Wednesday, October 24, 2012

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today, October 23, I received the best gift of my life. A gift that one can never thank the giver for. Today I celebrate the one year anniversary of my new lungs in this old body. Okay old is relative but my new life with these lungs is beautiful.


Saturday, October 13, 2012


Today was one of those fall days you dream about where it's a little chilly, rainy, and it's the weekend so sitting on the couch watching old movies is all but okay. I however did not do that. Apparently it is also the day to bake, and bake things with apples. My sister sent me a photo of her apple crisp, just as I put mine in the oven. She invited me over to have some, I would love to if only she didn't live 1.5 hours away. I had a good laugh about that.

I also baked up my squash and froze that today. I had purchased four squash at the Farmer's Market last weekend and today finally felt alive enough to take care of them. I love squash and now I will get to enjoy it during the winter months. This week seemed to be my week to freeze things. I cleaned and chopped onion and green pepper for the freezer also. Guess I am hunkering down for winter, kinda like the Ingall's family but nothing in my freezer came from my hard, sweat over gardens. Nope mine came from someone else's. Next I figure I will buy a side or quarter of beef for my freezer, then I will truly be set.

Of course all this will come crashing down on me tomorrow when I have to actually function for the day and my body will then want to sit on the couch. Likely it will be a gorgeous day!

I am watching the calendar closer these days. You know when your a kid and your birthday is just weeks away and it is so exciting? Well my first, 'second chance at life' birthday is just ten days away and I still can't believe it. I can't believe that we have made it back around to another October, let alone soon to be 23rd. I recall there being some weird things around that day and I am trying to remember all that happened the day before. I don't remember anything past 7 a.m. on Oct. 23 until I ate the best popsicle of my life after surgery. The awful pictures tell that story. I will see what I can recount from those days over the next few. I sometimes wish there was a video of my surgery (which there probably is). I would like to see it. Gross as it may seem, it is also quite the miracle and how often in life do we get to experience that.

I see the doc on Monday. Results and further bronch discussions I am sure. As I was all prepared for a stent and didn't get one, probably a good thing but so curious when and if I will ever know life again without a PICC line.

Time to go put my feet up for the night, it's been a busy day.

Happy harvest everyone. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Autumn Winds

Fall has arrived! The air is crisp, the leaves swiftly blowing across the lawn down the street and into someone else's yard. Though the colors are quickly receding it has been enjoyable to watch summer leave and fall come.

I had a great summer, minus the health issues. I got to enjoy so much time with my friend Karen at her pool. It was a great time, I usually included it as part of my exercise, meaning I would got for a walk and end up at her house. Due to my PICC line and transplant restrictions I had to keep my right arm out of the water and my face. Other than trying to fall into the deep end where the shallow goes into the deep there were no mishaps in the pool.

After that last visit in August, I believe I haven't had much walking outside which is sad. It has nothing to do with the pool but rather with how I felt and the weather. I am mostly tied to my treadmill these days, there were many days over the weeks when I didn't even get on the treadmill I felt so rotten. But today, knock on wood, as last time I boasted about feeling better I was slammed a week later with feeling like shit. So I say this lightly. My numbers have been increasing in the lab these days. Today I blew an FEV1 of 2.65, which translates into a 84.2% lung function. I think my highest blow in the lab is above 2.7+. This has been one wicked climb back up a hill.

The real issue still exists, and 'what is that?' you ask! That is where the scar tissue from the new lung meets the old airway likes to shrink. Part of the reason I have been on IVs every six hours for the last two+ months is because with that airway closing I can't cough out any junk in there, thus collecting and causing infection. I also now have fungus in there so I do five different rounds of inter venous medicines a day, the 4 am is the worst. It never fails the alarms goes off at 4 am and I can't decide in my sleepy confusion at first if I am hooking up or disconnecting. The med takes an hour to run in so I sleep for the hour it runs in.

I hadn't been in my studio in weeks, but late last week I got in there to finish my homework for my Children's Illustration class. Today I am about 90% done with another project I have been working on that makes me feel good.

Every day is still a guessing game. I usually have a couple good hours each day, and sometimes even a half a day. I have yet to have a whole day where I wake up feeling fantastic but that still may come - I can hope.

So the airway issue will be addressed once again this coming Tuesday, I have a bronch scheduled. Apparently they have decided a stint might be the way to go. The infection doesn't clear up and at this time appears to be our best option. So, here's hoping the right decisions are made and I can start feeling better and getting back to my 'normal' life. Only time will tell.

For now I am doing what I can each day. I give a lot of credit to my husband for helping while I was really down and out. I spent most of my time on the couch or at the clinic and he was a laundry and dishwashing machine. He proved his worth!

I will try to post some of my children's illustration projects soon. The final is doozy, but let's hope well worth the energy.