Friday, September 30, 2011

Best Day Ever

So I had pretty much the best day ever. Well, not ever ever, but pretty close.  Let me start by saying that yesterday a teacher from our school was out and there was a sub. I am in her room for a few hours a day and being in the room with a sub it made me miss subbing.I like my job, but there is something about being in charge of 32 kids that is just so FUN! So I was talking to the sub and she has been trying to get a teaching job for 4 years now!! WHAT?! That is crazy. Anyway, at the end of the day I was feeling bummed because I missed subbing and wished I could get benefits by being a sub. Well, you can't so I was bummed for the ride home and then moved on with life.

Today I showed up to work (wearing my favorite outfit, mind you) and about 30 minutes into the day my supervisor rushes in and says that a sub didn't show up and I needed to teach a class for them. I am one of two credentialed  paras so they decided to use me as the sub. I was excited because I LOVE teaching, but was sad because the class I was working with was putting on the play they had been practicing and I was going to miss it. Of course I said yes to subbing because I would never turn down anything that might win me brownie points and I love teaching. So I wrote quick sub notes for the person that would be filling in for me and rushed to the 4th grade wing. Nothing spectacular happened and the kids were pretty average kids as far as behavior, but OMG I was having a blast. By the end of the day when the kids left I had SO much energy! I was on a teaching high which is way better that any runners high. It renewed my belief that teaching is my calling even if the economy sucks and there are no jobs. I can't think of anything more fun. One of the kids even came up to me at the end of the day and said I was funner (I tried not to cringe at the use of the word funner) than any other sub in all of history! The kids were well behaved we all liked each other and I just wish more than anything that I could do that everyday!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sleeping Through the Night Again

I just finished my two week course of the cipro/bactrim (or was it levequin/bac I never pay attention anymore) and I am grateful for one main reason. Sure getting better is nice, and not having to take a pill saves me 12 seconds a day, but these are not the best parts of being antibiotic free. There is something much better than all of these combined...not waking up in the middle of the night to pee!!! Since I take the pills when I wake up and then again before bed I always end up drinking a full glass of water before bed. A full glass of water before bed = waking up at 4 in the morning to empty a really full bladder. I am usually a really nice and easy going person, but don't mess with my sleep. Just ask my husband when he snores, it is not pretty. And besides how do you get better without a full nights sleep? So I am happy to say that I can now sleep my full 7 or 8 hours a night without bladder interruptions.

And for all you people rolling your eyes and thinking, "Well, why the heck doesn't she take her pills earlier int he evening and avoid the whole problem?" I know. Sounds dumb but unless I take take pills first thing in the morning, with meals, or at bedtime I will never remember them. I am now off to a restful night of zzz's.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Beads of Hope

My amazingly supportive little sister started making bracelets in order to help raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. They are super cute and she puts a lot of love into each one. If you want a fun way to support CF and get a cute bracelet out of the deal check out my sister's etsy site here!!!! Go to her profile on the site to read about why she is doing this.

P.S. Can you tell which hand is mine in the heart?? I will give you a clue- there is some clubbing going on.

**Upon further investigation you can't see a close up of our hands from that link, but you can from this one! Although the first link gives you a better view of the bracelets and the cute Beads of Hope title she made.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

How far along are you?

So I have the infamous CF belly. It is probably the strangest part of CF which is saying a lot because there are a LOT of weird things that come with CF. The CF belly is greatly highlighted by the CFers tiny slender arms, our fat free legs and thighs (also known as chicken legs or as my husband lovingly calls them frog legs) and our slender frame. It is just so random to have a round belly among all these skinny little extremities. The other fascinating part of the CF belly is that it seems to come and go without rhyme nor reason. There may be a day that all seems right in the world with my CF body: no problems with my gut, nothing unusual eaten, and no forgotten enzymes and YET my CF belly will be full force. In fact this happened on Thursday. As each hour passed my belly seemed to pouch a little bit more. By the evening I was sitting on the couch and looking at my beer belly. I called hubster over and asked had him check it out. We both laughed at how huge my stomach looked. Today, flat as a pancake. Huh? With my new enzymes I never really have bad gut days and can't remember the last time I felt gassy or bloated and yet my CF belly still finds days when it is all too visible. And so I share with you, cysters, my not so dear friend: The CF belly.

BTW it was REALLY hard to find pics of the belly. With digital cameras I just push delete if I look hugely pregnant. Also, usually when I am getting my picture taken I do the suck in :)

Here is a great example. Skinny arms and legs, but what is that little baby bump doing!? Thank god I am not a celebrity, I would be all over the tabloids as pregnant EVERY month.

Okay, here is a doozy! The worst CF belly pic I have. I am even embarrassed to post it, but hell here it is anyway!

I totally look like a have a giant beer belly or I am immensely pregnant! I just love how it starts all the way under my girls at my rib cage. Like how does that happen it isn't even considered the stomach area?! Luckily, my belly does not usually look like this, but on random off days when my belly decides to grow into an unsightly beast this is what I am left with.  

I am pretty sure this is what my belly looked like on Thursday when my husband and I were laughing at my CF bump. It is actually worse when I sit down because it seems to sit on top of my pants making it appear even larger.

And I learned the hard way that you can't work out until the belly is gone because it has nothing to do with stomach muscles or body fat. Besides CFers have the strongest belly muscles around from our daily coughing workout. So for now I will simply have to enjoy my good belly days and on the bad belly days I will simply enjoy people going out of their way to help the pregnant lady.

Here are some beautiful cysters who are also willing to share their CF belly with the CF world! Seriously, we are all beautiful, belly and all!

  • Colleen from *Live*Laugh*Love*Breath posted about hers here.
  • Megan from Breathing Deeply, Laughing Loudly, and Living Fully posted about hers (and a great idea for buying pants with a CF belly) here

Feel free (if you are as crazy as me) to blog your CF belly and I will link you to my post.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

In Need Of Positive Thoughts

I have not been in the mood to write lately. There was a tragedy in the CF mommy world recently that really struck me. It has made me question everything and made me think about my choices for the future. I remember asking my OB if she ever lost a CF mommy or a baby (with a CF mommy) during pregnancy in which she firmly answered no. I felt (falsely) assured that as long as you were healthy enough to sustain a pregnancy and no other factors came into play (for example early miscarriage which is common in ALL woman) the pregnancy would be successful with the biggest fear being preterm labor. Of course CF complications don't wait until the "perfect" time to expose themselves.

I guess the reason I don't feel like writing lately is I feel that with something so horrible happening right now talking about my mundane life feels almost disrespectful. Please send some positive thoughts or vibes or prayers (whatever is your style) to a Cyster that is in dire need of them right now. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Don't Go Too Soon

September has become my favorite month because along with the start of autumn, September is also home to my anniversary month. We have been married a year which may not seem long, but it is hard for me to remember life without my husband. I cannot begin to express with written words what he means to me and I have yet to find spoken words that can properly represent my feelings towards my husband.

Often times late at night when we are cuddled in bed just about to doze off or when I am looking through old photographs of our laughing faces and rosy cheeks conjuring up memories of wonderful times we spent together I get these pains that reverberate through my very core. The root of this pain is heinous disease that stands in the way of watching our love evolve as we grow old and grey and wise. How I would love to hold my husband's hand when it is wrinkled and covered in soft, tan liver spots. I would love to touch the soft papery feel of his skin that is so unique to those who have seen more than I ever will. I want to pluck each other's grey hairs just to watch 4 grow in its place. I want to get to the point that plucking grey hairs is a humerous impossibility lest we lose all the hair on our heads. I want to watch how we persevere through slow and achy joints and trouble getting off the couch because our knees have done it a few too many times. I want to hold my husband when wrinkles have overtaken our youthful beauty. I wish these things on all I have, but if wishing made things true we would never have to deal with the merciless killer residing in my body.

I find myself feeling I must fit all the years of "I love you" and "You are my world" or "I would give anything to spend the rest of my life in your arms" into the years we do have. I want to bombard his heart with all my words of love so when I am gone he will still have a lifetime's worth of my words. I want to be sure that when I am gone he will never for a second doubt how much he means to me and how badly I wanted us to have a forever after. I find I sometimes miss him knowing I will be leaving him too soon and so I wrap my arms around him just a little bit tighter and snuggle close just a little bit longer and whisper "I love you" for the 100th time that week so that I can bring his memory with me into eternity.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cough. Cough.

So my mild cold like symptoms turned into my very first full on cold of the school year. I made it just about a month into school before getting sick, but I did not get sick from school. Rather, I got sick from my dear old husband! Here is the typical scenario of how colds get passed in my family.

My husband gets home from work and I start asking him about his day. He answers and I notice he sniffled twice during his answer. "Are you getting sick?" He thinks for a second assessing how he feels "Uhh yeah, maybe, I guess so..." 

The next day his voice sounds a little strange and he has to blow his nose a few times. "How are you feeling?" I asked him. "Uhh, I think I am sick." Later that night he goes on a guys night out to the bars. I warn him that if he goes out while sick it will get worse or he could relapse. He goes out anyway and doesn't get home till around 1:00. The next day he is 100% better and feels great.

I pick up his cold somewhere along the line and mine goes something like this.
First sign of cold: 3-4 vest treatments a day, restart Cayston, drink emergen-C 4x/day, take all my "getting sick supplements", gargle salt water 3x/day, sinus rinses 3x/day, go to bed extremely early. And I. still. get. sick.

Last night I was talking to the husband and then all of the sudden I gave three hard coughs and *poof* my voice was gone. I then continued to cough for the next 12 hours nonstop! I called in sick and scared the crap out of my supervisor because I sounded like a monster with my voice going in and out and being super scratchy. I then fell back asleep after treatments (around 7am) til 2:00pm. I am feeling better after that 7 hour nap and thank goodness I still have an appetite.

On the plus side hubbers has been amazing. When I woke up he told me how depressing the house feels when I am sick. He then pulled out lunch for both of us and even went out to get my favorite drink- agua frescas de sandia. He then told me to go outside and look at my car. I stumbled outside to find that he had cleaned the interior and exterior of my car!! I wanted to get my car cleaned (inside) when school started, but never got around to it. I have no voice and so I have to rely on my miming skills which are actually pretty good if I do say so myself. Hubbers purposely misconstrued everything I said for his own entertainment purposes which made me silently laugh all day! We spend the remaining of the day (before he had to go to work) snuggled up and relaxing.

The worst part test strip on the OPK is getting very very close to the control color. Like I have to squint to tell the difference. Really body?? You want to ovulate while I was sick, but could care less about dropping an egg when I was good and healthy. Sigh. I keep hoping my ovulation gets delayed, but we will see.

**P.S. I found the belly pics to post, I just need to crop them so they will be up soon**

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Why is it...

So my gross tolerance is through the roof when it comes to my mucus. I cough into a clear cup when doing my treatments so I can keep tabs on the viscosity, color, texture, and amount of mucus I cough up. I take pics of my big plugs which I know is beyond weird, but they are so darn fascinating. When my husband started looking at old vacation pics I warned him about my plug pics and he proceeded anyway. He just kept staring at the plug pic without even blinking. I wasn't sure what to make of his reaction until he said, "I CANNOT believe that came out of your lungs." My thoughts exactly and the reason for the photograph! Also when I have a cold (like now) I use my sinus rinse three times a day, but get this I plug the drain. Yes, you heard me right I plug the drain so I can see what comes out of my sinuses. Again I look at amount, color, texture, etc. This helps me determine how bad my cold has gotten and if I need to call the doc. Don't worry no sinus mucus pics have ever been taken.

So here is what baffels me. Today in class a kid sneezed before he had time to get a tissue. He had a long string of mucus hanging from his nose while he ran to the back to grab a tissue and cleaned it up and




OMG talk about gross. Why is it that other people's bodily fluids (mucus)  so much more disgusting than our own?!?

Monday, September 12, 2011

That's Nuts!

 I left the house this morning after getting ready for work which included eating breakfast only to realize that I was still hungry!! Bummer. I very quickly realized I would never make it until 10:15 without a snack, but I was already headed towards the freeway so there was no turning back.I started frantically digging around my school bag looking for something to stave off the hunger. Sure enough my hand fell upon my emergency snack Tupperware. Like any good cyster I keep emergency food pretty much everywhere: my teacher bag, every purse, the classroom, etc. You never know when hunger might strike. This also means I keep emergency enzymes everywhere too. I actually found three full bottles of enzymes in my teaching bag this morning. Can you say overkill! I am proud to say I am down to one full bottle in my bag although I have one stashed away at school too. Anyway, back to my story. So I found my Tupperware container of salted almonds.I must explain that I have enough almonds in the container so that I only have to refill it one every or every other week so it is quite sizable. Now keep in mind this is just something I keep in case random hunger strikes, my lunch didn't satisfy, or I have insatiable hunger such as today so I still had my morning snack packed away in my lunch. So I popped the top took my enzymes and snacked away. I was worried about my morning commute and dodging all the crazy morning rush hour drivers when I suddenly realized that all yes, ALL of my almond were gone! I ate a weeks worth of almond snacks in about 10 minutes.

I would make a horrible fat person, but I make a fantastic cyster! The morning commute was so distracting that I was happily unaware of my extreme binge eating. I have decided that I may have to bring a healthy fatty morning snack in the car every morning.

Speaking of eating obscene amounts of food, after discussing CF bellies in an earlier post I have decided that in the next few days I will dig through all my pics and find a good shot of my CF belly to post for the world to see. I usually suck in for pics or burn the pics that aren't flattering, but I am sure I can find a few. Stay tuned...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Working Through the Confusing World of TTC

I found a cool website full of useful (and some not so necessary) info on everything ttc related from reading OPKs, pregnancy tests, recommended books, etc. She shows real pics of OPKs so you can distinguish a +/- from those two little pink lines. For me this was an awesome find because I have many times thrown the little peed-on-stick in my husbands sleepy face at the wee hours on the morning demanding the all important answer, "Which line is darker?!?" to determine if I am ovulating. She also talks about the different levels of sensitivity in different HPTs and some of the known issues with some tests are such as known false positives or disappearing positives are negatives. So any of you trying to figure out the craziness of ttc check out

Thursday, September 8, 2011

OPKs, Temps, and Mucinex

A cyster's life is full of medical equipment, nebulizers, bottles of supplements, enzymes, antibiotics, PICC lines, hospital stays, and doctor appointments. Needless to say, my life often feels very medical. I barely notice how different our apartment looks from that of an average apartment. The vest in the corner, the nebulizer next to the couch, the sterilized neb cups in the kitchen, the cabinets dedicated to enzymes and meds. Even my routine of doing treatments three times a day and popping pills without thinking twice seems somewhat normal because it is all I have ever known in my adult life. I find it dumbfounding that friends of mine complain about taking their birth control pills the same time e.v.e.r.y. d.a.y!!!!! I just can't fathom not being able to take one measly little pill each day. A cyster remembers dozens and we do a pretty damn good job. My OB upon seeing all my meds listed said, "How do you keep them all organized, do you have a giant pill box?" She didn't realize that most of them are nebbed, but even so no pill box necessary. I just know I need to take my meds and so I do. Simple as that.

Now as normal as my life seems I know it is far from normal. I just need to glance at my husbands routine to realize this. I don't mind that my life is extra complicated so much. I mean I would be more than willing to give up CF and all the crap it comes with in half a second, but I have gotten somewhat used to it. But there is one thing that I just want to keep out of the medical realm- having a baby.

Okay, I know this sounds silly. Being pregnant requires an obscene amount of blood draws and doctors appointments. What I mean is I just want to have a baby the old fashion way. I want to wake up one morning after only a few months of trying for a baby and realize my period still has not appeared. I want to create a baby out of love and not in a medical office. Medical offices already take over my life I want this one act, creating another life, to be free of doctors and sterile environments and needles and nurses.

Although this is my wish I am not dumb. I realize natural conception is not always feasible with CF and so I must remind myself that regardless of how a child is brought into this world, it will still be a beautiful love story. I have decided that I will do as much as I can to increase my chances of conceiving a baby without the assistance of a doctor. I have started officially temping, stocked up on OPKs, and started taking Mucinex religiously. Although, I wish I could be like my friend who recently found out she was pregnant by old fashion baby dancing often mid month my desire for a baby exceeds my need to create a child without "assistance"

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Time To Move??

So as promised I am updating you all on my dramatic weekend. My sister came over to my house because I was anxiously awaiting the call from the principal about my potential job. I needed a distraction and so she came over to keep my mind occupied on other things. Little did I know that what the evening had in store would keep my mind 100% off my interview.

I want to first explain a little bit about my city. I live in a good sized city. No, not Los Angeles or NYC big, but a decent sized city nonetheless. There are so many aspects about the city I just love. Everything you could want is within a close proximity and can be reached by walking or biking. There are several farmers markets, amazing coffee shops, every time of cuisine you could imagine, yoga studies, used book stores, and great places for dancing and getting a drink. Also, unlike some cities (uhm L.A.) you are more likely to see a head of dreads than Prada when walking the streets which I like. I like that it is a laid back city that seems overly concerned with a natural lifestyle and seems to look down upon materialism. Of course there are the "rich" parts of town, but we are nestled in a part of town that just seems very down to Earth.

Of course there are bad parts to a city as well. The more people you have living in close proximity the more likely you will be living in close proximity to someone that may not be the best person. Its a numbers game and I guess we had one of those not so nice individuals as our neighbor. So back to the story.

My sister and I were deep in conversation and had decided against going out because we were quiet content laying around in my living room being lazy on a Friday evening. I was mid-story when I heard an unusual sound. "Did you hear that? What was that?" I asked my sister who had stopped and seemed to be trying to decipher what the strange sound was as well. We both shrugged and carried on in conversation. Before three words were uttered another abrasive bang filled out living room.  "Was that a gunshot?" My sister asked. I was doubtful. A lot of things can cause a loud bang and living in an apartment that is closely set next to houses due to the lack of yard you often hear your neighbors every move. To be sure I opened the front door. The bang came from the back of the house, but if there was a crisis there would have to have been some commotion. I opened the door. Silence. I looked down the courtyard between our apartments and down to the street. Silence. I looked to the alley behind the apartments. Silence. I closed the door and locked it proclaiming that all was quiet. Little did I know that the silence ended there.

About 15 minutes later I heard the commotion I expected when I opened the door. Being nosy I walked to the bedroom where I noticed a strong smokey scent had filled the room. I then glanced out the window. An ambulance! I shouted to my sister who came running. Upon further investigation (from the bathroom window) we saw what was safe to say was a crime scene. Complete with a victim on the stretcher, crime scene tape, and a CSI unit accompanied by dozens of police. We watched for a while from the window till we ventured outside to get a closer look. Long story short there was an argument that turned into a fight that turned into one man being shot three times. The police admitted there is no description of the suspect so a gunman is still on the loose. Sigh. This world we live in can be such a scary place. The saddest part was a neighbor across the street proclaimed to a group of us that were outside trying to figure out exactly what happened, "I wish we could have had a block party to get to know each other rather than a shooting." How true is that!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

3rd Grade Is Overrated

You know where this is going...

So it is down to 2 of us, out of 100 and I am waiting for the final interview before the actual real 3rd grade teacher is chosen. 

So I sit down and instead of 7 this time there were only 2 people interviewing me. Things are going along very nicely and about 3 questions in the principal asks me, "Are you even nervous because you sure don't seem to be" I admitted that I was indeed nervous. I took it as a good sign that I was acting calm cooled and collective. I felt like the three of us had good chemistry which means we would work well together and our personalities clicked. I felt like things were going smoothly and I felt like I was representing myself well. The answers were easy and I felt confident. Right before the end he ruined my day week year life.

The kiss of interviewing death came...

He gave me the "I am preparing you for rejection speech" It goes something like this, "I am in a hard situation because we have two amazing candidates that would do a fantastic job. I believe they ALWAYS say this to the last candidates regardless of if it is true I would be more than happy to have either of you on my staff. See above blue writing. Now I stared to brace myself because I knew the worst had yet to come I know people go home and second guess their answers or think of something else they should have said, but don't do that because everything you said was spot on. Meaning you will be getting a rejection in which you will think of everything you did "wrong" Also, here it comes..dun dun dun if you are not chosen for this position I encourage you to continue to apply in our district....and the rest was static in my brain. I am pretty sure my whole body slumped because I knew at that very moment my dreams of having this perfect job in an amazing school in a dream district would not be mine after all.

I know this line all too well. We are not picking you so I am going to give you a sweet little pep talk in order to soften the blow for people that believe it, but for people that can read between the lines it is the worst way to end and interview because you know that you are doomed before you even leave. 

So he said he would let me know by that evening. A whole dramatic horror happened that distracted me from the fact that HE DID NOT CALL!!! I assumed that I had heard him wrong and that in fact he did not say he would call us that night and brushed it off. In the morning (I was still in bed) my phone rang. I did not answer knowing the bad news and wanted to sleep in my happy world filled with hope that maybe this time I would get my dream job for just a little longer before those dreams were shattered. I got up soon after and begrudgingly listened to the message that I knew would make me grumpy for the rest of the day. Got swamped yesterday. Couldn't call. Hard decision. Moving forward. Other candidate. Best of luck. 5th grade opening. Should apply. Call me with questions. Or e-mail...Click

Here is the sad part. One of the questions he asked me was, "speak from your heart and be perfectly honest, what grade level is your dream grade level." I told him I was a primary teacher. My heart is with the primary grade and then went on to a long explanation. On my rejection message he encouraged me to apply to a part time 5th grade position at their school. Of course I would teach ANY grade, but in the interview I admitted that I was a primary teacher at heart so even if I apply (which I did) I don't think he will hire me because by saying I was a primary teacher at heart it is implied that I am NOT a secondary teacher at heart (read= I suck at teaching or don't enjoy teaching older kids) so by being honest in my interview I doomed myself for the next position. It was actually a cruel question to ask in an economy where teachers don't have the luxury of picking a favorite grade and are just happy with anything they can get.

Trying not to be totally depressed I will say I am happy I have a job (at a school) where I can go back to on Tuesday even of it isn't my dream job...

You though this story was over, not so....

Here is where the story gets REALLY INTERESTING!!! He was supposed to call me last night (which I mentioned above), but didn't because he got busy(?) So I sat by my phone all night until a gunshot distracted me. And then another gunshot that fired let me forget all about the phone call for the job....

Next blog, A murderer on the loose (a true and horrifying story that really makes me want to move)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

How Does 3rd Grade Sound?

So I went on an interview today for a 3rd grade position at an awesome school in a dream district! I was pretty excited especially since I have applied to about 90 teaching jobs this year and have had ZERO interviews.

So at 8:15 I get a beep beep from my voice mail. YES, VOICE MAIL!!!! What happened to my ringer????!!!  It was the principal calling to say I had a SECOND interview!!!!!!! AHHHHHH! No way!! So I had to call back (damn phone) and I have another interview and a writing prompt (which is scary because as you can tell I overuse commas ..can I even admit that since I am a teacher???) and then another interview with the principal. It is down to 2 people. I am so excited and nervous and well basically will never get to sleep tonight.
The other  scary thing is that they asked some really hard questions. I studied the district website like my life depended on it and I am so glad I did!! The asked me some of the smallest little details that I would have never known if I hadn't memorized the whole entire website! Makes me nervous to see what they ask tomorrow!!! So send me good vibes tomorrow morning if you feel so inclined because I will need all the good vibes I can get!

I feel that even if I don't get the job at least I may have another opportunity next year if something comes along because it seems the principal likes me enough to narrow me down to the final two. The school year started 2 weeks ago so I doubt there will be any more opportunities this year. I will update you tomorrow!!!