Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Hospitals & Views

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. Please take this time to share with us what you're thankful for as well. If you have a blog expressing your thankfulness, please share the link! Without further ado, here's what we're thankful for:

Mandi's List:

I'm thankful for my parents. With Ronnie in for a tune-up, I'm been blessed to get to spend a lot of time with my parents and have their help with Mckenna. I am SO thankful they're back.

I'm thankful for hospitals. It's not ideal that Ronnie is getting a tune-up, but my goodness am I thankful that there are hospitals and CF care to take care of my hubby.

I'm thankful for a smart husband. Ronnie knows what to take care of himself. He doesn't want to be away from Mckenna and I, and I know he hates putting his life of hold. However, I am so thankful that he does. It's important to nip whatever he has going on in the bud before it has time to permanently affect his health. I'm thankful that he knows that and does what he needs to do!

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful for the cavalry. Like I wrote about yesterday, I just feel so blessed to have my CF team behind me and to have access to great medical facilities. I've been coming to this hospital since I was 6 months old and it truly feels like a home away from home. Can't wait to get back to being on top of my game!

I'm thankful for dry cereal. I won't be eating 5 meals a day while here in the Hole, so its a good thing that I have some snacks around. The cereals of the day currently are Life and Frosted Flakes. I probably should watch my intake however because I could easily down the box in one sitting.

I'm thankful for a nice view. The key to being a patient at UMC is to have a room with north exposure. That way, you get to see the beautiful Catalina Mountains off in the distance and enjoy some of the other scenery. I'm always pleased when I land on this side of the Hole.

So, what are you thankful for today?

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.

Monday, January 7, 2013

First Night Apart

This weekend was a big weekend from Mckenna, Mommy and Dada. Mckenna spent her first night away from home without us!!

Ronnie and I got tickets to the UA basketball game on Saturday from one of my co-workers (THANKS MELANIE!) so we asked my parents to watch Mckenna for the day. They took us up on the request and offered one take her OVERNIGHT, so we didn't have to hurry home from the game. We, of course, took them up on it.

Saturday morning after Mckenna's first nap, Nana and Papi came and picked her up. As soon as they left, Ronnie and I hit the road for Tucson. It felt strange. It was weird to be in the car together, without Mckenna. It was strange leaving for the day and not worrying about nap time, toddler-friendly activities, or getting home for bath and bedtime. It was weird, but really nice. Mckenna LOVES her Nana and Papi and is more than comfortable with them and being at their house. So I didn't worry about her one bit, which helped make the day even more enjoyable.

Mckenna, Nana and Papi went on an adventure to a stone store (AKA an errand that Nana and Papi needed to run, but they dressed it up as a fun activity), stopped for lunch at McDonalds for Mckenna to have her first happy meal, and went home just in time for her nap. After her nap, they snuggled up and watched a movie, had dinner, and then it was bath and bedtime. Mckenna slept like a champ and when she woke up they watched toy story (and by they I mean Nana and Papi...Mckenna had the attention span of a gnat, so she played, but Nana and Papi realized they LOVE Pixar Movies. HA!) Then it was they had breakfast, went to church, took a nap, had lunch, and then I went and picked her up. I knew she was totally fine when I got there and I was chopped liver because she was too excited about helping Nana with a chore she was doing! Success!

Meanwhile, Ronnie and I hopped in the car, drove to Tucson, grabbed a slice of pizza (which was awesome), enjoyed the game, grabbed Chinese food, and headed home. Unfortunately, the Chinese food MAYBE wasn't the freshest because I spent some of the night on the bathroom floor. Strangely enough I never actually puked, just had a gnarly upset stomach. So I didn't quite get the refreshing night sleep I was anticipating. But thankfully, this morning I woke up feeling awesome, so Ronnie and I organized our third car garage, and then I headed up to get Mckenna while Ronnie finished up the organizing. Success!!

Thankfully the whole experience was incredibly positive for all parties involved!

Here are some pictures (and a video) so you can get a taste of the weekend:

Mckenna trying her "overnight bag" on for size. She's pretty excited about it!

Us on our way to Tucson, we look pretty excited!

Mckenna sizing up her Happy Meal

Washing down the grease with Nana's help.

 Heading into Nana and Papi's carrying her very full overnight bag! She looks SO old!!

Ronnie EXCITED about seeing his Cats play!

We look a little tired...we're not used to all this fun!

The garage in progress. We put together those before we started, ALL those boxes and bins were all over the floor. If you think it looks bad here, you would have puked if you saw it before!

...And just to prove we've still got it...and by "it" I mean no shame!