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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thankful Thursdays: Beach, sunscreen and family

It's thankful thursday!!! There truly are so many things to be thankful for! So what are you thankful for today?!

Jeremy's list:

I'm thankful for the beach! We didn't want to post it last week but we had been in Florida his week! It was amazing! To me there is nothing more relaxing than sitting in a beach! Laying out soaking up some rays getting my tan on, and riding waves on a boogie board! Turns out riding waves on a boogie board is a great workout! Fighting the waves to get out there and then kicking and swimming to catch the wave! My legs were sore the next day buddy! I coughed up tons of secretions for the fishes to nibble on too! Definitely good for the body, mind, and soul! Makes me want to move near a beach that much more! So what do you say Monica?!?! Puuuuuulease!! :) needless to say it was an awesome week and I got to spend tons of quality time with my wife and family!

Monica's list:

I am thankful for sunscreen! I don't burn that easily, but I'm thankful for the extra protection! I was thinking earlier as I was slathering it on that I wondered how they handled it in the past without it? Being sunburnt is one thing I so do not enjoy! I am thankful for family! I am thankful for the opportunity to be on vacation with my inlaws! They spoil us! And while I'm having a blast being on vacation with them, I can't help but miss my own family! It seems like I haven't seen them in quite some time and I'm thankful I have a family to go home to! I could go on and on about all of the things I'm thankful for, God has blessed us so much! Thank you Lord! I am so unworthy! What about you?! What are you thankful for?!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Thankful Thursdays: Vacations, friends, and hubby

Hey hey hey! It's Thaaaaaaaaankful Thursday! Today we're gonna share the things we are thankful for. Are you thankful for anything? I'll bet you are! Share it with us by leaving a comment won't ya! And now..... heeeeeeeeeere's our list!!! :) (gotta have fun with things sometimes, if only you could here me saying this as I was typing. You'd be on the floor! haha)

Jeremy's list:

I am thankful for vacations! Who isn't right? I know, sounds kind of silly to be thankful for something as obvious as a vacation. Here's why I say that. Of course going on a vacation is awesome, because of the opportunity to see the world and get away from work and the everyday stuff (mowing grass, dishes, household stuff). I look forward to time with my wife, family and friends. Vacations are a time to bond with your spouse, your family and friends. Life gets busy, so when you take the busy out and have fun for a week or however long, you can enjoy the company of those you're with! I find that on vacation I am very lovey dovey, and wanting to cuddle and be close to my wife the entire time! It seems we get so little time to just be with each other without any other worries, it's nice to get to focus on each other.

I also love vacations for the relaxation aspect! :) I find that sometimes, the day to day routine can get to me and I get run down. I'll have to take a day off work every so often to "catch up" if you will. Vacations are so worry free (most of the time)! I'm also thankful for the opportunity to vacation. God has blessed my wife and I and our parents. I grew up with the privelege of vacationing. My dad never went on vacations, so he worked extremely hard, pulling 5-6 days a week 10-12 hour days so they could take us places. I'm extremely thankful for that and that my wife and I have been able to vacation, which wouldn't be near as possible without our parents! When we vacation with our parents they tend to pay for quite a bit! :)

I'm saying this because we leave for Florida soon! Whoo-hoo! :) We're really looking forward to it! Hoping to do some deep sea fishing, revisit the place where Monica and I got engaged (Fort Desoto beach) and do lots and lots of swimming and soaking up rays! Maybe I'll do my first video post from the beach! So really? what are you thankful for?

Monica's list:

I am thankful for friends! We don't have a million friends, but the friends we have we are very close to.... I would rather have it that way anyday! A big shout out to our best buddies (You know who you are)! Thank you for all of your support, love, loyalty, fellowship... and most of all your friendship! We love you ALL so much and pray for you often!!!

I am thankful that my hubby is such a good helpmate, he is folding laundry as I type this. :) It seems like every thankful Thursday I write something about him and how good he is to me, but I can't help it! God created him with me in mind and made him my perfect complement! I couldn't ask for a better best friend! He makes me laugh like noone else, more sappy than I ever thought I would be, giddy like a kid, and still gives me butterflies when he catches my eye from across the room. Oh and just fyi sweetie, when you winked at me walking down the aisle at Josh's wedding.... I felt like a 16 year old girl again and so special! He winked at me, he winked at me!! HAHA!! I could have busted out to Katy Perry's  "Teenage Dream" right there! ;) I love you!

I am thankful that Jeremy and I grew up in families that vacationed at least a couple times a year. It is something that was important to our parents when raising us, and it has become important to us as well. We LOVE to vacation!! Memories are more precious to us than any amount of money! I can't wait to have some kiddos to take disneyworld and lots of other fun places!! :)

What about you? What are you thankful for?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Gravy, Frozen pizza and Cake, Understanding Hubby, Dishwasher

Well it's Thankful Thursday again! Another week gone by! There's so many things we can be thankful for everyday, and I love taking the time to think about all that I have to be thankful for. Every day I could write how thankful I am for my wife, our home, my family and friends, our health, and many other things, but I enjoy thinking of things that I take for granted or don't notice on a daily basis. This being said, here's my list:

I'm thankful for a simple taste palate. Or as Monica would say an unsophisticated palate. I work 5 days a week, which means I eat lunch at work 5 days a week. I am terrible about bringing my lunch and Monica and I usually don't have many leftovers to take. So I eat hospital cafeteria food every day. My usual is a cheeseburger and chicken strips with some A1 sauce and hot sauce for dipping the chicken strips in. Making you hungry? I am! Recently I have started to get a little tired of them, but because of my "unsophisticated" palate I can continue to plug away getting a cheeseburger and chicken strips every day for lunch. I used to get nachos with beef, cheese and jalapenos! They stopped getting the awesome nacho cheese and substituted the powder & water cheese, which is extremely sub par. I can generally eat the same things all the time. When I find something I like, I like it! For a while we had stir-fry once a week for months. I call it stir-fry, but really it's white rice with chicken that's been sauteed in soy sauce and seasoned with salt and pepper. I add lots of soy sauce to it after putting it on my rice and it's AMAZING!! Monica was done with it after the 3rd week. :) It frustrates my wife sometimes, because she likes to try new things and eat different meals, but I like it nice and simple! I'm thankful for that!

I'm thankful for sauce and gravy! See now I'm hungry and thinking about food. I really want some stir-fry now too! I love me some gravy! Brown gravy is the best. Gravy makes anything taste great. Take chopped steak for instance. What is chopped steak? A hamburger with some seasoning and what else? GRAVY! Oh yea, the gravy makes it. It's on menus across America because we Americans love our gravy! I'm so thankful for sauce too! Without A1 and hot sauce, I would not be able to eat the chicken strips everyday I mentioned above. Soy sauce is awesome as well! What would stir-fry or fried rice be without soy sauce? I'll tell ya, BLAND. It would have little to no taste. The soy sauce makes it!  Yes sir, I love my sauces and gravy!

Lastly I'm thankful for frozen pizzas. I love pizza! Pepperoni is it for me, but I love it. Take out pizza can get very expensive and making your own takes a decent amount of time. With our convection oven, I can cook a pizza from frozen to slightly overcooked (the way I like it, with a dark golden brown crust and all golden brown cheese) in roughly 15 minutes. That's without preheating the oven! Frozen pizzas are an invention of genius. I usually eat 2-3 a week. Every day I am off, that's my lunch, a frozen pepperoni Tombstone, Mama Lucia's, or Jack's pizza. So what are you thankful for this Thankful Thursday?! Here's the wifey's list!

Monica's List:

I am thankful for opportunities! I have the opportunity to make our good friend Josh and his lovely wife-to-be Brittany's wedding cake this week and I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity! Thanks guys!! Congratulations! We are so happy for you!

I am thankful for my husband! (Sigh) ....he really is just wonderful!!! ;) When I have a big cake there is a good chance I will spend upwards of 25-30 hours on it. Add to that a 35 hour work week... and I don't have a lot of extra time on my hands. My hubby is always so helpful and understanding! He knows that he will not get home cooked meals that week and that my attention will be elsewhere from anything susie homemaker. But he doesn't complain! The sweetest words to come out of his mouth today were, "I was thinking I would go get Southside Wok tonight for dinner? Sound ok?" Ahhh, music to my ears! Yes!! And just fyi, it was amazing! Wow, we are really on a food kick today huh?! He's told me, "I miss you!" about 4 times already this week, even though we were in the same room. (Breaks your heart doesn't it? ) When I'm busy with a cake my attention is just so fixed on it and not much else. Thank you for being so understanding sweetie! I couldn't ask for a better partner in this crazy, awesome life of ours!! I LOVE YOU! Forever and ever babe!

Lastly I am also thankful for our dishwasher! ;) We actually joke that it saved our marriage.... Joking!! HA! But it was one of the few things we fought about when we first got married. We didn't have a dishwasher yet and we both hated dishes, so it was good for us when we got it! Doing a 5 tier cake you are bound to have a ton of dishes.... all I can think is, "Thank you God for my dishwasher!!"

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Kids to Work Day

I had the awesome opportunity to give a presentation about Cystic Fibrosis and Respiratory Therapy to a group of kids this week! Tuesday, June 5, was Barnes-Jewish Hospital's Kids to Work Day. The ages ranged from 9-18, and were all children of employees at BJH. It went phenomenally well! Initially, I was asked by my department to do a little presentation for the kiddos who belonged to RT's. The hospital had contacted our department and wanted to have an RT come talk to all the kids at the big BJH Kids to Work event. That's how I ended up giving the presentation. There were approximately 40 or so kids. There was a dietitian, me, and a pharmacy dude. It went awesome!

 I showed them a very cool video I found that explained CF in kid friendly terms, which can be found at the bottom of this post. Then I asked them how many of them had heard of CF, and almost half of them raised their hands! Keeping in mind that most of these kids are children of health care workers and that some may have just raised their hands for the sake of raising their hands, I was still pleasantly surprised at how many raised their hands. I also asked how many knew someone with CF, and 3 or 4 kids raised their hands and told me who they knew and how old they were. I told them about the treatments I have to do, and had them come put on a vest and shake, I had them taking saline treatments to see what it was like to take a neb treatment, and use an Acapella and all sorts of other RT toys. I even had 2 fellow therapists come do some good 'ol hand clapping CPT on a few willing participants! We talked about how I have to exercise to stay healthy and how important is was for them to exercise too. I had them up and dancing to a short clip of Party Rock Anthem, while talking about how having a "pity party" for yourself when you have something wrong with you doesn't help, and the importance of staying positive and strong. I showed them a picture of my lovely wife and I on our wedding day, and pictures of Monica and I skiing/snowboarding in the mountains of Colorado, wakeboarding, skydiving (which I told them I did not suggest they do without prior authorization from their parents), snuba diving, and ziplining through the jungle of St. Lucia! I was trying to show them that even though CF is a terminal illness (surprisingly most even knew what the phrase terminal illness meant), we can live very normal lives. It was a great experience and raised some awareness! Several of the adults thanked me afterward and told me they learned a lot from it!  I was hoping to at least walk away having taught one more person about CF and inspiring everyone present to enjoy life to the fullest and take care of themselves! Mission accomplished!

If you are reading this and have CF or know someone with CF, I encourage you to get out there and share your story! Raise some awareness!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Hypertonic Saline: I'm a believer

I recently started taking Hypertonic 7% Saline. When I say recently, I mean 2 days ago. I was a skeptic at first. I work as an RT and we give it to patients when we need them to cough something up for a sputum culture (this is where your mucus gets sent to a lab to see if it's growing any bacteria. I have one every 3 months at the CF clinic) Out of the hundred or so that I have given, I had only seen a handful of them work in helping people cough stuff up. So, I thought it was bologna. I figured it was all in people's heads that they were coughing more up and thought hey, if you wanna inhale some salt water have it at, but not me. :)

It wasn't long after it came out as being indicated for CFers, that my doctor approached me about adding it to my regimen. I am very respectful to my doctors and have told them from day 1 that I will not try to be my own doctor because I'm an RT. What they say goes! They're the physicians and I let them be just that. I will do my own research on medications and therapies to educate myself as I believe everyone should. When you have a chronic illness you should be educated and actively involved in your care. Back to my CF docs. They (there are 2 main physicians) wanted to add Hypertonic Saline. The one asked me what I thought about it. Whether I would be able to make time to fit in another treatment (at this point I was not getting every treatment done on a daily basis like I do now), and if I thought I needed to add something to keep me healthy. I declined and he agreed stressing that I HAD to start doing ALL my treatments as scheduled.

About a month ago, being an RT at the hospital where my CF clinic is, paid off yet again. I had the opportunity to sit in on Pulmonary Grand Rounds (where a pulmonary physician picks a topic and discusses it). The speaker just happened to be my CF doctor and the topic just happened to be Cystic Fibrosis! It was a fascinating presentation where I learned even more about what causes the disease to "function" the way it does, more about how CF treatments work in specific detail, and all sorts of other info. For example, the average CFer coughs 600 times a day!!! That's A LOT of coughing! No wonder my abs are so ripped, jk! :) Another is that a "healthy" person who developed a pseudomonas infection in the lungs or blood would probably have 10,000,000 colony forming units of pseudomonas. After 2 weeks of antibiotic therapy the pseudomonas would be wiped out. When a CFer has an exacerbation (they get sick), they can carry as much as 100,000,000 colony forming units of pseudomonas and after 2-3 weeks of IV's, will drop to 2.5 million colony forming units.  Our bodies are constantly fighting an infection that antibiotics cannot completely wipe out. This is one reason why we can feel tired at times and eat so much without any weight gain. Our bodies expend a lot of energy fighting the infection in our lungs. Fascinating right?!

To wrap up this long post, he discussed Hypertonic Saline and the reasons it is recommended for CFers. In the lungs there's a layer of fluid that have small finger like jobbers called cilia. The cilia move the mucus layer up toward the top of the lungs where it can be expelled (coughed out). Most people swallow it in their sleep. This is how the lungs clean themselves out. With CF the fluid layer is virtually non-existent. This is because the sodium-chloride channels in the lungs that help keep the fluid layer fluid are blocked. So the fluid layer has hardly any fluid to it. These channels being blocked also causes the mucus to be very thick and sticky, which crushes the cilia. So the lungs can't move the secretions out. Which we all know is what causes all our problems. Sooooo...... Hypertonic Saline makes the fluid layer in the lungs "beef" back up so the cilia can push the secretions out! Plus, it hydrates the secretions making them easier to cough up, and in some people irritates the airway inducing a cough. It works in 3 different ways, and I have definitely been able to tell! Plus, it makes me feel like I'm at the ocean swimming every time I swallow! Mmmm, salt water :)

Moral of this post: If you have CF and aren't yet taking Hypertonic Saline I suggest talking to your CF team about it and getting on the bandwagon! It works!

My Medications

Creon 24's: 6 with meals, 4 with snacks
Multi-vitamin: Once Daily
Omega-3 Fish Oil: 3 capsules daily
Glucosamine/MSM 1500mg/1500mg: 2 pills Daily
Azithromycin 500mg: Once Daily on M-W-F
Albuterol 2.5mg: Twice Daily
Pulmozyme 2.5mg: Once Daily
Hypertonic 7% Saline 4mL: Twice Daily
Cayston: 3 Times Daily (28 days on, 28 days off)
TOBI 300mg: Twice Daily (28 days on, 28 days off)
The ThAIRapy Vest by American Biosystems: Twice Daily for 30-45 minutes