined to comment on this large part because I know many CFers struggle to realize that they deserve relationships just as much as the rest of us. Ronnie has mentioned the complexities that come along with having CF and entering a relationship. I can understand that a CFer might have anxieties about letting someone fall in love with them and then making them witness what can sometimes be an uphill battle or even lose their loved one (the CFer). But as a girlfriend of a CFer, very much in love, I can tell you that that thinking should be changed.

Ronnie has blessed my life. While CF presents challenges and unexpected turns in our journey together, his attitude about it has rubbed off on me. I truly see CF as a blessing in our lives. It has made me stronger as an individual and has made our relationship stronger. And as Ronnie mentioned, I have thought about the possibility of being a young widow. The pain would be something I cannot begin to fathom, but I can say confidently that I believe God has a special purpose for Ronnie and I'm so blessed to get to be a part of it. And when God is done doing with Ronnie what he has put him here to do (whether that's at 35 or 75) I can find comfort in knowing it's all part of God's plan for my life and rejoice in the incredible journey we had together.

So with that being said, I encourage all CFers to search for that unique individual who is willing and excited to accept and face the challenges that come with a disease like CF. I can tell you, I'm sure there's plenty of people like me, who are just happy to get to spend as much time with their CFer as possible, and leave the uncontrollable up to The Big Man, who knows what he's doing.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I Need Your Help

So today was full of nothing but packing and getting ready for the big trip coming up. Tomorrow, Mandi and I take off for Rocky Point, Mexico which is about 4 hours from Tucson, Arizona. My family has been going there every year for the last 30+ years as sort of a yearly family reunion of sorts. Now, when I say family, I'm talking about between 28-32 people who go every year. We all pitch in to rent a 8 bedroom beach house and fill our days with games, eating, chatting, napping, etc. We are a very close family who will find any excuse to get together but this trip is nice because it's not because of a birthday, holiday, or graduation, it's just because we love each other. Having that support system is a huge reason why I am here today and I can't begin to tell you how thankful I am for them.

I'm also excited that Mandi is going to be able to spend so much time with my whole family. Everyone who has met her loves her to death (including family members) but they haven't had the chance to spend a whole lot of time with her. She's up for just about anything at anytime, so I know that she's going to fit right in on this trip.

As far as the blog goes, I'm going to try to keep it active with stories, pictures, and miscellaneous stuff from the trip. I would also like to write a couple pieces about Cystic Fibrosis while I'm there. I won't be exercising in Mexico like I do here, so I won't be keeping up an exercise journal like usual. I will be active, but there's no gym to lift at where I'm going, and I think my body needs the rest anyway. Mandi and I will be doing plenty of beach walking/running and there will be many a beach sports going on all day long. We rent kayaks while we're down there so I'll be getting a great upper body workout as well.

Last thing, I'm always looking to write about stuff that people want to read. So I'm asking you readers out there, "What would you like me to write about?". Send me your suggestions. Send me your questions. Have anything you want answered concerning Cystic Fibrosis? Anything about me personally? My views? Anything. You want it, I'll write it.

Thanks. I look forward to your responses.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Getting CFers on Film!

6:45am: Let me first say to my mom, I know you don't like hearing about my foot problems if I'm not doing anything about it, but I was trying it my own way and I think I've failed. I've tried different shoes. I've tried inserts. I've tried icing it. I've tried resting it. I've tried not doing certain leg workouts. I've tried just about everything I can think of. Next step is going to be seeking the advice of a professional. I'm going to avoid seeing a doctor (I see enough of them, no offense docs) and first try to have my foot "studied" at a running store. Maybe it could be as simple as having a new shoe or a better insert. I sure hope it is. I'm just tired of not being able to run consistently and my foot being sore even after staying off of it for a couple of days. I haven't done any pounding on it for quite a while now and it feels like I ran a 3k yesterday. The best way to describe the pain is it feels like someone is grabbing my foot and trying to bend it backwards onto itself. It's not the top of my foot that is hurting, it's my arch. I'm going on a little vacation on Thursday, but when I get back it will be Operation NoSoreFeet.

My walk this morning was better then yesterday. If you recall, which I don't blame you for not, I felt pretty tight yesterday and it was hard for me to get stuff up in the morning. It was probably due to not working out on Sunday and moving around as much. After getting back in the saddle yesterday, my lungs felt much better on the walk this morning. I was getting quite a bit of clear to light yellow mucus up and not laboring in my breathing. It was a beautiful morning, actually a little overcast, and it was nice and cool out. It still isn't unbearable yet in terms of heat during the day, but I know it's going to get there fast. If I can get my walks in before 8am though, I think I'll avoid having a heat stroke this summer :)

Total Distance: 2.0 miles

Side Note: So the whole day was spent working, but what I was doing was very enjoyable. I traveled around with Mandi and my videographer David to film CFers and their parents answer some questions about CF and how it affects them and their daily lives. It will all be used in an upcoming project that will hopefully launch in the coming months. If you're in the Phoenix or Tucson area and are reading this and would like to participate in this film, please, just send me an email or leave your email here for me to respond to.

8:00pm: I can't believe it took me until 8pm to get to the gym. I was so tired working out but I think I still had a pretty good session. I'm getting stronger week by week and so far everything is holding up well except for my shoulders. I actually had to change a lift that I do on my chest today cause it just puts too much strain on my shoulders when I'm doing it. The one thing you learn quickly is that if your shoulders are hurt, it can effect almost every lift you do. My upcoming vacation will give my body some much needed rest and I'm looking forward to staying in shape by using the beach and ocean as my gym!

Total Distance for Day: 2.0 miles 

Monday, June 8, 2009

10.6 Total Miles for the Week of June 1st

Week of March 25th: 17.85 miles
Week of March 18th: 11.75 miles
Week of March 11th: 17.2 miles
Week of March 4th: 17.7 miles
Week of April 27th: 15.7 miles
Week of April 20th: 22.9 miles
Week of April 13th: 18.75 miles
Week of April 6th: 20.95 miles
Week of March 30th: 31.7 miles
Week of March 23rd: 24.48 miles
Week of March 16th: 34.85 miles
Week of March 9th: 23.6 miles

Back in the Saddle

7:30am: I know what you're thinking, "he sure does sleep in a lot lately". No, you weren't thinking that? You didn't notice? Oh, sorry for bringing that up then. I have in fact had quite a few mornings of "extra" sleep, but that's only because I've had quite a few nights that I have gone to bed later than normal. I generally try to get between 6 and 8 hours with 7 usually being the number that happens. I woke up with a lot of energy this morning and felt well rested. Jezzabel was chomping at the bit (anybody know where that phrase originated?) ready for her walk.

It was actually an overcast morning which is very rare for this time of the year. It felt great outside and was probably in the lower 80's. I felt kind of tight when I first started the walk and my mucus was kind of difficult to get up. After about .5 miles I started coughing really deep and forced myself to keep it up to try and get the stuff moving. It worked for the most part and I was able to get a lot of thick clear stuff up. Some of it had a slight yellow to it, but it was clear for the most part. My feet felt pretty good as well, with my left foot getting a little sore while making my way up an uphill section of the loop. I'm going to do cardio later at the gym, so I'm hoping it holds up for that.

Total Distance: 2.3 miles

2:30pm: Gym time! I've been working since I got back from the walk, so this gym time was a much needed break. Mandi and I headed out to lift shoulders and legs plus do a little cardio. It's been a while since we did cardio so we decided to do it first to make sure there were no excuses to miss it. We hopped on the elliptical and off we went. I had my iPod in and was reading through an US Weekly from March of 2008. I'll tell you one thing, it makes that half hour just fly by. Believe me, I'm not a fan of cardio because I usually would get so bored, but if I have a magazine I barely even take time to notice what I am doing. We ended up doing 30 minutes on the elliptical and by the time we were done my grey t-shirt looked black from the sweat soaking through. (Wanna feel good about what you're doing? Wear a grey t-shirt to the gym!) My lungs felt really open and my legs felt great!

It was then on to lift legs and shoulders. We did what we usually do with us alternating between the two muscle groups each set so that we never stop. That way you get another cardio type workout in. Also, the sweat never stops and you feel like you're getting an incredible workout. Today's gym session was constant movement for over an hour! Try it, I promise you'll like it...well, at least your lungs will!

Total Distance: 2.65 miles

Side Note: Mandi and I are heading out to dinner with the parents of a little CF boy to meet them and talk life with CF. They are also interested in helping with a project Mandi and I have going on that will have a positive impact on the CF community. I LOVE talking to cystics parents and hopefully giving them encouragement about the road ahead. My mom did a GREAT job in raising me and I just pass some of her knowledge onto other parents. If you haven't had the chance to read the posts I've done about my mom and her attitude towards CF, I encourage you to use the category posts to find those blogs and read them. Look under Mom and Pillar Articles.

Total Distance for Day: 4.95 miles

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Need To Save Some Time as a CFer?

If so, go to She has a blog up about doing your treatments in a car and how to make it happen. Great Post!