Monday, March 25, 2013

Feeling better (I think?) and Ridiculous Beauty Measures

Last week I had my second appointment in a series of laser hair removal treatments I purchased at the start of the year in anticipation for the upcoming wedding and honeymoon (yay for Groupons!!).  As I was leaving, I actually laughed out loud in my car as it struck me just how absurd the torture "pampering treatments" are that we put ourselves through in the name of beauty (especially wedding beauty).  I essentially paid someone to let me come to their office and have them scorch my hair and skin repeatedly with a laser shock . . . then I went back and had them do it again!!  I don't know how many of you out there have tried laser hair removal, but I actually really really love it so far.  If you have darker hair like myself, I really do think it is worth the investment (especially if you find one of those groupons for like 70% off).  However, there is one warning I feel I must give, and that is that it hurts.  Like, REALLY hurts - about like you should expect it would feel when someone zaps your skin with a laser shock - but it only lasts for 2 seconds, then the pain is 100% gone.  I wasn't expecting that the first time, so it was a bit of a shock (pardon the pun).  In fact, the first time I went was the same day I had my PICC line put in, and I'm almost positive the laser treatment session was more painful than the surgery/line placement, haha.  And yet, I feel like I weathered the laser treatment much more bravely.  I guess choosing to endure a little pain for the sake of feeling pretty is more fun and easier to handle mentally than feeling forced to endure a little pain for the sake of making sure your lungs start working properly again soon (I've tried to find it, but there's just not a lot of fun in that).

Speaking of which, the PICC has officially been out for over three weeks now, and the result is............I'm feeling better!  I think!  It's hard to tell!  Refusing to go into the hospital had its perks because I wasn't exposed to a lot of extra germs and I didn't have to miss much school while doing my IV treatments.  But, on the down side, that also means I wasn't as dedicated to fitting in all the extra breathing treatments I probably should have.  Even so, once the line was pulled, I was feeling pretty great; that is, until I picked up a lovely cold virus!  Yep, a week after finishing up my antibiotics, I woke up with a weird but intense head cold that then moved down into my chest, where the effects have lingered.  And lingered.  Luckily, so far I haven't really felt short of breath at all - just continual congestion.  When considering what's normal for my body, this is probably a pretty good sign that it's still just icky cold germs that haven't fully moved out yet, and not a newly-fueled lung infection.

Which segues nicely into one last, brief topic.  Like many CF patients, I'm sure, I often get asked whether or not it hurts when I cough (and, if they don't know I have CF, the question is almost always followed with a recommendation for some great natural therapy or throat lozenge they've recently discovered).  I don't know what the typical answer would be amongst the CF community (or if there even is a "typical" answer), but my answer has honestly always been "no."  Yes, I cough a lot, and sometimes it is a deep, body-wracking cough, and occasionally my throat may get a little irritated or hoarse, but for the most part there is no pain associated with the cough itself.  When I get a chest cold, however, that totally changes.  When it's a cold virus irritating those little airways, it burns every time I cough.  And I am always left feeling so extremely grateful that it doesn't hurt like that all the time!!

In other, quick news:  wedding plans are still coming along, though I seem to have hit a wall on decision-making about two weeks ago.  I try, but no coherent decisions or commitments are surfacing in my scrambled little brain these days.  School is still going pretty well, but as finals loom nearer and nearer (only about a month away now), I'm starting the feel the pressure from those little reading assignments I've led slide this semester.  It's just about time to batten down the hatches and ignore the outside world for a few weeks while studying for finals consumes my time and life . . . hopefully I can stick to this brutal yet tried-and-true system of surviving a law school semester despite the fact that all the wedding plans will still be hovering in the back of my mind 24/7.  I've been trying to work out an extremely detailed schedule for each day of the week that incorporates (and reminds me of) every single thing I need to do for my health (including treatment times and going to the gym - i've even scheduled in times to take my pills!), studying for school, and preparing for the wedding.  Hopefully it helps keep me on track.  If anyone else out there has a great way of balancing all their health, school/work, and extracurricular needs, I'd love to hear about it!

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