Monday, October 26, 2009

Um, Can I Get a "Woot, Woot"?

As some of you might know (and others might have guessed from reading this blog) 2009 has been kind of a rough year on the infection front lines for me. In fact, as of September -- when I was bored and passing time during my fourth hospital stay in as many weeks -- I realized that May has been the ONLY month of 2009 when I haven't been on IVs. Every single other month has been at least partially filled with PICCs and ports and eclipse balls and gravity drips. It's a pretty ridiculous record, even considering that I've been building up to it for a couple of years (5 rounds of IVs in 2008, and at least 3 or 4 in 2007), and I was starting to think that nothing could break what looked to be a pretty consistent cycle.

Until now, that is.

I'm pleased to announce that October is right on track to become the second IV-free month of 2009! (Okay, fine, I technically ended my last run of IVs on Oct. 1st, which means there was one day or partial overlap, but leaving that silly little fact aside, and assuming I can stay healthy for a mere 3 more days, I'm going to go ahead and score this one as a win.) Granted, it's come with its own sets of ups and downs (and clots), plus a couple of rounds of some good old-fashioned oral antibiotics to help me through, but sometimes that's just life. And frankly I'm about ready to go out trick-or-treating this year dressed up as a big gold star -- a gift from me to my lungs for holding out this long and proving, once again, that they love nothing more than a challenge.

Of course, the addition of gyrotonics to my exercise lineup (religiously twice a week for an hour each session) might also have had something to do with it. I've also begun practicing meditation and deep breathing at least once a week, and that may have helped too in keeping my lungs open and (relatively) healthy. Honestly, those two things are the only part of my routine that's really changed, so I can't discount either as a factor. And interestingly, it's not that I haven't developed the same grossly productive cough that normally drives me towards IVs, because I have. But somehow I seem more able to get the mucus up and out this time around, and as a consequence I breathe better and deeper, even if it's just for those few hours in between airway clearance treatments. Also my appetite and energy level have been more less holding steady despite the cough increase -- another sign that my body might be getting stronger even as my lungs continue to struggle?

I don't know, and to be perfectly frank right now I don't want to overthink the cause. I just want to gloat and enjoy the fact that I am almost 31 WHOLE DAYS without an IV infusion. And in the middle of cold/flu season too.

Seriously, guys, I wasn't kidding . . . can I get a "woot, woot" please?

Anyway, in celebration of this fantastic accomplishment (and because I kind of want to wait to share some of my deeper musings for another post), I've decided to torture you all with some ridiculously random scenes from my apartment on this gorgeous, post-meditation, slightly rainy, beginning of fall, IV-free day. Enjoy.

view of TriBeCa from my 18th-story window

charcoal drawing (based loosely on above view)

the real star of this blog: sampson (aka "sammybear")

I'm off to walk Sam as part of my participation in "Courtney's Challenge" now that there's finally a break in the rain!


  1. I'm so glad you're making it IV-free!! You've worked so hard for this break, enjoy it :)

  2. Woo Hoo for October!! This is the 1st October in 5 years M has not been in the hospital!

    Toast and Cheers!!

  3. Woot Woot! Congrats Piper. You really earned that month of freedom from IVs. :)