Archive | November 2011

Amazing Thanksgiving Weekend!

I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had much time to write over the past few days.  I feel like so much has happened this weekend, and I needed a day to take it all in.

Thanksgiving was incredible.  Wednesday evening was spent with my parents, my sister, her fiance, and his two little girls.  They are adorable and we had fun doing crafts, playing Christmas bingo, and being entertained by all the wonderfully humorous musings of children.  We stayed entirely too late and I ended up getting just a few hours of sleep before we had to head off on Thanksgiving morning to my mother-in-law’s house.

Our second Thanksgiving was just as enjoyable, if not more so, than our first.  We all had a fantastic time, ate delicious food, and David and I got to spend time with our adorable niece (almost 2) and nephew (1.5). We also played UNO for a few hours, set up the Christmas tree, and listened to my favorite kind of music . . . Christmas music!!

David’s brother also helped us set up a more realistic and easier budget which showed us the importance of me getting a job next year as our insurance copays and medication costs will be doubling and we will be losing money each month.  We were really trying to keep me from working as it limits my exposure and keeps me healthier, but we can’t afford to do it this coming year.

I had been looking into jobs, but the budget made me realize that we had NO choice.  Surprisingly, I ended up getting an interview on Monday for a caregiver position for a 2.5 year old little girl.  I figure it will limit my exposure to just one child which is better than subbing for me.  I ended up getting the job and will only be working Thursdays for now.  In the spring it will more than likely turn into 4 days, 5 hours each day which will give us more than enough to keep us afloat.

There have been so many blessings that it’s hard to count them this past week.  I am so grateful for the chance to work again and be able to help our family financially.  I also am grateful for my husband and the hard work he continuously does to ensure I stay healthy and happy.  I couldn’t have married a kinder, more caring man that’s for sure.

Unfortunately tonight I had more blood in my mucus.  I have been doing really well, but tonight after clearing my throat and then coughing I brought up a nickel sized amount.  It worried me, but I’m also wondering if it’s from my nose (draining down my throat) as it has been cold and dry here.  If it happens once more, I’m calling the doctor that’s for sure.  I think it’s so difficult for CFers to walk the line between being too cautious and not cautious enough.  It’s a constant juggling act.

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend, and I also wish you all a blessed and happy week ahead.

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Two Thanksgivings = One Very Happy Belly!

Wow, it’s hard to believe that Turkey day is finally upon us! For the past 5 years now, David and I have been enjoying two Thanksgiving dinners every year.  It’s really the best way go about the holidays if you ask us because we get to experience each holiday we love twice!

This year, we will be spending the day before Thanksgiving with my family.  My parents are making turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, cranberry casserole, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, homemade potato rolls, and I’m bringing corn casserole and strawberry fluff.  My mom is also taking the time to make a pecan pie which ought to be quite delicious as my mom is a pretty good baker!  For those of you who do not live in the United States, it’s probably hard to fathom this much food for a small family get together.  It’s a lot of preparation and dedication in order to get it all on the table in time, and we always feel bloated and tired a few hours after enjoying our meal.  Despite the work, it’s worth it when you bite into that savory turkey! Thankfully, I’m enjoying two meals without any of the work (other than  little bit of clean-up)!!!

Actual Turkey day will be spent with David’s mother, his brothers, their wives, and their children, and his great-aunt. It should be a fantastic day filled with more good food and lots of enjoyment with our 1 1/2 year old nephew and almost 2 year old niece.  My mother-in-law always goes above and beyond with Thanksgiving as well.  We usually have a very similar menu to the one my parents make, but she also makes an amazing lasagna or mac % cheese every year as well. Absolutely delicious.  Usually we spend the majority of the day there afterward just hanging out with the family, and I’m looking forward to it this year!

As we get so very close to Thanksgiving, I want to share two things that I am grateful for today.  The first wonderful blessing was a visit from my college roommate who also happens to be one of my best friends.  She is one of the best women in the world, and I am so blessed to have gotten to know her as well as I have over the years.  A couple of years ago, she moved away from Illinois with her husband and therefore only makes occasional trips back here.  She is in town for her birthday this year, and she took the time out of her schedule to stop by, have dinner, and just hang out like we did back in our college days. It was so wonderful!! What a blessing!

I am also grateful for insulin.  Up until this summer, I have put off going on insulin for as long as possible. Once hearing that I had to gain the weight, I reluctantly started using it.  Well, with Thanksgiving here, I am so grateful to be on it now.  I used to restrict myself, especially at holidays, but this year I’m eating as much as I want of anything and everything.  I’ll be able to just cover myself with insulin and not worry about it.  Look out turkey…here I come!!

I doubt I will post again before Thursday so I sincerely wish you all a blessed, family-filled, safe, and happy Thanksgiving!!

Our Harvest Puppy!

I had to post this just really quickly as I thought it was too cute to keep to myself!  We had Maya groomed today (we do this every 2-3 months).  When I picked her up she looked just adorable in her Thanksgiving/harvest bows. They are orange with a golden brown material underneath.  The orange sticks out but the brown blends into her fur.  Regardless, I had to share the photo.  Being a energized golden retriever, she wouldn’t sit still for a nice photo, but you can at least get a glimpse of how cute she is.

 

Today I am thankful for the skilled groomer that we take our little baby to.  I am not good at keeping her looking good, but the groomer spends a lot of time and love on her to make her look beautiful, feel better (by taking out the mats of fur), and smell great!

Happy Turkey week everyone! 🙂

Preparing for Thanksgiving and Junky Lungs

Well! It’s that time of year! Thanksgiving is now less than a week away, and the black Friday ads are popping up everywhere.  Turkey Day is truly one of my favorite holidays (and I would imagine many other cysters and fibros might agree with me).  Any holiday which encourages high fat, high calorie, super-filling meals, which I don’t have to prepare, is perfection!  I can’t wait to sit down to a nice huge plate of turkey smothered in gravy, smooth whipped potatoes bathed in butter and gravy, creamy green bean casserole topped with crunchy fried onions, sweet potato casserole, corn casserole, cranberries, Jello fluff, and pumpkin pie. Anybody else hungry yet?

This year we will be celebrating with my parents and sister the day before Thanksgiving, and then will celebrate with David’s family on Thanksgiving day.  I’m planning on making something for each get together, though I have no idea what to bring. I’m just glad we will all be together as a family and able to enjoy a filling and delicious meal!

Until then, I will continue to worry about my lungs a bit.  Last week I had blood in my mucus which quit after laying off of the Cayston and hypertonic saline for a day or two.  Yesterday, I coughed up more mucus with blood in it.  I really really hate seeing that. I’m grateful that it’s not pure blood, but it’s still scary, that’s for sure.  Today I’ve been extremely exhausted and my lungs are sore so I’m hoping it’s not a sign of a bad lung infection coming on.  I have been coughing way more than normal the past few days so that could easily be the reason for both of those feelings.

I did get in touch with my CF nurse practitioner, Penny.  She was the one who suggested laying off of the hypertonic and Cayston to begin with which did help.  I found out I have 3 different strains of MRSA in my lungs and I’m allergic to one of the best drugs to fight off MRSA.  This means if I have to do a PICC line it will be massive..huge…last-resort kind of antibiotics.  That might be why coughing up bloody sputum scares me so much.  So, hopefully as the week continues my lungs will heal up and start feeling better!!

Today I am thankful for clean drinking water.  I know this seems odd but I really think that too many of us take this for granted.  I was putting a new filter into my PUR water pitcher and I realized that we are so blessed to have an abundance of clean, delicious, water.  There is nothing that tastes better than ice-cold water when you’re thirsty (at least in my opinion).

A Writing Rut

Despite the fact that dear hubby and I had a wonderful weekend, I am in a bit of a writing rut. I feel desire to write, but everything that seems to come out is incoherent trash. Therefore this is going to a very brief update.

My lungs have been a bit junky over the past week, but it seems like they are getting better on their own. Last week I did have some blood in my sputum, but I think it came from my sinuses/throat. I did, however, back off of hyper-sal and Cayston for a day or two to let whatever was open heal. Hopefully everything stays healed and no more blood presents itself.

Other than that, I’m just getting ready for Thanksgiving (a week and a half away!!!) and Christmas. I’m ready to decorate the house, and I think I may start hauling boxes downstairs as early as tomorrow. Decorating usually takes me a full week for Christmas. I can’t wait to share pictures of the house and how cute it looks when I’m done this year. Each year, we add to our Christmas decorations…I wonder what our new addition will be this year??

To get me into the Christmas mood, I’ve been blaring Christmas music (yes, I’m one of those people). I have been listening to it since November 1..possibly a bit earlier? Our one radio station here changed over to 24/7 Christmas music Wednesday of last week which has just caused me to get even MORE excited. I’m sorry to those who hate Christmas music and early Christmas decorating. I know I’m a bit eccentric, but I love it :)

As we head into another full week, I am grateful for family dinners. My parents had us over last Friday and it was such a nice time. We had pot roast with potatoes, carrots, and garlic bread. Both David’s family and mine really enjoy family dinners together. We are very blessed to live so close to our families and to be able to share a nice meal with them on a regular basis.

What are YOU grateful for today?

Winter is Coming!

Winter is coming! Today is definitely trying to tell us that fact in the Chicago area. I woke up today and took David to school, as I always do, and it was surprisingly warm outside.  Then, about a half hour after returning home, the wind started to pick up.

I sat watching the leaves whipping through the air and the tree branches bending as the wind beat them all up.  As I looked at all the bare trees and bushes, and my dying mums in the front of the house, I realized that November has definitely arrived in full force.  The power of the wind this time of year never ceases to amaze me.  Today, as we approach afternoon, the temperatures are dropping and the warm breeze is now turning into a chilly, wet, and howling wind. In fact, the forecast is now predicting our first snow flurries this afternoon and tomorrow, and although it won’t stick, it’s still snow.

Snow.

When I was little snow used to excite me to no end. I would wait for the first snowfall of the year and all additional snowfalls, and I would play for hours at a time.  Hot chocolate was my best friend, and I vividly remember putting my boots and gloves over the heat vents throughout the house and then tearing off my three layers of soaking wet socks.

As I’ve aged, my view of snow has changed as well.  I still love the first snowflakes of the season, and words lack the ability to describe the quietness and peacefulness of the first blanketing snowfall.  There is something about the untouched, glistening snow over the ground that calms me and warms me.  I also long for snow on Christmas Eve into Christmas Day.  I love waking up to a winter wonderland as we celebrate Jesus’s birthday with our family.

The day after Christmas, however, I’m done with snow for good.  I don’t want to see it, I don’t want to scrape it off my car, I don’t want to shovel the driveway, I don’t want to clean it up from the floor after the dog has gone outside, and I definitely loathe driving in the stuff.  Unfortunately, after Christmas is normally when our heaviest snows arrive.  Last year, early February brought the blizzard of 2011 which left us homebound for 2 days while we dug ourselves out of the 4 foot drifts.  I don’t doubt that this year we will see some heavy snows in January and February again, but when they come they are just irritating, annoying, and troublesome.

Also, last year I started having a harder time breathing in the cold. I HATE the severe cold of winter.  I practically lived indoors last winter, and I didn’t do much of the shoveling because of how my lungs felt. Hopefully, this year will be better, but I’m not putting any weight on that hope.  David also hates the extreme cold.  Because of this, we are REALLY considering getting remote start for our car (which sits outside the entire winter) as a Christmas present to each other.  It’s not too bad cost wise, around $400 for parts and labor, and it would mean we wouldn’t have to wait for the car to warm up before driving off somewhere.  It’s a total luxury, and we really don’t need it.  But, we’re definitely considering it!

With that said, it’s time to state what I’m thankful for.  On this cold and blustery day, I’m thankful for heat, warm coffee, and cuddly blankets.  David and I have become coffee fanatics in the past couple of years, and a warm cup always seems to do the trick for our mood.  Also, I love the feeling of curling up under a snuggly blanket when the air around me is cold.  I feel secure, calm, and happy under blankets.  I know there are many people who suffer from cold, especially at this time of year, and I’m grateful to have heat, warm drinks, and blankets to keep me nice and toasty warm.

I hope you all stay nice and warm on this chilly November day, and I hope you are able to find something to be thankful for today.