One hundred sixty eight hours.
Ten thousand and eighty minutes.
Six hundred and four thousand eight hundred seconds.
This is how long I've now officially been WITHOUT a needle in my arm. Sure, one week might not sound like much -- although given the past four months I'd say it's nothing to cough at -- but six hundred and four thousand eight hundred seconds? Now THAT'S damn impressive! And frankly I think I may be only 11 steps away from breaking my IV drug use habit altogether, because believe me, I readily admit that I have a problem.
(And no, for those of you wondering how I ever survived on the playground being such a nerd, I did not, in fact, do all those calculations myself. Google is an amazing thing.)
It's been a fun week and I have a great weekend planned, mostly involving dinners with friends, hanging with my sister, and walks with my puppy. On Monday I have my art class, which is just one of the ways I'm keeping my sanity, um . . . I mean "occupying my time" . . . while not at work. It's actually really fun. I wanted to paint, but my design-school graduate, wildly creative fashionista of a sister suggested that drawing might be the better place to start. So I found a class and have been dragging my 18x24" drawing pad and set of charcoals and pencils all the way over to the Chinatown/Lower East Side area once a week. Between that, book club, my normal social schedule, and all the extra treatments and whatnot (SO much time!), I'm beginning to wonder when I actually had time to work in the first place. Okay, so not really, but I'm at least not tearing my hair out (yet). I would look really strange bald anyway.
So are you all ready for the secret to my staying healthy for over six hundred thousand seconds? Because I'm convinced it's due to the fact that the rest of my life is so amazingly ridiculous. Take, for example, my visit to the gym yesterday. It started out normal enough, with me sporting my ipod headphones and my O2, but then as I was halfway out my apartment door I realized I was going to work out, which of course meant I was going to cough. A lot. And, remebering my earlier post about the dreaded swine flu (cue the scary music), I kinda figured that other people might not appreciate my coughing fits right now -- plus I wanted to avoid any snide comments -- so I grabbed a mask from my bottomless pit of medical supplies and off I went. (On a sidenote, I have to admit I was feeling pretty ridiculous at that point; between the headphones, the portable O2 concentrator, and the mask I probably looked like I was anticipating biological warfare to break out at some point during my 30 minute workout.) Anyway, I made my way to the gym in my building, mask and all, and hopped up on the treadmill for some serious hill walking. At which point a woman appeared in front of my machine and the following exchange took place:
Random Woman: *flaps mouth incoherently*
RW: *More mouth flapping*
(At this point I realized that, no joke, I still had the headphones on. I took them off.)
P: I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you. Did you say something to me?
RW: Yes, sorry to bother you, but do you have swine flu?
P: *Really confused b/c I hadn't even started coughing yet* Um, no.
RW: *Nervous laughter* Oh, I just wondered because you were wearing a mask and I thought that maybe . . . *trails off, more nervous laughter*
P: No, no. I just wear this because I have a lung disease and I cough, plus I need to protect myself from viruses.
RW: You mean like swine flu?
RW: Um, I'm not hysterical, I promise!
Oh how I beg to differ, lady.
But really, how could I ever get sick when doing so might mean I'd miss out on more of that kind of craziness? Although then again, I can only imagine what kind of mass insanity is going on right now in the New York City hospitals. It might actually be worth a minor illness just to take a field trip uptown at this point.
Just so long as it isn't swine flu.
- I am a 33-year-old wife, sister, daughter, friend, law school graduate, CFer, lifelong student of public service, blog writer, patient, Sagittarius, reader, Top chef fan, double-lung transplant recipient (twice!), and dog owner living in Colorado's beautiful Mile High City. I love all things colorful, funny, inspiring, or needlessly sarcastic. I share my city with about 2,500,000 other remarkable people, share my disease with 70,000 other beautiful souls, share my life with some unbelievable family and friends, and share my apartment with one very handsome guy and one really fat mutt with a kick-butt personality. We make it work.
About This Blog:
This blog is about me, my life, my sometimes craziness, my disease, and my current journey as a double-lung transplant recipient. It's also a celebration of everyone out there with CF (and other chronic illnesses). It's for you, inspired by you, and dedicated to you -- the community that keeps me writing, living, and breathing.
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