Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Home feels so good!

It feels so good to be home! As soon as I got here, I crashed for about 4 hours. I always do that when I get out of the hospital. It takes me a couple of days to recover. I'll be on IV's a month, and I'll meet with my ENT in the next week or so to schedule sinus surgery. It was supposed to be in May or June, but they are going to move it up.

I didn't think that the nurses on 7800 could get any better, but I was blown away this time by all of them. They were such patient advocates, and I believe some of the best nurses that Duke has are on that floor. Some of my old nurses had left.. some are still there, but all of the nurses that I had this stay were fairly new. They truly deserve a pay raise. They work their butts off!!! 

I remember working on a step-down unit immediately after graduating from nursing school and it was just like that. We barely had time to grab something to eat for lunch, and we usually stayed at least 45 minutes to an hour past our shift to finish all the charting. I am so thankful for all of my nurses who put 100% into taking care of patients. It's not an easy job, but I know from experience, it can be very rewarding!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tasty Tuesday

Every Tuesday, I will try and give a recipe review. The one for today is called  Pork Chops, Golden Apple and Raisin Sauce, Whole Wheat Pasta Mac-n-Cheddar by Rachael Ray. You can find the recipe by clicking here.

My husband and I made this a couple of weeks ago, but we did make a few changes. We used shells, brown raisins (because we didn't have golden), monterey jack cheese instead of cheddar, and we left out the maple syrup.

It was DELICIOUS!! Especially the apple and raisin sauce.  I am very glad we left off the syrup. It would have made it too sweet. It had the perfect sweetness without it.

It did take the chops a lot longer to cook than she said it would on her show. I would advise putting them on to cook before you start anything else.

I will definitely make this again. Jason and Casey both devoured it!!

Nighttime at Duke

I always loved working nights when I was a nurse. It was quieter, the docs weren't making their rounds, just very peaceful. I prefer nights as a patient too. I like looking out the window and watching the headlights go up and down the street, I like the quietness of it all. My insomnia doesn't seem to bother me as much when I'm in here than when I'm home. It's a great time to have my quiet time and reflect on a lot of things.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

What does Easter mean to you?

Do you think about bunnies and eggs? How about peeps and baskets? I guess in a way, we all do to some extent, but I don't have to be reminded what Easter really means.

To me, it means knowing that my faith isn't just a waste of time, that I am justified by what Jesus did for us on that cross, and most importantly, it means that because of the suffering that Jesus went through and because of his resurrection, I will have eternal life.

What a celebration we should all have everyday just thinking about this! WOW! 

I'm not with my family, except for Jason, because I am 2 hours away at Duke. I can't go to church in the morning because, well, I'm in the hospital... But, other than not having Casey here with us, these things don't really matter right now. Jason and I will celebrate here in our room.. giving thanks to God for giving us his only Son to suffer death on the cross and for his resurrection so that we can have eternal life!

I enjoyed reading the following Easter devotion.. I hope you will too. Just click here.

Missing Casey on this Easter morning

Casey isn't going to like me posting this picture, but she is so much fun, and this shows just how much fun she can be. Not being with her on Easter is really hard. Not being with her anytime is hard for that matter, but holidays make it even worse. I know she is having a great time.. she was at a bonfire with one of her friends tonight and called me. She was supposed to go on vacation this coming week with her dad and step-mom, but all of the flights are booked, so they aren't sure yet what they are going to do. I will most likely have her back on Thursday.. which seems like an eternity to me. I am going to write another entry in the next few days telling you ALL about Casey... then I'll do the same for Jason. 

This picture was taken several years ago!

This is just wrong....

This is what I look like at 3:30 am when I'm in the hospital.

This is what Jason looks like!!
See the difference?????

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Day 3 in Club Med

I was finally moved to 7800 last night. I was so excited... it's almost like coming home. I've known a lot of these nurses for years on this floor, and some of the patients too. I've spent Christmas here, and now I'll be spending Easter. Some of them are like family, and it's good to see them after being gone for a year now... Yes.. it's been a year since my last hospitalization!

I am still waiting to hear back from cultures as to whether or not I'll be starting IV antibiotics. It's a long story.. I won't go into it here. I'll explain in more details on my caringbridge site

Last night as I was being wheeled down to 7800, I ran into a very familiar face!!! A lot of you have been keeping up with Tricia and Nate's blog. Well, Nate was coming down the hall, and I was like "Wow, Nate!" I explained who I was and he and I chatted a bit. Today, he and my husband Jason went out to lunch and now they are at church. I was able to go visit with Tricia some today. She is so beautiful.. inside and out.. what a sweet, sweet spirit that woman has. I can't say enough good things about these two wonderful people. If you haven't checked their blog out yet click here

Tonight Tricia and Nate are hosting a talent show for the nurses. It should be interesting!! I hear there are quite a few ODD talents. I am sure Nate will be posting pics!!! I wish we had brought our video camera!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Having fun with photo booth!




Just weird





Night night everyone!!!!! My ambien has kicked in!! Sweeeeeet dreams!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Gimme 7800

Oh how I hate going to a floor that I'm not familiar with. I was admitted to the hospital today and am on a medical floor instead of my regular pulmonary floor! The hospital is full.. they say I'm lucky I got a room at all. No one on this floor knows anything about CF or transplant. I can't start my IV antibiotics until I go to my regular floor b/c I have to be desensitized to them. (Since I'm allergic to all antibiotics, I am given a tiny dose of the medicine, increasing it by small increments over a 5 hour period.. until my body accepts it). Only nurses who have been trained can do this. My nurse on the medical floor has never even heard of desensitization. So anyway...

I was down in the lobby waiting to be admitted, and there was this patient's wife playing the grand piano they have in the Duke lobby. She was playing some beautiful hymns. It was nice to hear while I waited those 2 hours for a room. Her sweet husband started clapping after she finished.. then we all joined in. He was very sick.. you could tell.. I hope he got a room quickly.

When I got up to my room my bed has this contraption to help people sit up in bed and lift themselves up. It's hanging right down in my face. I have asked to have this removed from my bed, but so far, they haven't. 

Hopefully when I post tomorrow.. I'll be on 7800! :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

An insomniac's revelation

What helps insomnia?  The truth about it all....

1.  Some people say that drinking warm milk will help you fall asleep quicker. I disagree. Not only does warm milk make me gag (well, unless of course it has chocolate in it, and that defeats the purpose b/c that contains caffeine), but even if I can manage to choke it down, it has no effect on my ability to fall asleep. 

2.  What about counting sheep? I have tried this... you just can't imagine how many times I've tried this.. I've tried sheep, cows, dogs, cats, horses, bears, even turtles.. you name it, I've probably tried it. I never get to 100, not b/c I'm asleep before I get to 100, but b/c I'm bored and tired of playing this game by about 20 or 25. I can't recall ever actually falling asleep by counting sheep or anything else for that matter.

3.  Going to bed at the same time every night is supposed to keep you in a pattern and help you fall asleep and stay asleep...... BLAHHHHH!!  It doesn't work! If my body doesn't want to sleep, then it doesn't matter if I wake up and go to bed at the exact same time for a week.. I still can't sleep.

4.  Some say a change of scenery will help you fall asleep. Here is my question... why would I want to leave the comforts of my warm bed, soft pillow, and snuggly hubby to go sleep on a cold sofa with cold cushions... alone? This just defeats all purposes of wanting to go to bed in the first place.

5.  Read a book... yeah that will do it! NOT! Since I read such suspenseful, edge-of-your-seat, gripping books, if I start reading in the middle of the night, I will want to finish the book. I won't want to read 1 chapter and say "nighty night"... I will want to see who killed who, with what, and where as soon as I possibly can.  Hmmm... maybe I should start reading my hubby's Cosmology books. Doesn't everyone want to learn about quasars and galaxies? (I'm sure they would put me right to sleep.. so I'm going to try that now.. since it's 3:20 am and I'm still wide awake).

Thanks for the inspiration!  And.... sleep well!! 


I have lost so many friends to this awful disease Cystic Fibrosis! They have all been so courageous! They all died way too young. To learn more about CF, please visit CFF.ORG. Here are a few pictures of some dear friends I have lost to CF....

Nicki and me at the Transplant Games in Minneapolis, MN. Nicki was so compassionate and never forgot a birthday or anniversary. Her homemade cards would cheer anyone up, and she was so loving! I miss her friendship so much! She passed away on New Year's Eve 2007 after being sick for way too long.

This is me, Casey and Rich at The Leaning Tower of Pizza in Minneapolis, MN. Rich was one of my best friends ever! He was so loyal and such a fighter. No matter how sick he was, he never complained. I miss him so much. He passed away after receiving new lungs in February, 2007.

Fun with John at the 2004 Transplant Games in Minneapolis, MN. John was one of the most awesome people I have ever met. You could count on him for anything! He passed away after a courageous battle with CF and after receiving new lungs in August, 2006.

Other friends I have lost to this disease: Kira, Mark, Mark W., Jennifer, Stephanie, Dave, Selina, Mary, Deborah, and Elizabeth. 

Saturday, March 15, 2008

My favorite authors

If you like a good mystery, here are some great mystery writers:

Tess Gerritsen

Michael Palmer

Stephen White

I have many other favorites, but these are the ones that come to mind right now

Thursday, March 13, 2008

First blog.. not fitting in!

I am not going to let my serious lack of graphics keep me from blogging, so here goes... I am a CFer.  I belong to websites for CFers. Here is why I don't feel like I fit in though. I had a lung transplant in 2001, so it's been awhile since I had CF in my lungs. New lungs DO NOT get CF in them, even though you still have CF in the rest of your body.  

Most of the people on one of the websites I belong to are pre-transplant. They talk about their treatments and meds.. two things that have changed greatly (for the good) since I had CF in my lungs.  I don't want to go back there.. no way, but I do feel like an outsider talking to them. I cannot relate anymore.  I remember all of the coughing and sickness, but it's vague.  Half of the time, I do not know what they are talking about, because things have changed so much medically in the last 6 1/2 years.  It really is amazing the advances that have been made.  

I do belong to a couple of transplant sites, but the bond between people isn't as great as it is on my CF website.  Something about CFers, we stick together, and we form bonds that can't be broken.  It really is special!  

I'm not fitting in with healthy people.. I'll never be normal as my doc put it one time.  And.. I don't fit in with CFers anymore.  I'm stuck somewhere in the middle.