Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Turkey for Easter?

I'm all for breaking tradition: typically, we have a ham for dinner on Easter Sunday, but this year Millie and Gracie are hoping for turkey on the table.

We took this photo over the weekend while doing yard work. Joe spotted the 3 female turkeys in a neighbor's yard. They ambled their way down the street as though they owned the place and spent a bit of time in our and our next door neighbor's yards.

For such large birds they make a very small sound, more like a peeping noise than the "gobble gobble" we think of when we see a Thanksgiving turkey. Maybe because they are ladies?

The clash of nature and suburbia never ceases to entertain me. I guess I'm easily amused.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

If You Don't Have Something Nice to Say..

...It's better not to say anything at all. At least that's what my parents always told me, and I guess I was unconsciously putting that into practice here. It's not that I've been unhappy or feeling negative, or even that I didn't have any nice things to say. I wasn't feeling well physically and that seemed to overshadow any of the other good things going on in my life and I wasn't able to put anything to writing without feeling whiny. So I kept my mouth shut!

After the 2 weeks of IV antibiotics in December, which left me feeling pretty well, I was able to enjoy about a month of good health. I got back to my usual exercise routine, but within days of hitting my exercise goal of 40 minutes on the treadmill with 30 minutes of 2.5% incline I caught a cold. A lingering, annoying cold which never really left me. I thought maybe some sun and warm temps in AZ would help it move along, but that was not to be. I felt even worse out west. Ok, so maybe it was some allergy to a desert flower? Yeah, sure, that had to be it. I'll feel better when I get home. Not so. I was short of breath on the treadmill, had trouble even dragging my suitcase on wheels and couldn't get much of anything done. Two weeks and some bleeding from my lungs later I figured I better check in to Hotel MGH again. My quickest turnaround ever, a mere 3 months, something many other cystics struggle with routinely, but a new thing for me. Round 2 of me vs. stenotrophomonas and proteus.

Fortunately, the antibiotics and rest did their trick. After a week I was feeling markedly better: no more bleeding, less coughing and the shortness of breath was receding. A little oxygen on the treadmill and I was feeling like superwoman. Yeah, baby! So begins the rehab process.

I'm trying to learn from past experience that it's best not to rush back into everything at once. The mind is willing but the body unable. Joe has been very sweet and patient so it's just my own internal pressure that I need to struggle with. I have to wear oxygen on the treadmill, which is hopefully temporary. I have a new toy, an oximiter, which I place on my finger to test the level of oxygen that my blood is carrying at any given time. Over 95% is normal, and below 90-91 is too low. When some one's lungs are not functioning adequately the blood doesn't get fully oxygenated and isn't able to transport enough to supply the cells with the nutrients they need. This causes the feeling of shortness of breath. So the supplemental oxygen helps to keep the blood saturated enough to feed the muscles and other tissues. My doc and I are hoping that as my lungs continue to heal and the inflammation goes down I won't require the little extra boost, but only time will tell. There's nothing I can do other than wait and let my body do the work. I'll work on the things I can control, like resting, good nutrition and exercise, and let go of what I can't. Now I just need to keep in mind the things I can and can't control. To be continued.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


The past 10 days or so have been cloudy, rainy, snowy and just plain depressing. It seems as though we are getting one big storm after another, which makes for some cool ocean waves, but other than that, isn't good for much. We have water in our basement and the yard is half-frozen mud. Yuck. Arizona seems years ago.

On a brighter note, I hear more singing birds in the morning. Each year at this time there is a subtle shift in the sounds outside. I've heard Canadian geese calling to each other while flying in their V-formation, returning to the area. Cardinals are chirping in the yard and even the birds at the feeder seem a little more hopeful, less hunkered down in their feathers. The sun is up earlier and goes to bed later by a few minutes each day. Once the ground dries out I can start making my rounds in the yard to check for crocuses peeking up. All of this makes me happy, with the anticipation of spring.