Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Prepping for the PICC Line

I'm currently sitting in the day surgery waiting room, "patiently" awaiting my turn to be led to a sterile room for an ever-exciting PICC line placement. I've had a four PICCs in the past, so this ain't exactly my first rodeo, but I still get a few nervous flutters thinking about the procedure.

A few weeks ago, I found myself in the position of not feeling BAD, but still not feeling great. After some debating, I decided it was time for some type of action before things really did get BAD (this proactive stance is actually pretty new for me). In the past, the source of most of my sickness and lung infections has been in my sinuses. SO, I decided it was time for the same surgery I had a year ago to clean those suckers out, coupled with a few weeks of IV antibiotics. This seemed to be the winning combo last year, so I'm hoping and praying it'll do the job again this time.

And so, here I am, waiting for the PICC people. I convinced my doctors that a hospital stay wasn't necessary, so both this procedure and the sinus surgery will be done as an outpatient. Come to think of it, I've never had a PICC put in when I wasn't already in the hospital...I'm hoping I'll be good to go as soon as it's done, because I have a lot of other things to get done today! We'll see.

Ok, now it's time to relax and get to my "happy place" before they come to poke at me. First, though, I'm going to spend a few moments lamenting the fact I didn't wake up early enough this morning to enjoy one last "normal" shower! :(

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

We Have a Date!!

Having just gotten engaged a few days before Christmas, and wanting to get married by the end of May, these first three weeks of January have been a crash course in wedding planning.  Why, you may ask, would any sane person attempt to plan a wedding in less than five months whilst also attending law school, looking for an internship, and trying to get as healthy as possible for the wedding/honeymoon?  I no longer have a clear answer for that, but here's the original idea: Given my school schedule, we're limited to either a Christmas or summer break wedding.  We actually both always wanted a Christmas wedding, but neither of us wanted to wait a whole year to get married, so that leaves summer.  And the climate where we live does not make for a very enjoyable wedding during July or August (that's actually putting it mildly; walking around in multiple layers of a floor length gown in 100+ degree temperatures sounds downright miserable), so that leaves June or late May.  Aaaaaand, apparently a lot of people like to get married in June (who knew?) so many places were already booked up for the month when I started looking on January 2.  But, after many inquiries and a few painful weeks of brainstorming . . . we have a church for the ceremony AND a reception site!  Hooray!!

Getting married in a church or chapel was pretty high up my list of priorities, but finding one turned out to be a lot harder than I'd thought.  The church Fiance and I attend is a good 45-50 minute drive away (plus it's in a renovated Alberston's - not exactly the pleasing aesthetics I'd always imagined for my wedding pictures), so we decided to try and find a place closer to downtown.  A little tip for any future brides out there to keep in mind:  many churches won't let you use their facilities unless you're a member, and if they do, they'll probably charge you twice as much!  The first one I get - the second one really bothers me.  But that's a story for a different time.  Anyway, to cut a long story short, we got permission from my old church/my parents' church to use their chapel even though we're no longer members, which is GREAT news!

The next obstacle was finding a reception venue.  Fiance and I are both from this area, so we both have LOTS of family and life-long friends to invite to the wedding - and beyond that, we both really want all of them there, so skimping on the guest list won't happen.  However, we're also on a budget (another tip for future brides: weddings are expensive!!  Even with a lot of DIY projects, it's amazing how quickly things add up!), and with 150+ expected guests, you have to find places to cut back on costs and get creative, and food/reception site rental is definitely one of them.  And that, my friends, is how you end up renting out a Cowgirl Museum for your wedding reception.  Yep!  It is totally random, and that somehow makes it completely perfect for us!  Haha.

And so, the big wedding date is officially set:  May 25, 2013!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Need for a Blog

Why blog?  I can say with 100% honesty that until a few months ago, the thought of a writing and keeping up with a blog was not even on the radar of ways I'd like to spend my time.  I'm a law student, planning a wedding, trying to keep a social life, and dealing with cystic fibrosis - life is busy. And while I spend my fair share of time on the internet, the thought of spending time reading about other people's average, everyday lives rarely sounded appealing; and beyond that, I certainly couldn't think of anything about my own life that would be worth writing about or that anyone would ever care to read.

Meanwhile, I had spent a majority of my life squashing my CF, the chronic genetic disease I was born with, into a tiny corner of my life.  It was there, I knew it wasn't going away, and I knew I had to acknowledge it a few times a day by taking my medicine when I ate, and doing treatments to keep my lungs clear.  Aside from that, however, I had no interest in learning about the disease nor connecting with others who might be going through similar struggles.  By ignoring it as much as possible, I felt I was leading as close to a "normal" life as possible.

And then something happened. It would seem the "grown up" voice of reason inside of me finally got to have her say.  As a 26-year-old female with CF, considerations about my health and my future are now a bigger part of my life than ever before - and perhaps the most pressing of these current considerations is the possibility of one day starting my own family.  With that in mind, I wanted to learn more about women with CF who are having children.  And I didn't want statistics from research studies or medical journal articles. While these numbers and facts can be helpful, I always feel a bit of a disconnect between me and the author when I read them.  Receiving information about something as personal and emotional as having children from someone who does not have CF but merely studies it and reports their objective observations just doesn't cut it for me.  I wanted to hear from actual CF moms - I knew they were out there, but had no idea how I would ever be able to contact them or learn from them.

So, because I had nowhere else to start, I solicited some help from my trusty friend Google.  On a whim, I started typing in keywords:  CF, mother, pregnancy, blog.  Lo and behold, such things were out there!  And not just one or two, but several, written by women from all walks of life, and with varying degrees of CF progression and complications, but all of whom were moms (or trying to become one!).  From there, I was led to the CF Blogroll.  This was the true gold mine!  So many CF bloggers out there, with so many stories, so many pieces of advice, so many struggles, and so many triumphs.  I have never in my life felt so connected to the CF community, and I absolutely love what I am finding out.  All of us have different stories, yet all of us have started from the same challenge, and share a connection the non-CF world cannot understand.

It has been so fun, so encouraging, and so enlightening to read the stories and musings of everyday life from these fellow CF patients - quite a change from how I felt about reading any kind of blog even three or four months ago.  I have found a wealth of information about all kinds of topics that interest me, from starting a family, to new treatment options, to ideas for crafts, cooking, and decorating!

So, back to my original question:  why blog?  I've been thinking about what I could possibly offer to the world that hasn't already been done in another blog before me.  To be honest, there isn't much - but I can certainly try!  One hole I discovered when researching CF blogs was a substantial (if not complete) lack of blogs from CF patients who are also lawyers or law students.  It may be a tiny niche, but I know we're out there!  And so, the decision to create this blog was born.

There is one thing I truly desire in this life, and that is to bring glory to God.  This calling looks different for us all, but there are three significant ways my own heart feels called to strive for this:  1)  To love my (soon-to-be!) husband completely, deeply, selflessly and graciously, and to start a family with him.  2)  To be a lawyer, and to use my knowledge and position to help those in need.  3)  To stay healthy. I cannot serve, and I cannot love long and deeply if I do not take care of myself and my lungs.  Thus, the title of my blog:  Breath.  Love.  Justice.  These are the topics on which I will focus in my writings, and I look forward to seeing how all of them develop and what kind of truths are in store in be discovered!

Thank you for reading.  I hope that what I have to say here will someday help and encourage someone else the same way I have been helped and encouraged by the blogs of others.  Stay tuned!