Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fun-Filled Saturday

I've been charged with writing a blog today, and by charged I mean I told Ronnie I'd write one to give him a "day off", then totally forgot that I told him that, and then remembered again at about 10PM last night. So here I am - getting ready to throw up some thoughts on a page. I sat staring blankly for around 5 minutes. Deciding I needed to put an end to procrastinating, I began looking through pictures, hoping that would get my juices flowing and I'd magically have something awesome to say. Unfortunately for you, no juices are flowing and so I have nothing awesome to say.

So my go to when I'm blanking? Random update blogs. Who's ready for a random update blog giving a little look into our lives, totally unrelated to CF and totally unrelated to baby (I'll try at least)?

First things first, I'm really excited for today. This week we decided to participate in Bountiful Baskets, a co-op type deal for food. "Huh?" you're thinking. Yeah, that didn't make much sense, I'm certain that is not their catch phase: "Bountiful Baskets: your co-op for food." I'll do my best to explain what it is, but I have a feeling visiting their website will be much easier. You sign up and pay $15 on a Monday or Tuesday online, then Saturday morning (between 6AM and 6:20AM, I'm not joking) you go pick up a huge laundry basket of fruits and veggies, all grown in state or in neighboring states. Apparently it's a great way to get a lot of fruits and veggies at a great price. The downside is that you don't get to pick exactly what you want, the upside is you're forced to eat tons of fruits and veggies before it all goes bad! I'm really excited to see what we get in our basket today, and see how the whole process goes. We'll take pictures to show you our haul!

I'm also excited for today for a different reason. And that reason is RUNNING. I haven't been able to run since we started my stim meds back at the very beginning of February. But at our last ultrasound (dangit, I said ultrasound, does that count as baby talk?) my ovaries were checked out and the nurse said she didn't see any more cysts. I didn't specifically ask if that meant I could run, but considering that was the reason I was told not to, I decided that was the clearance I needed to start pounding the pavement again. It's been awhile, so I'll have to work back into it with a nice and easy run/walk for the first few days, but regardless, I'm thrilled. My goal is to get back to a point where I'm able to run around 3 miles, 3-4 times a week. We'll see what my body has in mind though.

Today is also a good day (man, this blog is turning into the theme "today rocks my socks"...I'll go with it) because we get to bake. Ronnie and I LOVE making desserts. My guess is it's eating them rather than actually the act of making them, but what's the difference, right? Anyways, for our Easter family get together, Ronnie and I are in charge of bringing the desserts, so we'll be making two different desserts today to bring with us to our Aunt Janna's easter shin dig on Sunday. I haven't finished pinpointing the recipes yet, but we'll post pictures of the process once we find the recipes and make the goods. My guess? One chocolatey, one fruity - can't go wrong with a little bit from both ends of the spectrum, right?

Annnnd that's about it. I hope you all have a fabulous Saturday as well. Leave us a comment and let us know what fun things you have going on today!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Week 12 Ultrasound

We had our 12 week ultrasound yesterday and just like every ultrasound before, it's a bit tense until you see the little heart beating. Fortunately this time we saw the heartbeat right away and even got to check out our baby's brain, spine, kidneys, etc. It still amazes me that a little human no different than me, just a bit smaller, is growing inside of my wife. Enjoy the video - it's truly amazing.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Energy & Motivation

Know what time it is? It's thankful Thursday time! We all have so much to be thankful for and we love to take this opportunity just to write down each and everything that comes to mind. as I mentioned, I no longer have the "linkytools" but I invite you to share your thankful blog in the comments section. Without further ado, here's what we're thankful for:

Mandi's List:

I'm thankful that we get to see peanut today. We are at week 12, so peanut should really be looking like a human these days and I'm really hopeful that he'll be moving all over the place. Plus, Ronnie wasn't as the last ultrasound, so I'm thankful that he'll be there and that he'll get to see our little peanut first hand, instead of through a video I made for him! I am so thankful that there's the technology to see my little baby while still in my belly.

I'm thankful that I have the energy to get up and walk every morning and to get a workout in in the afternoon. There are several days when the afternoon workout is dreadful, but I'm very thankful that I've had the energy and motivation to get to the gym. I find that working out helps me feel better about the climbing numbers on the scale.

I'm thankful that we got to spend time with Josh and Chrissy Tuesday night. We haven't had the chance to get together for the last few weeks since we've been traveling and they've been traveling, but Tuesday evening we went to their house for burgers and hot dogs and got to bond over some quality Wii sports competition. I always love time with them and am so blessed to have such a wonderful brother and sister-in-law!

I'm thankful for my husband's ability to make me feel loved, wanted, appreciated, and sexy. I'll be honest - gaining weight, getting a belly with no "baby belly", acne, bring super bloated etc etc have a way of making a girl feel a bit insecure. But my honey has been working overtime to compliment, encourage, and build me up. I am so blessed to have him!!! I'm just so thankful to have him in my life, and I'm so thankful that peanut will have such an incredible man as his/her daddy!

Ronnie's List:

I'm so thankful that Mandi and I have stayed motivated to workout. We've both had energy towards the end of the day to make it to the gym about 99% of the time that we're in town. Like I mentioned in yesterday's blog, it's certainly easier to stay motivated when you have a fine woman willing to work out next to you...and it's cool that Mandi is there too! (Like that one babe?)

I'm very thankful that my foot seems to be getting better. I was able to go on quite a few long walks while I was out of town, but I still am not to the point to where I'm ready to run. I really hope this progress continues because I get more and more jealous of the people on the treadmill every day that I see them.

I'm thankful that we get to celebrate Easter this weekend with the family. Mandi and I love hanging with any family that we can get and this weekend it happens to be the Tucson Crew. One of the things we're most excited about is being able to bring desert. We always try to come up with something creative and are still looking for some kick booty recipes. You guys have any suggestions?

So, what are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Who's (what's) Your Motivation??

I was going to name this post "Mandi the Motivator", but I thought it'd be more important for the 2 or 3 of you who are reading this right now to start thinking about yourself from the very get-go. When it comes to this CF life and going through the daily grind that we do, it's so important that we stay motivated. For the past 31 years my motivations have changed from being the best athlete I could be, to being a good big brother, to being the best husband I can be; the important thing is however, that for the most part, I've always had an external motivation. You'll hear a lot of people out there say, "you have to want to do it for yourself before you can want to do it for others". My honest opinion: HOGWASH. Not to offend my friends out there who believe that, but I just couldn't disagree more. When it comes down to it, it really doesn't matter who or what your motivation is as long as you're motivated. I think that any family member would agree that they would take their loved one being motivated by an external source over no motivation at all. It certainly helps to have a love for life and for yourself, but for the purposes of this conversation, it's not necessary.

[Now, let me tell you where a lot of them are coming from (which I do understand): Let's say that your girlfriend is you're one and only motivation and then you guys break-up. Now what? Is all of your motivation gone? Possibly. But if that time were to come, you better pull yourself up by the bootstraps and find another reason to kick butt (and it just may be yourself). Either that, or choose your motivations more wisely :) ]

I've written in blogs before that my wife and family are my motivation. That doesn't mean that a small part of me isn't committed to taking care of myself for me, but I can assure you that it is a very small part. For me, it's always been that way. Yeah I love my life. Yeah I love living. But I love the people in my life even more and they are the sole reason that I work as hard as I possibly can. When I look back on the best times of my life, they never involve me alone. They ALWAYS involve my friends and family. When it comes down to it, my only motivation is to be healthy enough to create more of those memories with the ones that I love.

Oh yeah, I have another motivation that will be here in 28 weeks...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

MRSA and Cystic Fibrosis continued...

Last week I posted an exchange between myself and a fellow community member regarding her child and MRSA (which can be found here). Many of you were very interested in the post and requested that I share stuff like that more often. The community member and I continued our conversation a bit so I thought I'd share with you the rest of what we discussed. Hopefully you find it useful and/or interesting.

About the MRSA. I am still confused. The nurses, RT, pharmacist and Dr all told us that lots of people carry the bacteria and dont even realize it. If it wasnt that our son had CF we wouldnt know he had it either. If it were any of our others kids if somehow we found out they tested positive for it they would probably treat them w/ antibiotics but if they continued to test + they wouldnt treat any further and wouldnt worry about it unless it caused problems. He said it wouldnt be anything I would have to disclose to the school district when he started either. (if the antibiotics fail and he remains + that is) One of the nurses said they havent seen an effect CF wise in patients who carry it. But they would like him not to have it so he had more options when it comes to antibiotics seeing MRSA is resistant to the penicillin family. They also said there are different strains of MRSA, there is hospital acquired which seems to be more difficult to eradicate and community acquired which has a better chance. I asked about the bleach baths again and he said we do have staph on our skin. Although MRSA likes the nasal and sinuses more, it is present on the skin also. By taking the bleach baths it just helps reduce the amount of bacteria present and helps the drugs do their job.

So, in one breath they make me feel like "no worries, lots of us have it...we're exposed to it all the time. Less than 1% of people actually show symptoms and have the boils/lesions. He'll be fine." Then the next breath though they are all dressed in gowns wearing gloves talking about how he'll have to be on isolation from now on until/if his cultures are negative for 3 consecutive months.

The Dr himself said he understands our confusion and that he agrees the medical field is kind of hypocritical when it comes to treating. One breath, no big deal, the next VERY big deal.

I asked about the rest of us getting tested. He said he thought it would be a waste of time, as they probably wouldnt treat us anyway. He also said that very recently they've started testing everyone who is admitted to the hospital especially for surgery for MRSA. If they test + then they treat them w/ antibiotics prior to surgery but then that's it. They do no follow up w/ that patient regarding the MRSA.

I was kind of peeved though for the fact I found out yesterday that at his Feb 8 clinic he did test + for staph. Not MRSA but a staph and not only did they not let me know that but they didnt do anything about it either. I asked him why not? and he said they dont treat for a staph unless he was sick which he wasnt. Dont get that though...isnt any/all staph not good? Whatever, cant do anything about that now either.

So, he is on Clindamycin and Rifampin (which is a dark red color) The Clindamycin is the yucky one...3xs/day for 10 days. Not going well. I went to Walgreens today and had them flavor it thinking maybe that would help but nope. Put a little in pure grape juice (they flavored w/grape) but nope. So I have to pin him down and try my best to get him to swallow it. The Rifampin doesnt smell like it would taste bad but he wont take that one either. AND that one stains like mad! I feel bad, he gets so totally pissed at me he doesnt even want me to hold him when he gets done. He runs to his big sister and makes her hold him:( He also has some ointment that we have to put in his nose 2x/s day for 7 days. Once he's done w/ these two antibiotics he'll get another refill on the Rifampin and then start Bactrim. He'll be on something for a total of 28 days.

As far as other people that carry MRSA - it is estimated that about, depending on who you believe, 30 to 70% of nurses in a hospital setting carry MRSA in their nose or on their skin. I think the best way to really grasp how it is different is to think of all these bacterias as completely different for a CFer. Like the docs said, MRSA hasn't been shown to do a lot of damage so far, so a lot of clinics treat it, or don't, like your docs do. The biggest difference is for the CF community it can get into our lungs because we don't have the ability to naturally clear our mucus as the rest of the population does. As I said before that's the key difference when it comes to all of these bacterias. So although many healthcare workers will have MRSA it never makes its way to their lungs because they can “naturally” fight it off. Like your medical team is saying it's not something that you have to disclose to the school district because it's not something that can spread to the general population from your son.

The “he'll be fine” attitude is very common in the CF community towards MRSA. It is true that more likely than not MRSA will not have a major impact on his health anytime soon (as far as studies have shown and what the American healthcare community believes). They were wearing gloves and gowns because it is of course better not to spread MRSA to other patients if they can avoid it. Even though it may only be a 1% chance to develop into skin lesions, they certainly don't want to take that chance with passing it on to others.

Confusion is expected. Remember that medicine is comprised of educated guesses. It's often the doctors that make the most correct educated guesses that are considered the best doctors :)

I agree that getting the rest of the family tested would in fact be a waste of time. If you wanted to take it upon yourself to do some bleach baths and some nasal washes it certainly wouldn't hurt, but it also wouldn't necessarily take the chances down to 0% that you would carry MRSA. Also keep in mind that your son may very well of not have gotten MRSA from your family and picked it up in clinic or out in the community, which is probably more likely.

Each clinic has a different response to staph. Some will treat aggressively right away and some will do what your clinic did - not treat unless symptoms are present. I would venture to guess that most CF clinics take the stance that your clinic does and that is not to bombard the body with antibiotics unless it's absolutely necessary. Not saying that I agree, just saying how it is.

I know it's tough for a little guy to understand but there will be a light at the end of the tunnel if he sticks with it. It can be so frustrating taking all of those meds but you just have to do the best you can with making them understand that as it is in fact all worth it (may be impossible with a 1 year old). I know you yourself can get frustrated, angry, disappointed and sad but make sure you always show him strength and commitment because that's exactly what he needs modeled from his parents.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Itty-Bitty Belly

It's been awhile since we've given you a pregnancy update. You've had several baby updates, but I figured I'd posted the promised belly shots and fill you in on me the lady carrying the beautiful little peanut.

I still am feeling pretty good. I am definitely less sleepy than I was in the first 8-10 weeks or so. However, I have experienced a tiny bit of nausea for the last 2 weeks. Nothing major and certainly nothing that can't be handled by eating something. I find that I most frequently get a little queasy when I'm hungry, but occasionally I'll get a bit of an upset stomach after I've just eaten. I haven't been nauseous enough vomit or even come close. So I would say I've been very fortunate and haven't really experience the type of morning sickness that many suffer from.

And while all these hormones haven't caused terrible morning sickness, they have wreaked havoc on my skin. My face is more broken out than it ever has been in my life. It drives me totally nutso, to be totally honest. Not only does it look horrific, but it actually itches most of the day. But as I say to Ronnie, I don't have much of a choice, so I just have to own it. I have just been washing it twice a day and have let it hang out for the world to see (aka don't wear makeup for fear of making it worse). I'm hopeful that I'll get a visit from the "pregnancy glow" fairy sometime at the beginning of my second trimester, but I am bracing myself to look like a hormonal teenager for another 6 months (gulp).

As you'll see from the belly shots, my belly is still pretty small. Definitely small and unnoticeable to someone I've never met. But believe me, it is bigger than it was pre-pregnancy (my jeans show it all too well by my inability to button them)! My belly is about the size it was when I was bloated. So I bloated, deflated, and now I think any belly is from peanut.

As for my weight, I promised to post it - a decision I may eventually regret. I may ask you to never speak of these numbers again and to keep them just between us ;-) I am a 1 day shy of 12 weeks and am up 5 lbs (give or take a pound depending on the day). This puts me a little above some of the recommended 1-3 you read on some sites, but I'm not too worried since some say 3-5 during the first trimester...I just need to hold steady for another 2 weeks! I am hoping the ever growing numbers on the scale get easier to digest once there's a legit baby bump to blame.

That's about it. Check out the belly shots below!

8 weeks
Weight Gain: 4 lbs

9 Weeks
Weight Gain: 4 lbs

10 weeks
Weight Gain: 5 lbs

11 weeks
Weight Gain: 5 lbs