Friday, February 22, 2013

It's Got You!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Sunny Days & Snow

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 brother-in-law's birthday and first week in a new job. Ronnie's brother, Andrew, had a big week this week - a birthday and a new job. Ronnie has the best brothers and I couldn't be more thankful for Andrew being another year older and to have found a fabulous job!! 

I'm thankful for a good night's sleep. Mckenna is back into her normal sleeping habits after a 2 week blip of random wakings and being sick. I am thankful that I am able to sleep again, but I am even more thankful that she's getting good sleep. I always know when she's well rested and I know she likes feeling well rested!

I'm thankful for sunny days. We had some warm days over the weekend and beginning of the week, and it was fabulous. We were able to play outside for hours each day this weekend and it was fun for the whole family. Mckenna totally loves playing outside, and it makes for a fun-filled day for all of us. We had a picnic, played with water, played with bubbles, you name it!

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful for cereal. I've been super into cereal lately and I'm not exactly sure why. I don't even eat it for breakfast (that's usually eggs and granola over yogurt) but have had it for lunch and/or dinner more than a few times over the past couple of weeks. My favorite cereal right now? Raisin Bran!

I'm thankful for snow. As many of you know (because it was national news), it snowed yesterday here in Phoenix. I wasn't able to witness it first-hand as it didn't snow in my area, but I thought it was cool to see all of the pictures and videos that friends posted. I also saw some snow falling off of cars heading down the freeway!

I'm thankful for my snuggle bunny (my little one). Mckenna has been super snuggly lately and I can't get enough of it. She's also been a big time Daddy's girl which I must admit, feels pretty nice. I can't imagine it lasting much longer :)

So, what are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Happy Birthday Andrew!!

One of my little brothers, Andrew, is turning 23 today!! I am so proud of him for so many reasons, but here are some that come to mind...

He's always feared God.
He's always been extremely loyal as a brother, son and friend.
He's always worked very hard in school since the day he started.
He always played the game he loved (basketball) with passion.
He's always willing to lend out a helping hand.
He's a great brother-in-law to Mandi.
He's putting in time with Mckenna every week to try to win the title of "favorite uncle" ;)
He graduated from U of A in 3 years.
He obtained his Master's degree in Family and Marriage Therapy by the age of 22.
He continues to do what's right over what's convenient.

Anyway, I love you and I'm proud of you Andrew.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Precautions for MRSA

I had a clinic appointment yesterday in which I found out that in my last sputum sample, I cultured MRSA. This was a HUGE blow as MRSA in one of my biggest fears. I've also gone almost a year without a hospitalization (normally I'm doing at least twice a year visits) because I've been extremely compliant and my PFTs had been steadily increasing, so it was kind of a shock to hear that I got it, but not from the hospital. I did a quick CL search on MRSA and came across a question you responded to, and noticed that you have cultured MRSA yourself. Reading that was very calming, as it tells me that you can be healthy even if you have it.

I was hoping that you could answer a few questions based on your experience. You've mentioned before that your doctors said you didn't have to worry about avoiding babies or older individuals- is that true for brand newborns? Did you have to (or choose to) take any extra precautions when Mckenna was born? This is a major worry of mine because my cousins are all having babies that I would like to be able to hold and play with. I also hope to be able to try having children in the somewhat near future, and, although the situation is a tad different considering I would be the one carrying the pregnancy, it would be comforting to hear from a CF parent with MRSA about their experience. Another major concern that I have is that my brother Brian, who also has CF, doesn't have MRSA. I asked my doctor about precautions, as I will be seeing him at Christmas, and he said that we should avoid hugging, but that mask wearing isn't as crucial. Do you have any suggestions there? As much as it's difficult for me to accept that I can't hug my brother the few times I get to see him, I plan to do follow his suggestion, and I have considered wearing a mask anyway, just to be safe.


Culturing anything new is never what we want to hear, but as you've seen me say already - not the end of the world. Of course everyone reacts differently to various bacterias, but I've been told that many US doctors don't believe that MRSA is a huge deal nor has a major impact on the lungs. They feel differently in Europe, but that's neither here nor there.

My lung function started to decline before I contracted MRSA due to "being responsible for my own health" and making poor decisions. I've had MRSA for about 10 years now, but through better adherence and an increase in treatments and exercise, I've been able to increase my lung function back to where it was 10 years ago. It's hard to know if MRSA has had any impact whether it be on lung function or "recovery time".

To answer your questions....
1. I asked as many doctors as I could and they all said the same thing - I did not have to worry about being around my newborn daughter. They said the only people that I would have to take precaution around would be those with no immune system (ie, chemo patients).
2. We did not take any special precautions with Mckenna.
3. A mask would only be useful if you are actively coughing. Otherwise, no contact and not coughing/talking in his direction should be enough.

I wouldn't worry a whole lot about it. Just continue kicking butt by taking care of yourself and discuss with your brother what would make him the most comfortable.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Another Successful Half Marathon

Happy Monday, Y'all! Where did this week go? It seems to have flown by.

Alright, enough water cooler chatter, here's my week rundown on my workouts. I'm happy to announce that I feel like I nailed it this week. Monday through Thursday I did exactly what I hoped. I did some sort of strength training and some sort of cardio each day! Then Friday and Saturday I didn't do much because I could still feel muscles from earlier in the week and I didn't want to go into Sunday's race with sore muscles. So I was really happy with the week.

The race was an hour away. So my mom and I got up and each left the house by 4:45am. From the parking location, it was a 25 minute bus ride to the start. Holy moly, I can tell you it plays with your mind a bit riding that long on a bus, knowing that you were just driven from the finish line to the starting line...and that you'd be running back!

That race started at 7:30am, so we waited a bit at the start line because it was go time. When the race started we both felt a bit stiff. Man oh man was I happy I rested Friday and Saturday (beyond just running around outside with Mckenna) because I was not feeling too great at the start. My joints ached because it was chilly and my muscles all felt tight. We started out pretty strong. Despite questioning our pace at the beginning because people seemed to be going WAY faster than us, we were doing a 9 minute mile pace, so we knew we could pay attention to how fast it felt others were going. This time we hadn't set out with a plan, but knowing my mom, and her knowing me, neither of us mentioned walking when we hit mile 4 like last time...I think we both wanted to beat our time from last month, but neither of us said it out loud (isn't that right, mom?!) We didn't walk until we hit mile 6, and even then, we just walked through the water stop as we drank, and then started running right away again. We both were feeling it around mile 6-7. My mom's butt was cramping up on her (she's had problems with it and it acted up last race too) and my knee was starting to throb. We both just pushed through. Every two miles there was a water stop, so at mile 8 and 10 we walked through the water stops. At mile 11, mom's butt started killing her, so we walked for a minute or so, and she decided just to push through, so push we did. At mile 12.5, there was a GIANT hill to go over an overpass and we walked again for about 30 seconds to give mom's butt another stretch before the final push. I am happy to say that I pushed it through the finish line at 2:03:36 seconds!! About 30 seconds/mile faster than last month's half marathon! All in all, it was a great race, and believe it or not, a PR for me!! Looks like not training is a good strategy for me?! Ha! I kid...we both kept commenting that we really need to start actually training for them! It was not comfortable like the last one was. In fact, it pretty much sucked the whole second half...but goodness I am thankful we kept pushing and finished well!

There were a couple things I witnessed during the race that warmed my heart and made me believe in the goodness of people. First, around mile 8, I noticed 2 cute little girls in front of us, no older than 13 (yes, there were kids ahead of us HA!). They were tiny and adorable, and running just them, not adult in sight. One girl looked strong and confident when I first saw them. The other looked tired. The tired girl would stop and walk for a minute or two, and then sprint to catch up with her friend. Well after a while of this, I noticed them again, this time, strong girl was holding weak girl's if she was trying to help take some of her load off. It was the sweetest thing to watch. They made such an adorable duo. The best part, they finished together, holding hands! The other thing that restored my faith in people was the other kind of encouragement, through words, that I heard. One that we experienced was at mile 12.5, when we went to walk for a few to stretch mom's butt out, as soon as we slowed to a walk we heard two men about 100 yards behind us yell, "Don't stop. Come on!" when we continued to walk to hollered again. Thanks to their encouragement, we decided just to forget the tushy and keep running...thank you guy 1 and guy 2! Pride is a beautiful thing sometimes - Ha. I kid!

If you have never done a race before and want to get into running. Do a race!! I can tell you that running can get boring and seem pointless, but I promise as soon as you finish your first race, you will be hooked. The feeling. The people. The excitement. It makes you want more, more, more! Even if you haven't been training, just go walk a 5K to get a feel. It will push you to want to run and do it again! As for us, we will be looking for another race to do soon...perhaps with some legit training first :)

Oh's us before the race!