My Moments to Breathe

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Day by day

I still haven't been able to get a good night sleep and we are guessing most of it has to do with anxiety. I guess I need to get rid of things that cause least the things I can control. That will be my main goal this week.

I had a doctors appointment on Tuesday to follow up with my cold, just to make sure everything was OK and that it wasn't anything else. I still weigh only about 89 lbs, but slowly trying to learn how to eat and be OK with eating and correcting later. Medically induced things are crazy....def harder to control. But still gives me hope that once I figure it out more I can make it stable. Then with a good diet and exercise things will all work out. 

My chest X-ray looked great and the bronch from the other week didn't show anything except that I had a cold. They knew I had a cold before I did.. Wish I had the warning HAHA! 

My 6 minute walk went well, kept an 02 level of 97%, but once I took my mask off it jumped straight up to a 100% in literally 1 minute. Thats an awesome number to see and honestly it never gets old. The other number that rocked and made me pretty much cry (happy tears) was from my PFTS. My lungs are now functioning at 84%. You need me to say that again?! 84%.


And thats with a cold and only 2 months out. I just wanted to squeeze my lungs and donor family so badly. Thanks for this new look on life....well, really, just thanks for life.
Its crazy and I really just can't wrap my little anxiety ridden brain around that fully...not yet at least.

I did get an antibiotic just in case there was something in my sinus (they took a culture) and just to make sure whats in my chest doesn't settle and turn into anything else. To keep my shiny new lungs as shiny as when I first got them. So I have been doing my PEP, exercise, and just doing some deep breathes.

I am starting to feel pretty good and the chest area seems to be getting a bit better...all of it. I know that some of you have seen the site and how crazy it looks. Well, it is all healing very well and the nerves are growing back...which causes discomfort and my ability to wear certain shirts cringe worthingly impossible. So I have been pretty much living in the same few outfits, depending on what area the nerves are growing back in. But I can rock them with some good nail polish, hair style, and accessories. 

I also am starting a desensitization to sulfa drugs this week. THIS. IS. WEIRD. All my life I have been told and only known to stick away from these drugs. And now I am going to willingly put them in my body slowly and hope that I don't react to them. Fingers crossed and prayers sent please. In this process I was also told that if it works I am not able to ever...let me type that again...EVER....miss a day or my immune system will freak out and never ever accept the drug again. I mean I know that I am already on a good routine of other meds that can't be skipped, but those are ones too that my body won't let me take is for some reason I skipped a dose for the day. Hmmm, doesn't that sound like a good reason to have stress therefore some anxiety? Add it to the list of musts...kick another anxiety out that I can control. 

But even with all that I am so glad to be able to breathe easier and know in a year I will look back at this journey and my scar and know it is out of love that I did it all. The pain with numb. The memory of the pain will numb.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Late night...or early morning...!?

It is 5:45 am and I still haven't fallen asleep. Tomorrow is going to be a long cranky day. I don't know whether to root for school to be cancelled so I can have my girl home or to root for school to still be on so I can at least have a 2 hour nap. 

Well, I caught that nasty cold Laila had. At first it was no big deal and I was all like "if this is what a cold is like, you non  diseased people are babies." I spoke to soon. Granted, yes, this cold is still easier to breathe than my 18% lung days and I can still do things. It seems like now I have caught an infection...or worse. I am going to the doctors on Tuesday to get it all checked out and I guess I may need a bronch sooner than they thought, to clean me out and check stuff out. I wasn't able to keep any food down on Saturday, I even tossed the apple juice and graham cracker I ate to make my low sugar of 48 go back up to normal. 

My skin is back to being very sensitive and my chest where the sternum is is burning. My arm that was "normal" now seems to be giving my trouble with the "going numb" and "getting hot" thing...blood clot...?!...I don't know how because I am on blood thinner. I guess thats something else they will need to look at on Tues. I honestly just am GRRR!

I have my good days, my ok days, my not so good days, and my bad days....yeah, its normal and I can tell myself that until I am blue in the face but I want perfection. I want it all. I want no infection, rejection, I want to be healed, 100% o2 level, 100% fev1, my weight back up, no diabetes, no blood clots, no anything...just all healed and perfect. 

I am aware that most of this is a good pain because its not pain that is getting worse and making me sicker, but pain that is going to slow down and make me healthier (if that makes sense like it did in my head I am not sure!) Like I said I just want to feel normal again. I got my new lungs, now I want to use them as perfect as they were. As I was sitting in bed in middle of the night, my mind wandering, I started to feel bad for my new bling...they were used to a healthy life without mucus, coughing, or fighting to stay in the body. They were they have to work!

Laila is still happy to be home and starting to remember that I am a push over...hence the little girl sprawled out in our bed. Jeremy has a cold too so we have been trying to battle through it, luckily he still has enough go to get everything ready for dinner, to clean, and to take Laila when I just need 5 minutes. I owe him.

I hope you all are keeping warm and safe this winter, YUCK...isn't it nasty?! I know my plans are to snuggle up in a heating blanket and read a book today (after a little nap...whenever it is that I finally get tired.) I am wishing that I feel a little better so I can straighten up this house, its a clutter and I hate that! 

Have a good day at work, school, or staying home out of the snow!

Monday, January 13, 2014

It takes time

It has almost been 2 months and I am getting antsy.

I am still sore, but it is mostly the part that they broke my sternum that bugs me. But what can I expect there, they broke a bone and I have wire holding it together. It just feels weird because it gets tight, and my lungs just feel like they want to burst out and expand more than my chest is letting them. I know it will just take time, but as most of you can tell...I don't have the patience for that! I want it healed, and I want it healed NOW!

I have a bronch tomorrow so that they can check out my lungs straight from the lungs. They will check to see how everything is doing and make sure there is no rejection. I am trying not to worry but I have as much problem trying not to worry as I do trying to be patient. I am hoping that everything goes well with the bronch itself as well as the outcome.

My meds are still giving me some hassle thats a tad annoying. I get nauseous and even have thrown up (like yesterday) and the shakes are still very bad. BLAH these shakes are starting to interfere a bit, and I just want them to go away which my doctor said they probably wouldn't. But I keep trying to remind myself it is better than not being able to breathe.  I have been keeping up on them all and while I am getting ready for my bronch I actually had to add a new injection for a week or so, but at least this one will go away soon.

Laila has a cold, a pretty nasty one and it has me scared. I can't catch it, like really I can't because I don't want anything to happen to these brand new puppies I got 2 months ago. They need to stay strong while they are getting stronger. So as if this household wasn't obsessed with hand washing and sanitizer as it Laila is even more so now. She put on her sanitizer cocktail and even does her whole arm and sometimes even her legs. It may be awful but I don't stop her from doing so. And today I am going to wear a duck mask around my own house. BOO...breathing paper in the comfort of your own home equals NO COMFORT! But it is better than her having to wear one or the alternative of catching this bug.

We bought a treadmill that I can continue my workouts at home so those lungs can expand more and more. And even if its only for short times, when I get done walking my lungs are always a little better and my chest is expanded. A little pressure off.

I am still trying to gain weight, and its not that easy. I am still down to around 90 lbs and the thought of gaining about 20 lbs seems overwhelming, so in my head I am just breaking it up to goals of 5 lbs. A ton less scary then a big number. My body looks so deformed when I see it in a mirror. Thats not the shape I remember seeing.

Sometimes things just get all jumbled in my head and create this ultra emotion and anxiety sets in. I get a little crazy and just need my 10 minutes to cry it out. Breathing is the best, don't get me wrong. But everything catches me and I get nervous, I wonder a lot, I cry, I breathe, and I try and go on with my day. Its a learning curve that in a few months when all this pain goes away, my lungs are pretty healed, my body has weight, I can carry my daughter, my life gets back to a normal...then my brain will start to relax. Time. It will take time. Please just everyone be patient with me while I go through this little process. I am not leaving my house often and when I do, its never alone yet...anxiety gets me. I am trying to continue to be me and to be as strong as I can be. But as you can assume, sometimes its just a lot to grasp and hold onto. Remember it takes time.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Tis the Season

I took a break in order to concentrate on my new life and to enjoy the Christmas and holiday season, sorry for those who look here to get all the new info! 

First I will get it out of the way and tell you all that my lungs are still the talk of the town around here. They are still shiny new and healing well. I had a doctors appointment on the 30th and everything went very well. They changed my insulin dosage so I don't have to take quite as much (not trying to get my hopes up that this will all go away when my medicine get lowered...but they all seem to think so.) I now have a case of the shakes....and they can get pretty bad to the point that y fingers don't work as I want them to (as a matter of fact thats how they are right now and I am getting pretty upset about it....STOP SHAKING BODY!) I gained 1 lb, and am happy its at least going in the right direction. My lung function in now 70% and I am so thrilled with that.

I honestly can't remember the last time I was at a 70%. Back in 2006 I was in the 50s, so its been so long since I was able to breathe like this. I still have bad days when my body just isn't handling everything like the meds as well as I want them to, but its funny because my mom asked the other day, "what doesn't feel good?" and my answer shocked me..."everything BUT my lungs."  HAHA! When is the last time my lungs felt good and my body was what was yucky? Like never...

Christmas was wonderful this year. I got new lungs, got to go home to Michgan, got to surprise Laila (the video of us surprising Laila in on FB...check it out and like TEAM CASSIE while you are at it and just got to have a great time 

Laila was so excited that it still brings tears to my eyes to see her little face light up. She had been asking me for awhile when I was going to go to MI and I was starting to feel very sad and like a not so good Mom...even if I knew what we had done was the right thing. Needless to say, the girl hasn't left my side since and I am loving every second of it. She asks a lot of questions about my new lungs, the hospital, my medicine...she is very curious and concerned. I love that little lady.

Sorry for the short blog but my girl wants me to go play and now that I am done with my night time meds, I am able to....and I am still in the "she can have whatever she wants" mode. 

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I know we did!