Monday, June 30, 2014


I'm a wanderluster.  Always have been, always will be.  I love everything about traveling.

I love packing for a trip, and the anticipation that goes with thinking about where you'll be soon and what you might need there.

I love driving around the airport (this part blows my husband's mind - I know a lot of people get stressed when driving around an airport, but I enjoy the excitement buzzing all around me - plus it's fun to think about all the exciting places those planes could take me!).

I love being in the airport - checking my bags, successfully making it through security with all my medicines and nebulizer, buying something to munch on, and then anxiously waiting at the gate.

I love being on an airplane (though, admittedly, this part can get old around hour 5 or 6) - there's this moment when I sit down in my seat and buckle my seatbelt that I smile and think "Yes.  I am in my element."

I love retrieving my bags from the carousel, then stepping outside in a new location for the first time and breathing in its fresh air.

I love staying somewhere that's not "home," be it a hotel, rented apartment, friend's house, etc.  I love having a new space to claim and make "mine" for a brief amount of time.

I love learning the transportation routes of new places, be it navigating a city subway or driving through curvy mountain roads.

I love getting to know new places - everywhere you go, even if its within your own country or even state, there is a unique vibe and culture that is different from your own hometown.  My favorite trip is one that's a perfect blend of "seeing the sites" and finding some local culture to blend with.  I view seeing the historical sites as getting to know the city as it once was, and hanging out with the locals in their vie quotidienne as getting to know the city as it is now - both are equally awesome and important!

If any or all of the above resonates with you, my guess is that you're probably a wanderluster, too.  Welcome, friend!  Let's talk a little more, then, about one of my (our?) favorite conversation topics, then:  traveling!

I've had a good deal of opportunities to travel in my life, for which I am exceedingly grateful.  Early on, my parents didn't hesitate to send me to visit relatives during the summer by myself, which I think really contributed to my comfort with traveling.  In fact, my first flight by myself to go visit family happened just a few weeks after I turned 6!  I remember being chatty with the flight attendants and telling them about my Barbies, and laughing when we landed because the plane bumped up and down - obviously I wasn't too disturbed about traveling alone.  My dad also traveled a great deal with his work when I was growing up, so my mom and I often accompanied him (which worked out for us!  It meant free hotel rooms and some free meals, which can be a bulk of the expense of a trip!).  We traveled both domestically and abroad in Europe, and somewhere in that process I fell in love with travel.  I couldn't get enough of it, and still can't.

My most recent adventures took me and my husband on a trip to Europe with my parents.  We stayed in an apartment in Rome for 8 days, and a hotel in London for 3 days.  This was my first time to Italy, and I was super excited to go!  I'd been to London several times before, but my husband had never been, so I had a list of places to show him during our short time there.

Rome was amazing!  I took a Roman History course way back in the day during my freshman year of college, and a Latin course even further back in the day during my freshman year of high school.  Needless to say, my history was a lllliiiiiitttle rusty, but taking those courses was enough to instill in me a true interest in ancient Rome, so I LOVED seeing all the ancient ruins, just scattered randomly throughout the city.  Then you have the entire history of the Catholic church layered on top of the ancient Roman history, plus the Italian renaissance - the place is positively seething with history, and secrets, and absolutely amazing architecture...and also pasta and pizza!  Love, love, LOVE it!


Ancient Roman Forum:

More of the Forum:

State Monument of Sorts:

PIZZA!!  It was everywhere!!  Seriously, it was almost cliche - we were hard-pressed to find any restaurants serving food other than pizza, pasta, or sandwiches in the entire city...

Vatican City and St. Peter's:

Trevi Fountain:


Ruins at Pompeii - seriously amazing!  That floor is 2,000 years old!!

Pretty Ceilings in the Vatican

View of Rome from an elevated park near the Borghese Galleries:

Political Rally in Piazza del Popolo:

Aaaaaand, then we got to London, which apparently was an epic fail on my part in terms of taking pictures.  Boo!  But the city was amazing, as always.  Unfortunately, on the flight from Rome to London I must have picked up some kind of germs, because our few days in England marked the start of my really not feeling well (which led to my subsequent hospital admission upon our arrival back home a few days later).  This really stunk because I had so many places I wanted to go and show my husband.....but at least we got to check out a few highlights. (And I'm hoping it just whet his appetite to go back sometime soon ;) ).

Our 1 year wedding anniversary actually happened while we were in London, so I was in charge of planning something fun for us to do to celebrate.  The highlight was our "champagne tour" in the London Eye - we did a round in the huge ferris wheel by the Thames and were given glasses of champagne to enjoy during our ride.  It was really cool!

View from our London Eye capsule

The next day the family rented a car and my dad drove us around the lovely English countryside.  We drove from London to Oxford, attempted to see Highclere Castle (aka Downton Abbey - but the grounds closed literally 10 minutes before we got there :( ), then out to Stonehenge.  (P.S.  Between being stationed in England for a few years during his military days and his lifetime work travels, my dad handles british cars and driving on the "wrong" side of the road like a champ - I'm always so impressed how easy it is for him!)  It was cold and rainy that day (surprise, surprise), but I just accepted it as feeling super "Britishy" and loved it all the same. :)

Stonehenge (from the car window) 

Friday, June 27, 2014


I mowed my lawn today.  With a push reel mower.

This makes me happy.  This makes me proud.

Because this was my first try since my initial failed attempt at lawn mowing when I was 15.  Because we own a house.  And because I'm finally feeling well enough to accomplish such things.

That is all.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Big Hospital No-No

So a lot of really awesome things have happened since my last blog update - liiiiike, moving into our first house, surviving another round of finals (and coming out with my best semester GPA yet - woohoo!  Too bad it takes the full three years of law school to really get your exam routine down...oh well!), and an amazing trip with my hubby and parents to Rome and London.  I'll have a new post soon talking about my trip.  But for now I'm sad to say I'm back in the hospital, and have a short blog to post about that.  (Boooo)

Based on other people's hospital stories, mixed with and my own experiences, I've come to a conclusion:  It's tough for people with a chronic illness to be in the hospital because, oftentimes, we know more about our care and what we need than our nurses and other hospital care-givers know.  This is simply because we're used to dealing with these issues on our own, every day, and we therefore know when something isn't being done correctly.  (Contrast this with a person who's been admitted for an accident or acute illness - they probably have no idea what kind of care they should be receiving, because this is all new to them anyway!)  This puts us in an awkward position of having to find a balance between making sure things get done right and not being a Miss Bossypants patient.  I am not someone who typically does well with confrontation (kind of ironic since I'm studying to be a lawyer, huh?), but after a few days/weeks in the hospital, I sometimes become irritable enough that I have the courage to speak up when something isn't being done "correctly."

Which leads me to today's story and the reason for this post.  So I'm in the hospital, and for the most part everyone has been great.  The guy who inserted my PICC was a little rough (and he put in the wrong kind, grrrr), and occasionally the nurses get on my nerves by waiting too long to start a treatment/IV, being WAAAAY too cheerful or talkative when they come into my room and wake me up at 7am, etc., but for the most part things have been fine.  Strangely, though, it's not the people constantly injecting things into my veins that have me worried - it's the people handling my breathing treatments.  Most of the RTs here have been wonderful, but every once in a while they do something that makes me cringe or want to yell "no nO No NO NOO!!"

(REAL STORY starts here --> ) Case-in-point:  today, a friendly lady was assigned as my RT.  Things were fine until I sat there and watched her take my nebulizer into the bathroom and rinse it out with tap water from the sink.  In my bathroom.  In the HOSPITAL.  I couldn't believe I'd just seen that happen, and was too much of a wuss to say anything right then.  After she'd left, I tossed the nebulizer in the trash, and asked my nurse to let the RT know I'd be needing another nebulizer for my next treatment.

So she came for my next treatment and brought the new nebulizer, as requested.  She asked if I'd thrown the other nebulizer away, and I said "yes," and then explained to her that using tap water from the bathroom sink to rinse nebulizers was dangerous for CF patients (actually for all patients, but I narrowed it down in this instance) because there could be bacteria in the water and on the faucet that would be REALLLY harmful to get into our lungs.  She responded by saying the nurse had told her it had fallen on the floor - was that not true?  She seemed hung up on the fact that what the nurse had said was not true and not really bothered by what I had said about the water.

All the same, at the end of the treatment, she grabbed the bottle of sterilized water they're supposed to use for rinsing and walked into the bathroom to rinse the neb.  Most RTs just pour a little into the neb, slosh it around, and pour it into the trash bag that's in the middle of the room - neither of these are awesome options, but I definitely feel a lot more comfortable doing it over the trashcan full of nothing but plastic gloves and gowns than doing it in the bathroom!  However, I was prepared to let this one go.  But then...

She took apart the neb, placed both pieces IN the sink, then poured the sterilized water over them while they were in the sink!!  AGH!!!  It was a total #facepalm moment.  I get freaked out if I drop a neb piece into my sink while rinsing it at home, even knowing I've wiped down the sink with Clorox wipes beforehand and I'm about to sterilize the neb anyway.  Can you imagine what all could be growing around the sink in a tiny bathroom in the hospital??  Aside from the fact that it's 12 inches from the toilet, that's the place where people have been washing their hands after using the bathroom, where I've been doing sinus rinses (and had a lot of gross plugs come out in the process), etc. - also, I've been here almost two weeks and can personally vouch that no one from housekeeping has touched that sink with a cleanser since I've been here.  ICK!!

At that point I kinda felt like no matter what I said, it just wasn't going to sink in with her that bathroom sinks are dangerous for breathing treatment components, so once she left, I once again threw away the nebulizer cup, and will be bringing up the issue with the night RT.

I feel really bad "tattling" on her, but I feel like her supervisor really needs to know so that she can be educated on the proper way to do this part of the job, along with the hazards of not doing it correctly. Sidenote:  I had this RT during a hospital stay in late 2011, and the same thing happened, only I couldn't see it happening directly because the bathroom was around a corner.  I mentioned it to her and to another RT then, but apparently not much has changed in the last 2.5 years!

Ok, thats all.  Just thought I'd share my story.  If anyone has any insights for how to deal with issues like this, I'd greatly appreciate it!