Saturday, September 19, 2015

Rain Showers and Orkambi

"Maybe we will see a rainbow" my 3 year old shouted with eyes wide at the thought.
My dad and I exchanged glances. While smirking I replied, "Maybe" not believing it one bit.
It hardly rains in the summer. We haven't seen rain in four months or so, but a recent drizzly day made its way into the end of summer leaving my daughter with the optimistic belief that she would see a rainbow. It was true the rain had stopped, but the sun was still hiding behind dense clouds and evening was quickly approaching. My daughter had a date with my father that evening and I was hoping the excitement from the date would be enough to make her forget the disappointment of a rainbow that would never be.

I started Orkambi today. The day I found out that Orkambi was approved, my application was accepted, and the pharmacy was preparing to ship my pills to me I was filled with a multitude of conflicting emotions. I am an optimist by nature, but a realist by life experience. My heart kept shouting, "This is a dream come true! Your body will be functioning more normally than it ever has before. This is what you have been waiting for" But my brain kept shouting just as loudly, "But the benefits are minimal and your lung function is already so low." My heart would rebuttal, "Improvement is not the point, stability is what matters. " The fight between my jubilant heart and my practical cautious mind roared on throughout the week

This morning I woke excited and anxious for the postal carrier. And once the meds were in my hand around 9am I suddenly felt nervous in a way I haven't felt in so long. This was the moment of truth. All the potential benefits and all the potential let downs were running through my mind. I wanted so badly to let my optimism take over my cautious mind, but I was equally concerned about being disappointed. I sat there for a long time before swallowing my first pill. It is okay to hope for the best, I kept telling myself. It is okay to be optimistic for once and believe that good things, no matter how small, are coming your way.

I could hear the giggles and high pitched voice of my little girl running up the front steps. I greeted both her and my dad at the door with a big smile. Before I could even ask how the date night went my daughter, hardly able to contain her excitement shouted, "We saw a rainbow, mommy! We really did!"

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Forgetting Enzymes

CFers take enzymes every time food passes our lips. It is so engrained in our daily routine that we often take them without much thought. It is so routine that there are times we may wonder, "wait, did I take my enzymes already?" It happens to me more often now that I have a little one that distracts me during meal time, but let's be real, it happened often enough before kids. Recently, my dad found the perfect solution to this annoying problem at the local pharmacy.


His great find is a lid that goes on regular prescription bottles (the translucent orange kind) and keeps track of how much time has passed since the bottle was opened. So let's say you ate breakfast at 7am and you sit down for a snack at 10am, but you can't remember if you already took your enzymes. You can take a peak at the lid and if the bottle says 3 hours have passed since you opened it you know you better get swallowing. And if it says 1 minute, you are good (as long as you didn't accidentally place your napkin on top of your pile of enzymes by accident not that I have ever done this ehem).

The downside is they don't fit on the plastic Zenpep bottles, but if you have CF you probably have a few extra orange bottles on hand (or will once your next shipment of prescriptions arrives) that you can use. These were clearly from Rite Aid, but I assume most major pharmacies have the exact same product. Hopefully this will answer the age old CF question of, "Wait, did anyone see me take my enzymes?"