My Two Favorite Dorks

My Two Favorite Dorks

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Great Northern Adventure

My uncle Matt, Aunt Judy, me, Nathan and JoEllen

It's about time for some catching up here on Catboogie's Dream.

Basically things are going very well. I just got back from a wonderful vacation which I will tell you all about. And mom is doing ok despite a couple of setbacks. She had to go back in for surgery on July 14 to have her incision cleaned out. There appeared to be some infection at the surface, but the doctor wanted to confirm that it hadn't spread any deeper.

The post-surgery news was great - he had seen no indication of any infection, but he sent away some cultures anyway. However, when the cultures came back a few days later, they showed some mild staph. What was supposed to be a quick stay in the hospital ended up being four days. But she recovered well and was again back home.

Things have progressed slowly although in the right direction since then. The unfortunate part is that mom developed an allergic reaction to the oral antibiotic they sent her home on, and she has been quite miserable dealing with that for the last couple of weeks.

I left on the 21st to drive to Cleveland. On Friday, my step-mom and I hit some of our usual second-hand spots, and then again on Saturday. We had amazing fresh fruit and corn, and went out for Thai food one night with the best coconut ice cream I've ever had (ok, you got me, the only coconut ice cream I've ever had. But it was delicious!!) Dad seemed to be doing pretty well; amazingly well despite the heat and humidity which are often treacherous for him to deal with considering his breathing problems.

This was my first time in Cleveland since my dad has been officially listed for lung transplant. I have to say, as relaxed as everyone there seems, it was a bit strange. There is that thought of 'what if' every time the phone rings. And there is a split reality in the sense that things could either go on as they are for as long as possible, or else that something will drastically and life-alteringly change - possibly at any moment. I hope the lungs come sooner rather than later.

After a couple of days, I headed to Michigan, first to visit an old friend and then onto my brother and his wife's new house in Mt. Pleasant. I have serious house envy of their turn-of-the century home, complete with gorgeous woodwork, beautiful hardwoods, plentiful working windows and lots and lots of space.

My brother's house

The next day, our uncle and aunt came up from Indiana to see the house, visit, and we had a small little baby shower during which we Skyped in dad & Mary Ann in Cleveland and mom in North Carolina.

In general, Mount Pleasant is a very cute and sleepy town. The downtown, while small, is thriving with shops, some galleries, a few restaurants, a yoga studio. It's about a 10 minute walk to downtown. There is a food co-op, a soda shop and a hardware store. Everyone was out enjoying the nice weather, but I can imagine the speed during winter is a lot slower.

I went back to Cleveland for a couple of days before returning home. I bought a beautiful cherry wood lingerie dresser that I had not been able to get out of my head since being there which *just* fit into my back seat. And then I got a crazy idea - instead of driving home Saturday, I would drive to my aunt's house in Pennsylvania, which I have been wanting to see since she moved there a couple of years ago, and then drive home from there on Sunday. The drive was very pretty, especially the last hour which was on a very windy, rolling and beautiful historic highway.

Scenery in rural Pennsylvania

It was nice seeing some more family and exploring a new place. It has been many years since I've driven on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which my mom and I used to always take to visit family in NC and VA. The PA Turnpike is filled with 24-hour Starbucks (heaven!)

It was also nice to drive a different way home. Lord only knows how much I have driven I-77 in the last few years!

And then...I was home!!

Couple of quick updates from this week:
  • My chiro said my back was doing very well and cringed when I told him I had driven almost 2,000 miles since I saw him last. He then said my back was doing especially well considering that!
  • Had two more sessions of PT this week. I really like it. I am surprised how many yoga stretches are involved. The PT person reiterated how bad driving is on your back (but I was very conscientious of my posture) and gave me some special after-driving stretches to do.
  • My lungs are beginning to feel a bit heavy from being off the inhaled antibiotics in preparation for a study for a new inhaled antibiotic. It isn't terrible, but it is noticeable. I now know the antibiotics do help (hard to tell when you are just on them continuously.) And it has really forced me to stay on top of my exercise, which is good.
  • Had the much-anticipated hematology appointment on Thursday for the doc to weigh in on my stopping coumadin. GREAT NEWS - I AM OFF OF COUMADIN!! I am going to start on a daily low-dose aspirin, which should give me some protection from clot reformation. Overall, the appointment was great - great doctor (who, of course, my ever-awesome CF doctor had already prepped via emails back and forth). Bottom line is that he thinks my port will be fine. But if I do develop another clot, we have a plan for how to handle it. The not so good news is that the stenosis (narrowing) in my sub-clavian vein, which showed up on the ultrasound only after the clot had cleared, is scar tissue from all of the picc lines that I have had. So no more piccs or ports on the right side of my body. However, anything done on the left side should be fine. I have another whole side to mess up - yay!
  • Lastly, the Cystic Dreams Fund, for which I sit on the Board, gave out our first four grants this week. I have to say I really enjoyed being a part of that process. It is great to know that we are helping to make peoples' lives a little bit easier. And I know that Paul, my friend who passed away and for whom the foundation was started, would be very very happy.

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