Friday, May 13, 2011

Boy or Girl? 15 Week Ultrasound

So what do you think, boy or girl??

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Itches & Girl Power

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 for fellowship. I'll be honest, I used to be the biggest social butterfly you've ever met. But as I've aged, I've turned the other way and actually avoid random chit chat as much as possible. However, whenever I'm actually at a social gathering, I really enjoy myself. This has been exactly the case with our small group. We meet every other Wednesday, and I always really enjoy our time with the couples in our small group. The conversation is always thought-provoking and I truly enjoy all the other couples in the group. I am so thankful to have a great group of people at our church to be in fellowship with. Also, Tuesday night for the first time a group of woman from my church got together to just hang out, and I am so thankful for the time we spent together, and incredibly thankful that we're going to continue getting together every other Tuesday.

I'm thankful that I've stopped being hungry ALL the time. The first trimester of my pregnancy I felt like I could eat a 6 course meal ALL day, every day. And as I gained a little more weight than I was "supposed to" I was a little worried. However, I have stopped feeling like I needed to stuff my face all day, so I think I'm eating quantities of food that are far healthier for me and for peanut.

I'm thankful for popcorn. I've always loved popcorn, and it always hits the spot. But I often don't think of it when I'm looking for a snack. However, I rediscovered my love of popcorn last night, and MAN am I thankful for that salty, buttery treat!!!

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful for new connections made this week. It's seems like every week I am fortunate enough to talk to a couple new people from the CF community who I have previous not been able to speak at length before. I love getting the opportunity to connect on a deeper level and have the ability to share stories with each other. Every week is pretty awesome, but some connections that I've made this week are super awesome.

I'm thankful for my spur of the moment "itches to do something". I'm the type of person that if I get the urge to so something, I do it. Now, sometimes this is terrible and sometimes this is good. This week it was good. I had the sudden urge to clean our "catch-all closet". I'm sure that most of you know what I'm talking about. You know, that closet (or room) that collects everything that you don't have a place for. Well this week, I got the urge. As of right now it's not completely clean, but I'll tell you what, it look 1000 times better than it did on Monday!

I'm thankful for doctors that listen. During my last clinic visit I presented my doc with an new (but old) medication that I wanted to try out after hearing some good things about it on Without hesitation the doctor agreed to look it up and figure out the best way for me to get it. Within a week I was on my way to pick it up from the pharmacy. Thank you Dr. Daines!!

I'm thankful for the members of CysticLife. We were made aware today by the company that handles our server that was coming close to using up all of it's allotted memory. What a great problem to have! Basically, being too active on the site is both bad and good...well bad until we can upgrade our server :) For the time being the site will have slower response time (we were able to make a few adjustments to improve response time today), but we're well on our way to making the necessary upgrades. What an awesome problem to have huh?!?!?

So, what are you thankful for today?

50 Day Hospital Stay

Question from a reader:

What was the cause of the 50 day hospital stay? Have you always exercised? I did but then stopped being obsessive about it which is when I started having problems. I think I probably had an infection that I let go too long and damaged my lung. (Stubborn, stubborn, stubborn).
My Answer:

My girlfriend (now wife) and I went to China for 3 weeks and while I was there I caught some weird chest cold. We were all sick and I thought I had fully recovered but then my last couple of days there I started coughing up a ton of blood (1/2 a cup to a cup for 3 days in a row). I stopped my DNASE and Vest as I usually do with a bleed and of course my lungs suffered for that. By the time I got back to the states I couldn't walk more than 50 yards without taking a break and I was SATing in the low 80's (my "true" SAT ended up being in the 70's determined by blood gas). They wanted to intubate me in the ER but I refused and had them put me on Bi-Pap. I spent 3-4 days in ICU and then 47-48 on the floor. It was nuts! It was also a huge wake up call. I had put my health on the back burner to try to do as much as I could with the various projects I had going. I was also traveling a lot so my treatments often got pushed off.

As far as working out and exercising, it's always been a part of my life. I played sports (football, basketball, baseball, soccer) from when I was 6 or so until I entered college. I then got right into coaching football so I would often work out with the guys and I had to remain active to coach. I left coaching in 2004 and I started to become less active. I would start working out again and it would last 2 or 3 months but then I would find all sorts of excuses to stop. I have been on a pretty consistent hospital plan since highschool and I don't think I've waited too long to go in very often. I realize that I have to go in and get a tune-up to continue living the lifestyle that I am accustomed to. Up until two years ago I've averaged about 90 days a year for the last 3 years prior and 75 days 3 years before that and so on. In highschool I went in for about 30 days a year. I try not to be too stubborn when it comes to that cause I know that the damage done can sometimes be irreversible.

Since recommitting myself to increased treatments and consistent exercise I've knocked my average hospital stay time in half and also increased my lung function. You can find my PFT history on RSBR, but as a quick snapshot - I steadily declined from an FEV1 of about 75% since 2003 until I hit rock bottom to an FEV1 in the high 20's in 2009 (this was not my baseline at the time but what I had after my trip to China - my baseline in 2008 was around 55% or so). I've now been able to get my baseline back up over 70% and feel like I have literally turned back the clock almost 10 years!

Thanks for the questions, keep em coming!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Foot be a-Healin'!!!

I've been operating on a bad wheel for about the past month now but fortunately my exercising hasn't stopped. Soon after I got out of the hospital I went for a long run and since then my foot hasn't been the same. I had my lung doctor look at it (who also happens to be a runner) and she said that it sounded/looked a lot like plantar fasciitis. I've had foot problems since I started running so this was nothing new, it was just a bummer that it happened so soon after my hospital stay. I had started running in new shoes so we figured that could have been contributing towards the problem. Her recommendation was that I rested it as much as possible and stretch it from time to time. Since then my morning walks have been scarce (to rest my foot) and I've mostly been doing an exercise bike or my bicycle for workouts. But after a month of no running I'm definitely chomping at the bit to get back on the treadmill or street. This is definitely one of those classic cases of "you don't know what you've got until it's gone".

Yesterday, for my workout, I decided to walk at a decent pace on the treadmill. Like I said before, I'm usually on the exercise bike which doesn't put any weight on my foot so getting on the treadmill can always be interesting. I've been on the treadmill since injuring my foot but I've always kept it at a very slow pace (almost just letting the treadmill act as a stretching mechanism for my foot). Yesterday was different however. I continued to push up the pace until it got uncomfortable to keep up with it. And it wasn't my foot that was holding me back, but just my natural walking pace. I ended up walking for about 45 min. with minimal pain or discomfort in my foot (about 2.5 miles). This is the most positive sign in the last month and it's making me hopeful that I may be able to run again soon.

I ended up going back to my old running shoes as the new ones may have been contributing to the problem. I don't plan on going back to the new ones unless it's completely necessary. Now Mandi will tell you it is in fact necessary because I'm missing part of my shoe on the old ones, but my feet felt great after walking in them so they'll stay. The mistake I made in purchasing my new shoes was actually getting a half size bigger than my old ones. It's funny because the smallest things can really make a difference in running shoes. When I started running over two years ago I was in the absolutely wrong shoes for me and after most of my runs I couldn't physically walk without shooting pains in my shins, knees and hips. After getting fitted with proper shoes all the pain went away and I was able to run with ease...well, ease in my book.

Just thought I'd fill you guys in on what's going on with me, exercising and my hopeful return to running. I've been fortunate that my lung function has actually gone up since getting out of the hospital (61% to 73%), but I'm sure a lot of that has to do with continued treatments and getting in any kind of exercise that I can. I've also been doing breathing exercises each and every morning before I get out of bed. Who knows if that has anything to do with my increased lung function but I can tell you that I feel much better and my lungs feel open before I even set foot on the ground in the morning. I would recommend that everyone at least give it a shot. I know for me I have a ton of mucus that just sits there overnight while I'm sleeping and doing those breathing exercises gets everything moving around.

That's it for my exercise update. If you're the praying type keep my foot in mind and if you're not...well then I guess you're not. Any good thoughts, shout outs, well-wishes, or anything else that you can think of that has to do with my foot will be appreciated!

Monday, May 9, 2011

1/2 Mother's Day

We had a jam-packed weekend; full-o-fun. We were down in Tucson Friday night, Saturday and Sunday morning. Friday night we enjoyed dinner with a few of our co-workers/friends, and then enjoyed hanging out with Ronnie's family a bit.

Then Saturday we enjoyed a morning with Ronnie's Grandma and Aunt Mary and then went to breakfast with Ronnie's brothers. Next up was a bridal shower for Ronnie's cousin, which was a blast. For each of his family members, Ronnie's mom and her sisters throw what they call an "Auntie Shower". And these ladies always do an unbelievable job. This shower was "beachy" since their wedding is in June, on the beach in Mexico. It was a blast, as all the Auntie Showers are.

After the shower Ronnie, his brothers, and I ran around getting stuff for Mother's Day (obviously for his mother!) And after the errands were over, it was time to get cleaned up and ready for a CysticLife fundraiser that we had. Our web guru, Mike, organized the whole event and it was a HUGE success. We were thrilled to see it all come together and look forward to this event in years to come (right, Mike ;-) !!)

And after what felt like a very short night of sleep, it was MOTHER'S DAY (or 1/2 Mother's Day as Ronnie and I celebrated it for this little momma to be). Ronnie, his brothers and I made breakfast for their mom. We enjoyed some blueberry pancakes, watermelon, and scrambled eggs. After a nice meal, we packed up, and headed up back home.

The rest of the day we spent laying around - and it was FABULOUS! I had a bit of an upset stomach Saturday night and all of Sunday, so laying around and napping was just what the doctor ordered. Ronnie and I didn't want to celebrate Mother's Day for me this year, since peanut isn't here yet, so instead we celebrated 1/2 Mother's Day. And while we didn't officially celebrate, Ronnie spoiled me all day by doing laundry, waiting on me, and showering me with praise - it was the best 1/2 Mother's Day anyone could ask for.

And while Ronnie already wished everyone a happy Mother's Day, I want to take a second to give my mom a specific Mother's Day shout out, since I wasn't able to spend the day with her (and between you and me, I didn't get her anything either because we'd probably need to take out a second mortgage on our house to pay for shipping!) Luckily my dad picked up the slack and spoiled her all day for me and my brother. But in case she didn't feel the love enough: Momma - Happy Mother's Day! You were the best mom, and have set the bar very high for me. I hope I can be half the mom you are.

So how did you celebrate Mother's Day?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Momma's Day

A big shout out to the special mommas and mommas-to-be in my life! Also a big thank you to all of the mommas out there in the CF community. A lot of cysters and fibros rely on you to "bring it" every single day and many of you continue to knock it out of the park! Being a momma is special, but being a CF momma is SUPER special as you have a lot more riding on the outcome of your performance :)

HAPPY HAPPY MOMMA'S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!