Monday, December 22, 2014

Pupdate

I've been meaning to share some more info about T-Bone and our progress as a party of five.  Unfortunately, I caught the crud and was knocked on my butt last week, but I'm pretty much 100% better now - thanks to my wonderful CF Team and Cipro (750mg twice a day for 14 days).

But, back to the pupdate.

T-Bone has been in the family for 2 weeks now and he is such a blessing.  A little background on our big guy:  he was turned over to the Georgia English Bulldog Rescue this past June as his owners did not want him anymore due to his bad eyes and they believed he was going blind.  The GEBR worked their magic and fixed up his eyes, along with some bad ear infections and then he had knee surgery!  So, he had a busy almost 6 months in foster care getting better.  You can view his page on the GEBR website and get some more details of his care here.

We took T-Bone to our vet on the 11th so he could get acquainted with his new vet and get checked out.  He weighed 55.6 lbs and was such a good boy.  He rode great in my car and was perfectly behaved in the waiting room.  Dr. Groover gave him a full check up.  He noticed a little entropion in one eye (that's where the eye lid rolls in and then eye lashes can rub and irritate the eye).  He didn't think it was severe enough to need surgery at this point.  He agreed to keep using the eye drops that he had been on under foster care.  There were two different drops in both eyes, twice a day.  But, Dr. Groover was able to contact a compounding pharmacy and ordered us a combined drop - woohoo!  So just one drop in both eyes, twice a day.  He also had a bit of an ear infection, so they put a gel in each ear that stays in for 10-14 days.  Sadly, T-Bone didn't enjoy that very much.  I think he was mad at me :(
At the vet!
T-Bone does a great job getting his drops every day.  He doesn't put up much of a fight - nothing a treat can't fix :)  We have noticed that his peripheral vision is not so great...he can only really see you if you are pretty close to him.  Also, his hearing is rather bad - poor fella!  So, we make sure to make noise and not sneak up and scare him!  He is learning our routine and catching onto key words/phrases that we say all time - like "treat", "outside" and "kennel up".  He's even starting to remember that he has to get his face wiped after drinking water (so I don't have drool all over my house!!).

Sarge and Stella are adjusting to life with a big brother.  Some days they don't seem to mind him, and then some days they flat out don't want him here.  Same goes with T-Bone - its a love/hate relationship.  But, everyday we are making progress and they are getting along better and better!!  We bought T-Bone a bed of his very own, but he doesn't like it.  Sarge and Stella love it though...it should only hold one bulldog, but those two goofy things like to get all squished in it!
Stella and Sarge in the tiny bed
Handsome boy
Progress - T-Bone & Sarge on one bed!!
Three peas in a pod :)

While we are still in the transition phase, we are beyond happy with our decision to rescue!!  I had so much love for Sarge and Stella that I couldn't imagine loving anything else.  BUT I DO!! I love all 3 of my bully babies soooo much!

I am so happy that we rescued.  It brings a whole new aspect to having a pet.  We were able to give a home to a sweet guy that someone turned their back on.  He just wants to be loved too and we are happy to do it!!  I look forward to a long life of rescuing ahead!!  If you can't rescue, please consider supporting your local humane society or animal rescue monetarily or volunteering.  We love the GEBR - you can support them by donating: www.georgiaenglishbulldogrescue.org

Until next time!  I'll be busy with Christmas in a few days - still have some shopping to do - ahhh!!  Hope everyone enjoys the holidays ahead :)




Thursday, December 11, 2014

CF Appointment

I had my 4th quarter CF appointment yesterday. It was good, but not as good as I would have liked.  I had a glucose test, which always sucks!  I had a late start too, so I didn't get to eat until after 1:15...I was HUNGRY!!!  Thankfully I remembered my protein bar so I munched on that while I waited for the CF gang to come see me.

PFTS were down a bit, but I believe that to be my fault entirely.  I feel fine, so I don't think I'm coming down with anything.  Ever since our Vegas trip on Thanksgiving, I've had a heck of a time getting back into my vesting schedule.  I've noticed my cough has picked up a bit, which I think is a result of the missed treatments.

So here they are...and for fun, I included my results from this time last year.

                      12/10/14      9/19/14     December 2013
FVC                 97%            111%            110%
FEV1               85%            95%               97%
FEV 25-75%   52%            58%               68%

Although they were down some, we did notice a cool trend.  Since starting Hypertonic Saline in October 2013, my numbers have been on an upward trend overall!!  That's pretty awesome!!  So glad I started it!!!

Nothing else to really report.  Weight is always good - too good if you ask me ;).  Tummy is operating as it should thanks to my enzymes.  Exercising 4-5 days a week plus vesting, so can't complain about airway clearance too much!

I'm good til my next appointment in March - woohoo!  Now I just need to get back on my A game!  Vest and then starting my Cayston cycle on Monday.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Party of Five

Well - it's official!! We are a family of five!! Holy cow!

I'm thrilled to announce that we were selected to be T-Bone's parents :)  We drove to Atlanta yesterday (along with Sarge and Stella) to meet him.  It went well for the most part.  Will and I of course fell instantly in love.  Sarge and Stella are still trying to figure out why we brought another dog home and when we are taking him back.  Hate to burst their bubbles, but he is here to stay!

I'll post more about our new family member soon, just wanted to share the great news!!

Please welcome T-Bone!!
Stella, Will & T-Bone
Time to go home!

Good boy on the way home - sleeping like a baby :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Growing Family

I intended to sit down to brag a bit about our fun Vegas adventures over Thanksgiving, but after some email conversations today, I feel I'm ready to share some exciting news!

Will and I decided years ago that I wouldn't physically carry a child due to the risks.  I have CF, I don't want to push my luck more than I should. (This doesn't mean I'm against people with CF having babies, I say "you rock", its just not in my game plan).  So, we talked about adoption and always knew that is the way we would want to build a family, should we decide we are ready to have a child.

Well, that day hasn't arrived!  Sorry folks!  We are spoiled and love our life, just us two!  We have nephews and a niece that bring more joy to our lives than we could ever imagine.  Plus, we have the most awesome bulldogs in the world that bring laughter and love in our home and make us smile even on the worst of days.

So, why am I talking about a growing family?

We have decided that we are ready for another bulldog! Yep - we want THREE!!!  We have done the whole get a puppy from a breeder thing, so we want to rescue.  There are sooooo many dogs that are turned into shelters because they have health problems or people just don't want them any more...I mean, who could do that?!?!  Bulldogs are a common breed where people think they are just so cute and cuddly, but don't realize that they are HIGH MAINTENANCE!!!  Sadly, many end up in shelters, and if they are lucky, a rescue saves them.

So, before Thanksgiving we submitted our adoption application to the Georgia English Bulldog Rescue.  We've had a phone interview, house review, vet check among other things and have been approved to rescue!!  We are now discussing which little fella will be joining our family.

We want a boy as Stella is one of those dominant females (lol).  She gets along with females but boys are better for her.  And well, Sarge, he likes just about anything.  So, we are anxiously awaiting our little boy's arrival!!  We've been discussing what dogs are available, their health issues/special needs and whether they like other dogs.  We have narrowed it down to one and I am praying that all works out and we get to bring him home soon (he is currently in a foster home).  I look forward to sharing more news soon!  Wouldn't it be the greatest Christmas present for us and the bully to have a new home!!  I just can't contain my joy :)  Stay tuned...


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Catching Up

Greetings long lost followers!  I have been wanting to blog but just can't seem to get any thoughts typed out :/    So, just to keep you up to date on my life, here's a bit of what I've been up to!

October 10th - I was at the North American CF Conference and did a live webinar with Dr. Mike Boyle.   It was amazing!  I can't put into words what an honor it was to be a part of this!  I love talking about CF and being a part of the CF Community!
Me and Dr. Boyle

October 17th-19th - Will and I went to New Jersey along with my other siblings and surprised my dad for an early 60th Birthday!  We had a great time - went to the shooting range, went into NYC and had dinner at Capital Grille, then saw Les Miserable.
Surprise!!


We are a tough bunch!
Cheers to Dad!

October 23rd - November 6th - I was at camp in West Virginia!  We have started the construction of our cabin so it was all work and no play!  We got up early to start working and put in 70 posts for the 2 new cabins (one for us and one for Will's aunt & uncle).  Exhausting but really awesome to be a part of it.  I'm not the girl that sits and watches the guys do all the work - I get my hands dirty!  The weather was crazy, we had rain, sunshine and freezing temps...its a wonder I didn't get sick.  Will ended up spraining his ankle on the trip so that was an event.  All is well now, still has some soreness and stiffness, but at least he can walk and drive (it was his right ankle).

The pups love riding in the Gator!

Yucky - rainy day of work :(

All the posts are up!



Since then, I've been catching up on stuff at home that I slacked off on during all my travels in September and October.  Hope you all out there have been doing well!  Until next time...


Sunday, October 12, 2014

An Amsterdam Ending

We had a nice flight from Prague to Amsterdam and arrived Sunday afternoon.  Our friends Brian and Shawn headed back home, but we continued our journey for just a few more days.  We checked into the hotel first, the Waldorf Astoria, which was gorgeous!!  Turns out Lady Gaga had stayed there the night before we arrived.  This location had just opened in May, so it was all brand new.  We stayed in the loft style room which added so much character with the beautiful beams, plus the nice view out the window of the canal.
Flying in
We are here!



Once settling in, we headed out to check out the local area.  We walked a few blocks over towards Rembrandt Square.  There were tons of people everywhere.  After our walk, we stopped for dinner and then back to call it an early night.
Will's steak (looks tiny by the fries!)
My Chicken Schnitzel 
Exploring!
On Monday, we got up early to head to the Anne Frank House.  I tried to reserve tickets online, but they were already sold out so we had to wait in line :(  It took about an hour and a half to get in the house/museum.  And it was worth it!!  We couldn't take any pictures inside, but it was surreal to see the hiding place of the Frank family (and friends).  We walked through the actual bookcase doorway that hid their living quarters.  I remember reading The Diary of Anne Frank when I was in school, so seeing the actual place where she lived was amazing and heartbreaking.  The exterior of the house was being restored, so I wasn't able to get a good picture of anything other than the door.
Waiting in line  
The clock they could hear while in hiding is behind us 
The front door of the Frank families hiding quarters
To lighten the mood after such an emotional journey, we took a canal ride.  It was an hour ride that carried us through the main canals and bay.  We went right past our hotel and the Anne Frank House.
The Anne Frank House is the one coved in white tarps

The Waldorf!
That evening was a quiet dinner and drinks back at the hotel.  A part of the now Waldorf used to be a bank.  They left the original vault there and it is now a bar.  Its pretty awesome in there.  The bar itself has old safety deposit boxes as the backdrop.
Dessert!!
The Vault Bar


Tuesday was nice and relaxing.  We woke up and headed down to the spa for some pampering.  We both got massages and relaxed a bit around the spa pool.  We got dressed to have lunch and venture to the Heineken Experience.  A short walk from the hotel, we got a tour of the facility and some freshly brewed beer!
Almost to the brewery
Cheers!
The beautiful Heineken horses
We concluded our trip with a highly recommended steak house, Toro Dorado.  It was pretty tasty!  After we went back to the Vault Bar at the Waldorf for a night cap and headed to bed as the morning would be very early!
Date Night
Our farewell Amsterdam dinner
Delicious drinks!
We were up well before the sun on Wednesday to head back home!  We caught the sun coming up just before boarding our flight.  After the 9+ hour flight back home, I was thrilled to be back in the USA!!  We had a layover in Atlanta and coincidentally, my Dad was there too!  So we got to catch up for a little bit.  We also scarfed down some Five Guys - we sure missed greasy, unhealthy American food!!  Plus, I got a bag of Sour Patch Kids...I missed them something terrible!!  I looked everywhere and didn't see any :(

Sunrise in Amsterdam
Dad & me :)
We enjoyed our time in Amsterdam, but it was my least favorite city to visit.  Hotel wise - it was great!!  But the city itself is kind of dirty.  There are cigarette butts EVERYWHERE...and trash.  Plus the smoking was on a whole new level, plus the aroma of other "stuff".  I know its legal to use marijuana there, but I was still rather surprised the amount of people I saw smoking pot and sitting on park benches rolling one.  I know I'm a prude when it comes to smoking...but I like my little smoke free bubble :)  I told Will one night that I just wanted to take a big deep breath of fresh air, but it did not exist in Amsterdam :(  My lungs hated it there...I actually coughed a little bit during the night.  So, the 3 day visit was just enough.

The city has a lot of character with the canals - I love the lay out...that was probably my favorite city based on that.  People ride bikes there too, but its totally different than Munich.  It's crazy!!  I felt like I was risking my life crossing the street.  The bikes come zooming by...they are worse than cars there.


Our 12 day trip was amazing!!!  We are so blessed to be able to take the time away to explore other parts of the world.  We had no worries about our bully babies back at home - our wonderful friends, Megan and David, took excellent care of them.  Its such a relief to know they are in good hands while we are away!!

Will and I were talking about of favorite parts of the trip, and we both agreed that Munich was our favorite city and we are DEFINITELY going back...especially to Oktoberfest! I am excited already for whenever that may be.  I will make sure I pack several bags of Sour Patch Kids with me on the next journey :)


Friday, October 10, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

One time...in Praha

After 3 full days in Munich, then a trip to Salzburg, it was time to move our adventures to another city.  I was so excited to get back to Prague.  I was fortunate to have spent some time there in May 2004 for a study abroad trip in college.  I had talked about this great city for 10 years, so I was thrilled to get to bring Will back with me.

We decided to add some extra fun to our trip and went to Prague by train.  I found a train that went straight there, thankfully.  There were some that had various stops where we would need to change trains.  But, being our first train ride together and having all our luggage...direct was best!  It took a little over 6 hours.  The train wasn't impressive...just seats and it didn't have a food car - boo!  Thankfully, we had some snacks in our bags so we didn't starve.  We did get to see some beautiful countryside on our journey!  Once we arrived at the train station, we had to take a cab to our hotel.



Our crappy train
Cabbing it to the hotel
We got checked in at the Unitas hotel.  Our travel buddies, Brian and Shawn were flying to Prague, so while waiting on them, Will and I went exploring to find beer and a snack.  Once our friends arrived, we went for a late dinner, then headed to bed early.

On Friday morning, the four of us went to explore.  We took a tram up to the Prague Castle and the Strahov Monastery.  There were gorgeous views and pretty awesome structures.  We continued with our walking journey towards the Charles Bridge.  Just before the bridge, we stopped for a bite to eat then continued on.  We made sure to hit all the landmarks on the bridge that you are supposed to rub for various reasons, but most of all the statue of St. John of Nepomuk.  The saint was thrown to his death on the bridge and by rubbing this part of the statue is said to bring good fortune and ensure that you return to Prague one day (it must work as I rubbed it 10 years ago!).

Blurry, but the tram ride
In the Monastery

Castle in the distance
Cathedral in the Prague Castle  
Charles Bridge in the distance

Group selfie on the Charles Bridge ;)
We didn't stop walking there and ventured into the Old Town Square.  We enjoyed the scenery and relaxed to have a beer (surprise, surprise).  Then, we headed to the Jewish quarter to see the old cemetery, synagog, and museum.  Unfortunately, due to the Jewish holiday, it was closed.  So, we peaked through what cracks we could.
Enjoying Old Town Square
We ran into a section of town with street vendors and stopped for a snack and another drink.  It had cooled off some, so I enjoyed a hot chocolate and some candy : )


No sour patch kids :(
Saturday morning lead us to Terezin.  We hired a private guide to take the 4 of us from the hotel to the concentration camp for a tour.  I visited Terezin on my last trip and wanted everyone to see and share in this piece of history.  It's a humbling experience to visit a concentration camp...don't really have the words to explain it.  Our tour guide was phenomenal and full of knowledge.  We learned a lot!
The cemetery 

In the small fortress


Afterwards, we relaxed a bit and walked back to Charles Bridge to get some more pictures and soak up more of Prague.  That night we headed out for our farewell dinner as we were all leaving in the morning.

The fabulous four
The beautiful Charles Bridge with the Prague Castle in the background.
My dinner...it was so good I had to include a picture :)
This was the view out our hotel window.

Overall, it was great to be back in Prague.  The city has so much character - old buildings, cobblestone streets, just awesome.  Unfortunately, the smoking issue exists there too.  The service at restaurants is pretty much horrible!! Its almost like you are an inconvenience to the server to be there...and heaven forbid if you have a question about something on the menu.  Not using the Euro is confusing...they use crown.  A meal can be 300 crown which sounds expensive, but its really around $13.  So, the math is a bit harder to do in your head.

Our hotel was AWESOME!!!  It was very clean and spacious.  We had a sitting room in addition to the bedroom and bathroom.  So, it was nice to be able to spread out a bit.  They also provided a continental breakfast each morning.  My favorite part was the cute tea pot that I enjoyed green tea in every morning and the omelets.  The ladies working in the breakfast room were very kind and helpful.  I highly recommend Unitas and would want to stay there on our next visit.
My morning tea ;)

Unfortunately, I got out of rhythm and didn't us my HTS while we were there - oops : (


Off to our last stop...Amsterdam!!



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...