Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Birthday

Friday I celebrated my 32nd birthday. People often ask me what is it like to have a birthday on Christmas. To me, it is the only birthday I know. Here are the positives and negatives.

Negatives: People are often too busy around the holidays to celebrate with me, unless I am already going to see them on Christmas or Christmas Eve. It is harder to celebrate with friends. Combo gifts. Birthday presents wrapped in Christmas paper.

Positives: People generally don't forget my birthday. Even people I have not seen for 20 years remember my birthday. Some friends and family go out of their way to make my birthday special and separate fro Christmas. When everyone is done opening presents on Christmas day, I still get to open a few more.

I guess it is a pretty weird day to have a birthday. If anything, it is a good conversation piece. When people see my birthday, I'd say 75% of the time, people take up a conversation about it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Birthday Candles

Last Saturday I celebrate my birthday at Bing Crosby's Piano Bar with my husband Ethan and my BFF Sarah and her husband, Kiko. It was a lovely time. We had cocktails, lots of yummy food, and a very special birthday dessert. Traditionally, I celebrate my birthday with Sarah on Christmas evening. This year we will be in Arizona, so we will not be able to get together. I think it will be the first time in 8 or 9 years we won't see each other on Christmas/my Birthday. I'm glad we were able to meet up the week before.

The morning before I received an e-mail from the animal shelter notifying volunteers that a shelter dog Radar was most likely going to be euthanized due to some health complications coupled with being at the shelter for 4 months without finding a home. I felt so sad, I wanted to do something to help him, but what? I can't adopted him and I can't donate enough money for his surgery. I was going to think about what I could do for a couple of days.

When my dessert was brought out to me, there were three candles. The waiter said, "Three candles for three wishes." I wished Radar would find a home, fast. I used it as all three wishes. The next day at the shelter, Radar had an adoption pending. And yesterday we was taken home to be with his new family! Not only did my birthday wish come true, but Radar found a home just in time for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

You know you have CF when...

You are coming home from the pharmacy and your bag is so full of medication, the bag rips and all your drugs fall out the bottom on to the ground. As I just learned moments ago....

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Fill In

1. No, we will NOT let CF win.

2. A warm meal will always be served at the old kitchen table.

3. I watched the steam rising from the hot cup of coffee (or tea) and thought: that looks so yummy!

4. It's hard to believe it's going to be okay.

5. I'll take some good news, please.

6. Dogs are the best friends a girl could ask for, at least from my point of view.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to dinner with family, tomorrow my plans include celebrating my birthday with friends and Sunday, I want to bake cookies!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Santa Hearts

For two years now, my office has participated in a donation program to provide Christmas presents to needy people. The program is run by the local fire department. They find needy people in the community and give them one wish for Christmas. Then their name, age, a little description about the person and their wish is written on a heart. Volunteers can then choose a heart (or two or more) and buy the present the person is wishing for. This year our office provided for 71 hearts. I had two. One was for a 95 year old woman who wanted purple socks and a sweater. The other was for a man with AIDS who's wish was for dog and cat treats and toys for his pets.

It is a very rewarding program to participate in. And to see our office come together and help provide presents for 71 needy people makes me very proud of my co-workers. We are all dealing with a 15% pay cut right now, so I was not sure how successful participating in this program would be. But when I started to look at some of the wishes people had, I begin to realize how much I have to be thankful for and how lucky I am to have so much in my life.

I am a state employee and I often am subject to negative comments about government employees. Perhaps this is an example of how not all government employees are bad people, as we seem to have a reputation for.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

CF Tribute

The last couple of weeks the CF community has suffered the lose of several friends to CF. It has seemed to happen all at once. Although most of us only knew these people through CF social networking, I can tell how damaging this news is the other CFers. I follow many CF blogs and most people are posting thoughts and prayers to those who recently lost the battle to CF. We have a strong community and I hope to continue to build relationships with all my fellow fibros and cysters. But for those who have slipped away before I had a chance to get to know you, I am dedicating this song to you. If I didn't know better, I'd swear this song was written for the CF community.

Just Breathe, by Pearl Jam
"Stay with me...let's just breathe. "

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Shopping

I generally dislike holiday shopping. Well, I actually like it, I just don't like the crowded stores, filled with rude, upset and angry people. It ruins the holiday spirit. I try to have most of my shopping done before Thanksgiving. This year I still had a lot to do once Thanksgiving rolled around. One nice thing about shopping in December is all the sales out there right now. Macy's sent me a coupon for 25% off my entire purchase for an entire week. JCPenny's just sent me a $10 off coupon with a purchase of $10 or more. The best experience I had was last night at Kohl's. I had a $10 off coupon with a purchase of $20. I also had a 15% off my entire purchase coupon. I asked the sales person if I could use both in the same transaction and he said yes! I didn't notice, but the coupon had expired, so when he scanned it, it didn't work. I honestly didn't realize the coupon had expired, so I politely just said thanks anyway. He honored the coupon anyway and gave me the additional 15% off. I think that is just great service.

On a different note, I started No Two Snowflakes Are Alike one year ago today! I am glad I have stuck with it and have connected with some great people out there.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Credit Card Theft

I woke up Saturday morning to a phone call from my credit card company wanting me to verify suspicious activity. The transaction in question was a two dollar charge at a WalMart in Florida. Nope, not me. They then went on to ask me to verify other transactions. A few were mine, most were not. About $800 in chargers were accumulated with in a matter of hours. Most transactions took place in Arizona. Charges were at random places, including three transactions for pizza. Ironic, this is the same day Ronnie found out someone broke into his home.

Here is the scary part...I did not lose my credit card. It was in my wallet, just where it should be. Someone got a hold of my number and either made a card using my information or they were just using the number without a card. Even scarier, this just happened to me 3 months ago, but this a different card. Same situation though, I never lost my card...someone was just using my Mexico. As a precaution, I had a credit check run just to make sure my social security number was not being used to open up credit cards. Everything on the report looks good, thankfully.

In both cases of credit card fraud, the banks have been great. From calling me to verify activity to not being held accountable for the charges. The worst part about it is I had to cancel my account and open a new one, leaving me without a card for the moment. Its the only card I have, so I have no way to finish my online holiday shopping. I also have the hassle of changing account information on my auto billing accounts like the gym and netflix. Oh well, could be worse. At least I don't have to pay for the charges, that would be terrible.

Check your accounts often. Pay attention when the bank calls you to verify activity. I know it seems like a pain if the transactions truly are yours, but this services is priceless if someone really is really using your card number. Also, remember to let the banks know if you are going to be traveling out of state. It can help them manage theft better.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Shelter Puppies

There are two of these little ladies at the shelter right now. The puppies go fast, but they are just so cute, I had to post!

Friday Fill In

1. You get more out of life when you focus on the positive.
2. Move from one event right to another.
3. It's Christmas time.
4. Crocks look ridiculous!
5. I feel more informed.
6. Good luck and ...goodnight!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to the gym, tomorrow my plans include Winter Whiskers and Wine and Sunday, I want to decorate for Christmas!

CF and Sinuses

After reading about Ronnie's blog about his first ever sinus rinse, I thought I would give some feed back to him through my own blog. I know sinus problems very is by far my biggest CF complication. Last June I started getting daily headaches. The headaches came on at the same time every day and were so painful, my neck would start hurting. Bottom line, my sinuses were completely impacted. I started doing sinus rinses at that time, soon after had surgery, still had headaches, went on prednisone, headaches went away and I finally started feeling better. However, I continue have problems with pressure and pain (not so much headaches, but pain in my cheeks and teeth). Around the same time I went on prednisone, my ENT started having me put TOBI right in the rinses. Was it the prednisone or TOBI that helped my headaches? Maybe a combination of both?

I have been TOBI in nasal rinses since March. I do four weeks on/four weeks off. During my off times, I feel terrible...during the on times I feel about 90% better. I think the TOBI is working miracles up there. I am in an off time right now and I am struggling. Pain everyday, even headaches. I am talking to the doctors about just doing TOBI all the time. The funny thing is, putting TOBI in nasal rinses really isn't "excepted" by the general medical community as having a scientific benefit. Because of that, my insurance won't cover the medication. Grrrrr.

Ronnie- I agree with other CFers out there, that nasal rinse they gave you was weak sauce. I use a neti pot, 8 oz of warm water, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and what ever meds. I am mixing in. Talk to your docs. about using this more traditional method. Mandi will be more pleased with the results :).