Friday, July 22, 2011

Multiple choice

1. I'm writing this post from: 

a. a jacuzzi on the sun deck of a fancy yacht, somewhere in the Caribbean.
b. a high-rise suite with my husband beside me, sipping wine and happily celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary (which was yesterday).
c. a hospital bed because I've come down with yet another lung infection.

2. I've spent most of the past four days:

a. mastering the art of javelin-throwing.
b. making the preparations necessary to protect myself and my family in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse. You can never be too cautious.
c. catching up on some sleep/pacing my room/walking the halls/working on a few crafts/basically anything to keep my mind from shriveling up like a dried out jellyfish.

3. The most interesting part of my stay so far has been:

a. the crazy woman screaming profanities in French then trying to strangle her nurse.
b. Sushi Thursday! (Hospital sushi? Surprisingly not bad.)
c. surprise visits and phone calls from friends/meeting new friends.


If you guessed mostly c's you are correct! (I suppose any answer on number 3 would be acceptable.) So, in case you didn't guess or haven't already heard, I'm back in the hospital. I've actually been here since Monday. I haven't posted about it yet because... well, because quite frankly there are only so many ways a person can say I'm in the hospital... again before it becomes yesterdays old, boring news.

I will likely be here through all of next week as well. We're doing things a little differently this time, changing my meds up a bit to target a strain of bacteria that hasn't been treated very aggressively in the past. I'm hopeful that THIS will be the stay that gets me out of this rut I've been in and keeps me out of the hospital for a while. My new meds  include one called Rifampin which is known for making a person's bodily fluids (pee, spit, tears, etc.) turn reddish-orange. Can you guess what I did the first time I saw my neon orange urine?

a. Screamed then brought a nurse in for a second opinion.
b. Tried to remember what I'd eaten that could possibly turn my pee THAT color.
c. Took a picture with my cell phone and sent it to my cousin Niki.

Friday, July 15, 2011

What you don't see

One of the many frustrating things about cystic fibrosis is that the symptoms of an infection (even a very serious one) are not easily recognized by most people. It's easy to make assumptions about someone when you don't know the whole story.

It's easy to make sarcastic comments about me "changing brands" or "switching to filters" when you hear me cough because you can't see the infection raging in my lungs.

When I suddenly lose several pounds, it's probably easy to assume I have an eating disorder. You don't know the way my body struggles to absorb nutrients; you can't tell that the meds I've been on have made me too sick to keep any food down.

It's easy to assume that I'm lazy when you see the constant state of disaster my house is in. What you don't know is that by the end of the day my body is usually too exhausted to do housework. You can't see the way my heart wants to beat out of my chest every time I vacuum or feel the shortness of breath I feel when I move laundry from the washer to the dryer.

The fact that I come to work with a forced smile on my face must mean that I feel fine, right? You may not be so quick to assume that if you could see my 102 degree fever or the generous amounts of ibuprofen I've been popping every four hours just so I can work through the pain.

And I guess it's easy to believe that the half-truths you tell and hurtful things you say about me will never make their way back to me. And even if they do, it's not like I'll care that much since this is all just a show I'm putting on, right? But you'll never see the tears your words have caused.

There's just so much you don't see.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Let's catch up, shall we?

I've started writing several posts in the past week, but needless to say none of them have been published. So now, rather than try to finish several posts, I'm going to compile them here and give you a quick summary of what's been going on.

Our Fourth of July was great. I hope yours was, too.


Several of you have asked for an update on The Monster House. A couple weeks ago we had someone take a look at her, more specifically the area in the kitchen we believed was the source of the mold. The gentleman was very encouraging and told us not only where to start, but also exactly what we needed to do to eradicate the mold. This past weekend we FINALLY got around to working on it. (Well not me specifically, but you know what I mean.)

I couldn't stop staring at this cute guy with the respirator.
Shhh, don't tell my husband.

My Dad

They enclosed their work area with plastic then set a giant
fan outside the window, creating a wind tunnel.
There is some good news and some bad news. The good news is that  there was minimal mold. The bad news is that there was minimal mold. We were expecting to open the ceiling and find TONS of mold, which could explain why I've been struggling so much lately. The tiny amount we did find was not enough to blame my recent health issues on. In fact, there currently is a brick of cheese in my fridge with more mold on it. So they started tearing holes in other random walls, hoping to find something. No luck. The mold just wasn't there. But I understand tearing my house apart was pretty fun for the guys.

We are now in the process of trying to target other possible triggers and eliminate them. The next step will be to replace some of our old carpet with wood laminate flooring (something we've been wanting to do for a while now, anyway). I'm also pursuing some allergy testing, but since the allergy clinic is an hour and a half away and I've used all my personal and vacation time for hospital stays (thanks for that one, CF) I have to wait until I have a day off work to go do that.

I'm currently fighting a cold that Morgan picked up who knows where and oh-so-generously shared with me. She's a real sweetheart like that. Right now it's nothing to worry about, but my recent history would suggest that it may turn into something bigger. Lately, a "cold" is all it takes to land me in the hospital. I'm even more concerned this time around because I haven't been feeling up to par since my last hospitalization. I guess we'll see how it goes.

How has YOUR summer been so far?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Before reading this, you MUST pick a side

Here's the scene: we're at the Fourth of July celebration at the city park. There are fourteen thousand people in line with us at the Shaved Ice Shack. Shylee's standing to the side of me, Morgan in my arms. It's hot. The girls are fussy. There are literally sweat beads running from my forehead down to my neck. We've been waiting in line for about 10 minutes and I swear on everything that is holy and pure that they served ONE snow cone that entire time. Did I mention it was hot?

Two kids - a boy, about 10, and a girl, maybe 7 - get in line behind us. It appears that they know the boy who has been standing in front of us... in the heat... in the slowest moving line ever. The pools of sweat under my boobs are now so large, there is talk about moving the location of the mud volleyball tournament to my chest.

"Hey," the boy behind says to the boy in front, "can me and my sister cut in front of you? We're dying here, it's so hot!"

Like a good boy, he said no. I wanted to go find his mother and personally congratulate her on raising a kid with morals.

I don't know for sure how much time passed (I did see one more snow cone leave the shack so I'm guessing it was about 20 minutes or so) but at one point Adam turns to me and says, "They did it anyway." I looked in front of me to see the little boy and his sister standing there AHEAD OF US. Oh yes, they did.

Now had it been just Adam and I standing there, I honestly wouldn't have cared that they snuck in front of us. Pick your battles, I always say. However I had two hot, sweaty, quickly-losing-their-patience girls with me who had been waiting in line for, I don't know, six or seven days now. My mascara was running. Shylee was complaining that her hair was getting sunburned. This was no time to be complacent.

So I bent down far enough to ensure that my face would be uncomfortably near the little boy's when I spoke, then I tilted my sunglasses down just enough so my eyes were peeking over the top (you moms know exactly what look I'm talking about) and I said with raised eyebrows, "Excuse me. Did you cut in front of us, or are you just talking to your friend?"

"Uh... um... well...." he stammered.

"Because," I interrupted him before he had a chance to make an excuse, "it isn't very kind to cut in front of people in line."

"Well it's just really hot and my sister and me are really thirsty," he said.

"It is hot, isn't it? We're really thirsty too because we've been waiting in line a VERRRY LONG time. Sometimes it's not fun to wait our turn, but it's the only fair thing to do, huh? So I was just wondering if you were planning on going back to your place in line when you're done talking to your friend."

His eyes were wide with fear (according to Adam, anyway - I think it was the look of guilt). He was silent for a moment then quietly said, "Okay... I guess you can go ahead."

Now, here's where I need your opinion: Adam says this was incredibly rude of me - to scare the poor boy that way. I think it was important for him (and my own kids) to learn that cutting in line isn't the right thing to do. Although I'm sure he'll do it again when the opportunity arises, at the very least he may give it a second thought. So, I think I win this one.

What's really important here is that I get one up on my husband. Whether or not I handled the situation perfectly, the simple fact that I ignored my initial instinct to swat the little shit across the back of the head and tell him to GO TO THE BACK OF THE LINE puts me at least one point ahead, right?