I just want to make something absolutely perfectly clear:
This is NOT an angry post.
Okay, fine, so I'm back on IVs again for a couple of weeks and sure, it's the fourth time this year. But hey, no problem, I'm not angry.
And of course being on IVs means I have an infection, which means I most definitely cannot go meet up with some awesome CF/post-tx people this weekend, even though I've had a standing invite and plan to do just that for a couple of months now. No biggie though . . . I'm not angry.
And you know, my transplant group has a few people who really like to complain about things like having to be on (gasp!) prednisone for a few weeks because of infection, or having to do TOBI every other month, or even having to walk on the treadmill ocassionally -- and they do so to the point where I'm starting to feel like I must be missing some sort of sympathy gene because I kind of want to turn to them and say "you know what, buddy, I get that it sucks. I get it because I've been on TOBI since it first came out (when I switched over from the original tobra mixture solution), and you know I also alternate it with another inhaled abx on the "off month" and several orals that I'm on all the time and I've been on prednisone non-stop since October and had IVs 6 times since then (with 3 hospitalizations). So don't look at me like I'm some sort of freak who doesn't understand your pain just because I'm not tethered to an O2 tank right now, because honestly I've had my f-ing lung disease SINCE I WAS BORN and I'm not actually the inexperienced one here. I promise."
So, um, yeah . . . I may not always be nice, but I'm also not angry. Really. Not at all.
Okay, so maybe I'm a little bit angry and frustrated right now. I've actually been avoiding blogging lately for a couple of reasons, the first being that it's been a little rough around here and I've been trying to sort it all out and desperately fighting to get back into the swing of my job. And the second being that I didn't really want to subject everyone out here to all my negative energy right now, because to be honest I've had quite a bit of it. I actually started scribbling down all my thoughts in one of those sketch book journals a couple of weeks ago and I've already filled 2/3 of it with pretty much everything weird and random floating through my mind right now about CF, life, and transplant. I'm thinking about calling it "Diary of a Mad Cystic Woman" (haha) and marketing it to some major movie studios . . . who thinks it would be a hit?
Honestly though, lung disease is incredibly frustrating. It's frustrating to get out of bed and ten minutes later feel your energy for the day already draining away. And it's frustrating to have to stop several times a day to "take stock" of how you feel (are you too tired? can you breathe? do you need an extra treatment? should you call your doctor?). It's frustrating to sometimes think about how little control we might actually have. And, above all, it's frustrating and heartbreakingly sad to watch others pass away or get sicker from your disease . . . people who deserve nothing but admiration for their fight and their strength in the face of what is, to be perfectly honest, an absolutely shitty situation.
One thing that is not advisable, however, is to let that frustration drive you into a frenzy. Because take it from me, it is NOT a good idea to spend your entire day thinking about all everything you SHOULD be doing: I should be eating again, it's been almost an hour; I should do another treatment; I should go to every single transplant education seminar and try to spend several hours a day researching supplements and somehow juggle my full-time job; I should quit even though it makes me happy and even my doctor now agrees that working is a positive force in my life, all things considered; I should exercise for 2 hours today instead of 1 and then I should drink 6 boost plusses right in a row to try and make up the extra calories and then fall asleep exhausted only to wake up 30 minutes later coughing and immediately vomit up what can only be described as a chocolate volcano of grossness.
Yeah, don't do that.
See, me and my 5 panic attacks and 2/3 of a journal full of crazy obsessive cystic ranting are here to tell you that when you go absolutely nuts trying to control your CF, your CF is likely to take control of you instead. Literally. And that, my friends, is the absolute worst side effect of lung disease ever. I'm not kidding.
So the good news is, I've moved from terrified/obsessed/manic to just a little bit angry and frustrated. And I think that pretty soon I'll be able to get back to my normal state, which is determined and cautiously optimistic. And while I still believe that I have a lot to prove, and I still want desperately to try and save these lungs as long as I can, but I'm also coming to accept that there is no such thing as the "perfect CFer," and if there is I can't be it anyway. Because I can't simultaneously leave my job that I love and went to 7 full years of college and grad school for AND say that CF isn't standing in the way of my dreams. I can't spend all day every day hooked up to my vest AND still have any sort of life at all. I can't keep pushing myself to exercise all the time AND follow the advice of my doctors, who say that I'm burning too many calories and pushing my HR up too high. And at the same time I can't work the crazy hours expected of NY lawyers AND keep up with my health. I can't go out and party all night with my other young city friends AND have the energy to move in the morning. I can't ignore my treatments or my routine just because I'm tired AND look myself in the mirror and say that I'm trying as hard as I can.
So in short, I can't please everyone, but I can make some smart choices and compromises and I can let myself admit that CF is not always all fun, games, and humerous blog posts.
And hopefully, after all that, I can actually regain a little of my sanity.
- 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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