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Anniversary 2011 Trip Photos

We’re most of the way through our two-week vacation in Ohio/Niagara Falls now and have had a great time relaxing, visiting, and celebrating our anniversary. We’ve also been going crazy with our new camera. I’ve had my ups and downs of stamina walking about and seeing the sights around the hilly falls and have finally recovered from all of that exertion.

Not letting the cold or hills is how I outran CF last weekend. Sometimes it’s the small things that mean the most. Here are some photo highlights of our trip thus far. Hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I’ve enjoyed taking and editing them (especially liked editing the ones of Beautiful).

We walked down the falls on Saturday morning, heading out at 6am to get these shots and spent a good 90 minutes there.

American Falls Pre-Dawn

Canadian Falls Pre-Dawn

Beautiful and I took some photos of each other on the farm Sunday. What a hottie!

I’ve gone out to take some photos for fun, too. I think we’ll need a bigger hard drive before too long if we keep up this pace.

I’ve been good about doing my treatments morning and night, even though I’m sequestered to the living room but I am making good progress on my Netflix shows on my iPhone!

Tonight we are heading over to my uncle’s house for an early Thanksgiving dinner while 2 of the 3 “kids” are here. I’m sure my aunt will come for the real dinner next month, so I guess most everyone gets 3 huge holiday dinners this year. I don’t mind THAT a bit!

Stay strong, breathe easy people.

Life Goals – How Foster Parenting Fits In

This entry is part [part not set] of 2 in the series Cystic Fibrosis and Foster Care

HAndsIf you would have asked me a year ago if I thought we’d become foster parents, I’d have said that there wasn’t any chance. We were definitely thinking we’d be adopting or even possibly wondering if we’d ever have kids since we were both working so hard and not really excelling financially enough to consider Beautiful staying home. We were using most of her income every month, so it would have been irresponsible to go down to one income.

We were also concerned with saving for the long-term possibility of transplant and wondering how much we’d have to save to adopt. Not very likely that we were going to save up $50k for those events any time soon at the rate we were going – even with the steady upward slope we’ve experienced the whole time we’ve been married. That’s a lot of money to throw around!

Beautiful has always wanted to work. She didn’t see herself getting married and settling down before I came along, but even then the plan was to go to college and get a degree and have a career. Kids have been creeping into our heads more and more over the years, but it was always the same story: we just couldn’t swing one income.

For me, it was starting to wear down my self-esteem. It’s so easy to compare ourselves to others who have one working parent and the other that stays home with the kids. Even our marriage mentors are both home on one income – he works in the bedroom office and she home-schools their 3 girls (sound like anything we might be thinking of doing?). Even though I’m 32, it’s hard to remember that we’ve only been working at this as a team for 5 years and I need to step back and look at where we are and where we’ve come from.

[Read more…]

Surgery Day Has Been Canceled

Jesse chowingToday was my last-ditch appointment with my ENT before my scheduled pre-op on Tuesday. To say things went great would be the understatement of 2011. I’d like to celebrate with another one of those Pink’s hot dogs.

He started off by asking me how my symptoms have been and I had to admit that, though I have a headache nearly every day still, they are not debilitating like they were before Christmas. It’s definitely controllable with my Ultram and I’m very able to function with that, even more so than I was with Vicodin, as that at least made me a bit sleepy and has a distinctly more narcotic effect. He reminded me that the surgery he had scheduled was going to have a “prolonged recovery” compared to the one in January, too.

So, up my nose he went (after numbing, of course) to take a closer look at how things had been since I got the PARI Sinus (note I didn’t say SinusStar) and vancomycin to see how that took care of my infection. Last time, he immediately mentioned a polyp. This time, he went in both sides twice with no mention, so I asked, “how’s the polyp look?” “I don’t see one,” he replied. He checked his dictation notes from my last visit and saw the mention of a polyp, but let me know it was gone!

He kept saying how great things looked, too. I had quite a bit of crusting, and the smell burst forth as he dislodged one. Both sides were pretty crusty, even by my standards, but he insisted that my tissue was looking much healthier and he wasn’t at all enthusiastic about operating on me in this condition.

We decided then and there to cancel surgery and keep me on a 3-week on, 3-week off schedule of vancomycin and go back in a month to see if things have improved even more.

In an effort to shame Tampa General Hospital (TGH), they have instituted a campus-wide “no free valet parking” for patients. What was once a pleasure to be treated with such respect as a patient who was often there 2, 3, 4 times per month, we now have the privilege of being charged $5 to use valet or $3 to park in the garage and walk to the building through the hot, muggy Florida air. Thanks a lot, suits. You suck. Needless to say, the valet did not get a tip from me, as they usually do.

Still Compliant, Still Gaining Weight

20_47-BMIAs quite a few of you on Twitter and Facebook are aware, I had another intestinal scare on Thursday. You see, Beautiful wrote about enzymes on Wednesday and every time she or I write about anything to do with blockages, something happens. Without fail. It’s really quite creepy and must stop this time. I’ll get to my lungs and weight soon, but first, it’s story time.

Thursday morning

I woke up feeling out of sorts and shrugged her off and indicated that I wasn’t feeling well when she came to wake me up on Thursday. I got up around 8:30 and started my treatments, but was feeling sore and crampy, only it wasn’t in the usual blockage area indicated from my long history of blockages. Like a seasoned veteran, I weighed the pros and cons of having an omelet for breakfast and just went for it with plenty of enzymes.

I got upstairs to start work around 10:00 and was more or less completely unable to concentrate. The cramps were coming in waves and in harder and harder force, but I can tell the difference between a resistance cramp and an uncomfortable cramp. These were the latter, no nasty, tight ball of crap anywhere to be found by exploratory pushing of my squishies. Sore, yes, but I didn’t have the tell-tale knot of disaster. Beautiful went back downstairs seeing my clear distress and got me a 20oz Gatorade and an extra Dulcolax to hydrate and flush anything that was in there.

Thursday afternoon

I was feeling better by dinnertime and insisted on eating despite Beautiful’s firm reminder that I “felt fine” before our Outback dinner for my birthday 2 years ago. [Read more…]