Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010; Hello 2011!

Wow! I can't believe that 2010 is already coming to an end! I've had both a ton of highs and lows and so much self discovery this year. Time just flew! (though, at times, I thought it would drag on forever!)

I've been thinking about some new years resolutions for a few days now... It's been hard to not set hundreds of them! In order to make my resolutions stick - I need to only make 3 or 4 and they cannot be too far out of my reach.

Tonight I was seriously thinking about it - and I think I've narrowed it down.

1) School comes first! No more procrastinating. Before I let myself on my computer, watch TV (except to wind down after getting home for a few min) I need to make sure that I get my school work out of the way - then comes the fun =)
2) I need to do things the moment I think about them. Mostly this is talking about phone calls. I have a seriously bad phone phobia. I HATE talking on the phone. So I procrastinate phone calls and this year I've gotten myself into a few pickles that way - No more this upcoming year. If I know something needs to be done, it will be done the next available moment I get.
3) Be more compliant. My health needs to be a priority more than it has been. I need to make more of an effort in taking my meds and making sure that I'm doing everything I can to make every aspect of my health (social, physical, emotional, mental) is in tip top shape, not only for myself, but for my fiance as well. Not only that - but this includes making myself go to the gym or just getting out and walking more frequently - staying in shape!!!!
4) Involve myself more. I easily get caught up in things and I have a hard time letting myself go out and just have fun. I will either be tired from the day, not in the mood, be feeling sick - but I really want to try to not let these things stop me for the majority of the time. Granted because I have an illness I do need to listen to my body if I am tired or sick - but there are sometimes that I use them as an excuse! No more!

I want all of these to be my year long goals and I believe that they are very obtainable and can be done - but not without effort. It's going to be hard and at first it will NOT be perfect!!! I have to accept that they will not be perfect starting out, or even throughout the year for that matter.

It's a new year, so why not start this year with some positive changes in my life... I mean it IS easy to think about the year and be determined to change everything - but I know that it is NOT EASY.... gosh not easy at all. Old habits die hard. But this year has really opened my eyes to life and what I really want out of it. I believe that these resolutions will help me.

Now not only do I have some long term goals - but I have a few short term goals too!!!!
1) Get into wedding shape!!! I can do it - I know I can, just need determination!
2) I need to get a job ASAP. No more just looking! I need to actually apply. I realize that I may not find a job that I like, but if I can just stick with one for the short term - I can get a great one in the long term!

I know I am going to add more as the year goes on, but those are the two major things I want to work on immediately!!
I thought maybe writing all these resolutions down will help me continue with them instead of just having them in my head. Maybe those of you that read this can help me :-P

Thats all for now! Happy New Year - I wish you all a very happy, good, and fun year!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I woke up listening to doctors and social workers talking to Spencer - and I just immediately fell into a negative mood.
BUT after getting on the computer and reading Ronnies Thankful Thursday blog - thought that reflecting upon some of the positive things going on right now would be best to at least try and lift my mood a little bit.

Thoughts may be hard to come by - but I am determined to find FIVE positive things that I'm thankful for!

1. The wonderful Respiratory Therapists taking care of Spencer. Some of them only seem here for the money... but there are a select few that are really invested in the patient and care. I feel so thankful that there are those few that go the extra measure to make sure that Spencer meets his goals while in here.
Here are the differences between the ones that care, and the ones that do the bare minimum:
** When he is sating at around 96% at X amount of oxygen (meaning he is able to try to go down a half a liter to a liter) the good RTs will understand that Spence is trying to get OFF of oxygen and so they will put him down, and then 1/2 an hour later come back and check his sats again to make sure he's doing okay. The other RT's.... unless Spencer specifically asks to be turned down, they just leave it and walk out - If he asks to be turned down a little bit, they will turn him down and won't return to check his sats. Kind of frustrating as we have to ask other staff to check them.
** The good RTs will make sure Spencer has a PEP and they make sure he USES it. After every treatment they will make sure he does at least a set of 10 and then huff coughs after to help loosen up mucus.. then they will check his sats after he does PEP as well as listen to his lungs yet again to see if he made a bit of progress. The other RTs? They don't offer the PEP to him - and if he starts to do it, they will just leave in the middle and half the time they don't chart that he's doing it... =/
** We don't always expect the RTs to stay in the room the whole time while he is doing his treatment and be talkative - but it's nice if they do. Spence recently had an RT who gave him his neb and vest, and then left the room entirely. Spence got down with his albuterol and figured that he'd be back after his vest - nope - we never saw the RT again; so we were responsible for putting the vest up, tubing and neb up as well.. That's not our job - That made me angry. The RTs who really care will stay in the room the whole time to make sure his treatment is done PROPERLY and FULLY. As is their JOB!
----- Now why am I thankful for Spencer's RTs? Because they are invested not only in the short term... but in his long term health and future. If it weren't for them, Spencer's PFTs won't come up, he won't get discharged as early, and he would be in the hospital more frequently... really, the RT is one of the most important parts of a CFers stay....-----

2. I am thankful that this semester is OVER and my major is CHANGED!! This semester was so difficult for me and nursing is honestly, really hard and time consuming. Not only do you have to get superior grades in all the pre recs... but you have to volunteer, get a CNA job... experience, letters of recommendation.. etc etc etc... You have to wrap your life around it, and right now I don't have that kind of time and commitment. I was getting WAY stressed about it. I changed my major to Human Development and Family Studies... or something like that - and I am already feeling SO much better about it. My new goal is to become a Child Life Specialist. We'll see if nursing fits into the picture later. but looking at everything as a whole (all the classes, a job.. etc) I think this fits into what I really really want to do, and I am EXCITED for it!

3. I get to go home for Christmas. Yes, this is a touchy subject as I am not yet sure if Spence can come... but if I look at it selfishly - I will get to travel home. I get to see my family soon and I am overly ready. I miss them so much. Moving away from home 2 states away was one of the hardest decisions I made because I am so very close to my family. So I am so thankful that I have the opportunity, money, time, and transportation to be able to spend a couple weeks at home =)

4. Feeling better. Though I am not up to par, and i am still feeling kind of junky.. Overall I am feeling 80% better than I did a week ago. My ear is starting to drain so I am able to hear a little bit better, my throat isn't hurting as much, I am getting back my energy little by little. I am SO thankful that I didn't have to go to a doctor. With no insurance and little money - I couldn't afford that. And I think I was lucky enough to avoid it.

5. Even though I'm a little upset with the current doctor who is over seeing Spencer, I am thankful that Spence has a FANTASTIC CF doctor (a different one than the one who is looking over him right now) She has a GREAT bedside manner, she is very sympathetic and empathetic, she truly cares, she listens and tries to help you out in whatever way she can, her goal is so that you can have as 'normal' of a life as possible. She is just an amazing person and makes a great doctor.

There's my list =) It's ALWAYS good to reflect upon the positive things in our lives sometimes. It is SOOO easy to get consumed in everything that goes wrong, and all the negative things that happen.... You can't live life fully if your always absorbed in the negative. I'm glad I spent the 30 minutes to remind myself the joys in my life --- I hope YOU do the same!!! =)


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Defeat comes with new beginnings =)

Ahhh I am so happy today =)
I am FINALLY done with fall semester!!! Ugh let me tell you - this semester was just brutal. I had to withdraw from a class, I opted no credit for intro to Chem, and i struggled my butt off through physiology. I had a lot of health issues and I ended the last 2 weeks of the semester being very sick with the flu (in which I'm still trying to get over).. but it's over and I'm on to better things =)
I decided that it was within my best interest to change my major -- that is a topic for another blog (I have a ton of blog ideas running through my head! Just have to make the time and effort to sit down and write!) I originally had a minor in Human Development and Family Studies in addition to my major of Nursing - but decided to turn the minor into my major to be a Child Life Specialist and see where Nursing comes into play in the future... Again - more about that later.

And now for an update on the fiance..... Spencer is improving - and he's improving quite quickly!!!!! It seemed to just hit him so suddenly.. He was so sick when he came in and he wasn't improving as quickly as usual, I was getting nervous.. But maybe this fast and sudden turn around was prayers being answered perhaps? =) Whatever it was I'm really liking it!

Last night I went to bed feeling a little defeated and let down... Defeated from CF because I felt like it was taking over our much looked forward to plans.. We have been planning this trip ever since fall break. We were going to go to Kansas so that we could spend Christmas with my family this year.. And mainly he was coming so that we could plan nearly every detail of our wedding with my family and getting some help along the way.. Not only that but talking to several people and setting up photographer, florist... etc - I was getting so nervous that this wall all suddenly not going to happen - and I honestly didn't know how to deal with it. I am already sacrificing seeing Temple Square lights yet again this year so that there wouldn't be a chance of Spence catching a bug from all the people so that we could go to KS - but now I have to change all my plans cuz CF had to get in the way yet again? I mean I am finally okay with not seeing the lights - I can live... It's MUCH more important to me that Spence come with me for Christmas! Sometimes we have to evaluate what is most important in our lives and just go from there... this was just a simple reminder of that fact...

BUT... my defeat was turned around this morning when I awoke, and Spencer was off the mask of 50% oxygen, and on a nasal canula at 6 liters :-D That was enough to start my day off GREAT! Any progress is GOOD. He seemed really chipper today from the very beginning, and that was also an excellent sign - increased energy.. w00t!

Then during his first afternoon treatment he was sating 96% on 6 liters so the RT turned him down to 5 liters - w00t! I am so thankful to have good RTs like this one, we'll call him J ;-) He really cares. He's not just here for the money. He is genuinely invested in the patient and that is a rare thing. He is determined to help Spencer get weened down on the oxygen and get in good shape to be discharged on Monday. Thank you, J, for all that you do. We REALLY appreciate you!

So off Spence went to exercise and rehab went well for him, and then came his second afternoon treatment.. sating about the same so J the fabulous RT turned him down to 4 liters! uhmm YA!!!!! After his treatment, PEP (J makes SURE he does PEP after every treatment, at least 10 times!), and huff coughing he was sating 94% on 4 liters... Oh gosh that is just FANTASTIC!! Mind you that that is at rest.. when he moves around I think he needs a little more - but he's been heading in the EXACT direction that we want - weaning off O2 quickly, more energy, and he's just full of life today - SO great to see after such a defeating day previously =)

Goal is 3 liters of O2, feeling back to his 'normal' (I am really using this term loosely, as what IS normal anyway?!), and much improved PFTs and energy... His admission PFTs were really low for him... so we need to get them back in the mid to high 30's for him to be discharged!!! GO go go!!!!!

If all of this happens and he continues to improve then we should be SET TO DISCHARGE MONDAY AND GO TO KANSAS FOR CHRISTMAS!!!! I am SOOO excited! I honestly and truely believe that he can do this and be out of here.

THANK YOU for your prayers, good thoughts and support. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I couldn't ask for more =)

And a little note to Spencer - I am so PROUD of you. Proud of how far you have come. I know you have had many setbacks - way more than triumphs lately - but you have honestly exceeded my expectations on how hard you have been working and how much effort you are investing in your health and our relationship. I can see the determination shine through - and I know you see yourself making the progress and I can see how happy you are. It's okay to have down and off days - but just don't let them consume you. You are fighting and giving this your all - I see it, the doctors see it, even the RTs are noticing a difference. You can do this and you have so many people cheering you on and supporting you. See that and use it as motivation to fight. You may have Cystic Fibrosis, but Cystic Fibrosis does NOT have you! You make me proud to call you my fiance, friend, supporter, and fighter. I love you and thank you for your investment in our future. xoxo