Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Kitchen- Kinda Before, Kinda After

Friday, April 30, 2010

First Friday: Our FIRST Place

**brought to you by Mandi

Today's the day!! Today we close on our very first home together, and man are we EXCITED!!! Yesterday afternoon was the final walk through, all checked out ok. After the final walk through, my mom and I went to Home Depot and bought everything from brooms and mops to paint and paint brushes. Needless to say, the anticipation is building for today's phone call telling us it's officially ours. As soon as we get the call, we'll head to the house and begin painting and moving in. Since we are waiting until our wedding night to actually stay in the house, we have just over 3 weeks to get everything just the way we want it. We plan to paint the kitchen, master, family room, and dining room before then. We'll be BUSY. Luckily my mom is in town and she is a decorating and painting guru!! Today starts the home improvement craziness. I just can't wait for Ronnie to get out of the Hole so we can work on it together.

In my excitement, my thoughts are jumbled and I'm afraid I will just be rambling if I go on anymore. But I will leave you with a few pictures and a video from the final walk through.

Ronnie wasn't there in person - but we needed a picture together at our final walk through!

Ronnie and I with Mike (our friend and realtor)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Scratchy but Thankful!!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

PFT Update and Blabbering

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tip Top Tuesday

Sorry about my absence yesterday...and that you had to see me sound asleep, mouth wide open, drooling. As Ronnie said, I wasn't feeling too hot. On Saturday morning, I woke up around 5:30 AM with an upset stomach. I tossed and turned until around 6:30 AM when I decided I had to get up because something was going to come out of one end or another (I hope you're not reading this over breakfast). I ended up getting sick a few times, and then went back to sleep until 12:30 PM. I knew I had to get up because I had to drive up to Phoenix and get everything together for the Phoenix Great Strides walk the next morning (Sunday). So I got up and made the drive to Phoenix, took a quick nap, spent several hours getting stuff ready for the walk, and headed to bed. I felt pretty crumby all of Saturday, but luckily when I woke up Sunday at 5 AM to get to the walk to set up (and mingle with all the wonderful folks there) I felt a lot better. I was able to eat a little bit throughout the day and keep it down, but all the activity and lack of food had me conked out by 9:00 last night. Needless to say, I didn't get my blog in and Ronnie was nice enough to cover for me and let me sleep.

Unfortunately, it turns out that it wasn't food poisoning like we predicted. It appears to be a little 24-hour flu bug that Ronnie ended up coming down with late Sunday night. He started feeling nauseous right before bed. He initially was worried that he was getting a bowel blockage because he hadn't been able to go to the bathroom for a few days and remembered a similar feeling and scenario when he had his last blockage. Hoping to feel better he took some laxatives (in hindsight, that probably wasn't the best thing for him). Within an hour, he started throwing up. He finally got to sleep, but woke up not feeling great and still had it coming from both ends. He slept most of the day (with the exception of a few hours that we snuck away to sign all of our house docs...we close on Friday, but we'll update you on that later in the week).

Luckily we know it's just a 24-hour bug, so Ronnie should be feeling better today. I'm sure he'll update you all tomorrow with how he's doing. In the meantime, thanks for checking in today, and forgiving my "skip day" yesterday.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Not Mandi Monday....

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Totality of Cystic Fibrosis

**Originally posted March of 2009

I've already talked about how CF affects my on to the rest of the body.

Most CFers have a very hard time putting on and keeping on weight. I have been very blessed in the fact that I, for the most part, have not had that problem. In the CF community, I’m fat. My weight does fluctuate however. In the last year, I was 165 lbs at my lowest and 205 lbs at my highest. Gaining and losing this weight has its side affects and I have the stretch marks to prove it.

It is, however, a constant struggle between CF and food. I know I have to maintain a healthy weight, but there are times, many in fact, that food just doesn’t look very good. I eat. I get nauseated. I don’t eat. I’m hungry. I force myself to eat. I throw up. I manage to eat a good meal. I feel (and look) extremely bloated for the next 4 hours because of the malfunctioning digestion problem. So you see, when it comes to CF and my “diet”, they are in constant battle. Who knew eating could be so tough?

There are also other internal organs that are affected by this disease. Again, you can look up the specifics online, but just as a side note in which I know many can relate to: CFers have a high rate and are major “candidates” for diabetes. I have been very fortunate thus far, but have been told that it is not a matter of “if”, but a matter of “when”. At some point, I will be required to take insulin on a daily basis. So far, my sugars only seem to spike when I'm sick and in the hospital. I have taken insulin a handful of times, but I avoid it like the plague. I'm just a big believer in not letting your body think that it can give up and rely on medicine. CF can also affect the liver, kidneys, gall bladder, joints, and other organs and parts of the body.

The other consequence of CF, that is not a direct function of the disease, is the affect that the constant stream of medications and antibiotics that are constantly being poured into my body. I take some stuff that the medical community considers “heavy duty”. When I am hospitalized, the doctors keep a close watch on my kidney and liver function. Medicine is often a double-edged sword. It may be helping me in the short run, but hurting me in the long run. I’ll tell you what though; running a long distance always encompasses a series of short runs. I know that I need antibiotics to enjoy life right now, I'll worry about the future when I get there.

I also wanted to mention the other “side effect” that hits home concerning CF. I can’t father children. Over 95% of CF men can’t. My vas deferens (the tube for sperm) either didn’t develop or is clogged by that lovely mucus. Now, don’t let me mislead you, there are ways for me to “make” children. It won’t be the normal path that most men are able to take though. It will require doctors extracting sperm from me, since I can’t extract it myself. To me, this is a big deal. Being a father in the future is one of my dreams.

In short, it seems to some that CF “has no bounds”. In some ways they are very right, but in other ways they are very wrong. What I mean is I strongly feel that CF can't touch your mind or your soul. Have there been times that I feel a little overwhelmed and tired of fighting? Of course there have. But I would allow myself to "grieve" only for the moment and then I would figure out what I could do to change the situation. We can't always change how CF is going to affect our bodies, we can, however, control how we respond to this disease. My last hospital stay was 50 days long. I could have easily sat there and sulked my way through all 50 days. My PFT's weren't responding and at some points I was very frustrated and confused. But sitting there asking questions and wondering "why" definitely wasn't going to get my numbers up. I walked and ran outside every day. I ran stairs everyday. I worked hard and put in a ton of sweat equity. The kicker is that my numbers still barely budged. I was in a situation I've never been in before: lowest numbers going into the hospital, longest hospital stay on record by two weeks, and lowest numbers ever coming out of the hospital. It's on me now. How am I going to respond?

(There are other ways in which CF has affected the body which I am not writing down today because I can only comment on my experience. If you have CF and are reading this, please drop me a note and tell me some of the "side affects" that I have missed.)