Friday, May 6, 2011

Catch up... Days 4, 5, and 6!

Sorry! I'm running behind again! Life has been crazy lately. I'm getting married 3 weeks from tomorrow, I'm looking for a teaching job, and I just found out I'm going to be moving to a different apartment next month! Busy, busy, busy. Anyways, this post is day 4, 5, and 6 of the 31 days of May the Cystic Fibrosis way! Enjoy...

Over the span of my lifetime, there have been many hospitalizations and sicknesses. I have had a few sinus surgeries over the years, but the last one was when I was 10 years old. I have had pneumonia and bronchitis multiple times. When I started college, I became very non compliant with my treatments, and started to become sicker. 2010 was the first year in 3 years that I wasn't hospitalized for pneumonia. Having Cystic Fibrosis greatly increases my risk of picking up little bugs here and there that might be no big deal for the average person. The issue is that for someone with CF, those same bugs could be very serious or even deadly. That being said, I have never put myself in a bubble. I work with children who always have snotty noses and sniffles, but I love them. I could not see myself doing anything else! I love making a difference in children's live whether it puts me in risk of being exposed to germs or not!

People might hate to hear this about CF patients, but for the most part, I can eat whatever I want. I need the extra calories to keep my weight up. It is very difficult to gain weight because our digestive systems don't work well, and our bodies burn so many calories just breathing. Right now, I am not having to go out of my way to gain weight, but as lung function goes down, you have to eat more to keep body weight up. I have to take digestive enzymes with everything that I eat so that my body can digest the food. There are certain foods that are a lot harder on my stomach than others. Super greasy foods like Mexican really tear my stomach up, so I try to steer clear of them. Overall, I try to eat healthy foods while eating a lot of calories. My doctors have said that I need to gain a few pounds in order to really benefit my lung function, but I have to say that right now, I am not actively trying to gain any weight. I have a wedding dress to fit into this month! :)

Clinic... I go to clinic at Vanderbilt in Nashville which is only about 30 minutes away. I just started going there last year when I was told by my doctor in Knoxville that I would need a lung transplant sooner rather than later. Vanderbilt is a transplant center as well as a CF center. When I was a kid, I went to Children's Hospital in Knoxville. I loved my doctors, but clinic was one of my least favorite things because it was an all day trip. You have to talk to the nurse, the doctor, the nutritionist, and on and on and on. It's still a pretty long trip, but I have gotten used to it, so I don't really mind it. I do get nervous before each doctor's appointment now, because I feel like I have to get really great PFT numbers. If I don't, I will be needing a lung transplant... maybe over thinking and worrying myself, but it's what I do! Overall, clinic really isn't bad. However, it is quite the strain on the wallet. My appointment in January was about $3,000! That came out of my parents' pocket because of our $10,000 deductible.

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