Monday, December 26, 2011

Making Holiday Memories

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas.  I am sad to announce, I was sick over Christmas this year.  It seems I had some type of food poisoning the night of Christmas Eve.  Its hard to say for sure, but I was up in the middle of the night with terrible stomach pains.  They were very intense.  Once things calmed down, I was able to sleep, but my stomach hurt most of Christmas day.  I also didn't feel like eating much and was advised by the on-call doctor to eat a plain diet.  So my Christmas/Birthday dinner was steam veggies and rice.  I was not able to enjoy any of the good food or even my birthday cake.

I was still able to enjoy some time with family, although I really didn't do much besides sit on the couch.  We watched the Bear/Packers game, which was just depressing.  I am feeling better now and even eating again.  This is also not the first time I have been sick on or around Christmas.  In fact, I was sick last Christmas. I hope this is not becoming a new tradition!

Speaking of traditions,  I have been wanting to post some pictures of my Christmas ornaments.  Decorating the tree this year, I realized that they make up so many memories for me. Almost all of my ornaments are gifts, which alone make them special.  Here is a look.

I have ornamanets that are....

older than me and belonged to my mom.
hand-made with love.
collectible and worth money.
not valuable at all, but are worth more to me than any dollar value.
part of a series that I have been collecting for 21 years this year.
from our pop culture like Lucy,  Elvis and Scooby Doo.
glittery snowflakes which are on their own special tree.
representative of who I am as a person.  Lots of dogs and sewing.
in memory of my dog Cocoa, who we lost 10 years ago this year.
special gifts give to us as wedding presents.
from Ethan's collection and represent who he is as a person.  Super heros and skiing.
that my sister and I fought over when we moved out of our parents house.  Mom had to split them up between us.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Replacement Nebulizer

Over the weekend, I celebrated Christmas with Ethan's family at his Grandma's house.  Every year they have a tradition of serving bagna cauda.  This is an Italian dish that is much like fondue in which you cook meat and veggies in a mixture of garlic, anchovies, olive oil, and butter.  Each person makes their own serving and the oil stays hot for most of the party so you can eat as much as you want, when ever you want.  It is actually really good.  Except for one part...the smell. 

It's not really that it smells bad necessarily.  It's that the smell saturates everything in the whole house.  Clothes, shoes, purses, jackets, hair, every possession inside the house.  This smell is a topic of concern and conversation each year.  First there is this big build up to the one can talk about going to Grandma's for Christmas without mentioning the smell of bagna cauda.  There is strategy...only bring items inside which you only really need and leaving everything else in the car.  There is the aftermath...carrying cloths home in plastic bags, showering at the first chance, and of course the complaining about how bad everything smells. 

This is the 11th Christmas Ethan and I will be celebrating together.  And although I have not spent each year at Grandma's, I've been around long enough to know the controversy over this smell.  The build up and worry over the smell is such a big deal, I've actually been under the option that most just take it a little to far.  It kind of gets old year after year, the same comments...just wash your clothes it will be ok.  Well, I thought this way until my experience this year. 

Being a good CFer, I of course took time out of the party for treatments.  I took my nebulizer upstairs, away from the party and the food and the guest to have a little privacy and not have my loud equipment disturbing others.  I did my treatments, washed the cup, packed it up, and went about my business.  The next day, back in my own home, I started doing my treatments and I could actually taste the bagna cauda in the meds.  At first I just thought I would need to sterilize my cup, but then I realized the compressor itself had the smell in it.  IN IT! I could actually smell this stuff in the fan and coming out of the tubing.  After running the machine for about a half hour (not while using it, just letting it run) it still smelled.  I finally realized that the constant comments about the smell were not an exaggeration .  It was really.  I was now too a victim of the bagna cauda. 

I actually had to order a whole new nebulizer.  Luckily, my doctor order the new machine and it was delivered to me the same day.  And with no co-pay.  I was really worried that I would miss a bunch a treatments waiting for a new machine, but the insurance was really responsive.  Even though I have been with my new insurance two years now, I still can't believe how much better it is then what I had before.  Seriously, it probably would of taken three weeks just to get the order approved with my old company.  If there is one positive thing I can say about having CF, it is that my team takes my health and well being very seriously.  For this I am thankful.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fund Raising Plan


As I announced in a previous blog, I have been selected by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-Northern California Chapter to be honored on March 8 for being a leader in our community.  The Foundation has posted information about the event on their website and can be found by clicking the image above. 

Over the last couple of weeks, I have planned out my fund raising plan. Most of my fund raising is going to be centered around living in Sonoma County, also known as Wine Country.  I want to represent this great place I live, so I am going to turn to my local community for support.  I'm starting with a 100 Bottles of Wine Campaign, in which I am looking to local wineries to donate a bottle of wine or two for use as auction items at the event.  I am also trying to put together an package auction item for a Wine Country Get-A-Way, which will hopefully include hotel accommodations, wine tasting, and a around of golf. 

In January I will look to my friends and family to make a donation to my campaign.  In February I am planning on hosting a box lunch sale to my co-workers.  I will team up with a local deli to sell lunch to my co-workers, where a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Foundation.  I also have some other ideas, but I want to save some surprises for later.  I am really excited about this event!