Wednesday, September 28, 2011

So long sanity

All signs point that I have completely lost it.  These pups have flipped my world upside-down and I'm still trying to get caught up...mostly on sleep :)  Just Monday, I completely forgot about a dermatologist appointment.  It wasn't until I was heading to zumba that it dawned on me that it was earlier that day.  I've never forgot anything like that before...I can't believe it happened!  Now, I'm too embarrassed to call back and reschedule.

Perhaps I shouldn't admit this, but I find myself just talking to the puppies.  Of course they don't answer back but they look at me so intensely that they must understand me or be trying to (sometimes I just get blatantly ignored as well).  I sure hope the neighbors don't hear me when I'm outside with them.  Its constantly "No", "Leave It", "Hurry Up" (that's our go potty key words), "Don't eat that", "Don't bite me", "Good Girl", "Good Boy", "Come Here", "You guys are driving me nuts!". 

Plus, I look like hell.  Even Will said I did! (thanks dear)  Its amazing if I actually get dressed during the day.  Most days I'm in my PJs.  Why put on clothes when they are just going to get covered in dog hair (from lugging them in and out for potty breaks), drool, poop or even get chewed on (for some reason, Stella especially likes to bite my pants - we are working very hard to break this habit!).

But, oh the joy when they wake up in the mornings! They are just ecstatic to see us (mostly me, hehe).  They just wiggle and wiggle - not just their mini tails, its a full out body wiggle! 

Speaking of them, the sleeping dragons are now awake - time to take them out!

Monday, September 26, 2011

CF Education Day

I attended my first CF Education Day on Saturday, which was held by my CF Center in Augusta, Georgia.  I had the privilege to be one of the patients asked to be on the panel to discuss and answer questions about my experience with CF.  I wasn't really sure what to expect or who all would be there, so I asked some of my family to tag along with me.  Will, my mom & brother Taylor joined me for the day (had a last minute cancellation, won't name any names, but you know who you are!). 

The day started with some Jeopardy!  The room was divided into groups and we answered trivia questions about CF topics...I must say our team was awesome!  It was a fun interactive way to break the ice and get the room talking.  Then, we had some sessions on CF Research, which is always exciting to hear about.  They discussed the VX-770 and VX-809 drugs that are in the works - fingers crossed they are approved by the FDA for patients soon!  Then, my doctor spoke and shared some statistics about the CF Center I attend.  I'm happy to report my PFTs are above average in the adult group - go me!!  And the last thing before lunch was a session discussing stress and the effects it can have on illness.  However, it was very interesting and anyone could relate it to their life whether they have an illness or not.

We broke for lunch and returned for the panel.  I was the oldest CF patient on the panel, but not the oldest there (there was a gentleman that was 52 & looked extremely heathly - he was diagnosed at 10 months and there was another gentleman in his 40s!).  There was also girl about my age there that was pregnant!  So, lots of hope for us CFers. 

Back to the panel...there were a few parents on the panel with their kids (2 college guys & 1 high schooler) and then some other parents with younger children.  One couple had a 15 month old that had been diagnosed at 3 weeks, thanks to the fabulous requirement that all newborns are now tested for CF at birth!  They are very new to the disease and you could tell they were still trying to understand it, but were very positive about their little girl & their desire to keep her healthy. 

The overall summary of the panel is that we are all normal people trying to live our lives as normal as possible.  Kids still play with dirt and have chores, we can go off to college, get married and have a family.  Its all about what you do to keep yourself healthy.

Here's a pic from the day of me & my little brother (that's much bigger than me!).

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My latest read

I had intended to write about the book I read on Friday morning, but of course the craziness of the day took over.  So, I will continue with my original thoughts.  I just finished "Always Something There to Remind Me" by Beth Harbison.  I heard of the book from Emily Giffin's Facebook Page (the author of Something Borrowed and several other, which I've written about reading).

It was a great love story about two people that dated in high school and continued to think and love each other as they grew older and led separate lives.  I laughed out loud in some parts as the book was describing how teenagers see love and express love.  The notes, the mixed-tapes and the thoughts that you are madly in love with the person you are dating and imagine that they are who you will marry.  I remember the days of note writing and listening to a song and relating it to how you feel (the whole rainbow of emotions)...heck, sometimes I still think a song was written for me.  But, its that childish and innocent thoughts that eventually lead to heartbreak and thus, make us who we are and make us wiser in the love department.

I'm not saying you can't find your perfect person in high school, I actually have several friends that met in high school and are happily married today.  But, its highly unlikely these days.  Maybe a bit more common when my parents were growing up, but not so much now.  Its seems like teens change boyfriends/girlfriends every week these days!

Then, the book leads to the always taunting question"what if?"  That's a pretty big question - especially when relationships are involved.  What if you could take back a fight or an action, would things have turned out differently?  What if you gave that one person a chance that you never really had any interest in?  One will never know.

I try to live with as few "what ifs" as possible.  I don't want to be older thinking back on my life and not be satisfied.  I want to live it to the fullest and not leave any doubt!  I thoroughly enjoyed the book and the emotions it brought back remembering the days of new and young love.

Friday, September 23, 2011

1 Step Forward, 2 Steps Back

Its only 9:00 am on this dreadfully rainy Friday morning and I'm about to lose my mind.  I woke up to the barking of puppies (as usual) and the pouring rain - literally pouring!  Needless to say, the pups weren't thrilled about going outside in it, but Will took one for the team and put a rain coat on and headed out with them, one-by-one.  We had success, they both went #1.  But to my dismay, the lovely Stella took it upon herself to crap all over one of their beds in the pen moments after coming back in.  Not the nice solid stuff either - yuck!  So as I was cleaning that, she remained in the pen and Will took Sarge back out to try for #2 since he probably had to go luck.  However, when I walked back in the room, the wonderful Stella had left me MORE poop to clean.  Isn't she kind? 

So, in my attempts of picking the sheet up, I have 2 puppies attacking it (and me) while I'm yelling for Will to get them!  He comes and starts gagging at the smell so he grabs the pups and distracts them while I clean.  Needless to say, that sheet went straight to the trash can!  We waited a bit to feed them because they would have to go again right after eating and it was still raining.  Thankfully, it stopped briefly and we made a quick feed and out again - success!! 

The soft side of me hates to put them in their kennels constantly, so I let them play in a pen we set up in the living room.  Not ready to roam free in the house yet!  At this pace, it could be years!  So, they played and I took them out 2 more times (yes, all before 9am).  Then, I was getting up to take them out again & wouldn't you guess it, Stella was going #1 - she managed to get it on the sheet and in the OTHER BED!! OMG!! So, I grab them and run outside again.  You may be wondering where Will is at this point...he's back in bed taking a snooze.  So, when we came back in and dried everyone off, it was kennel time.  Will all of a sudden appears to find me cleaning up again.

So, I've had to wash both beds this morning, two sheets and I have a pile of wet towels by the back door that I'll worry about later.  My body is exhausted already!

Thank God they are cute & I love them dearly!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

CF Appointment

Happy Monday!  I'm happy to report that after feeling like complete crap yesterday, I'm feeling better.  My body is still a bit achy, but I've regained some energy. 

I had my quarterly CF appointment on Friday which was rather hectic.  I arrived at noon for my bone density scan only to discover I wasn't in the system.  Luckily, they managed to squeeze me in.  Then, I was off to the blood lab at 12:30 pm, to again find that they didn't have a work order for me.  After a few minutes, they called me back and only took 1 tube?!?!  That never happens!  I asked if that was all they needed for the Glucose test and the tech said they didn't have an order for that.  OH MY!  So, after the one vial was drawn I went to the office where the clinic is held and the receptionist started to track down my nurse to get the full order while I headed to X-Ray.  A few minutes sitting there, the receptionist told me that the full order was at the lab, so I ran back over there.  Then, the took 11 vials of blood on my empty stomach at 1:30 pm.  Got a bit lightheaded but made it through.  So, back to X-Ray which I was now late for and then to PFTs which I was late for too.  (Went back to the blood lab at 3:30 for one my drawing to complete the glucose test)

As expected, my PFTs went down.  My FVC was 97% (from 103%) and my FEV1 was 87% (from 95%).  Not horrible, but not to my satisfaction.  I coughed during the testing, which is a pretty rare occurrence for me and the tech was even surprised.

Then on to the doctor.  I told her about my cough which I had been hoping would go away but never did.  So, she put me on 750 mg of Cipro for 2 weeks.  It was going to be Levaquin, but my pharmacy was out of it so, we got approval to use Cipro instead.  The appointment went well, got to see the whole team: Nutritionist, Social Worker & Respiratory Therapist.  Got the same reports that my weight is good, and they are glad I'm exercising now and using my Cayston.  As expected, they want me to use my Acapella or Vest especially since I've been coughing.   I finally walked out of the hospital right at 5:00 pm.  Did I mention, I still had not eaten for the day?!?!  And, my pups had been in their kennel for 6 hours now.

So, mom & I went home to tend to the pups and then called in a to-go order at The Pizza Joint.  I inhaled my dinner - I was so hungry.  Then, mom headed back home.

Saturday was good.  Me and the pups just hung out and watched college football, mostly just the West Virginia and South Carolina games - both won - woohoo!! Will was gone again for the weekend to Vegas for his friends' bachelor party, so puppy duty was all me...AGAIN.  I got some really cute pics of the puppies playing - I'll post soon!

I woke up around 6:30 am on Sunday and my entire body was aching.  I text my mom and she came over later that morning to help with the puppies so that I could sleep.  I pretty much slept all was great!  I think the puppies enjoyed having their Grandma around, they got to run wild!  They played outside a lot and got to chewy whatever they wanted.  Thank God for moms - don't know what we'd do without them!  Its funny, even at 28, mom is the person you want when you don't feel good!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Puppies & PFTs

Its been pretty quiet around our household this past week...well, actually not.  Two puppies are quite noisy when they get to wrestling.  Will had gone out of town and left me on puppy duty all by myself!!  I was taking them out every 30 minutes, when awake.  But, they still managed to have a few accidents.  So, I was exhausted, still am.  I had to take them to the vet last week all by myself too!  They were actually pretty good and I managed to get some help toting the little rascals around by some strangers.  Bulldog pups aren't seen very often, so they get lots of attention!  Stella weighed in at 11.5 lbs and Sarge was 10.3 lbs. 

Stella taking Sarge for a walk!
I had the wild idea yesterday to see what they weighed.  I could tell they had gained weight...they eat 3 cups of food a day (each) so how could they not pack on the pounds.  Stella was 14.6 lbs and Sarge was 12.5 lbs, so they are GROWING!  I'm such a proud mom :)  They go in spurts, but they are starting to come when I call them and are doing much better on the potty training thing.  If they have an accident, its pretty much my fault for not moving fast enough to get them out. 

Although I love them dearly (who couldn't?!?!), my poor house is suffering from their messes.  When they eat, they manage to get food across the kitchen...still baffles me on how they do this.  When they drink, the floor gets soaked and so do they.  The constant in and out (even though we take our shoes off inside) there is grass and dirt everywhere - ahh!! So my fabulous husband took me out this past weekend and I got a new vaccuum (made for hardwood floors)!! Say hello to my new best friend, the Dyson DC35:
The newness hasn't worn off, so I'm vacuuming like 5 times a day!  Its cordless so I just keep on going and don't have to stop to unplug when I go to the next room.  It is awesome - I love it :)

On another note, I have my quarterly CF visit tomorrow.  I'm going to drag my mom along with me as its gonna be a looooong one!  Glucose test (which I'm not happy about - I hate fasting), X-Rays, Bone Density Scan and my PFTs all before seeing the doctor.  Let's hope all goes well!  I'm a bit unsure about the PFTs, I still have a bit of a cough, but I think the Cayston is helping (finishing up week 2).  So, wish me luck!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Never Forget

September 11th is a very significant date in the history of the USA.  But, to me it also is the anniversary of losing my Grandaddy.  Yesterday marked 3 years that he's been gone and it just seems so strange that that much time has passed.  Grandaddy is actually my stepdad's dad, and I didn't even know him until I was about 9.  He welcomed both my brother and I into the family, just as if we were blood.  I was the first girl as Munner and Grandaddy had 3 sons and 2 grandsons, so my girlishness was a welcomed change to them :)  Grandaddy was one of the funniest guys and you couldn't believe a word he said!  He would tell us grandkids about how he used to jump out of planes with knives in his mouth, how he rode across the desert on a camel and was even struck by lightning (this story was actually confirmed to be true by my grandmother - haha!).  The man loved to tell stories and my gullible self always believed them!

The last year of Grandaddy's life, he grew very ill and was in and out of the hospital.  He ended up in Hospice where he eventually passed away.  I cherish the time he was in Hospice as I visited him almost every day and got to spend some special time with him.  I'd help him drink his slushy and stretch his legs as he continued to tell me his crazy stories.  The world is a lesser place without his carefree spirit, but I carry a piece of him with me in my heart and in the wonderful memories we have.

Thinking back to 10 years ago, when the 9/11 attacks took place...I was a freshman in college getting ready for my Biology 101 class.  I was in the bathroom blow drying my hair when one of my roommates called me out to the living room to see that a plane had hit one of the Twin Towers.  I was confused, like most people, and didn't know what was going on.  I remember standing there staring at the TV when the second plane hit.  That's when a light bulb went off and I was terrified.  I remember calling my mom at some point in tears and she comforted me over the phone.  All classes were cancelled that day and my roommates and I just sat watching TV waiting to learn more and then hearing of the Pentagon attack and the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania and the towers collapsing.

I was watching some of the ceremonies yesterday, I just sat and cried.  I didn't know anyone that died that day, but it doesn't mean it doesn't affect you.  Sadly, there are children that never met their parents or were too young to really remember them.  Its tragic that something like this is what brings the country together.  We may not all agree on policies or the way the government operates - but this is OUR COUNTRY!!  We have so many troops out there fighting for us and keeping us safe.  They too are losing lives for us - they are truly heroes!!

So, thank you to our troops!! And my thoughts and prayers are with those mourning the loss from 9/11/01.  We will never forget!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The woes of a new mom

It just so happened that I started my Cayston treatments this weekend (still trying to determine if its helping my cough).  Talk about making me insane!  I feel like I'm either doing a breathing treatment or running a puppy outside.  Plus, now that the weekend is over, I'm working!  I'm exhausted - mentally, physically, emotionally - every way humanly possible.  I haven't even taken a shower yet today (5:00 pm now) because I figured I have to take the pups out again soon and will somehow manage to get covered in pee, poop, drool, dirt or who knows what else! 

It was rainy this weekend and as you can imagine, that's no fun when trying to potty train a puppy!  I'm soaked, they are soaked - just a bit of a mess.  BUT - its great at the same time!!

I've got several friends that are new moms (of two-legged children) and I'm feeling their misery joy!  Having a puppy has a few upsides versus a human baby:
  • I don't have sore nipples, nor am I leaking milk (gross - sorry!)
  • I don't have to deal with the post-labor recovery
  • I can put the puppies in a cage and not have DSS/CPS called on me
  • I can squirt them with a spray bottle to correct bad behavior
  • They only have 2 feedings per day
  • They will be adults in about a year!
On the otherhand, there are some downsides to puppies versus babies:
  • I have to take them outside to potty - doesn't matter if its a sunny day or a terential downpour - my butt is going outside with them
  • They don't wear diapers, so if they go potty, it is me picking up the poop off the floor or wiping up the pee (thank goodness I have hardwood floors!)
  • They bite!  Enough said!
I'm sure people think I'm crazying comparing my puppies to their children, but oh well!  I love my animals and treat them better then some people do their kids! 

Here is a picture of my precious babies:

Visiting Grandma's and taking a break from playing
Playing ball with my Mom's German Shepard, Gracie

Out cold!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bully Baby Heaven

My sweet bulldog babies have arrived!!!  Will and I drove up to Lynchburg, VA on Friday evening.  We stayed downtown and had a nice evening and got lots of sleep as our last night before babies.  Then, Saturday morning we headed to breakfast then met up with the breeder to pick up our precious babies.  Here's our new family photo:

They are just as cute as ever and have quite the personalities.  Sarge is pretty chill, but when he gets all excited, he loves to wrestle.  Stella is a diva - she thinks she rules the roost already but can be super sweet when she wants to be.  They both love biting and chewing everything.  My fingers have been victims a few times and it hurts!!

Needless to say, I'm in heaven.  I can't stop looking at them...they make me so happy.  I told Will yesterday, that I feel complete.  Its been hard without Sophie and these babies bring back all the wonderful memories I have of her.  They do some of the same things she did - its hilarious.  I can't wait til they get a bit older (and potty trained) because we are going to have so much fun!

CF Appointment 3.14.19

And just like that, another 3 months has passed by.  I headed to my CF appointment on Wednesday, March 13th. I saw lots of my favorite peo...