Tuesday, July 20, 2010
The last three weeks have been a whirlwind. The week after D.C., Todd and I drove up to see my dad in Cleveland for the 4th of July. We had a really great time visiting and also got to see some cool stuff including an Indians game, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and drive through an area outside the city that has a number of Amish folks living.
The highlight of the outings was either seeing the Amish in their horses and buggies or walking around in Johnny Cash's tour bus. Both very cool and amazing in their own way. But of course the real highlight of the trip was seeing my awesome family up there - including three little nieces who I adore.
About a week after getting home from there, I went to Asheville for a night for a work thing. Normally, I don't travel much for work. But this was something special. The Secretary of the Interior is holding 20 listening sessions (in between flying to the Gulf to oversee oil clean up and restoration - shows what a priority this is to them) around the country to get peoples' input on how to get young people more turned on to the outdoors. Obama announced this "America's Great Outdoors" initiative recently and the DOI is researching the subject and will compile it into a report for the president by the end of the year.
Ken Salazar was not there, but his chief of staff was - as was the head of the Fish & Wildlife Service. The event was called a "listening session" and was held at a community college. The auditorium held 400 people and it was basically full of conservation-minded folks from all over the state. The Washington folks were very impressed by our enthusiasm and by what we have managed to get accomplished here even during tough economic times.
At the listening session, after some short speeches, we were all assigned into rooms which held 10-20 participants and were asked to answer four questions as a sort of discussion. There was a moderator to keep on topic and a recorder who wrote down everything that everybody said. (This is what will be used to compile the report for the president.) We talked about obstacles to getting kids connected to the outdoors, what might be done and what the federal government can do to help the states.
There is more to tell, but that is the gist of it and so I will move on. Except I do want to say that I got the chance to stay with a very old friend who I hadn't seen in two years. She lives in West Asheville and I stayed at her house so we had time to catch up which was great.
I got home from the mountains Thursday night and turned around and went to the beach (Holden) Friday morning with a few of my girlfriends. Traveled from one end of the state to the other! We had a lot of fun. Got some good beach and pool time in without overdoing the sun. We cooked good food, drank and played games. Really enjoyed the relaxed pace of the weekend.
My other news is that I had some pains in my upper right abdomen last week and went to the doctor and got an ultra sound. It showed "suspicious globules" in my gallbladder. I think this means that I don't have stones but rather spots of sluggish bile which could become stones. My doctor ordered a hida scan - which is basically a more sophisticated scan done with dye to look at your gallbladder - to follow up on that. Depending on how that goes, they will refer me to a surgeon. I'm kind of nervous about that but trying to take it one step at a time.
My mom had her gallbladder removed when she was 30, but she was having a ton of pain. I have not had a ton of pain, thankfully. But I have since found out that it can be hereditary. Diabetes is also a risk factor. According to my CF doctor, it is not uncommon in CF, either.
I don't mean to jump the gun by thinking that I will need to get it removed, but I would be lying if I said I haven't been thinking about it a lot lately. I keep thinking that I have for the most part so far avoided GI issues so commonly associated with CF only to have this crop up and possibly make things "not right" forever. I read that you are supposed to eat a low fat diet after gall bladder removal. Are you kidding me? Life without cheese right now seems impossible.
One other thing: I have a semi-sick kitty in the house. My cat Gus has been acting sluggish a couple of times and then he will seem better; I've also noticed that he has lost weight so it was time to call the vet and schedule for him to come. Gus has an appointment for Thursday morning and I hope to get some answers. And I really really hope that the answers are not something horrible. Love my guy so much.