My Two Favorite Dorks

My Two Favorite Dorks

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lots of good news

My dad and I at my commitment ceremony, May 2009

The big news around here is that my father, who has emphysema/COPD, was approved for a single lung transplant this week! He made it through all the tests and appointments and was given the green light by the committee. I can't tell you how happy we all are at the prospect of having dad be able to do all the things he hasn't been able to.

My mom continues to make great progress from her hip replacement surgery 2.5 weeks ago. She is going to be released from the rehab facility on Monday. She is going to have PT people come to her house during the week for a while still. And, while she will still need help with some things she should be able to get around relatively well. And she will be home!!

My leg/back (sciatica) has really improved in the last couple of weeks. The numbness is finally gone from my foot. My chiropractic adjustments have gotten easier - as he said they would if I did what he said and was patient - and my leg is a lot less painful. Unfortunately, the healing process is not super close to being over because my back was so messed up even before the sciatica, so there is a lot of ground to make up. I was approved to start PT this week, which is another positive step, and should help me to improve even more, and sustain the changes I've made.

Coumadin update: met with my coumadin doc last week and we decided that he is going to refer me to a hematologist. I am happy with this decision. It does mean that I will stay on the coumadin until then, which will be about a month or so. But we needed another perspective in order to make the decision of staying on coumadin for 3 or 6 months.

I have made a lot of positive changes in my life in the past week. The biggest is that I quit drinking soda. It has been way harder than I thought, because even before when I would cut out Diet Coke (which I think is probably the worst of the sodas that I drank), I would still drink stuff like Sprite Zero, Diet 7-up, Fresca, Diet Sunkist. Oh god, I was a total soda junkie.

The reason for this change is that diet stuff (in particular artificial sweetener and caffeine) is not good for you. I wanted to "detox" from artificial stuff (sweetener) and soda is the biggest culprit for me.

Also, Diet drinks are particularly bad for me because caffeine deteriorates your bones (I already have enough help with that having CF and being on steroids - double whammy) and dehydrates you. So I have been drinking a lot more water, which is another thing I've been wanting to do for a while. Pretty much juice, water, coffee, tea, and beer...the last three in moderate amounts.

Next to health there are the environmental reasons. Not wanting to have Diet Coke at the house, I would often stop and buy one after work. Drinks in plastic bottles really aren't good for the environment. Even if you recycle them, they are still a petroleum product. And the smallest reason was money - while cases of soda in cans are relatively inexpensive, those trips to the convenience store paying $1.50/drink are not.

Enough about soda.

Todd has been in Montana for a little over a week. He is having a great time. Lots of fishing. Seeing a lot of cool wildlife (he saw a moose a few days ago!) And getting to hang out with our little nephew. I am jealous of all these things.

Here at the house, Todd being gone has put me into full "project mode." I have straightened up, cleaned up (here as well as at work and some at my mom's house with the help of her awesome neighbor) - made 3-4 trips to the thrift store in the last week. My friend Jeff is power washing our deck. After that, I hope he'll do the house, and then maybe clean the outside of the windows. We are also gearing up for painting my office which I am very excited about (purple!!)

However, I fear that I may have pushed myself too far even thought I was trying to be conscious of my limitations and energy, and I hope that it is not too late - meaning I hope this doesn't turn into a CF-exacerbation requiring IV antibiotics. Thursday afternoon and evening I was very tired, even after a nap, and though I went to bed early that night, I woke up on Friday feeling pretty terrible. What I call my CF-I-did-too-much-and-stressed out-my-body-yuk. My whole body was sore, my skin actually, almost flu-like, and I was very tired. And my lungs were hurting (strange, I know) and suddenly more congested than usual. Went into work late, napped after work, and went to bed early again in an attempt to get back on track. So far I am feeling better today, but I still plan to take it easy this weekend.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What a week - whew!

Front of Little Duke Hospital

My mom's hip replacement went really well this past week! As in, so far there no complications with the surgery, her pain seems relatively well controlled, and she is making slow and steady progress every day.

The hospital her operation was at is very nice, Duke Raleigh hospital - Little Duke I will call it. They have an entire floor of all orthopedic patients, everyone is competent and friendly. It's a pretty plush place for a hospital.

They decided to release my mom to a rehab facility on day 3 after her surgery. I was never quite sure what went into that decision. In retrospect, we probably would have pushed to have her stay at Duke for another couple of days and then maybe she could have gone home or at least spent less time in the rehab facility.

She was transferred to the rehab facility yesterday. The place is basically a nicer than usual nursing home, not what we were expecting. (The case manager had told my mom it was "the best place" with this and that and the other...I'd hate to see the other places.) They didn't have a phone for her, a walker, the right kind of bed, her pain med lapsed several hours when she first arrived. Needless to say, it was a bit of a stressful day for her.

Anyway, this is my blog, but I thought at least some of you would be interested in hearing about my mom's surgery. There is obviously a lot of other details, but that is the overview. She seems great for having had major surgery four days ago! Which isn't to say the recovery will be easy.

What else... we had a house guest this week, Todd's awesome cousin. We went to see a concert Wednesday night downtown. The band was Mumford & Sons - I love their CD but the concert was just ok. In part because of the sweltering heat (over 90 degrees after the sun set!)

My leg is making a small amount of progress in the right direction. I was given some stretches to do each night and we hope that will keep my back open between adjustments and speed things along a bit. I can't WAIT to be cleared for more exercise. As it is right now, I've basically given up doing much of anything. Which is sad. I see my pulmonary doctor soon and this is not the ideal build-up for trying for awesome pfts, but whatever.

Lastly, I think sort of by default, my docs and I have decided to keep me on the coumadin for another three months. Ahhh...summer. Summer and blood clots.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Friends are the greatest

My friends Jacqueline and Brian and me, circa 2003

This has been a week of catching up with friends. Wednesday night, I had dinner with my friends Jacqueline and Amy. I hadn't sat down with Jacqueline in probably three years so it was really nice. Thursday, I had my friend Jeff over for dinner. He is always good company. And yesterday, I went out with two of my best female friends (and my two soap partners) Elaine and Maura. These kinds of days are so good for the spirit.

I spent a good bit of time yesterday going shopping for and helping my mom to prepare for her upcoming hip-replacement surgery on Tuesday. I think we both know what a huge thing we have ahead of us, but we are trying to roll with it as much as possible. My mom has gotten to the point where she is in a good bit of pain just walking around the house, so it will definitely be a big change for her to be more mobile again. Lunch out this week and a short shopping trip wore her completely out!

Todd's dad is coming for his second chemo treatment on Monday, just coming to Raleigh for the day. I hope that he continues to not have a difficult time with side effects. He and Todd are leaving for Montana in two weeks. Sadly, I don't think I'm going to be able to join them for part of it. We have had so many expenses this past month, and tickets out there are not cheap. I hate to miss it, but think the best thing for me to do is stay here.

My leg is doing about the same...not very good...although it did get a teeny bit better this week. I managed to get some lidoderm pain patches, but I'm not sure how much good they are doing (yet?) My turtle-paced progress continues to frustrate the hell out of me. And I am now gaining weight from my lessened schedule of exercising and the recent stresses which have made over-consumption sort-of inevitable.

Lastly, we have not for sure decided whether or not this week will be my last week on coumadin or not, but I have a feeling I am going to end up taking it for an additional three months. I am disappointed, but it is not the end of the world.